"Imagine finishing a wedding party drinking tea—it would be shameful!"
Wedding receptions are fueled by booze—the good ones are, anyway. And according to Pope Francis, that's how it should be. The leader of the Catholic church, who has garnered a fairly progressive reputation, made no secret of his passion for wine in a recent public address.
During his weekly speech in St. Peter's Square, the Pope took on the subject of marriage, reflecting on a notable biblical wedding in the gospel of John. As the ancient story goes, at a post-nuptial feast in Cana the hosts ran out of wine during the party, no doubt putting a damper on the celebration. Jesus sent servants to fill stone jugs with water, but when they went to pour the jugs the water had turned to wine.
Francis noted that this symbolic action was key to Jesus establishing that he was the husband of the people of God, according to Religion News. In this way, wine itself is a representation of God's love and is integral to the celebration of a joyful new marriage, as the church views it.
"Water is necessary to live, but wine expresses the abundance of the feast and the joy of celebration, and a wedding party which lacks wine—the newlyweds feel ashamed of this," Francis said. "Imagine finishing a wedding party drinking tea—it would be shameful! Wine is necessary for the celebration," he added, adding a biblical burn.
While wine is also an important element in a traditional Catholic Mass, as a representation of the Last Supper, Francis says that church ceremonies aren't the only occasion where vino is essential. "How is it possible to celebrate the wedding and have a party if you lack what the prophets indicated was a typical element of the messianic banquet?" he asks.
While wine consumption in the Vatican amounts to nearly 20 gallons for each resident annually (the most, per capita, of any nation in the world), the Pope is said to be not much of a drinker himself. But something tells us Francis is the life of the party.