McDonald's Opens Near the Vatican

The Church leadership isn't exactly a fan of the new Golden Arches location.
McDonald's Opens Near the Vatican

A sign showing the direction of a McDonald restaurant is seen with the cupola of St Peter's basilica in the background, on January 3, 2017 in Rome.

Image credit: Tiziana Fabi
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You have to hand it to McDonald’s. Its global brand efforts truly know no bounds. The franchise is even willing to run afoul of one of the world’s most prominent religious institutions: the Catholic Church.

Last week, the Golden Arches opened a new location right outside Vatican City -- in a building that is owned by the Vatican. After touring St. Peter’s Basilica, tourists can take in more sacred sights with Big Macs in hand.

Related: McDonald's Is Finally Catching Up to Other Fast Food Chains in One Big Way

The move displeased Roman Catholic Church leadership. In October, a cardinal named Elio Sgreccia told La Repubblica that the restaurant chain’s presence in the area would be “a disgrace,” asserting that the building would be better used to aid the less fortunate. He expressed distaste for the food, too, considering it an affront to the region’s “culinary tradition.”

But McDonald’s soon won’t be the only restaurant chain near the Vatican. A Hard Rock Cafe location was approved recently as well, according to DW. Before long, the area around St. Peter’s Square might start to look a little like the Las Vegas strip.

Edition: March 2017

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