Toronto’s Cardinal takes on blasphemous ‘Sweet Jesus’ ice cream chain
TORONTO, April 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto was ignored by the founders of the Canadian ice cream chain “Sweet Jesus” when he tried to talk to them about their company’s offensive use of Our Lord’s name.
Collins wrote the company in November, and “asked for a meeting to learn more about the origin of the brand and to help explain to their corporate executives why some might take offence,” his communication director Neil MacCarthy revealed Monday in the Huffington Post.
“The spiritual leader of two million Catholics in the Greater Toronto Area never heard back.”
Andrew Richmond and Amin Todai founded the ice cream chain in Toronto in 2015. In October, its parent company, Mongrels and Misfits, announced plans for a massive expansion beyond the chain's 19 Canadian locations into the United States, where it currently has one store in the Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
But the company has since been hit by petitions and boycotts from Christian groups, including LifeSiteNews, objecting to its blasphemous use of Our Lord's name and to a marketing strategy built on deriding Christian faith and symbols.
Boycott ‘Sweet Jesus’ ice cream until they change name. Sign the petition here!
“The company’s name and logo are seriously offensive,” notes the petition on the Christian site Return To Order. “The first S in the word Jesus is a lightning strike, reminiscent of the Nazi style used by the SS, and the T in ‘SWEET’ is often shown as an inverted Cross on the company's various products ... We cannot remain silent while Our Lord is blasphemed!”
Moreover, the company’s ads brim with mocking depictions of Christian and Catholic symbols such as rosaries, a crucifix with a corpus, and angels. The ads also incorporate Satanic symbols, such as upside-down crosses, lightning bolts, skulls, roaring wildcats, and images that suggest vampires and blood.
Some ads disturbingly depict children with bruises who appear to be abused, leading to charges by critics the company could be seen as pandering to pedophiles, LifeSiteNews reported earlier.
Cardinal Collins “would have told Sweet Jesus executives that the upside-down cross that has been used on many of their products is a reminder to Christians that St. Peter, one of the 12 apostles in Jesus’ inner circle and the first pope of the Catholic Church, was crucified upside down,” wrote McCarthy.
The cardinal “would have emphasized that calling their bottled water ‘Holy Water’ has a sensitive meaning for the family members of a child who is baptized, or for all those who bless themselves with holy water as they enter a church.”
Collins released a pastoral letter February 1, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, in which he exhorted Catholics to show reverence and respect for their Savior’s name in three ways.
“We should use his name reverently in prayer. I strongly urge everyone to constantly pray the ‘Jesus prayer’: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner’,” he wrote.
“We should give some sign of our recognition that his Holy Name represents him and makes him present,” added Collins.
“When I was young, it was suggested that one bow the head when pronouncing the Holy Name of Jesus. That is a good custom, and helps a bit to remind us of the adoration which we owe to the Lord of our lives. If we can more deeply become committed to that adoration, we pray that we will more effectively make the love of Jesus present in our suffering world through our actions,” he wrote.
And Christians should never use the name of Jesus irreverently, or to curse, or “in a trashy or trivial or flippant manner.” Moreover, “we should ask our friends who do not share our faith to respect the name of Jesus, as we are equally committed not to treat disrespectfully what is sacred to others.”
And McCarthy suggested one “simple way” to follow the example of Jesus in this case is “by taking a pass on ice cream tainted by insensitivity.”
And, he added, “on election day, we should remember how important it is to check the box that best corresponds with our values.”