Priest Reaches out ….. to dogs


Canadian priest sorry for giving dog Holy Communion

Priest with Communion wafer biscuits The dog took the biscuit but no wine was offered to the animal

A priest in Canada has apologised after giving Holy Communion to a dog.

Reverend Marguerite Rea of St Peter’s Anglican Church, in Toronto, received complaints from Christians all over Canada after she fed communion bread to a German Shepherd cross named Trapper.

Area Bishop Patrick Yu said the priest had contravened church policy with her “strange and shocking” actions.

Ms Rea said it had been a “simple church act of reaching out” to a new congregation member and his pet.

“If I have hurt, upset or embarrassed anyone, I apologise,” she told her congregation on Sunday morning, the Toronto Star reports.
Bone of contention

The canine controversy began last month when four-year-old Trapper and his owner, Donald Keith, 56, attended the church in Toronto’s downtown area for the first time.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

I don’t recall anything from the scripture about Jesus dying for the salvation of our pets”

End Quote Cheryl Chang Anglican Network in Canada

“The minister welcomed me and said come up and take communion, and Trapper came up with me and the minister gave him communion as well,” Mr Keith told the Toronto Star.

“I thought it was a nice way to welcome me into the church. I thought it was acceptable. There was an old lady in the front just beaming when she saw this.”

But not all parishioners at the service were quite so charmed by the sight of the priest leaning down and placing a wafer on the wagging tongue of Trapper, a German Shepherd-Rhodesian ridgeback cross.

Communion bread is considered by Anglicans to represent the body of Jesus Christ.

One onlooker filed a complaint with the Anglican Diocese of Toronto about the incident and has since left the church.

When news spread of the canine communion, St Peter’s Church began receiving e-mails from angry Christians all over the country.

“Communion is a symbol of the sacrifice of Jesus’ body; he died for all of us. But I don’t recall anything from the scripture about Jesus dying for the salvation of our pets,” said Cheryl Chang, director of the Anglican Network in Canada, the National Post newspaper reports.

“I can see why people would be offended,” said Bishop Yu.

“I have never heard of it happening before. I think the reverend was overcome by what I consider a misguided gesture of welcoming.”

Mr Keith has since been told that he and his dog are most welcome at the church, but Trapper can no longer receive communion.

“This has blown me away. The church is even getting e-mails from Catholics,” said the truck driver.

“Ninety-nine-point-nine per cent of the people in the church love Trapper and the kids play with him. It was just one person who got his nose out of joint.

“Holy smokes. We are living in the downtown core. This is small stuff. I thought it was innocent and it made me think of the Blessing of the Animals.”


11 thoughts on “Priest Reaches out ….. to dogs

  1. The Anglican Church is like Ichabod, “The Lord has departed from her.” Lest we become to complacent, or even worse, arrogant, remember that there is a Metropolitan of English ancestry whose ecumenism at the Lambeth Conference is quite suspect. Not to mention his views on female priests in the Orthodox Church. Arrgh!

    There is indeed a liberal faction within the Orthodox Church that would gladly go the way of the apostate Anglican church. Ever hear of the name Karras…as in “Why can’t we women have the same rights as men in the Orthodox Church” Karras? Ah…but there’s some seminary somewhere not far from NYC, that publishes this woman’s fill-in-the-blank. Oh yeah, didn’t they just recently give an honorary degree to the Archbishop of Canterbury…you know, that guy who happens to be head of the Anglican Church?

    Lord have mercy on us. For there are even wolves among us in the precious Holy Orthodox Church.

  2. When I was a priest in Atlanta we had no church. It was an Anglican parish that let us use their facilities before we purchased something on our own. In fact, the priest and congregation were excited to have an Orthodox community using their hall. The priest was very conservative, high church.

    Out of curiosity I did a google search for the priest’s name a few weeks back to see what he’s up to. Turns out he was received in the Catholic Church a few months ago. Guess he had enough.

  3. I’ve been Anglican for awhile. I’ve been blessed with the chance to attend a very traditional, conservative, and stable parish. That situation insulated me from feeling the effects of the death of Anglicanism that we see all around us. I guess I knew about it in my head, but I didn’t really FEEL it deep down. But now, that has changed. There’s no hiding something as awful and humiliating as this disgraceful dog Communion. These days, all stories about Anglicans are horror stories; and this one is one of the most horrific of all. It is utterly disgusting (though I thank you and bloggers like you for sharing it). We’ve been reduced to nothing but daily scandals and sacrilege, joining our voices with the Roman soldiers at the Cross as we make a mockery of our Blessed Lord at every possible opportunity. It’s clearly time to get out of here!

  4. The need to make religion more user friendly & less challenging is common in our time; the trivialization of the Sacred is also very common. Tradition is often confused with custom; but customs change,
    & Tradition is organic & changes us; this is why it is important to not break that which God has given us & for which so many laid down their precious lives, not to save a mere cultural conceit, but to be saved by the Grace of the Holy Spirit passed on through those hands laid onto us & that breath breathed upon the waters. If people can no longer believe in the real presence of our Lord in the species of bread & wine, then how can they believe in the miracle of the Incarnation or the Resurrection? It saddens me to think of the lost opportunity to witness to a living Christ here; & the visitor got only a cookie as did the dog. God does not force us to be real, he allows us to become real by Him, & in Him & with Him.

  5. Sorry, I didn’t realise I was reading the comments in the wrong direction! Damian noticed FIRST that the woman offering communion was not a priest. Forgive me, brethren!

  6. Yes, I’m surprised that no one noticed, until Damian, that the person offering “communion” to the dog was not a priest, since there is no such thing in the Church as female priests. Having been an Anglican myself before being joined to Holy Orthodoxy 22 years ago, I can understand both the outrage (which any Christian should) and the puzzlement over “all the fuss” (stemming from the cardinal virtue of modern Anglicanism, niceness). As for drawing a connexion to “the blessing of the animals” offered in some Anglican and Roman churches on St Francis Day (October 4), well, sprinkling animals with holy water is hardly the same as baptising them… or is it? Hmm, another puzzle to work through for sacramental theologians! Perhaps if there were any bible readers among them, they might’ve defended the woman’s actions of giving communion to a dog by citing the case of the Syro-Phoenician woman who likened herself to a dog diving for the crumbs, asking for Christ’s blessing, which He gave. Perhaps it IS alright to commune with dogs after all, but I should add one proviso—they must be TALKING dogs, like the hounds of Narnia!

  7. I think it is disgusting and anti-Christian that a priest gave Holy Communion to a dog — especially since Holy C0mmunion is considered to be the most sacred part of a church service.
    This priest should be suspended for at least a week for performing this un-Christian act.
    Indeed, the Anglican Church has shown once again by its ultra-modern anti-Christian actions that it has really “gone to the dogs!”

  8. Not to mention that, since the early Church, dogs were one of two animals (horses are the other, I think) that are forbidden to enter the sanctuary. Shhhh…. don’t tell New Skete! Their reality show might get canceled….

  9. Тој треба одмах метак у челу…Боже нам сачувај

  10. I’d be offended, but since the dolt in question is not really a priest, she technically wasn’t desecrating the Body of Christ.

    Love the blog! I’m a regular reader, but this is my first time commenting.

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