Did Charlie Angus MP Tell a Big Fib?
Back on March 12th in a post about the NDP MP Charlie Angus being refused communion by his pastor, Father Lemire, I quoted the following from the Hill Times article:
Mr. Angus said he consulted a cannon lawyer in Ottawa and also met with the Bishop of his Diocese, Bishop Paul Marchand, for a second opinion. Both told him he can't be denied communion. Mr. Angus said the Bishop told him that the church's job "is to propose, not to impose."Bishop Marchand could not be reached for an interview last week.I stated in my post that:
One can always hope that Mr. Angus is misquoting his bishop. Alas, the statement rings true. It is a typical kind of blather uttered by far too many in the Canadian Catholic episcopacy.Not content with that comment I posted my views on the matter the next day:
I believe that these "devout" Catholic politicians are only able to play this game of privately believing one thing while publicly espousing another because they are allowed to do so without suffering public censure from our bishops. With all due respect to Bishop Paul Marchand, the Church needs a lot less "proposing" and a great deal more "opposing." Psst. .... it's called leadership, Your Grace. Pass it on!Rather than trust an NDP member of parliament on anything touching on this topic, I should have waited to hear something from Bishop Marchand himself. In The Catholic Register of March 17th, he is quoted as denying he ever repudiated his priest (Father Lemire). Good enough for me. My apologies to Bishop Marchand.
Apparently, Father Lemire also says, "he was trying to initiate a dialogue with Angus and didn't threaten to withhold communion at the moment."
"Until the final vote [in Parliament] happens he is certainly welcome. He has not been barred from communion in any way shape or form."
However, Lemire said he did warn Angus of the consequences of his actions both in a letter and in a telephone call. "I said there may come a time when you may not come to the table of the Lord."
He said, "Well Father, you have to do what you have to do."
Angus promised to meet with him, but he is still waiting for that meeting.