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McDonald’s Opens Near Vatican

FILE - In this Thursday, July 31, 2014 file photo, a customer walks past a statue of Ronald McDonald on display outside a McDonald's restaurant in Beijing. McDonald's Corp. on Monday, Nov. 10, 2014 said that a key global sales figure slipped 0.5 percent in October, with weakness in the U.S. and ongoing difficulties from a food-safety scandal in China weighing down its business. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

The Vatican is now in the fast food business, thanks to a new and controversial McDonald’s that opened in a Vatican-owned building just meters away from the Holy See.

The new establishment, which will operate seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., opened despite the complaints of cardinals and locals. The Vatican reportedly will receive a monthly rent of $31,158 from the fast food chain.

This is not the first McDonald’s to open close to the Vatican, but it is the first in a Vatican-owned building where several senior cardinals live. One of the cardinals is Gerhard Ludwig Miller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office responsible for overseeing church orthodoxy.

According to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, one cardinal called the “McVatican” “abhorrent” and a “perversion of the neighborhood.”

"It [is] far from the Roman culinary tradition" and "[does] not offer guarantees for the health of consumers" the cardinal said, adding it offered "food that I would never eat."

Another chain restaurant, Hard Rock Cafe, recently opened on the road leading directly to St. Peter’s Basilica.