Cardinals in Vatican Find Cause Worth Fighting For

The Vatican is very careful about picking its fights. While Jesus blessed the peacemakers, and the Vatican still pays lip service to this principle, they are reluctant to get involved. When Pope Francis was invited to help negotiate peace in Columbia, he refused. He even failed to exhort Columbia’s Catholics to vote Yes on the peace referendum, which lost by the smallest of margins, with 50.2% of voters rejecting it (here). Catholics comprise nearly 80% of Columbia’s population. A few words of exhortation from the pope would almost certainly have furthered the peace process. But Pope Francis failed to act.

For decades, the Vatican has done next to nothing about the Church’s sex abuse problem. Pope Francis established a special commission. After three years, it recommended that a special tribunal be established. Pope Francis vetoed it. Pope Francis promised action against negligent bishops, but has missed his self-appointed deadline, something Vatican watchers and religious journalists have failed to report.

But now some cardinals in the Vatican have found a cause to fight for. McDonalds is going to lease a Vatican property near St. Peter’s square. They will pay the Vatican 30,000 euros per month, a very generous figure. But Italian Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, president emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life, called the deal “a controversial, perverse decision to say the least” (here). The cardinal said McDonald’s “mega sandwiches” were unhealthy, and that the “questionable” business shouldn’t be allowed on Vatican property.

The Vatican will no doubt fight harder for these family values than it did for peace in Columbia.