West VA Episcopal Diocese Declares Mayo on Pepperoni Rolls an ‘Abomination in the Eyes of the Lord’


In December 2023, the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia authentically made a humorous Facebook post that said putting Duke’s mayonnaise on pepperoni rolls was “an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.”


Rating: True

Rating: True

On Dec. 27, 2023, West Virginia defeated North Carolina by a score of 30-10 in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. The college football game was played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

After the game – because it was the Duke’s Mayo Bowl – West Virginia head coach Neal Brown received a mayonnaise bath rather than the traditional sports dousing of Gatorade.

Moments after the mayonnaise bath, Daniel Burbank, an anchor and reporter for WCHS-TV in Charleston, West Virginia, posted a screenshot of a humorous Facebook post continuing the riff.

“This is a real statement from the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia,” Burbank said.

The Facebook post declared that “putting mayo on pepperoni rolls is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.”

As Burbank said, the Facebook post in the screenshot was labeled as coming from the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia. It read as follows:

It’s come to our attention that during tonight’s Duke’s Mayo Bowl, in which WVU competed and won, sports commentators were seen putting Duke’s Mayo on pepperoni rolls. Let it be known that putting mayo on pepperoni rolls is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. Those who perpetrate this heinous act have committed a mortal sin which can only be forgiven by special dispensation from the clergy of West Virginia. Clergy are permitted to withhold absolution until proper contrition is made — either by burning a couch or making a pilgrimage to the Mothman statue.

This applies only to those who have put mayo on pepperoni rolls. The use of Miracle Whip is unforgivable.

The humorous post about mayonnaise and pepperoni rolls genuinely did originate from an official Facebook page managed by the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia.

The post included a picture of a moment from the football game in which ESPN broadcasters Matt Barrie and Dan Mullen were seen squeezing Duke’s Mayo bottles to add mayonnaise to pepperoni rolls – West Virginia’s official state food.

We reached out by email to ask the church about the post’s popularity. In response, we immediately received an automatically sent reply from Rev. Matthew Cowden that said he was “away from emails during the Christmas season,” and that he would only be available for “emergencies.”

A check of Cowden’s Facebook posts showed that he had hours earlier posted of the pepperoni-rolls issue, “Our Priests of The Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia are standing by to absolve contrite, repentant sinners. Lay down your mayo, my child, and receive the Lord’s mercy.”


Cowden, Matthew. “Our Priests of The Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia Are Standing by to Absolve Contrite, Repentant Sinners.” Facebook, 27 Dec. 2023, https://www.facebook.com/matthew.cowden/.

@DanielBurbankTV. “This Is a Real Statement from the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia. #DukesMayoBowl.” X, 27 Dec. 2023, https://twitter.com/DanielBurbankTV/status/1740203130422534354.

“Favorite Foods across West Virginia.” WV.gov, 19 Mar. 2023, https://www.wv.gov:443/daily304/archives/Pages/Favorite-foods-across-West-Virginia.aspx.

Ferrell, Justin. “Do You Know the Whole Story behind WV’s State Food?” Almost Heaven – West Virginia, 14 Jan. 2017, https://wvtourism.com/state-food-pepperoni-roll/.

Gardner, Jennifer. “Book Chronicles West Virginia’s Pepperoni Roll.” The Associated Press, 4 June 2017, https://apnews.com/4253bf9da40f4350abeb5232d5bfb293.

“It’s Come to Our Attention That during Tonight’s Duke’s Mayo Bowl, in Which WVU Competed and Won, Sports Commentators Were Seen Putting Duke’s Mayo on Pepperoni Rolls.” Facebook, The Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia, 27 Dec. 2023, https://www.facebook.com/EpisDioWV/.

Reed, Steve. “Garrett Greene Helps West Virginia Beat North Carolina 30-10 in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl.” The Associated Press, 28 Dec. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/dukes-mayo-bowl-north-carolina-west-virginia-score-f679477b06d39c59f01ef8cca6158dc5.

“WVU Coach DOUSED in Mayo after Winning the 2023 Duke’s Mayo Bowl | ESPN College Football.” YouTube, ESPN, 27 Dec. 2023, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in18pPJKYo4.

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