By Ellen Jean Hirst
7:12 PM CDT, October 4, 2013
A Chicago restaurant that sparked an outcry by offering a burger that includes an unconsecrated communion wafer and a red wine reduction has donated $1,500 to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
“We’re not trying to say anything against the church… and we kind of have to prove a point because we’re not taking the burger off the menu,” said Luke Tobias, director of operations for the heavy-metal themed Kuma’s Corner in the Avondale neighborhood.
The menu offering has offended some people because to Christians, the wafers and wine are symbolic of the body and blood of Christ. Catholic Church doctrine is that the wafers become the actual body and blood of Christ when they are consecrated.
“We support everybody’s kind of ability to go out and say what they want to say do what they want to do,” Tobias said. “I may not agree with it, but I’m not going to tell you not to do it. And we would appreciate the same level of respect.”
Catholic Charities did not issue an immediate response.
Tobias and owner Michael Cain choose a different charity to donate to each month. They chose Catholic Charities this month in an effort to prove that their intent is not to offend.
The controversial burger-of-the-month will run its course through Oct. 31. In addition to the wafer and red wine reduction, the Ghost burger — named after the Swedish band Ghost B.C. — is topped with a spicy ghost chile aioli and braised goat meat.
By honoring the heavy-metal music scene, which isn’t often concerned with political correctness, Tobias said the restaurant isn’t for everyone. It names all of its burgers after heavy metal groups. The band for which the burger is named has musicians who wear hooded robes, and its vocalist dons skull makeup and dresses as a Roman Catholic Cardinal. Tobias said Ghost B.C. is a favorite band among employees.
Kuma’s has a well-established reputation, with customers who wait in hours-long lines on the weekends for the pricey, but huge burgers.
“The positive feedback has been extremely positive,” Tobias said. “The negative feedback, it’s unfortunate, but what are you going to do? We’ve been doing what we do for eight years. We haven’t stopped, we’re not going to stop.”
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