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McDonald’s opens near Vatican, despite prelates’ objections

January 02, 2017

A McDonald’s franchise has opened its doors just a few blocks from St. Peter’s Square.

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The fast-food restaurant, located in a building that is owned by the Vatican in the Borgo Pio district, prompted angry protests from some prelates who lived in the same building and were asked to help pay for the renovations that were needed to accommodate the restaurant. Cardinals and bishops charged that a fast-food franchise would damage the historic character of the neighborhood—although several other pizza parlors, sandwich shops, and souvenir stands are located on the same street.

The McDonald’s site is operated by the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA), the office that handles Vatican real-estate investments. APSA has been heavily criticized in recent months, with Italian media outlets airing charges of inefficiency, corruption, and mismanagement. The restaurant would reportedly bring in much more rent than other potential tenants.


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  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jan. 03, 2017 3:24 PM ET USA

    La Repubblica says the rent is €30,000/month. I'm sure the Vatican can make good use of that. And if the smell of frying grease makes it more difficult for their Eminences to keep the Lenten fast, maybe they can just offer it up.

  • Posted by: unum - Jan. 02, 2017 6:49 PM ET USA

    The cardinals and bishops charge that the McDonald's would "would damage the historic character of the neighborhood" may come as a surprise to the many young people who are shown visiting St. Peter's Square. Are we the Church of the cardinals and bishops ... or are we the Church of all God's people.