Apparently, the Vatican’s Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) thinks business is business. I sure hope that’s not the case.
A plan to open a McDonald’s restaurant in a Vatican-owned building right next door to the St. Peter’s Square is drawing fire from some Cardinals who live on the upper floors of the building that McDonald’s want to put the restaurant in. They’ve written to Pops Francis to voice their objections to the plan. But they might be complaining for the wrong reasons.
According to Ed Pentin, the Cardinals say the McDonald’s, “would “bring chaos” to the area, disturb the “quietness of the building” and produce unpleasant “odors” which are likely to pass along the elevator shaft.” The restaurant plan is also not respectful to the “traditional architecture” of the area. And if this is not enough, the decision “ignores the culinary traditions of the Roman restaurant”, is “not in line with the aesthetics of the place,” and would “inevitably penalize” other restaurateurs in the area.” Plus, the burgers and fries menu is “far from the traditions of Roman cuisine” and it’s not all that healthy.
But according to Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith, the Vatican can use the money from the rent (reportedly 30,000 Euros per month). Fr. Lucie-Smith says “there is a need for some sort of cheap and fast food outlet near the Vatican.” Apparently, the cafés on the Via Della Conciliazione are a bit pricey.
Micky D is Confused
What everyone seems to be overlooking, however, is the fact that in 2008 McDonald’s was supporting same-sex ‘marriage’, then after the American Family Association threatened a boycott it was not supporting same-sex ‘marriage’, and now in 2016, Mc Donald’s is supporting same-sex ‘marriage’ again. McDonald’s seems to be morally confused.
Perhaps this should have been the main point of the Cardinals complaint to Pope Francis. And maybe APSA, as part of the Holy See of the Catholic Church, should have a policy that says the Catholic Church will not do business with corporations or organizations that openly support same-sex marriage or abortion.
It is a bit disconcerting that the Vatican or any Catholic organization would not bother to check to see if a corporation has a stated position on homosexuality, same-sex ‘marriage’ or abortion before deciding to do business with them. Or, worse still, that the Vatican or a Catholic organization might simply dismiss a corporation’s stated positions on homosexuality, same-sex ‘marriage’ or abortion and decide to do business with them anyway. Either way, the message this sends to the laity is a confusing one.
Companies to Avoid
Of course in many instances today it is difficult to avoid doing business with some of the companies that support same-sex ‘marriage’ and/or abortion.
In March 2015, some 379 companies signed an amicus brief urging the SCOTUS to strike down state bans on gay marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges). Some of the names on the list – like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Kimberly Clarke, Procter & Gamble, and so on – are hard for even the average, everyday consumer to avoid patronizing. But others, such as Starbucks, Target, or Bank of America, are not that difficult to avoid doing business with.
Similarly, 77 major corporations support Planned Parenthood, and some of these companies are not that difficult to avoid doing business with either.
In some cases, there is even a crossover– companies that appear on both lists. Three such companies are Starbucks, Bank of America, and even The Walt Disney Company.
Discrimination Can Be Good
It should not be that difficult for the Vatican or any Catholic organization to avoid doing business with corporations that have immoral publicly stated policies. I hope it just never occurred to the APSA that it might be a good idea to check. Otherwise, it may be a case of Pharisees at the APSA.
Regardless of the confusing message the Vatican is sending, however, Catholic lay persons really should try to avoid patronizing such companies. It’s simply a case of being a discriminating consumer, and one of the few instances where discrimination is a good thing.