In the face of severe opposition by Vatican Cardinals, McDonald’s finds a way to get popular support.

McDonald’s announced that it would be providing free meals to homeless people in an aim to counter the agitation against the opening of a new branch just outside the Vatican. The fast food chain announced on Thursday that it would collaborate with the Archbishop who is in charge of dispensing food to the homeless to provide 1,000 free lunches to the homeless that live in the environs of the Vatican.

This announcement by the fast food chain may go well with Pope Francis, who has been laying special emphasis on feeding and clothing the poor. The Pope’s support can be of great help to the survival of McDonald’s in the area, especially because of the severe opposition it was facing from some Cardinals.

A spokesman for the fast food company revealed that the idea was the result of a request for donation that a local charity had made. This organization, the Italian charity Medicina Solidale, approached the company asking for a weekly donation towards caring for the homeless and poor. In response, McDonalds’s agreed to provide 1000 free lunches.  Speaking for the charity, the director, Lucia Ercoli, said that the charity was very happy with the McDonald’s offer and that the meals will provide “a good amount of vitamins and proteins to the many homeless men and women in the streets.”

The timing couldn’t be more appropriate for McDonald’s to make this offer. The Vatican, under the Pope’s orders, has intensified its charity work for the past few weeks because of the severe cold that has hit Italy and other European countries. Archbishop Konrad Krajewski from Poland, who is in charge of overseeing these charity works of the Pope, said that they have been working hard to provide medical care and food for the homeless. The extra steps that the Vatican is taking to care for the homeless include providing Alpine-grade sleeping bags and Vatican cars too as temporary night-shelters. The Pope has also asked all shelters to remain open for 24 hours.

Naturally, this announcement by McDonald’s would definitely resonate with the Pope’s repeated calls for charity. However, the stiff opposition the fast food chain has been facing from the Cardinals still remains a force to be reckoned with. Last year, a group of Cardinals backlashed against the opening of the branch, insisting that it was spot on the historical value and culinary richness of the area it was opening in. 

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