Communing a dog

Consider not only this unspeakable sacrilege but the reason given for commiting it:

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.”

via Can a dog receive communion? – thestar.com.

HT: Joe Carter

I realize that many churches do not have a high view of Holy Communion and so would not think this is a big deal. But Anglicans DO have a high view of Holy Communion! Not as high as Lutherans, but still. . . .

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Winston Smith

    Talk about taking the childrens’ bread and casting it unto the dogs …

  • Winston Smith

    Talk about taking the childrens’ bread and casting it unto the dogs …

  • Joe

    I read an article about an Anglican church that communed dogs or at least welcomed them at the rail a couple of years back. It is odd to see this come up again. Is there some kind of underground Anglican pro-dog movement.

  • Joe

    I read an article about an Anglican church that communed dogs or at least welcomed them at the rail a couple of years back. It is odd to see this come up again. Is there some kind of underground Anglican pro-dog movement.

  • Winston Smith

    I would not be surprised to see this kind of nonsense from an Episcopal church in the United States; many of the liberal churches have departed from the Biblical doctrines of the faith, and embraced an open-minded approach that manifests itself in breezy irreverence. “Anglican” churches in the U.S. tend to be more conservative, often joining with like-minded brethren in Africa and elsewhere. I presume this Canadian Anglican church is more like a liberal American Episcopal church.

    In any case, even if they are prepared to admit a non-human to full communion, is it troubling that the animal could be accepted without making a confession of faith?

  • Winston Smith

    I would not be surprised to see this kind of nonsense from an Episcopal church in the United States; many of the liberal churches have departed from the Biblical doctrines of the faith, and embraced an open-minded approach that manifests itself in breezy irreverence. “Anglican” churches in the U.S. tend to be more conservative, often joining with like-minded brethren in Africa and elsewhere. I presume this Canadian Anglican church is more like a liberal American Episcopal church.

    In any case, even if they are prepared to admit a non-human to full communion, is it troubling that the animal could be accepted without making a confession of faith?

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Speaking as one who’s always been in evangelical and fundamentalist circles, I’ve never found a church that would allow canines to take the Lord’s Supper. Ever. The worst it’s ever gotten is what I’d have considered to be an inadequate fencing of the table for unbelievers and believers persisting in sin.

    Of course, these days, liberal theologians are tending towards a vague universalism and rejection of the reality of sin, so they’ve more or less made it impossible to fence the table. This makes sense in a liberal theology sort of way.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Speaking as one who’s always been in evangelical and fundamentalist circles, I’ve never found a church that would allow canines to take the Lord’s Supper. Ever. The worst it’s ever gotten is what I’d have considered to be an inadequate fencing of the table for unbelievers and believers persisting in sin.

    Of course, these days, liberal theologians are tending towards a vague universalism and rejection of the reality of sin, so they’ve more or less made it impossible to fence the table. This makes sense in a liberal theology sort of way.

  • WebMonk

    One doesn’t need a “high” view of Communion to think this is a “big deal”.

    But never mind that. Everyone who isn’t a Lutheran really doesn’t care about Communion and so might as well feed the elements to the dogs and not care.

  • WebMonk

    One doesn’t need a “high” view of Communion to think this is a “big deal”.

    But never mind that. Everyone who isn’t a Lutheran really doesn’t care about Communion and so might as well feed the elements to the dogs and not care.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Just food for thought, but maybe the the regard of Holy Communion in the communing of the dog isn’t the problem here but merely the symptom of a far larger issue?

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Just food for thought, but maybe the the regard of Holy Communion in the communing of the dog isn’t the problem here but merely the symptom of a far larger issue?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    There’s a service dog – for a blind member – that often comes to the communion rail at our church. I can say that I have never once considered giving “Cookie” communion, as dear a dog as he is.
    Though I have considered blessing the dog for its faithful service and am certainly thankful to God for such gifts.

    But communing the dog as a gesture of welcoming?! Strange.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    There’s a service dog – for a blind member – that often comes to the communion rail at our church. I can say that I have never once considered giving “Cookie” communion, as dear a dog as he is.
    Though I have considered blessing the dog for its faithful service and am certainly thankful to God for such gifts.

    But communing the dog as a gesture of welcoming?! Strange.

