Thursday, 20 October 2016


Josephine McKenna

Several senior cardinals in Rome are apparently furious about plans to open a new McDonald's restaurant in the shadow of St. Peter's Basilica and have reportedly asked Pope Francis to stop the expansion from going ahead.
But that's not the only charge of cultural heresy invading the Vatican's sacred precincts this week: Questions are also being raised after the Holy See gave approval for the Hard Rock Cafe chain to open a store on Via della Conciliazione, the main boulevard leading to St. Peter's.
The Hard Rock Cafe is set to replace a long-standing religious bookstore; the site is currently being renovated and a panel in the window confirms Hard Rock will be the new tenant.
Hamish Dodds, the CEO of Hard Rock, was quoted in the Italian daily La Repubblica as saying the store would only be selling T-shirts and musical memorabilia.
In the wake of Italy's economic crisis, such changes are becoming commonplace around the Vatican as banks and bookshops have been replaced by more bars, restaurants and stores filled with tourist souvenirs.
But the advent of a McDonald's seemed to be especially galling.
Italian Cardinal Elio Sgreccia was the first to publicly sound the alarm, saying the proposal to open an outlet of the global fast-food chain below a Vatican-owned building where several cardinals live was a "controversial, perverse decision."
In an interview published over the weekend in La Repubblica, Sgreccia said the proposal was "not at all respectful of the architectural and urban traditions" of a destination -- just a block from St. Peter's Square -- that draws thousands of pilgrims and tourists a day from around the world.
He also said serving burgers and fries in the neighborhood was unacceptable because McDonald's cuisine breached Italian taste.
"It's a commercial decision that ignores the culinary traditions of the Roman restaurant industry," said Sgreccia, 88, who is president emeritus of the Vatican's Academy for Life, which leads the church's fight against abortion and euthanasia.
One angry cardinal has even written a letter to the pope urging him to intervene against the decision despite the fact that it would reportedly bring 30,000 euros ($33,000) a month in revenue to the Vatican, La Repubblica said.
Sgreccia does not live in the building but was apparently speaking on behalf of some of the seven cardinals who live above the 5,800-square-foot site, which is being rented out by the authority that manages the Holy See's real estate. The authority goes by the acronym APSA.
The retired cardinal said the space should be used to help the needy in keeping with the pope's desire to create a "church for the poor."
Sources told the Italian news agency ANSA that the cardinals who live in the building were further angered after receiving letters from APSA advising them that they would be required to contribute to renovation work to accommodate the new tenant.
But Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, head of ASPA, denied the claim about the contributions and told La Repubblica he was "not going to back down" because the deal was legally valid.
"I don't see the scandal," he said.
Staff from Hill & Knowlton, the public relations firm that represents McDonald's in Italy, did not respond to several requests from RNS for comment on Tuesday (Oct. 18).
The cardinals may not be alone in their protests.
Local merchants and residents in the historic Borgo district next to the Vatican have also joined the fight against the proposed fast-food restaurant, describing it as "a serious assault" that does not enhance the artistic and cultural value of the quarter.
Representatives from Rome's City Council are also taking formal steps to block the McDonald's from going ahead, at least in the short-term, according to Italian media.
The first McDonald's opened in Rome near the Spanish Steps in the heart of the Eternal City's historic center in 1986 despite vocal protests.
There was a similar outcry in Florence earlier this year when McDonald's sought to open next to the Renaissance city's landmark cathedral, known as the Duomo.


Would the same cardinal object to a 3 star Michelin restaurant being opened in the same premises in which they, their fellow cardinals and their boyfriends could  eat. ABSOLUTELY NOT,

If anything the Vatican should have a deal with the new McDonalds to feed the poor and the hungry with vouchers distributed by the Vatican.

Many of us love an occasional BIG MAC -in spite of its 2,000 calories.

A visit to McDonalds is very often a treat for poor families and poor children.

The objections just show how out of touch many of these curial cardinals are.

AND - the new McDonalds is bring in a rent of Euros 360,000 per year for the Vatican.

Those cardinals would do well to spend one day a week feeding the poor in a drop in centre or making bed in a homeless hostel.

