The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Cheers: priest opens bar in a Roman crypt

Not only that, but it’s named for a beloved pope.

From AFP:

ALeqM5hobDWo_yvLZKwEOnRnEnhv9KkmWg.jpgThe beer is cheap, the waiters are talkative and the music is 1960s Motown — but the new pub that opened its doors this week in a historic crypt in central Rome is not really like any other.


Start with the landlord being a Catholic priest, the religious sayings on the walls and the large crucifix hanging in one of its vaulted rooms.

Then there’s the name of the new drinking establishment: “Giovanni Paolo II”, or “John Paul II”.

“Vodka is not allowed here,” said barman Marco Mincaglia, as he served out beers and snacks to a visiting group of young German pilgrims.

Massimo Camussi, the doorman, dressed in a black T-shirt reading “JP2,” said: “It’s about drinking to meet people and talk about the Catholic Church and listen to Catholic music. We love John Paul II.”

The “John Paul II” is not just a novelty drinking venue — it’s part of a Catholic initiative called “Jesus in the Centre” aimed to reach out to the clusters of kids who flock to central Rome at night.


“The idea is to offer the young people of Rome… an opportunity to express themselves, to listen, to be listened to, to drink something but in a healthy way, in a nice way,” said Maurizio Mirilli, a priest and the landlord.

“The important thing is that anyone who comes here should know they can’t get drunk. There are rules. Because you can have fun, you can drink in a healthy way. There’s no need to go crazy to have fun,” he said.

The sign on the bar behind him reads: “Give me a drink” — a quote from Jesus Christ in the Bible — another from pope John Paul II reads “Be not afraid” and from Saint Therese of the Child Jesus: “Everything is grace.”

Read on.

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posted October 19, 2010 at 10:40 am

Here are a few more quotes for the bar: ” Jesus Christ did not redeem his church with his blood so the pope could come in and steal away the glory . ”
” I place this moment …( death ) in the hands of the mother of my master ”
” victory when it comes will be a victory thru MARY ”

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Young Canadian RC Male

posted October 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Sorry, but this is an epic fail for getting youth to become more religious or to rediscover the religion they so casually say they are part of/never were a part of.
How is this an epic fail?
– By having this bar in a crypt this is an insult to the dead buried there.
– The bar is named after our late pope JPII. He may have wanted to reach out to youth but he did that through World Youth Day of which part of the activities were catechesis in churches. He’d never reach out to youth in this manner.
– That barman saying “We love JPII”? How can you say you love this Holy Father when you make him synonomous with getting drunk? Also, this front ignores many of the other noble works he did, like his weekly lectures compiled in The Theology of the Body book.
– For those who never really cared about religion/their faith and dare to ask for the first time about Him or the Catholic Faith, they will get the wrong impression that Catholicism is about a “good time,” regardless of the controlled drinking policy. IT IS NEVER ABOUT A GOOD TIME! Jesus himself said in a nutshell: You follow me, you’ll be turning your back to the things of this world, and you’re going to be hated and it will be difficult. Ever heard of carrying the burden of your Cross???
And for the person that might argue “Oh well it’s just like your Theology on Tap.” No. TOT is in a secular bar, it’s not every day, and it never desecrates a Catholic tomb or the people the bar is named after.

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posted October 19, 2010 at 6:32 pm

The Church is about people coming together. Coming together in a relaxed atmosphere to discuss, the Church, theology, life, etc over a frosty beverage sounds like a great idea. Drinking (in moderation) is no sin. There is no intent to desecrate. There is no disrespect for the dead. If it encourages discussion of the catholic church, faith and doctrine, it can only be good.

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posted October 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm

EH Canadian, There is no need to get your nose out of joint with puritanism. Many cultures drink beer and wine as a part of socializing. This isn’t new as our Archbishop frequently gives talks at pubs. I recognize that some people have a problem with alcohol abuse, but I imagine this bar is heavily monitored.

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posted October 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm

And, the devils are watching and laughing as the misguided “priest” (priest for himself and not for God) leads many into hell.

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posted October 19, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Cool use for a crypt. To bad those buried there can’t enjoy. Food and drink are usually associated with good times and communion. Neat idea.

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posted October 20, 2010 at 10:06 am

PURITANISM ? your ARCHBISHOP gives talks at the bar ?
Maybe he should give them the GOSPEL !!

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