Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Did Harper nibble on the saviour or not? Who cares!!!

Talk about overkill, the blogosphere is awash with people expressing their opinions on Stephen Harper and 'wafergate'. One bloggingtory is even suggesting it was 'a sting operation' run by the Liberal War Room to embarrass the Prime Minister. Puh-lease!!!

I'm no fan of Stephen Harper, regular readers know that. But I'm not going to pile on over something so meaningless. So the Conservative leader didn't know about, or wasn't properly briefed on, a Roman Catholic sacrament...big deal.

Here's the skinny for those who want to know. According to Roman Catholic teaching only confirmed members of the faith are to receive communion, at times referred to as "The Host". At public masses like funerals and weddings, where there is expected to be non members in attendance, an announcement is sometimes made to this effect....that only confirmed RC members are to receive communion.

Non Roman Catholics basically have two choices. They can remain seated, or they can get in line and approach the priest with arms folded across their chest, in which case the priest will bless them by making the sign of the cross. Should Harper have known this? Yeah, he goofed, it happens to all public figures.

Stephen Harper is an evangelical Christian, as such communion doesn't have the same significance for him as it does with Rome. For most protestants 'the wafer' or bread or is symbolic of the body and blood of Christ. For Roman Catholics "The Host" is the literal body and blood of the saviour. So maybe he nibbled on the lamb, or maybe stashed it in his pocket.

If he's never eaten the little cardboard like wafer used by most RC churches he may have saved himself some embarrassment. I'm not Roman Catholic but I have gone up for Communion, (I know the rules but don't care) and the first time I nearly choked, the wafer went straight up on the roof of my mouth.

Incidentally, I use the somewhat pejorative word 'Roman' when talking about Roman Catholicism on purpose. Catholic by definition means universal, so many Christian churches can lay claim to it. My baptismal certificate from the United Church of Canada says that I was baptised into the Catholic faith, just not the Roman Catholic one.

For those sufficiently intrigued, here's the video. If you look closely you'll see a Liberal holding an umbrella in a part of the church that looks suspiciously like a grassy knoll.

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