  • WebMonk

    One issue is the apparent training (or lack thereof) had by the interim priest. Bishop Yu seemed to respond with a statement that communing a dog is definitely NOT kosher. ;-)

    However, from what articles I’ve read on this, there hasn’t really been any serious statements by anyone saying this was a wrong sort of thing to do, just statements saying it won’t happen again.

  • WebMonk

    One issue is the apparent training (or lack thereof) had by the interim priest. Bishop Yu seemed to respond with a statement that communing a dog is definitely NOT kosher. ;-)

    However, from what articles I’ve read on this, there hasn’t really been any serious statements by anyone saying this was a wrong sort of thing to do, just statements saying it won’t happen again.

  • Tom Hering

    Do animals need the forgiveness of sins that’s offered in the Lord’s Supper? My ten-year-old cat thinks my two one-year-old cats do. But they don’t.

  • Tom Hering

    Do animals need the forgiveness of sins that’s offered in the Lord’s Supper? My ten-year-old cat thinks my two one-year-old cats do. But they don’t.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    They are pushing and pushing to see how far they can go. I have kids, so I am familiar with this sort of immature, disrespectful behavior daring those in authority to assert themselves. Even animals do this in order to determine who the leader is. When the perpetrator gets fired and loses his pension, then you know who is boss. When the perp gets away with it, he becomes the new boss. That is why I teach my kids never to back down to bullies and never let cheaters get away with it. I teach them to always make them back down. Even in youth they can learn to stand up for what is right, so they will be prepared as adults to exercise a healthy level of moral authority in their homes, professions and churches.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    They are pushing and pushing to see how far they can go. I have kids, so I am familiar with this sort of immature, disrespectful behavior daring those in authority to assert themselves. Even animals do this in order to determine who the leader is. When the perpetrator gets fired and loses his pension, then you know who is boss. When the perp gets away with it, he becomes the new boss. That is why I teach my kids never to back down to bullies and never let cheaters get away with it. I teach them to always make them back down. Even in youth they can learn to stand up for what is right, so they will be prepared as adults to exercise a healthy level of moral authority in their homes, professions and churches.

  • WebMonk

    So the Rev Rea was bullying her superiors and trying to show herself as more powerful than them? And now that they have more or less let her off without any reprimand she is the new boss? Hmmmm.

    I think this was more or less what has been described to the reporters – she didn’t see anything wrong in giving the communion to the animal, and while she might not have done it normally, the circumstances gave an opening to a spur-of-the-moment action.

    The sad part is that first thing I wrote – she didn’t see anything wrong in giving the communion to an animal (and apparently her Bishop wasn’t particularly upset by it either).

  • WebMonk

    So the Rev Rea was bullying her superiors and trying to show herself as more powerful than them? And now that they have more or less let her off without any reprimand she is the new boss? Hmmmm.

    I think this was more or less what has been described to the reporters – she didn’t see anything wrong in giving the communion to the animal, and while she might not have done it normally, the circumstances gave an opening to a spur-of-the-moment action.

    The sad part is that first thing I wrote – she didn’t see anything wrong in giving the communion to an animal (and apparently her Bishop wasn’t particularly upset by it either).

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Yeah, that is the new moral cowardice, let’s give the benefit of the doubt to the openly and egregiously defiant. How low esteem must we hold her intellect to consider it plausible she is too stupid to know better? By asserting new rules and emerging unscathed, she effectively elevates herself to the station of rule maker. Her supervisors become culpable by not punishing her commensurate with her offense. She isn’t the least bit humbled rather emboldened as are other degenerates who would wish to desecrate and defame.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Yeah, that is the new moral cowardice, let’s give the benefit of the doubt to the openly and egregiously defiant. How low esteem must we hold her intellect to consider it plausible she is too stupid to know better? By asserting new rules and emerging unscathed, she effectively elevates herself to the station of rule maker. Her supervisors become culpable by not punishing her commensurate with her offense. She isn’t the least bit humbled rather emboldened as are other degenerates who would wish to desecrate and defame.

  • DonS

    “I realize that many churches do not have a high view of Holy Communion and so would not think this is a big deal. But Anglicans DO have a high view of Holy Communion! Not as high as Lutherans, but still. . . .”

    I don’t think it’s the view of Communion that is at issue here. For whether one thinks that Communion is a sacrament by which grace is dispensed, or a holy remembrance of the grace that is dispensed through Christ’s Sacrifice, giving the elements to a dog is sacrilege. So the issue is actually whether one has a high view of Scripture, and a proper awe for the Holy G0d and His Sacrifice for our sins.

