Italian theologian blames Protestants for hamburgers
    McDonald's hamburgers are anti-social, Protestant and inappropriate for Catholics, a theologian has claimed in a newspaper published by Italy's Catholic bishops.
    In an article in Avvenire, Massimo Salani complained: "At McDonald's, people want a fast meal and hunger is quenched as fast as possible, so one can do something else, and one loses the value of community."
    He said the hamburger 'lacks the community spirit of sharing' and reflects the 'individualistic relationship between man and God established by [Martin] Luther'.
    Mr Salani called the hamburger the "complete negation of the holiness of food", since fast food was sought in McDonald's to "satisfy hunger as quickly as possible, in order to dedicate one's time to other things".
    A senior Italian Church official backed Mr Salani's assertion, saying that while it is not sinful to eat hamburgers, the culture of fast food contributes to the erosion of family values.
    Mgr Domenico Sigalini, who handles the Italian Bishops' Conference's department for pastoral relations with the young, told La Repubblica: "One does not sin by eating a hamburger and french fries. But the way in which certain kinds of fast food are eaten should be re-examined. It's a way which tends to reduce everything to nothing, and to eliminate conversation in the interests of speed, and to destroy the sense of the family."
    McDonald's Italia, which has 270 outlets, commented: "Fast food does not mean eating fast, but being served quickly." It added that it was used to serving to all races, religions and cultures.