Another sign of just how un-Christlike the Vatican and the RC institution is.


Priest Who Wrote Vatican’s Anti-Gay Guidelines Accused of Sex With Male Seminarians Michael Fitzgerald

Monsignor Tony Anatrella – who earlier this year told new Bishops they are not obligated to report a suspected abuser to authorities – is still regularly consulted on matters of sexuality by the Vatican.
One of his accusers said that Anatrella engaged in various sex acts with him in the Monsignor’s Paris office, with the activity allegedly occurring up until a few years ago. Daniel Lamarca claims Anatrella said he could rid him of his “pseudo-homosexuality” by performing sex acts.
According to Religion News Service, Lamarca added that although he reported Anatrella to the archbishop of Paris in 2001, nothing was done.
Another ex-seminarian alleges that he was counseled by Anatrella for 14 years up to 2011 and that after the first few years the Monsignor began “special sessions” that included episodes of mutual masturbation.
Earlier this month, the Archdiocese of Paris acknowledged that in 2014, the current archbishop of Paris received a written complaint about Anatrella but the church could not pursue the matter because the complaint was made anonymously.


In 2005, Anatrella allegedly helped the Vatican to write guidelines aimed at keeping gay men out of the priesthood.
He wrote an article in the Vatican daily, L’Osservatore Romano, stating that homosexuality was “like an incompleteness and a profound immaturity of human sexuality.” He argued that homosexuality is “a problem in the psychic organization” and said that for theological reasons the Catholic Church can only ordain “men mature in their masculine identity.”
He also provided a list of “warning signs” that that a seminarian is gay. These included students who had trouble relating to their fathers, tended to isolate themselves, viewed themselves as victims and looked at pornography on the Internet.
In February, he organized a conference on priestly celibacy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.


  1. His psychological insights are unparalleled in their depth so it is little wonder that the Church thought fit to draw on this well of wisdom. There can indeed be little doubt that almost all men who watch pornography are gay, just as there is little doubt that the earth is indeed flat.


  2. Once again, employing a twisted hypocrite like Anatrella, the Church blows her own foot off with a shotgun!!

  3. Due and just process cannot be applied to anonymous complaints. Thing is, it cannot be applied to a whole caboodle of signed and verbal complaints either.

    Diarmuid, are you not embarrassed to have been sitting on dozens of unanswered complaints for some years now?

    Won't this oversight affect you true legacy?

  4. A Mc vatican Mcsandwich can't be bad. If its on Roman soil there is not allot they can do. Im sure the store would have an aesthetically pleasing front. Mind you litter might be a problem. Anyway the church has been "selling" Mcindulgences and Mcstatues for centuries. Who knows we may even see a mccardinal mcronald mcdonals mctatue

  5. I think the profound immaturity referred to by the french cleric is experienced by many clerics and is further fuelled by enforced celibacy. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with it

    1. When I started in the civil service, the golden rule was "If in doubt, say nowt." Celibates should not give advice on sex.

    2. Give in to sex Jane? Fex sake sex is part of human dna. Mature sex is not just an act as in prostitute (one who stands in) but part of a loving caring relationship

    3. Where did I say "Give in to sex"? I was saying that celibates are not the best people to advise others on sex.

    4. Possibly but doctors advise others on conditions they have not suffered. Enforced celibacy potentially damage some people's outlook on life

    5. So how do you propose that those who choose celibacy
      within the priesthood should solve the problem, Sean ?

    6. The system needs to make celibacy optional. Celibacy is not intrinsic to Priesthood. In my case I discovered celibacy in practice is different to celibacy in theory. Another angle is celibacy is contrary to natural lae

  6. Pat, do you any comment on the news that Chris Derwin is being transferred from Balbriggan to the southside?

  7. Better kennels on the south side, nicer parks too! See page 26 on following link below
    Wil D West

  8. Heard he is going to far far southside.

  9. Good programme
    on rte now about sexual offenders.

  10. And so goes another example of the psychological fact that what a person hates most in another person is the trait that they both share but which the hater cannot accept within themselves.