The opening was low-key, reflecting widespread opposition that broke out when plans for the restaurant — quickly dubbed “McVatican” — were made public in October. McDonald’s made no announcement, and the opening wasn’t noted in the official Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.
Only a new golden arches icon pinned to McDonald’s Italia’s online map betrays its existence. (The McVatican is open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, the listing notes helpfully. Wi-Fi is available.)
The national newspaper La Repubblica reported that McDonald’s will pay the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See — basically, the Vatican’s property supervisor — more than $30,000 a month for the bottom floor of the building.
But Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, president emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told the newspaper at the time that the decision to rent the fast food chain almost 5,800 square feet of restaurant space was “aberrant” and “a perversion.”
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