    I don’t understand why theological liberals bother with church. They don’t believe the Bible, obviously, so why get up and go through the trouble? Is it really for the social interaction or sense of belonging? What I really don’t understand is why people like Rev. Marguerite Rea go into the ministry. What a pointless existence.

  • DonS

    “I realize that many churches do not have a high view of Holy Communion and so would not think this is a big deal. But Anglicans DO have a high view of Holy Communion! Not as high as Lutherans, but still. . . .”

    I don’t think it’s the view of Communion that is at issue here. For whether one thinks that Communion is a sacrament by which grace is dispensed, or a holy remembrance of the grace that is dispensed through Christ’s Sacrifice, giving the elements to a dog is sacrilege. So the issue is actually whether one has a high view of Scripture, and a proper awe for the Holy G0d and His Sacrifice for our sins.

    I don’t understand why theological liberals bother with church. They don’t believe the Bible, obviously, so why get up and go through the trouble? Is it really for the social interaction or sense of belonging? What I really don’t understand is why people like Rev. Marguerite Rea go into the ministry. What a pointless existence.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “What I really don’t understand is why people like Rev. Marguerite Rea go into the ministry.”

    Could someone of her intellect and conscientiousness find as remunerative and uncritical and prestigious employment elsewhere?

    No.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “What I really don’t understand is why people like Rev. Marguerite Rea go into the ministry.”

    Could someone of her intellect and conscientiousness find as remunerative and uncritical and prestigious employment elsewhere?

    No.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “They don’t believe the Bible, obviously, so why get up and go through the trouble? Is it really for the social interaction or sense of belonging?”

    The realize you can’t destroy an institution from the outside.

    This is the same reason they attack motherhood and fatherhood depicting them as burdensome and optional. It easier to destroy a society from the inside.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “They don’t believe the Bible, obviously, so why get up and go through the trouble? Is it really for the social interaction or sense of belonging?”

    The realize you can’t destroy an institution from the outside.

    This is the same reason they attack motherhood and fatherhood depicting them as burdensome and optional. It easier to destroy a society from the inside.

  • http://scottishlutheran.blogspot.com Michael Keith

    Let’s be cautious here folks. The priest did a thing that boggles the mind. However, take note – the Bishop, the one in ecclesiastical supervision has stated clearly that this is unacceptable.

    As a pastor in Lutheran Church Canada I would not want to be judged by what a single pastor has done – or for that matter to have my church body judged by the dumb things I do.

    Then again – communing a dog? Seriously?

  • http://scottishlutheran.blogspot.com Michael Keith

    Let’s be cautious here folks. The priest did a thing that boggles the mind. However, take note – the Bishop, the one in ecclesiastical supervision has stated clearly that this is unacceptable.

    As a pastor in Lutheran Church Canada I would not want to be judged by what a single pastor has done – or for that matter to have my church body judged by the dumb things I do.

    Then again – communing a dog? Seriously?

  • Shane Ayers

    This is just a perverse manifestation of the religion of niceness, the sort of “God is my chum” faith described by Russell Kirk in his article, The Rarity of the God-Fearing Man:

    http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=04-02-024-f

    I would disagree with you over what you said about Anglicanism’s view of the Sacraments, Dr. Veith–being an Anglican myself and all–but it would be irrelevant. That is because theology is itself irrelevant to such a church.

    To answer Mr. DonS’s question, “why do liberals bother with church?” it seems to me that administering niceness, not administering the Sacraments, is the function of most Mainstream Protestant churches. And that’s exactly what this woman did. Devoid of all it’s real mystery and reverence, the Church is a wonderful nexus for vapid social interaction–in fact, it’s the perfect spot for fluff, twaddle, and self-celebration. Sadly, I’m not all that surprised.

  • Shane Ayers

    This is just a perverse manifestation of the religion of niceness, the sort of “God is my chum” faith described by Russell Kirk in his article, The Rarity of the God-Fearing Man:

    http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=04-02-024-f

    I would disagree with you over what you said about Anglicanism’s view of the Sacraments, Dr. Veith–being an Anglican myself and all–but it would be irrelevant. That is because theology is itself irrelevant to such a church.

