It looks like what happened in the U.S. during the presidential election is moving North.
COBALT, Ontario, March 3, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Catholic priest said he would deny Communion to his parishioner – Catholic NDP Member of Parliament for Timmins-James Bay, Charles Angus – because of his support for same-sex “marriage” legislation.
Pastor of Angus’s St. Patrick’s parish in Cobalt, Fr. John Lemire, told LifeSiteNews.com Thursday that Angus’s position became public on January 19, after the Northern News published a story stating the MPs position. Fr. Lemire sent a private letter the following day to Angus, expressing his “shock and disappointment,” and reminding him of his “duty as a Catholic to uphold the teachings of the Church.”
“I explained in the letter that he was scandalizing members of our faith community,” Fr. Lemire explained. “I asked him to reconsider his position” on the issue. Fr. Lemire explained that, after Mass the following weekend, Angus told him he would be back in the riding in a couple of weeks, and would arrange a meeting then. Fr. Lemire never heard back from him, he said.
Later, February 16, while an NDP member was addressing the issue of same-sex “marriage” in parliament, Fr. Lemire said he happened to be watching the parliamentary channel, and noticed all NDP members responding to the speech with a standing ovation. “I called Charlie and left a message on his cell phone to express how deeply shocked and dismayed I was for his public support of same-sex ‘marriage,’” Fr. Lemire said. The next day, Angus returned the call, at which time Fr. Lemire explained to him “his position was inconsistent with the teachings of the Church,” and that his continued support for the legislation meant “there would be consequences.”
Angus asked if he would be unwelcome at church, to which Fr. Lemire responded that whether “saints or sinners,” everyone is welcome, but that his position would mean he is “outside of communion with the Church.” Fr, Lemire told Angus he would be denied communion if he persisted in his position, and voted in favour of the legislation. Fr. Lemire said he would not deny Angus communion until his vote is cast, and then only after telling him by registered letter, that he would be denied Communion if he presents himself.
TORONTO – The Catholic Bishop of Calgary says if it was up to him, he would consider excommunicating Paul Martin over his government’s plan to legalize same-sex marriage.
Bishop Fred Henry said yesterday the Prime Minister’s political views clash so severely with the teachings of the Catholic Church that he no longer deserves to receive Communion.
The outspoken bishop has made similar remarks in the past, but in an interview yesterday on The Michael Coren Show, he went so far as to suggest the Roman Catholic Church should consider the rare step of excommunication, which would prohibit Mr. Martin from receiving the Eucharist during Mass.
"I would have to consider it, yes," Bishop Henry said when asked what he would do if the decision was his to make.
"You’re either with the Church or you’re not," he said of the same-sex marriage debate.
"And if you’re not with the Church, it’s not the Church that’s giving you the hard time.
"You are separating yourself from the Body of Christ, and that becomes a personal decision that you have to deal with."
Numerous Catholic leaders have decried Mr. Martin’s support for gay-marriage legislation, accusing him of turning his back on his faith. Among the most vocal critics is Bishop Henry, who once suggested former prime minister Jean Chretien, also a devout Catholic, could lose his "eternal salvation" by trying to push a gay-marriage law through Parliament.
"When we’re dealing with a politician, it’s frustrating," Bishop Henry said yesterday.
If history repeats itself pretty soon the Canadian bishops will appoint a commission to study the matter. The head of the commission will go to Rome and speak to Cardinal Ratzinger, he will then come back and report the opposite of what the Cardinal said. The Canadian Bishops will then issue a letter that has as many teeth in it as Methuselah did when he reached 969.