by Hilary White

OTTAWA, September 26, 2006 ( – Three Canadian Members of Parliament who identify themselves as Catholic have cited what they are calling their “religious faith” as the reason they supported the change in law identifying homosexual unions as “marriage” in Canada.

In the context of this week’s article on the controversy surrounding Pope Benedict’s recent address in Bavaria, Tony Martin (Sault Ste. Marie), Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) and Joe Comartin (Windsor-Tecumseh), all Members for the socialist New Democrats, told Maclean’s Magazine writer Brian Bethune that they had called on the teachings of the Catholic Church to assuage their consciences over their support for gay “marriage.”

“It was said that I voted for same-sex marriage in spite of my faith,” Tony Martin told Maclean’s. “In fact, that vote flowed out of my faith.” Bethune writes that Martin cited the “themes” of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960’s for inspiration, saying it was “all about tolerance, openness to the world and social justice.”

Canadian Catholics have been especially known for promulgating a secularized, leftist concept of Catholic “social justice” teaching and the teaching on primacy of conscience. Authentic Church teaching is that neither can possibly allow for the acceptance of same-sex ‘marriage’. The Church teaches that Catholics have a duty to form their conscience according to the moral precepts laid out by the Church.

Bethune warns that in admonishing Canadian politicians to allow their religious beliefs to guide their public decisions, Pope Benedict might be sorry to get what he asked for, implying that Catholic teaching on sexuality is a matter of private conscience.

Bethune quotes Charlie Angus who said that it was specifically Catholic teaching that inspired him to defend “minority rights” in supporting the homosexual “marriage” law. Angus said, “To be the champion of majority rules,” he says, “opens the door for other protected rights to be taken.”

Joe Comartin concurred saying his decision was based on “the very underpinnings of Christian tradition. “You ask yourself that age-old question, what would Christ do?” he told Maclean’s. “What my faith taught me was his Christ’s love for humanity was an absolute fundamental, in many respects overriding all other considerations.”

Angus, Martin and Comartin have also been long-time “Catholic” supporters of unlimited killing of children by abortion on demand as part of their “absolute fundamental” commitment to minority rights.

Maclean’s says that all three have chosen the political expedient over their religious obligations, pulling away to varying degrees from their former active participation in church life. Comartin was barred from teaching marriage preparation courses in his parish and Martin told Maclean’s that he voluntarily stopped serving as a lector.

In 2005, shortly after the marriage vote, Charlie Angus was asked by his parish priest, Fr. John Lemire of the diocese of Timmins, not to receive the Blessed Sacrament until he had repented his action. At the time, Angus played this private communication for its political advantage, claiming in the Parliamentary newspaper, the Hill Times that he had been “excommunicated” and kicked out of the parish for his support of “gay rights”.

Membership in the Catholic Church, however, is not based on a person’s feelings or desires, but on internal assent to the Church’s doctrines. Fr. Lemire told at the time that Angus was as welcome as anyone else to attend Mass at the parish in Cobalt, Ontario, but that by his refusal to adhere to Catholic teaching, he had separated himself from union with the Catholic Church, whatever he may profess to believe. Reception of the Sacrament that requires that union, therefore, was impossible according to Fr. Lemire.

Angus continued to play the martyr for Macleans, saying that though he was still bitter about the Church’s reaction and that it had shaken his faith, that he still “considers (himself) a Catholic.”

“You just have to stand where you’re going to stand,” he said, adding, “I really have nowhere else to go.”

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