Prime Minister Martin Hears Homily - 'Pro-Abortion Politicians Shouldn't Receive Communion'
Wednesday June 22, 2005
Rev. Paul J. McDonald
NIAGARA ON THE LAKE, ON, June 21, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Some may say that God was giving Prime Minister Paul Martin a final warning just before he forced through his gay 'marriage' legislation, Bill C-38. On Saturday night Martin attended a Catholic Mass at St. Vincent de Paul parish in Niagara on the Lake. He was in the posh resort town for a meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the EU Council.
Rev. Paul J. McDonald, the celebrant of the Saturday night Mass told LifeSiteNews.com that he did not know the Prime Minister was coming to the Mass nor did he even know Martin was at the Mass until after the service had concluded.
For nearly a week Father McDonald was planning a sermon on the theme of "who can go to Holy Communion and who can't, the disposition for holy communion, how you shouldn't just go to Holy Communion because the crowd is going, and about the occasions when people must be denied communion."
The priest recounted that in his homily he used as back-up material the document which Pope Benedict penned last year when, as the then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, he joined the US Conference of Bishops deliberations on the denial of Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians. Ratzinger's intervention titled "Worthiness to Receive Communion" was intended as a private message to the US bishops but after being leaked to the media, Cardinal Ratzinger confirmed the document was his, explained Fr. McDonald, "heightening public interest".
In his sermon the priest explained that in the letter Cardinal Ratzinger cited established church teaching leading to the inevitable conclusion that pro-abortion politicians, who will not alter their stand or abstain from communion after being instructed by church leaders, "must" be refused communion. (see the document here: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/apr/050419a.html )
Therefore, explained the priest in his homily, a minister of Holy Communion would have to deny communion to a "known public sinner".
Rev. McDonald told LifeSiteNews.com that Martin did not present himself for Holy Communion from the priest. However, he did not know if the Prime Minister received Communion from one of the parishioners who were assisting in the distribution of Communion.
Martin's own bishop, Ottawa Archbishop Marcel Gervais told LifeSiteNews.com last year that he had a private meeting with the Prime Minister about his support for abortion and same-sex marriage. Moreover, Calgary Bishop Fred Henry wrote a pastoral letter in which he informed his flock that the media's portrayal of the Prime Minister as a 'devout Catholic' was inaccurate given his public support for abortion and homosexual 'marriage'. In other public statements, Bishop Henry has said he would deny the Prime Minister Communion and would consider excommunicating him.
As he was processing out of the church Fr. McDonald caught sight of the Prime Minister. He described the Prime Minister as having a "sad and bewildered face". The priest inquired of the ushers as to whether he was correct in his belief that it was the Prime Minister and the ushers confirmed Martin had been there for the whole Mass.
Martin slipped out through a side exit, thus Father McDonald was prevented from greeting him outside the church. As he reflects on the significance of the homily and Martin's presence, especially given the Prime Minister's current spiritual dilemma, Father McDonald believes it was the work of "Divine Providence", that Martin was there to hear that message "all by Divine arrangement."
The incident took place within a few days of the Prime Minister's final push to pass the homosexual 'marriage' bill, which is even now undergoing final debate in the House of Commons. Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition which has fought the same-sex 'marriage' bill since its inception told LifeSiteNews.com, "What could possibly be in the Prime Minister's mind to continue his pursuit of this legislation when he knows full well that his eternal salvation is at stake."
Recalling the former hope of pro-life and pro-family Liberals that Martin would be an improvement over former Liberal Prime Minister Chretien, Hughes said, "Here is a man whose candidacy for the Liberal leadership was supported by each and every pro-life Liberal member of parliament who contended that he was a decent man and would be night and day different from Jean Chretien." Hughes concluded, "What a shameful time in Canadian history."
Any thought that the recalcitrant Martin was remorseful and may amend his ways, at least in the short term, was dashed Monday as he announced on Vancouver's CKNW radio that he is "actually a very strong Roman Catholic," and went on to explain how he would push for passage for the same-sex 'marriage' bill.