    To answer Mr. DonS’s question, “why do liberals bother with church?” it seems to me that administering niceness, not administering the Sacraments, is the function of most Mainstream Protestant churches. And that’s exactly what this woman did. Devoid of all it’s real mystery and reverence, the Church is a wonderful nexus for vapid social interaction–in fact, it’s the perfect spot for fluff, twaddle, and self-celebration. Sadly, I’m not all that surprised.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “I don’t understand why theological liberals bother with church. They don’t believe the Bible, obviously, so why get up and go through the trouble? Is it really for the social interaction or sense of belonging?” Said the man (@13) who apparently believes that Communion is merely “a holy remembrance of the grace that is dispensed through Christ’s Sacrifice,” in spite of what the Bible teaches.

    So you go first, Don. Why do you bother with church? You don’t believe Christ’s words, obviously, so why go through the trouble? Is it just for the social interaction?

    Oh, my bad, we were just judging other people’s faith — the faith of those theological liberals. Not the ones here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “I don’t understand why theological liberals bother with church. They don’t believe the Bible, obviously, so why get up and go through the trouble? Is it really for the social interaction or sense of belonging?” Said the man (@13) who apparently believes that Communion is merely “a holy remembrance of the grace that is dispensed through Christ’s Sacrifice,” in spite of what the Bible teaches.

    So you go first, Don. Why do you bother with church? You don’t believe Christ’s words, obviously, so why go through the trouble? Is it just for the social interaction?

    Oh, my bad, we were just judging other people’s faith — the faith of those theological liberals. Not the ones here.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “However, take note – the Bishop, the one in ecclesiastical supervision has stated clearly that this is unacceptable.”

    Big deal.
    Imagine if those in Luther’s day had only to face a verbal reprimand. I am willing to bet this chick isn’t willing to die for her silly notion of communing dogs.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “However, take note – the Bishop, the one in ecclesiastical supervision has stated clearly that this is unacceptable.”

    Big deal.
    Imagine if those in Luther’s day had only to face a verbal reprimand. I am willing to bet this chick isn’t willing to die for her silly notion of communing dogs.

  • Joe

    I have been thinking about this all day and I think the question is: why wouldn’t a Priestess commune a dog? The fact that she thinks she can hold the pastoral office should be clue number one that theology and doctrine are not her strong suits.

  • Joe

    I have been thinking about this all day and I think the question is: why wouldn’t a Priestess commune a dog? The fact that she thinks she can hold the pastoral office should be clue number one that theology and doctrine are not her strong suits.

  • DonS

    sg @ 15: You may be right, but what a pathetic existence — to live your entire life for the purpose of tearing down the Christian church.

    Michael @ 16: “As a pastor in Lutheran Church Canada I would not want to be judged by what a single pastor has done”. Agreed. But, on the other hand, you SHOULD be judged by how you respond to it. And, as far as we know, Rev. Rea still is one.

    tODD @ 18: This will be my only response to your contemptible comment.

  • DonS

    sg @ 15: You may be right, but what a pathetic existence — to live your entire life for the purpose of tearing down the Christian church.

    Michael @ 16: “As a pastor in Lutheran Church Canada I would not want to be judged by what a single pastor has done”. Agreed. But, on the other hand, you SHOULD be judged by how you respond to it. And, as far as we know, Rev. Rea still is one.

    tODD @ 18: This will be my only response to your contemptible comment.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@21), why was my comment “contemptible”? It directly mirrors yours. What changed? Or was your comment also “contemptible”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@21), why was my comment “contemptible”? It directly mirrors yours. What changed? Or was your comment also “contemptible”?

  • Bethany Kilcrease

    Actually, many in Anglo-Catholics circles the view of communion is just as “high” as the Lutheran view and often times includes belief in transubtantiation.

  • Bethany Kilcrease

    Actually, many in Anglo-Catholics circles the view of communion is just as “high” as the Lutheran view and often times includes belief in transubtantiation.

  • http://www.scribe-nootherfoundation.blogspot.com Scribe

    Wow. How lightly people esteem the Holy Sacraments in this day and age…

  • http://www.scribe-nootherfoundation.blogspot.com Scribe

    Wow. How lightly people esteem the Holy Sacraments in this day and age…

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    A friend posted a link to this story on Facebook. Another friend, a liberal Lutheran, responded that it’s no big deal (just poor judgment), because to the dog it was just bread. I asked him if the words of institution didn’t count, but only the faith of the recipient. Haven’t seen his reply yet, but it seems to me that Luther’s emphasis on the Word along with the bread and wine makes this a serious matter. Am I on the right track?

