KFC Asks The Pope To Bless Lent-Themed Fish "Snacker"

NPR is reporting that KFC has asked the Pope (yes, the actual Pope. Not that band The Smoking Popes) to bless their Lent-themed “Fish Snacker Sandwich.” From NPR:

“The president of KFC himself sent a letter to the Vatican, asking Pope Benedict XVI to bless the company’s new “Fish Snacker Sandwich. As you know a lot of Catholics give up meat on Fridays during lent, the period between Ash Wednesday and Easter, and fish is popular substitute, so the company is trying to capitalize on this by asking for a sort of “Papal Seal of Approval.”

Bad idea, KFC. Lent is not really about marketing. —MEGHANN MARCO

‘Marketplace’ Report: KFC and the Pope [NPR]


Edit Your Comment

  1. itchy feet says:

    There’s a certain symmetry in KFC asking Joey Ratz for a seal of approval.

    Considering the YouTube clip and all.

  2. gardencat says:

    After viewing the KFC/Taco Bell rat video, I definitely think that KFC could use this blessing.

  3. Ben Popken says:

    For the pope to bless the snacker, that might require it actually contain fish.

  4. GenXCub says:

    I love the little “Colonel” tie. Someone just needs to photoshop a white goatee thing.

  5. Skeptic says:

    Bad idea, KFC. Lent is not really about marketing. -MEGHANN MARCO

    …and the Catholic church is not all about lifting people out of poverty. They are both money making institutions. But, that being said, asking the Pope to approve one’s fried fish snack is more than a little crass….

  6. As a lapsed Catholic, I have to say this is really disgusting and offensive.

    Businesses should be far more subtle when using the Church to endorse products.

    And what will Church’s chicken think?

  7. MasonMacabre says:

    Wait a second, Catholic churches have a fish fry on Fridays during Lent. Shouldn’t the Pope be endorsing his own food?

  8. Stepehn Colbert says:

    is the pope actually wearing a tie like the one the colonel wears in this pic?

  9. magic8ball says:

    Honest question: if fish isn’t meat, then what is it? I’m pretty sure it’s not a vegetable or a mineral. I’m familiar with the “no meat on Fridays during Lent” situation, but I’ve always been secretly confused by the “but fish is OK” clause.

  10. Legodude522 says:

    The whole tradition with giving up meat was actually started by the Catholic church to improve the fishing industry.

  11. Stevenski says:

    Lent IS about marketing in America, and I’d imagine the rest of the western world– just like other “Christian” holidays, Christmas and Easter being the examples of marketable holidays. Red Lobster rolls out it’s most expensive specials during it’s LobsterFest promotion, which always coincides with Lent for a reason. That Margarita Lobster, Shrimp and Scallops is pretty good though, even for that heft $20 price tag.

  12. dancing_bear says:

    As a former catholic I always wondered who profited off of things like the sale of incense pots, candles, statuary, paper thin wafers, wine, holy water, signs of the cross, the confessionals, and all the other paraphenalia typically found in the church. I always assumed it was the Vatican, but don’t really know. If this is true, how is this deal any different from other proposed business alliances? I suppose KFC would give a discount to Vatican employees, or a least a gift cerificate to the pontiff.

    Frankly, All I really want is the triple crunch zinger sandwich back. If I pray can the pope get me that?

  13. slipnby says:

    How about changing the KFC item’s name to the Pish Sandwich for the Fope Snacker? The Papal nuance will prevail without Papal intervention.

  14. cryrevolution says:

    wow so now the rats can eat a holy fish snacker sandwich. and, you know, not just a regular one.

  15. Smoking Pope says:

    I’ll bless it for a 12 pack, KFC. Call me!

  16. B says:

    Peter was a fisherman before he became one of Jesus’ disciples. He’s the one who came up with the rule that Catholics have to eat fish on Fridays. So the idea of combining Lent and marketing isn’t exactly a new one.

  17. bambino says:

    That is incorrect. The whole ‘no meat on fridays during Lent’ thing is not really a rule, but a suggestion made by Vatican II. As such, it is not considered a sin if it is not observed. Plus, it’s only during Lent, not the entire year.

  18. stubar says:

    If I recall correctly, Wendy’s has a fish sandwich available only during Lent (at least in TN), so this apparently isn’t entirely unheard of in the fast food industry.

  19. Techguy1138 says:

    As a current and practicing Catholic I don’t really find a problem with this.

