Edinburgh, Scotland: Local Catholics gathered yesterday for what has been called the "theological time bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences, sometime in the third millennium of the Theology on Tap": the Scottish rendition of Pope Saint John Paul II's audiences, dubbed "The Theology of the Toddy."
The Prince's Pub was overflowing with young people and free hot toddies for the event, where Fr. Malcolm Westergate preached that the theology of the toddy was based on "pre-given language of self-giving and honeyed spicyness" that was part of the toddies' very creation. "The prelapsarian land of spices, Eden itself, is held in every hot toddy sipped by a human person. The land of the covenant, a land flowing with mild and honey, is prefigured. Technically, the whisky should be milk, but then no one would drink it, and God is merciful, after all," he insisted.
There were also Church critics of the Theology of the Toddy present. Angus Righthold handed out anti-toddy literature to people coming in for the event. "The very problem here is held in the word 'hot.' We have 'hot toddies,' now. Who can think of the toddy without the word 'hot'? It just sounds a bit risque, and I don't appreciate being forced to consider whether I consume my toddy too hot, mate. Would ye give your Blessed Mother a 'hot' toddy? I don't think so. My case is made and my conscience is clear," he said, sipping a pint of Ale.
Righthold's argument seemed lost on the enthusiastic crowd of young people, who left claiming that the talk helped them see "the spousal meaning of the Toddy" in radically new ways. "The free Toddy gives itself to me, and I give meself to God freely. Or something like that," gushed Aidan Abbott. "All I know is I am feeling very giving right now. Ye are all me brothers and sisters and spouses, eh mates?" A roar rose in the background.
Fr. Westergate announced the next Theology on Tap would be titled "Love and Toddy Responsibility." "I think it be best," he admitted, seeing the free Toddy enthusiasm in the streets surrounding the pub.
p.s. I wrote a serious book on the real thing (The Theology of the Body). It's for sale here.