Prime Minister Stephen Harper has blamed the uproar over his handling of the Holy Communion host at former governor general Romeo LeBlanc’s funeral mass on people trying to cause embarrassment and create division between Catholics and Protestants.”People who want to cause embarrassment in religion and drive a wedge between Protestants and Catholics” are driving the controversy, Harper told a Catholic news agency in an exclusive interview after his meeting Saturday with Pope Benedict….
Some media reports suggested on the weekend that the visit had a political undertone, since analysts have argued that the Conservative breakthrough in 2006 was owed partly to church-going Catholics who switched from the Liberals over gay marriage.
But Harper didn’t address the possible political benefit of being photographed with the Pope, and instead stressed Benedict’s status as both a Christian leader and a statesman.
“While I’m not theologically a Catholic, in my judgment the Catholic Church is a critical bulwark of worldwide Christianity. The Pope is an important moral and spiritual leader generally and for Christians generally, even though I’m not a Catholic.”
Harper called Vatican City a small but important state.
“It is an influential, well-connected state that is very influential in world affairs.” (Original Source)
The more I think about this whole thing and talk to other conservatives and journalists, I am more and more convinced that this was a deliberate attempt at embarrassing Harper. Ask yourself about the angle of the camera in the Church, and why it was there in the first place. It is very unusual for a camera to be at the side of the altar like that, and then to focus on Harper receiving communion? What is the point of that, if not to catch him slipping up some how.
If this is deliberate, Harper is right. It is a new low for liberals and the media. It’s politicizing our most sacred belief in the Eucharist. They’re doing it, of course, to try and wrench away religious support from the Conservatives. Like Obama south of the Border, the liberal parties in this country are wising up to the fact that they need to soak up some religious votes to get into majority territory. That’s why Iggy and Jack were at the very well attended National Prayer Breakfast a couple of months ago.
The Liberal Party, for instance, lost a lot of votes during the last couple of elections because it volunteered to carry the rainbow flag in the gay parade. Now, like Obama, they’ve realized that the religious vote (especially Catholics) even in Canada is a constituency that they cannot afford to ignore, much less lose permanently.
One way of attracting the votes is to “Obamanize” them with religious platitudes about social justice and inject liberation theology into the campaign. It worked for Obama in spades. So, like the American Messiah, they’re looking to preach some of that Obama gospel up here too. The other way – a much more riskier tactic – is to try and scandalize people of faith by showing Harper as some kind of inconsiderate and beligerant fool who is not respectful of people’s religion.
Well, I think that’s what happened here, but it didn’t work. It backfired on them. Conservative Catholics – the only constituency that would really care about the profanation of the Eucharist in the first place – shrugged their shoulders and could see there was no intent to offend. Instead, most of us focused on the scandalous omission of the bishop for not instructing those present as to the correct protocol for Communion.
Liberals really shouldn’t do religion. They screwed up their target market in this case. And next time they try it, it could have very grave consequences for their parties and their leaders.