OTTAWA, July 7, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in hot water over a video that caught him taking Holy Communion in a Catholic Church, despite being a non-Catholic Christian. To make matters worse, the video** shows him walking away without consuming the host – although a spokesman for the Prime Minister told LifeSiteNews.com that the PM did consume the host off-camera.The incident took place last Friday at the funeral of former Governor General Romeo Leblanc in Memramcook, New Brunswick.In the video Harper is shown being offered communion by the Archbishop of Moncton, André Richard. The Archbishop commented, regarding what Harper did with the host, that “I didn’t see anything wrong there because I was busy doing something else,” according to the Telegraph-Journal.According to Catholic teaching the communion wafer becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ after it is consecrated by the priest. The Church teaches that only practicing Catholics who are properly disposed to receive Holy Communion should present themselves to receive the sacrament.
Catholic officials are blaming Prime Minister Harper for the incident. Monsignor Brian Henneberry, Vicar General and Chancellor for the Diocese of St. John called for an explanation from the Prime Minister’s office. “If the prime minister is not a Catholic, he should not have been receiving communion,” he said, “and if he comes up it places the priest in an awkward position, especially at a national funeral because everyone is watching…”
Rev. Arthur Bourgeois, who preached the homily, however, said he did not have a problem with the prime minister receiving communion. “Usually, to partake in holy communion in the Catholic Church, you have to be a member of it,” he said, “but if you’re not, exceptionally sometimes at major occasions (it is different).”
This is really unbelievable. Why are Catholic authorities blaming the Prime Minister? The fault is hardly on him. The responsibility of instructing people at a public mass rests with the officiating priest. In this case it was the Archbishop himself!
Is not one of the chief responsibilities of a priest (and bishop no less) to protect the reverance and identity of the Eucharist?
Did I just hear the rocks crying out?
Oh by the way, did you catch what Fr. Bourgeois said above about non-Catholics partaking of the Eucharist on “major occasions.”? I guess it’s a holiday special or something like that, eh? Group discounts for all.
This kinda shows us the state of Catholicism in Canada today, dontit?