Ontario Catholic MP Denied Communion for Voting in Favour of Homosexual “Marriage”

TIMMINS, July 6, 2005 ( -Â Newspapers and radio shows in Canada are rife with the ‘shocking’ news that a Catholic politician has been denied communion after voting in favour of the federal same-sex ‘marriage’ legislation.ÂÂCatholic NDP Member of Parliament for Timmins-James Bay, Charles Angus, has been denied communion after voting in support of same-sex marriage Bill C-38 in Parliament on June 28.

Angus seems to be painting the action by his pastor as a shocking and improper action on the part of a lone priest.ÂÂHowever, the pastor of Angus’s St. Patrick’s parish in Cobalt, Fr. John Lemire, told it is not his choice, but adherence to the clear laws of the Church which forbid Angus from being given communion.

On CFRA radio in Ottawa this morning Angus said, “I feel that we are starting to move into some very uncomfortable waters when the priest is telling me how to vote in the House of Commons.” He also accused the priest of illicitly using his role for political pressure.“I felt no matter what else was at stake I can’t allow the Eucharist to be a political pressure point,” he said.

In fact, it is Angus trying to tell the priest how to run the Church. Fr. Lemire told that “it is a consistent teaching of the Catholic Church as voiced by the current Pope and his predecessor” that those who reject Church teaching in grave matters may not be admitted to communion. Fr. Lemire stressed that Mr. Angus is “very welcome” to come to Church but cannot receive communion without repenting of his actions.

Angus was very clear on radio that he had no intention of repenting.“I’m willing to live with the results of what has happened,” he said, noting also that he had only been to church a couple of times since January, when Fr. Lemire first warned him about the stand of the church on holy communion and politicians supporting laws gravely contrary to Catholic teaching. He says his family has also refused to go to Church as a result of the incident. Willingly not attending Sunday Mass, however, is also considered a grave sin by the Catholic church preventing Catholics from receiving Communion without repentance.

Fr. Lemire noted that the denial of communion is an act of care and concern for the parishioner rather than a threat or punishment. It is “to help politicians and people in the pews to better understand and appreciate the faith” and the seriousness of violating it, he said.

With the backing of Timmins Bishop Paul Marchand, Fr. Lemire repeatedly asked Angus to reconsider his position, noting that the Catholic politician was “scandalizing members of our faith community,” and warning him that he was placing himself in a position where he would have to be denied communion.

Local Bishop Paul Marchand joined members of Campaign Life Coalition in February to protest outside Angus’s riding office. In a letter to all parishes in the diocese last weekend, Bishop Marchand wrote, “I was deeply disappointed to witness our two area Members of Parliament, Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins - James Bay) and Mr. Anthony Rota (Nipissing - Timiskaming), vote in favour of changing the definition of marriage and support same-sex marriage. Their position is clearly contrary to the teachings of our Catholic Faith and is inconsistent with the vast majority of the men and women who elected them to the House of Commons.”

For many faithful Catholics who have for years been battling the Liberal government on the abortion and same-sex marriage issues the greater scandal is that hardly any Canadian bishops areÂencouraging or at least allowing their pastors to do what Fr. Lemire has done. The absence of such straightforward needed action has resulted in a string of Catholic Prime Ministers and most Catholic politicians believing their support for legislation opposed to Church moral teaching is not a serious problem.

To contact Bishop Marchand:
  Diocese of Timmins
  65, avenue Jubilee Est
  Timmins, Ontario
  P4N 5W4
  Tel:(705) 267-6224
  Fax:(705) 267-6226

Email letters to Bishop Marchand may be sent via:
[email protected]

Catholic Priest to Withhold Communion from Pro Gay “Marriage” Politician
  Timmins Pastor Defends his Right to Refuse Communion to Public Dissenters from Catholic Teaching


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