Thou shalt not steal is a pretty central tenet of the Bible.
But it seems Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.) couldn’t resist the temptation to swipe the water glass that touched the lips of Pope Francis.
Yes, on Thursday, while other lawmakers were distracted with the pope’s departure from the House chamber, Brady sneaked up to the lectern and snatched the glass used by His Holiness, the Philadelphia Daily News first reported.
He carefully carried the glass, still half full, back to his office where he sipped the water and then passed it around to his wife and two staffers. Later, he invited Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) to his office, who, along with his wife and mother, dipped his fingers in the water. Casey’s office confirmed this was true.
Turns out this is not Brady’s first water glass heist. He also took the glass used by President Obama at his first inauguration.
Brady called us Friday afternoon (we had so many questions) to clear up some things. First things first, he plans to pay for the glass he stole from Capitol Hill property. He’s asked the House Architect for a bill. They apparently laughed, but he’s going to send a check.
He’s since emptied the water into a bottle. He plans to use it to bless his grandchildren. Now, as we understand it, and please correct us if we’re wrong, unless the pope actually blessed the liquid it’s not technically holy water.
But Brady told us he “could care less” what we thought.
“Anything the pope touches becomes blessed,” he said. “I think so and no one is going to change my mind.”
The glass itself he’s sending to forensics to be dusted for prints. (Really.) He wants it authenticated. Anyone can say they own a glass used by the pope.
He’ll then put the empty glass in his curio cabinet at home next to the Obama glass, which he also had tested by Philadelphia police. You can still faintly see the president’s fingerprints, he said.
He didn’t drink out of Obama’s glass though. Because that was purely political, he explained. This was spiritual.
Like collecting coins or baseball cards, will Brady continue amassing used glasses by powerful people?
Nah, he says. Can’t top relics of the first black president and the pope.
More from the pope’s visit to Congress:
What John Boehner told a reporter after the pope’s visit
Follow along: Live coverage of the pope’s historic visit to the U.S.