Friday, July 10, 2009

Prime Minister of Canada and Holy Communion

So the Prime Minister of Canada goes to a funeral in a Roman Catholic church and goes up to receive Holy Communion. He was given a wafer. There is some uncertainty as to whether he consumed the wafer or if he pocketed it. You see, our Prime Minister is a devout evangelical. You can't make this stuff up! Check out this clip and watch closely - it looks to me like the Prime Minister definitely pocketed the wafer!

So, there are a number of issues here.

1. The unfaithfulness of the Roman Catholic priest to his church's teachings. Only Roman Catholics are to be admitted to Roman Catholic altars. It is not only Lutherans who practice closed communion. The priest should have politely informed the Prime Minister that he was not able to receive the Sacrament.

2. As an evangelical the Prime Minister should have known better than to go forward to receive the Sacrament. It is a confession of faith - one which he does not share with the Roman church.

3. He pocketed the wafer! Likely he did so because he did not want to participate in a practice which as an evangelical he likely views as silly superstitious belief. However, after the event it seems it is being covered up by saying that he consumed it. But watch the clip - it does not look like he consumed it to me - unless he did so out of his pocket back in the pew.
So, the practice of closed communion is in the news. Most of the call in shows have discussed it. Most of the people calling in are shocked to hear that all may not be welcomed to approach the altar. Perhaps it will be good for discussion even within our own parishes!


Allogenes said...

My impression is that the Catholic Church generally follows an honor system. There is something in the little Missalette, or posted on the wall, that tells people about the communion policy, but then leaves it up to the individual's conscience whether to obey it. Maybe because of creeping liberalism, but more likely just because Catholic churches at least in big cities entertain large numbers of strangers at every mass and the priest just can't go asking everyone if they're Catholic...

Mike Keith said...


So I wonder - was the Prime Minister ignorant of the Roman Catholic position?

Ritewinger said...

"A daily newspaper in New Brunswick has apologized to Prime Minister Harper for reporting that he slipped a communion wafer in his jacket pocket at a state funeral.

The front-page apology published in today's Telegraph-Journal says the story on July 8th was "inaccurate and should not have been published.''

Harper has always insisted he ate the wafer at the funeral for former Governor General Romeo LeBlanc.
The Roman Catholic archbishop who administered communion has said the prime minister did nothing wrong by consuming it, even though he is a Protestant.

The story in the Telegraph-Journal quoted a senior Roman Catholic priest as demanding an explanation from Harper on what happened to the host.

It also said Harper put the wafer in his jacket pocket.

Today's apology says there was ''no credible'' support for those statements.

It says the statements were added to the story ``in the editing process'' and without the knowledge of the reporters who wrote the article.

A spokesman for the company that owns the newspaper, Brunswick News, had no further comment."