    No one bats an eye for Kosher or Hallal food products. I don’t really see an issue with the Vatican inspecting the composition of a food product and giving an approval.

    Lent as a current Christian holiday is completely counter to consumerism. It really has no popularity because of it.

    To explain it simply it is a time or fasting and introspection. It lasts for 40 days, the length of time that Jesus spent along in the desert before the events of Easter.
    During this time you are supposed to remove objects and practices from your life that obscure your relationship with your self, family and god.

    The significance of eating fish on Fridays,or the entirety of lent, is to impart conscious though of God in the daily act of eating.The thinking is that most people east meat daily and that eating fish makes a radical change in eating habits.

    The holiday does not lend it self to consumerism or marketing in any way. It is a truly unique Holiday and holy season.

    I hope this gives people a little more insight to this issue.

  20. Techguy1138 says:


    Typically the items sold in church go to the pay and running of the church. The building have to be maintianed and staff have to be paid. Money also usually changes hands from wealthy churches to poorer churces in the same Diocese,or group of churches in an area. The money also goes to the allieviation of poverty at home and abroad.

    So, I guess there are lots of people who profit off the sale of items in churches. Many of whom you will never know or meet.

  21. Jordon says:

    Watch this hilarious interview of the Pope discussing Kentucky Friend Chicken:

  22. schvitzatura says:

    Lenten dietary restrictions are big business:

    From ’04:

    NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 17 /PRNewswire/ — The first two weeks of the Lent season provided a double dose of sales records for Captain D’s Seafood.

    Thanks in part to its Shrimp Celebration promotion, which featured the company’s newest product, Double-Dozen Shrimp, Captain D’s recorded its two highest average unit sales..

    Long John Silver’s goes one better for the faithful of the Holy See:

    Gates points out that practically every fast-food chain offers a cookie-cutter style fish sandwich during Lent, but it takes a company like Long John Silver’s to offer an exciting menu item like Lobster Bites.

    “We appeal to seafood lovers year round; this isn’t a part-time job for us,” Gates said. “That’s why you’ll find an exciting product like Buttered Lobster Bites only at Long John Silver’s, while the ‘seafood pretenders’ serve up their generic fish sandwiches for Lent.”

  23. L1F3 says:

    i don’t see a problem here. I mean, if the U.S. administration can whore out this country to religion[www.whitehouse.gov], why can’t corporations whore out religion for marketing . . . ?

  24. Atomike says:

    @Skeptic: “..and the Catholic church is not all about lifting people out of poverty.”
    What? Are you insane? The Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in the world. No organization helps the poor MORE than the Catholic Church. Your comments are not factual at all.
    Also, the idea that the Church started the fish on Fridays to help the fishing industry is a common, sad urban legend. It’s not historically true. Please folks, don’t fall for urban legends.
    Also – the no meat on Fridays – is NOT optional. It is required by all Catholics during Lent and is recommended for every Friday of the year as a good idea. I would suggest that anyone posting about the Church should read “Catholicism for Dummies” or something similar at least before posting.

  25. Hexum2600 says:

    @Atomike: You, my un-friend, are an idiot.

    No, the Catholic church is not ALL about lifting people out of poverty. It does other things, like helping give moral guidance to people, or providing a sense of community. So no, it is not ALL about lifting people out of poverty.

    Morons need to read what is written, not what they think is being said.

    *sigh* it is also not required of all Catholics. Children under the age of 16 (i think its 16, may be 14) are not required to do it, neither are the elderly or the sickly. So no, it is not required of ALL Catholics.

    Damn absolutist statements.

    Oh… and you get your information on Catholicism from a Dummys book? You know, the Vatican puts out a book defining Catholicism and Catholic opinion as well, you may have heard of it… the Catechism?

    Oh, and if you can’t tell, I’m a Catholic. I would guess that you are… but obviously an American Catholic. Which really comes across as something different… arrogant dick. Attacking people because they don’t know the details of someone else’s religious affiliation.

  26. Atomike says:

    Hexium – the point I was trying to make was in regard to “Skeptic” who was trying to say that the Church didn’t help people. He is clearly wrong – the Church helps TONS of people.
    Also, you are correct about the age of fasting from meat. My point was broader – someone above posted that it was optional for everyone (which is not true).
    But hey, thanks for jumping all over me. Nice. I’m guessing you’re French.