Wednesday, July 08, 2009

An even curiouser little scandal

Lots of people are making a big deal out of the fact that Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn't consume a host while attending a Catholic mass. (The PMO insists he did eat the host.)

As a Roman Catholic (at least nominally) I take absolutely no offence at Harper's action. I mean, who cares?

This isn't the Middle Ages, the Pope isn't going to excommunicate anybody over this.

But still, what nags at me is this: Why the heck didn't the Prime Minister eat the bloody host!? Yes, I know, he's not a Catholic, but as far as I know the host is not poisonous to non-Catholics.

Did he want to save it for later, so he could add a touch of mustard to it?



treb said...

What in hell is wrong with you Nichols.You don,t have to receive communion ( the host) every time you go to mass.You should know better.I was a catholic and maybe took communion Easter and Christmas.Let this crap go,it makes you look like an idiot.

Ted Betts said...

Curiouser: why is the PMO so quick to claim that he DID consume the host, and did so "immediately", when the video very very clearly shows that to be a blatant and easily verifiable lie?

Gerry Nicholls said...

But Treb, the point is Harper did take communion, he just didn't eat the host.

Let me ask you this, did you ever go to mass, receive the host, then put it in your pocket!

I bet you didn't.

Like I said, it's not important; just unusual

Alberta Girl said...

"But Treb, the point is Harper did take communion, he just didn't eat the host."

But Gerry - were you there? Or are you just going on say so from someone who hates Harper - oh, yeah, I guess that would be someone like you?

For someone who says it doesn't matter, you certainly took the opportunity to elaborate on this curious little scandal.

As someone said on another blog.

Stephen Harper can't win for trying.

I do agree with one thing you said though.

So what!!!

Anonymous said...

And so Cookie-Gate was born.

Gerry Nicholls said...

Alberta Girl:

Well as Betts notes, the video evidence is he didn't eat the host ... though perhaps he at it in the privacy of his own home.

Of course, I realize for some people questioning anything "The Great Leader" does is heresy, but you see I actually am not part of the Tory Mind Collective; I actually am capable of independent thoughts, which leads me to question certain things.

Try it sometime.

Joe said...

What the video shows is that Harper did not consume the Host immediately. This is quite in line with Evangelical communion practice. In Evangelical Churches it is usual the the Host be distributed and the participants take time to reflect and meditate upon the Sacrifice before eating the Host.

Gerry Nicholls said...

Thanks for that explanation Joe.

Makes sense.

Ted Betts said...

Could be. Could be.

Doesn't explain why he took it in the first place. A clear faux pas that he should explain and apologize for, even if it was not a big sacrilege.

Worse, it doesn't explain why the PMO is insisting he consumed it "immediately".

Anonymous said...

Harper is an enigma wrapped in a Twinki.

Anonymous said...

He might be on a diet.

Gordie_Canuk said...

This shouldn't even qualify as news...Non Roman Catholics are not supposed to receive communion, that's RC dogma. The Prime Minister probably wasn't aware of this, some might argue the leader of Canada's governing party should know it...but its small potatoes.

I use the somewhat prejorative term "Roman" because many Christians consider themselves Catholic, because it simply means universal. My United Church baptismal certificate says I was baptised into the Catholic faith.

If Harper had been properly briefed he would have known to go up with his arms folded across his chest, then he would have received a blessing...that or he could have remained seated.

The handling of Toronto's Gay Pride week funding...that's controversial. This is just idle chatter.

Old School Liberal said...

LifeSiteNews, the very conservative and very Catholic online news agency is not impressed with Harper and thinks it is a bigger deal than Mr. Nicholls does:

Canadian Non-Catholic PM Says he Did Consume Communion after Offered, Will Meet Pope Saturday

By John-Henry Westen and Patrick Craine

OTTAWA, July 7, 2009 ( - 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 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 show 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."

He says that if Harper took the host without consuming it, "it's worse than a faux pas, it's a scandal from the Catholic point of view."

"If I were the prime minister," he said, "I would at least offer an explanation to say no offence was meant, and then (clarifying) what happened to the consecrated host is in order. I would hope the Prime Minister's Office would have enough respect for the Catholic Church and for faith in general to make clear whatever happened."

rabbit said...

Communion's a bit canabilistic anyway, although I do appreciate being offered a snack in the middle of those overly long masses. Don't have to pack a lunch that way.