Can a dog receive communion?

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Can a dog receive communion?

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:28 pm

Embarrassed reverend says it won’t happen again
Noor Javed Staff Reporter




St. Peter’s Anglican Church has long been known as an open and inclusive place.
So open, it seems, they won’t turn anyone away. Not even a dog.

That’s how a blessed canine ended up receiving communion from interim priest Rev. Marguerite Rea during a morning service the last Sunday in June.

According to those in attendance at the historical church at 188 Carlton St. in downtown Toronto, it was a spontaneous gesture, one intended to make both the dog and its owner – a first timer at the church — feel welcomed. But at least one parishioner saw the act as an affront to the rules and regulations of the Anglican Church. He filed a complaint with the reverend and with the Anglican Diocese of Toronto about the incident – and has since left the church.

“I wrote back to the parishioner that it is not the policy of the Anglican Church to give communion to animals,” said Bishop Patrick Yu, the area bishop of York-Scarborough responsible for St. Peter’s, who received the complaint in early July. “I can see why people would be offended. It is a strange and shocking thing, and I have never heard of it happening before.

“I think the reverend was overcome by what I consider a misguided gesture of welcoming.”
Rev. Rea was contacted numerous times about the incident, but did not want to comment.
“She is quite embarrassed by it,” said Yu.

But congregants of the church say the act wasn’t meant to be controversial. Peggy Needham, the deputy people’s warden was sitting near the front of the church when the dog was given the wafer.
It was the first time Needham had seen the man and his dog in church. He had been invited to the service after an incident where police heckled him as he sat peacefully on the steps of the church early one morning during the G20 weekend.

Angry over the experience, he called the church to vent. They invited him to come to church, and he did, bringing his dog with him.

When it was time for communion, the man went up to receive the bread and the wine, with the dog. “I am sure for Marguerite that was a surprise, like it was for all of us,” said Needham. “But nobody felt like it was a big deal, because it wasn’t a big deal.”

According to the account Yu heard, the man asked the reverend to give the dog a wafer. But Needham says she doesn’t recall the man making such a request. Instead, she said Rev. Rea instinctively leaned over and placed a wafer on the dog’s wagging tongue.

“I think it was this natural reaction: here’s this dog, and he’s just looking up, and she’s giving the wafers to people and she just gave one to him,” said Needham. “Anybody might have done that. It’s not like she’s trying to create a revolution.”

Days later, the church and diocese received a complaint from one parishioner, who felt the church offended the sacred ritual. The bread and wine are meant to represent the body and blood of Jesus Christ and are only to be given to those who have been baptized.

Yu said when he spoke to Rev. Rea, she apologized for what she had done and said she would not do it again.

“Unless there is any further evidence that she is giving communion to animals, the matter is closed . . . we are after all, in the forgiveness and repair business,” he said.

Needham said the church has always been open to animals and once a year conducts a service to bless pets. Which is why the incident hardly caused a stir among the congregants – except for one.

“In his email, the man’s argument was that Christ wouldn’t have liked it,” said Needham. “But in my opinion, Christ would have thought it was neat. It was just being human. And it made everyone smile.”

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/838717--can-a-dog-receive-communion?bn=1

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Re: Can a dog receive communion?

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:31 pm

Although I realize that many could easily be offended by this, I find it amusing. I wonder what St. Francis would have to say. Besides, 'dog' is just "God' spelled backwards. What does surprise me is that the man was allowed to bring his dog in the church in the first place. There's no mention in the article of it being a service dog (no pun intended).

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Re: Can a dog receive communion?

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:25 am

That's the Anglicans all over, anything goes! Very Happy

I guess it all depends on whether you think animals go to heaven or not. If dogs don't got to heaven, when I die I want to go where they go.
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Re: Can a dog receive communion?

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:52 am

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:That's the Anglicans all over, anything goes! Very Happy

I guess it all depends on whether you think animals go to heaven or not. If dogs don't got to heaven, when I die I want to go where they go.

Perhaps if I had have been raised Anglican rather than Roman Catholic I'd still embrace Christianity.

I know a lot of people reject the notion of people seeing ghosts, so they'll find this even more unbelievable, but -- there have been many reports of pet owners seeing their deceased pets. Some have even been woken by the feeling of them on their bed and seen indentations left by their paws in the covers. That to me, speaks to some sort of an afterlife for animals.

I once asked a nun if pets had souls and she shrugged her shoulders and said something to the effect of that the church has been silent on this issue -- refusing to weigh in one way or another. Personally, I think that any pet owner who's atuned to his or her pet knows that they're much more than just an animal. They feel empathy, compassion and genuinely care for us -- more than some humans.

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Re: Can a dog receive communion?

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:25 am

alland wrote:I know a lot of people reject the notion of people seeing ghosts, so they'll find this even more unbelievable, but -- there have been many reports of pet owners seeing their deceased pets.
What about those people and animals that are still alive? I was woken in the early hours one night about ten years ago to hear my dog scratching and whining at my bedroom door. Only problem is, I was in the house on my own and my dog was 100 miles away at my brother's house.

I've had had other dogs in that house in the past, now someone who believes in ghosts might say it was one of my dogs that had passed on but as a rationalist I think there is likely to be a rational explanation. It sounded just like my dog who was alive and still is to this day.

And a friend I was at school with was once out walking his dog when he saw a girl he knew walking toward him. He said hello and smiled, asked how she was and she promptly passed right through him. She wasn't dead. He saw her the day before and he saw her the day after and she was fine.
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Re: Can a dog receive communion?

Post by TexasBlue on Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:24 pm

I once saw Anna Kournikova in my bed with me and couldn't grab a hold of her. ROFL
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Re: Can a dog receive communion?

Post by BecMacFeegle on Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:21 pm

Can a dog receive communion?

Well, Madonna used to be a Catholic and they didn't stop her, so I suppose so.

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Re: Can a dog receive communion?

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:54 pm

BecMacFeegle wrote:Can a dog receive communion?

Well, Madonna used to be a Catholic and they didn't stop her, so I suppose so.

ROFL I guess the British slang might be lost on our American, Canadian and German board cohabitees though!
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Re: Can a dog receive communion?

Post by BubbleBliss on Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:59 pm

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:
BecMacFeegle wrote:Can a dog receive communion?

Well, Madonna used to be a Catholic and they didn't stop her, so I suppose so.

ROFL I guess the British slang might be lost on our American, Canadian and German board cohabitees though!

To me it has a straightforward meaning, but I'm not about to embarrass myself and say what I think it is.... so.... care to explain, Matt?
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Re: Can a dog receive communion?

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:44 pm

In British slang, a "dog" means an ugly and cheap woman.
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Re: Can a dog receive communion?

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:26 pm

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:In British slang, a "dog" means an ugly and cheap woman.

it's the same in N. America too.

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