CHICAGO — Catholic Charities of Chicago has rejected a $1,500 donation from a local restaurant, which drew offense by releasing a burger topped with an unconsecrated host.
On Oct. 1, Kuma’s Corner announced its new “ghost burger,” a cheeseburger topped with a red-wine reduction and an unconsecrated “communion-wafer garnish,” which the restaurant parenthetically described as the body and blood of Christ.
The blasphemous burger was created as a tribute to a Swedish band called “Ghost B.C.” that is currently touring. The band is known for its Satanic lyrics and themes. Its lead singer dresses as a clergy member with skull face paint, and other band members wear distorted religious images.
“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,” Kuma’s Corner posted on its Facebook page.
In another post three days later, the restaurant acknowledged that some people had been offended by the burger.
The company’s representatives defended the controversial burger as speech protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and said they plan to continue offering it throughout the month of October.
The burger was not created “as a commentary on religion,” they said, adding that their menu items, which are regularly named after heavy-metal bands, are designed “never in the spirit of offending anyone and always in the mindset of praising a band for the work that they do.”
However, in accordance with their “policy of supporting charity and Chicago at large,” they said the restaurant had made a $1,500 donation to Catholic Charities of the Chicago Archdiocese, “as we understand that they share our mentality of serving anyone in need from any walk of life.”
But Catholic Charities said that it will not accept the donation.
“The Eucharist is a central part of the Catholic faith, and we strongly urge Kuma’s Corner to discontinue selling a burger that disrespects that faith and the faith of all Christians,” said Kristine Kappell, director of communications, according to local news outlets.
Kappel said the restaurant did not contact Catholic Charities directly but made an online donation over the weekend, which will be returned, reported NBC Chicago.