MCDONALD’S has opened a restaurant just a few metres away from St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
The fast food giant’s arrival which was announced last year, has been met with fierce criticism from the Church.
Cardinal Elio Sgreccia told La Repubblica newspaper: “The mega sandwich shop on Borgo Pio is a disgrace.
“It would be better to use those spaces to help the needy of the area, spaces for hospitality, shelter and help for those who suffer, as the Holy Father teaches.” Sgreccia said.
Despite the outrage in some quarters, two nuns were seen going inside the fast food restaurant on lunch time.
McDonald’s emphasised the new franchise was in a popular tourist area outside the Vatican, however the building itself is Church property.
“As is the case whenever McDonald’s operates near historic sites anywhere in Italy, this restaurant has been fully adapted with respect to the historical environment,” the company said in a statement.
A number of Italian cities have been trying to keep fast food restaurants out, but McDonald’s recently filed a $20 million lawsuit against Florence after it rejected its application to open a restaurant there.