McJesus: McDonald’s at the Vatican

Would you like fries with your Jesus? Evidently, the Vatican does, and some people are none too pleased.

McDonald’s officially opened a location in a Vatican City building owned by the Catholic Church. While there are several fast food restaurants nearby, this is the first to pay rent (in the amount of about $33,000 per month) to the Church.

Some folks called this addition to Vatican City “perverse” and a “disgrace.” While it’s easy to see why it might ruffle some feathers, the line between the sacred and profane is blurry at best. In a previous post, I discussed the curious case of coffee shops popping up inside churches. And let’s face it, capitalism and religion have a long and messy relationship. Anyone who thought consumerism was limited to American religion is mistaken. A McDonald’s setting up shop in a Vatican-owned property 100 yards from the Pope’s home ought to confirm this for any doubters.

The Catholic Church owns properties all over the world, including some that have nothing to do with religion, but for lots of folks McDonald’s represents all that is wrong with “big business” and corporatism. It represents everything crass, not Christ. There certainly is a lot of gold in the Vatican, but many think the golden arches takes things too far.

So what do you think? Is it just the Catholic Church just being a savvy realtor or is it a toxic mix of greed, grease, and God? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

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1 comment

  1. Unfortunately, my first thought is whether or not they would re-imagine the old McDLT, for afterlife sermons: “Keeping the hot side hot and the cool side cool”. (better than going with the: “McWoman came from Adam’s McRib” joke!)

    Beyond that, as with individuals, the institution has a very grey line between ‘necessary income’ vs. ‘greed’. If Church donations are down, then it could be great to continue Vatican contributions around the world. But, if this is more along the lines of ‘extending profit’, then the morality/judgement of money/power becomes the better discussion.

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