A new burger paying tribute to the band Ghost is causing controversy, given that it is a cheeseburger topped with an unconsecrated communion wafer and a wine reduction. The restaurant stands by its decision to feature the burger for one month as part of its special line-up, but several Catholics are upset by the decision.
"People have been kind of upset," Luke Tobias told The Chicago Tribune. "The thing with this is, the communion wafer is unconsecrated, so until that happens, it's really just a cracker," the director of operations for Kuma's Corner explained.
The burger, named and created in honor of the band Ghost, features meat, cheddar cheese, a ghost chili aioli, red wine reduction and communion wafer garnish. Customers can order the burger without the communion wafer, but that hasn't stopped criticism for using it in the first place.
"It's not the Eucharist, but it's still symbolic," Jeff Young, producer of the Catholic Foodie blog wrote. "For us as Catholics, the Eucharist is more than a symbol, it's a sacrament. At the same time, it doesn't mean that symbols aren't important… it is a mockery of something that is holy. The same thing could be said of the band itself."
The band, Ghost, is known for its performances, which feature band members wearing hooded robes and the lead singer in skull makeup, dressed as a Roman Catholic Cardinal. The band members' names have never been publicly released, and instead are known as Papa Emeritus, Papa Emeritus II, and Nameless Ghouls.
"The sort of Satanism, or devil-worship, that we want to portray in the confines of Ghost, a very biblical version of goat worship, the sort of things that you see in a 'Satanic Panic' movie," one member named Papa told Pitchfork.com. "We are, in many ways, like a mirror reflection, where we're trying to reflect on, basically 'religiosity.' We're basically doing the Catholic Church, we have just drawn a little on the painting."
"We're doing so because it's such a powerful way of making you guys, and ourselves, aware of the solemn, and the seriousness to it, because it's the priest and the clergy and the Church, is something that most people in the Western world associate with authority. Even atheists sort of throw out their gum before going into a church, just because there is something within the confines of the church, there is something in the walls, most people can feel that power. Some people call it 'God,' but there are many words for it," the Nameless Ghoul known as Papa explained.
The burger is causing mixed reaction from the general public, and many are poking fun at the burger itself.
"Controversial new burger with communion wafer and wine called 'Sacrilegious' and 'Sacri-licious,'" tweeted David Wade.
"Holy Cow!" joked Twitter user Kristin.