(Photo: Facebook/Kuma's Corner)
Catholic Charities declared on Monday that it would not accept a $1,500 donation being offered by a Chicago restaurant because it mocks the communion wafer in a controversial burger on its menu called "Ghost."
On Oct. 1 Kuma's Corner located in the Avondale neighborhood in Chicago, Ill., began selling Ghost as a tribute to Swedish heavy metal band Ghost B.C.
"Okay Mortals, it's the first of the month and we are proud to announce the following: In the spirit of our undying reverence for the lord and all things holy, we give you the Ghost which we think is a fitting tribute to the supreme blasphemous activities carried out by the band itself," noted the restaurant in a post on its Facebook page.
It then listed the ingredients which included red wine reduction symbolizing the blood of Christ and garnished it with a communion wafer symbolizing the body of Christ and invited people to "come pay your respects."
The announcement, however, caused quite a stir and offended many in the Catholic community.
"I'm a Catholic, Your food must not be very good if this is how low you have to stoop to sell a burger," responded Kelly Nanninga to the post.
"Your burgers are the best but I feel this is uncalled for and unnecessary. If you don't want Catholics to go to your restaurant just be straightforward and say it, but it is naïve to think that you can toy with something so important and symbolic to a percentage of the population and your customers, and pretend like it's not going to hurt us.
Please stop trying to appear cool; you are just coming off as religiously discriminative and completely immature," wrote Cristián Pacheco.
In her response to the announcement Jeanne McCormick Hickey called the restaurant's action shameful and sacrilegious: "This is sacrilegious to Catholics. The intolerance and ignorance displayed here toward respecting other people's religion is sad. It's not just a burger when you make it a point to purposely create a mocking statement of the Catholic faith, making it a tribute to the supreme blasphemous activities carried out by a heavy metal band. Shame on you Kuma's Corner."
In a response to the outcry, however, Kuma's corner noted in a follow-up post on Facebook last Friday that they had a right to express themselves as they chose and pointed out that they did not intend to offend anyone and would continue to sell the burger for the rest of October.
"We, in no way, created this as a commentary on religion or as an attack on anyone's personal beliefs. In the past we have done a number of burgers dealing with this same exact topic to very little fanfare. Never in the spirit of offending anyone, and always in mindset of praising a band for the work that they do," said Kuma's. As a peace offering, the restaurant further noted that it had donated $1,500 to Catholic Charities.
"In standing with our policy of supporting charity and Chicago at large, we have made a $1500 dollar donation to the Catholic Charities of the Chicago Archdiocese as we understand that they share our mentality of serving anyone in need from any walk of life," added the restaurant.
In a Chicago Tribune report on Monday, however, that donation was quickly renounced by Catholic Charities.
"We have not received nor will we accept a donation from Kuma's Corner," Kristine Kappel, director of communications for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago noted in the Chicago Tribune report.
"Communion is a central part of the Catholic faith," said Kappel. "We strongly urge Kuma's to discontinue selling a burger that disrespects that faith and the faith of all Christians."