CBC under fire after skit mocking the Eucharist, replacing with Timbits and coffee

Canada’s government-funded broadcaster is under fire after one of its popular comedy shows ran a skit mocking the Eucharist last month.
Mon Mar 11, 2013 - 1:23 pm EST

OTTAWA, March 11, 2013 ( – Canada’s government-funded broadcaster is under fire after one of its popular comedy shows ran a skit mocking the Eucharist last month.

On Feb. 19th, This Hour Has 22 Minutes ran a sketch to satirize how a Canadian Pope might “change the Church,” premised on the speculation that Cardinal Marc Ouellet is one of the leading contenders in the conclave, which begins Tuesday.

The skit depicts a bishop leading Mass, but changing the words to make them more suited to Canadians’ stereotypical politeness. “Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,” he says. “But don’t be too hard on yourselves. There are two sides to every story.”


The “bishop” then moves to the altar, where he lifts a cloth to reveal a Tim Hortons coffee and a box of Timbits. After simulating the consecration, and burning his lips on the coffee, he distributes the Timbits in a mock Communion line.

In response, the Catholic Civil Rights League has complained and urged Christians to speak out, and a prominent Jewish cultural commentator is arguing that Catholics should not have to pay to be insulted.

“The skit in my opinion went well beyond acceptable limits for humour and satire by directly mocking the Blessed Sacrament,” said Joanne McGarry, the League’s executive director. “We appreciate the importance of free speech and the fact that the spoof was meant to be humorous,” she added, but noted that public complaints are also important to free speech.

“The CBC only exists courtesy of the taxpayers,” she said. “We shouldn't have to pay to see the most sacred parts of Church life satirized to this degree.”

McGarry said the League has lodged complaints with both CBC and Tim Hortons but has not received a “satisfactory reply” from either. “Tim Hortons did state that they had nothing to do with it and that they are advising people to contact CBC about it,” she added.

Ezra Levant, host of Sun News Network’s The Source, said on his show that while the skit might be funny to people who do not understand the Catholic Mass, it clearly is offensive to Catholics.

“For believing Catholics, in the sacrament of the Mass the wafer becomes the body of Christ and the wine becomes his blood,” he explained. “In the Catholic faith, the Eucharist isn't just a symbol of Christ, it actually becomes him.”


Levant said the show often targets Catholics and that the skit was actually tame compared to others. "You might even say that the show … is obsessed with the Church. Not a week goes by where they don't mock it in some way,” he said.

Though a strong opponent of censorship, Levant supported Catholics’ concerns about the CBC’s bias because they are forced to pay for the broadcaster through tax dollars.

"I don't think that Catholics should have to pay for the privilege of being mocked,” he said. “I don't believe in censorship or banning offensive things. you can ignore it or change the channel or write a letter of complaint like McGarry did, but neither do I believe that people should have money taken from them against their will to insult them.”

“Yet that's precisely the problem with a government-run media company like the CBC,” he added. “Canada's millions of Catholics can't actually ignore or even boycott the CBC." did not hear back from either CBC or Tim Hortons by press time.

Contact Info:

Hon. James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage
Phone: 613-992-9650
E-mail: [email protected]

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Toll-free:  1-866-306-4636
E-mail: Online Form

Tim Hortons
E-mail: Online Form