The dog, the priestess and the decline of religious feeling

Canadian Anglican Communicant.

In the past weeks a lot has been written about the scarcely believable episode happened in an Anglican church in Canada, where the local would-be “priestess” thought it fit and proper to give the host to a dog.

Father Z wrote about it, and he was not at all amused. Mark Shea is, on the other hand,  more amused than scandalised as he thinks that

all that happened here was that a woman pretending to be a priest gave a dog a treat she pretended was the body of Christ

In my opinion, the truth is in the middle, in the sense that the episode is scandalising as well as showing all the ridicule of modern (liberal, I should add: thankfully even among them it is not all black) Anglicanism.

Let us leave aside the question whether the woman really believed the host to be the body of Christ, as liberal Anglicans nowadays seem to see in the host merely a symbolic reminder of the Last Supper, with no transubstantiation or consubstatiation attached to it. The real issue is, in my eyes, the total loss of the rationale why liberal Anglicans do such things as taking communion.

If the lady would-be “priestess” had had the slightest idea of the meaning of Communion (whether she believes in consubstantiation, or just in a communal meal) the idea of giving it to a dog would  have never, ever entered her mind. On the contrary: one can only show such extraordinary behaviour if the act of giving communion has long become an empty ritual whose meaning has not been the object of any reflection for a very long time.

The behaviour of those present was just as alarming: dozens of faithful must have witnessed the scene, only one has complained. The same considerations made for the would-be priestess can therefore safely be applied to her parishioners: they do take communion, but many of them have obviously entirely lost the perception of what they do and why.

On a Catholic, such episodes make the impression that such ecclesial communities are now so engulfed in their “inclusiveness” madness, that Christianity is slowly becoming an empty hull for a purely social agenda; an agenda in which Christ, His message and His sacraments (whether valid or not) only find a place out of a habit of the past and only as far as they can be adapted to the inclusiveness mantra.

This episode is not indicative of a disrespectful act of a minister. The lady did not want to be disrespectful, at all. But exactly this is her problem: that she has forgotten the meaning of what she does.


Posted on July 29, 2010, in Catholicism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The dog, the priestess and the decline of religious feeling.

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