Vatican McDonald'srow ends with hamburgersfor homeless
VATICAN CITY, Holy See - A controver sial branch of McDonald's that opened recently near the Vatican is to serve hamburgers to the homeless under an initiative with a local charity.
NGO Medicina Sociale approached From next week, the management of Medicina volunteers the new outlet after will distribute meals the opposition of made up of a double some cardinals to it cheeseburger, an being allowed to apple and a bottle open hit the headlines of water to homeless at the end of people in and last month. around the Vatican,
"They got back to ever y Monday us inside 24 hours," lunchtime. spokeswoman "We will be able Gianluca Scarnicci to go up to 1,000 told AFP on Thursday. meals but we are starting with 50 on Monday," Scarnicci said.
The new McDonald's branch is housed in a building a stone's throw from St Peter's square. It is owned by the Vatican's real estate agency ASPA.
Opposition to its opening was spearheaded by a group of cardinals who occupy the upper floors of the historic building.
Other residents have complained that the fast food joint will bring down the tone of the neighbourhood but it has been a hit with many tourists.
Pope Francis has come under fire over the lease with critics saying he could have blocked it given his regular criticism of multinationals.
The decision to rent the space for a reported 30,000 euros per month is, however, consistent with Francis's determination to ensure the Vatican's huge property portfolio is run on commercial lines.
The pope has himself ordered several initiatives to help the homeless in Rome, including opening up showers next to St Peter's and distributing sleeping bags. - abscbn