Five Most Badass Moves Archbishop Thomas Wenski Has Pulled
Illustration by Jesse Lenz
Last year after Ray Allen sprinted furiously to a corner, made Mike Breen yell "BAAAAAAAAAAAANG" and the Heat took a bat to San Antonio's knees, Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski collected on his bet with his San Antonio counterpart Gustavo García-Siller. Wenski received a sizable chunk of Texas barbecue and fajitas and the two made news again this week when they agreed to bet on this year's Finals.
But Wenski making and winning bets, and just looking like a straight-up Bawse should come as no surprise. We told you in 2010 when he was installed that Wenski loves motorcycles, speaks six languages, and is even a licensed pilot. He represents 1.3 million Catholics in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe Counties.
Four years later, we know even more about him, given how often he's made weird and interesting and awesome headlines. Don't believe us? Take a look at just 5 of the most badass stunts your Archbishop has pulled.
After the St. James Catholic Cathedral was renovated to the tune of $10 million in 2010, new stained-glass windows were installed. Jesus, the Virgin Mary and, of course, Wenski were depicted on the 4x8 creation, with Wenski dressed in a red bishop robe, kneeling in prayer in front of Mary, looking toward Jesus.
In February of this year, Wenski donned a leather jacket, hopped on his black Harley-Davidson Street Glide bike and led over 60 people on a 90-mile wind through South Florida. Before the group left St. Richard Catholic Church in Palmetto Bay, Wenski explained the reason for the event: "Bikers are people that are accustomed to praying because if you're going to ride a motorcycle, you should know how to pray," he told the Herald.
A few weeks back, Wenski created a night called Man Cave to benefit the Unaccompanied Minors Program that's housed under the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami. For a $100 donation, men could play dominos, drink rum or Cuban coffee and smoke cigars with the Archbishop. Wenski wore a guayabera. Yup.
Yeah, so, Wenski behaves closer to Johnny Manziel than Pope John Paul II, but he can still ride for a cause when needed. In May, he wrote an op-ed in the Miami Herald pointing out what people like Jason Whitlock have been saying for years: That the mass incarceration of blacks and Hispanics in this country is disproportionate and dysfunctional. That's not always the easiest thing for white America to understand and having the leader of the Roman Catholic Church say it loudly is pretty bawse, if you ask us.
When the Heat played the Mavericks in the Finals in 2011, Wenski placed a wager with Dallas Bishop Kevin J. Farrell that ended with Wenski forking over Miami-made hand-rolled cigars and donning Mavericks championship gear. But Wenski isn't a scared bettor. He made bets in 2012, '13, and '14 and he knows the motto: Always. Bet. On. LeBron.