What did the Pope do with the Pappy?
You may have read about the Kentucky priest, Father Jim Sichko, who traveled to the Vatican in April with several bottles of bourbon to give as gifts. The photo below, from his Twitter account, shows him giving Pope Francis, a Jesuit, a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 23-year-old bourbon. For what it's worth, the priest initially received the bottle from a friend in Louisville to give the Holy Father, and he says he didn't realize it sells for $3500/bottle (or more) on the secondary market, if you can find it.
The media took notice; I read several matter-of-fact articles about the gift. The Late Late Show even made some jokes about it. Initially, I thought to myself, "that's cool." After all, Kentucky is one of America's bastions of Catholicism.
But as I listen to and read articles about the Catholic church on its ongoing drama, I wonder about the appropriateness of the gift. As a Jesuit educated man, I know that members of the Society of Jesus take a vow of poverty. Indeed, Canon Law (No. 282.1) requires clerics to "foster simplicity of life" and to "refrain from all things that have a semblance of vanity.” If you know anything about bourbon, you know that Pappy 23 is vanity.
So what did the Holy See do with the "bottle of bourbon so exclusive even billionaires can't buy it?" I'd like to know.