Coffee Shop on Church Grounds Deemed “Blasphemy”

In an October 21 episode of the radio show Liveline, an upset caller complained about a mobile coffee shop set up in the church grounds calling it blasphemous. According to the show, the coffee shop trailer was set up outside the St Peter’s Church in Phibsborough, but it was inside the railings of the church grounds.

Before the caller chimed in, the show’s host, Joe Duffy, read an email addressed to the St. Peter’s Church from an upset parishioner. In the email, the parishioner cited the New Testament book of Matthew in the bible. “The scriptures are clear in this matter,” the email stated. “Do not turn my father’s house into a marketplace,” Duffy added, reading from the email.

A caller who also operates a coffee shop outside the church grounds was the first to call. After him, Brendan Moran, the owner of the coffee shop situated inside the church grounds, joined in the call. 

Duffy immediately asked Moran, “Brendan, have you turned the St. Peter’s Church into a marketplace, Brendan?” Moran explained that the area where he sets up the trailer for his coffee shop is an area intended for use by the community. Moran added that the parish invited him and has been paying his share to help with the church’s maintenance.

After Moran, the next caller, a certain “Siobhan McNamee” called in. She immediately said that she needed to speak with the priest who invited Moran to set up a coffee shop inside the church grounds. “He (the priest) should be called up and spoken to by the archbishop,” she demanded.

“Why?” Duffy asked in response.

“Because it’s sacrilege to the typical Catholic,” she responded, adding that you don’t have to be a theologian to know it. “It is pure blasphemy… it’s as simple as that.” Duffy tried to refute, saying that the Vatican and other churches have shops inside their premises. “Those are holy, those are sacrosanct, and those are fine,” the caller responded.

Other listeners agree with the shop owner, some believing that it’s a positive addition to the community. One listener explained that the shop “promotes friendliness, people chatting to each other, and I don’t see anything that’s uncatholic about that.”

McNamee also alluded to the “plandemic” conspiracy saying that there are multiple “empty buildings” to set up shops. “There is no reason at all to go on the sacred grounds of the church,” she argued. She also demanded Moran and his coffee shop to “leave the church alone for the practicing Catholics!”

Moran tried responding that he and his wife are practicing Catholics. “Even the pope is not Catholic,” she added.

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