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    A friend posted a link to this story on Facebook. Another friend, a liberal Lutheran, responded that it’s no big deal (just poor judgment), because to the dog it was just bread. I asked him if the words of institution didn’t count, but only the faith of the recipient. Haven’t seen his reply yet, but it seems to me that Luther’s emphasis on the Word along with the bread and wine makes this a serious matter. Am I on the right track?

  • Another Kerner

    Well, perhaps we should look at the animal which was given Holy Communion: Firstly, this Anglican obviouly must believe that dogs are capable of sin.

    Not so. Dogs can only be dogs…. and do dog things… which does not include sinning, although they inhabit this fallen world with us.

    Although the “animal rights” folks assert that we are all equal.

    Typically the “animal rights” groups advocate legal standing for animals in courts and seek “Personhood” for them.

    Please read through Wesley J. Smith’s book “A Rat Is A Pig Is A Dog Is A Boy, the Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement.”

    So we mustn’t be too surprised at this Anglican who apparently has pantheistic tendencies, no?

    Alas, man who has the dominion over the animals are the sinners.

  • Another Kerner

    Well, perhaps we should look at the animal which was given Holy Communion: Firstly, this Anglican obviouly must believe that dogs are capable of sin.

    Not so. Dogs can only be dogs…. and do dog things… which does not include sinning, although they inhabit this fallen world with us.

    Although the “animal rights” folks assert that we are all equal.

    Typically the “animal rights” groups advocate legal standing for animals in courts and seek “Personhood” for them.

    Please read through Wesley J. Smith’s book “A Rat Is A Pig Is A Dog Is A Boy, the Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement.”

    So we mustn’t be too surprised at this Anglican who apparently has pantheistic tendencies, no?

    Alas, man who has the dominion over the animals are the sinners.

  • Another Kerner

    A short Post Script:

    It seems that it is not this priest’s view of Communion which is foremost in her thinking….. it is her view of the animal and it’s “Personhood”.

  • Another Kerner

    A short Post Script:

    It seems that it is not this priest’s view of Communion which is foremost in her thinking….. it is her view of the animal and it’s “Personhood”.

  • Mark

    No one’s condoning the priest’s action, but, as has been noted, she repented, and her bishop said what she did fell outside Anglican practice.
    Seems I was reading recently about gay Lutheran pastors.

    http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=851565

  • Mark

    No one’s condoning the priest’s action, but, as has been noted, she repented, and her bishop said what she did fell outside Anglican practice.
    Seems I was reading recently about gay Lutheran pastors.

    http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=851565

  • Joe

    Yes Mark you were. But just as a point of clarification. Most (if not all) the Lutherans around this blog are LCMS or WELS. The gay pastor news is from the ELCA. The ELCA has been off the Lutheran reservation since its inception and really should do everyone a favor and loss the L since they don’t really want to beleive, teach or confess Lutheran doctrine.

  • Joe

    Yes Mark you were. But just as a point of clarification. Most (if not all) the Lutherans around this blog are LCMS or WELS. The gay pastor news is from the ELCA. The ELCA has been off the Lutheran reservation since its inception and really should do everyone a favor and loss the L since they don’t really want to beleive, teach or confess Lutheran doctrine.

  • Mark

    Lutheran is as Lutheran does.

  • Mark

    Lutheran is as Lutheran does.

  • http://scottishlutheran.blogspot.com Michael Keith

    Mark: “Lutheran is as Lutheran does.”

    In the case of Lutheranism that does not fit.

  • http://scottishlutheran.blogspot.com Michael Keith

    Mark: “Lutheran is as Lutheran does.”

    In the case of Lutheranism that does not fit.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Shane, I read that link.

    Great essay.

    When I tell people I fear God, they seem surprised, which in turn surprises me.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Shane, I read that link.

    Great essay.

    When I tell people I fear God, they seem surprised, which in turn surprises me.

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  • http://ruthlee86.blogspot.com Ruthie Wagner

    I had a speaking engagement a couple years ago in California. The day I visited, they had a pet ceremony. They held the service outside and people brought there pets, cats, dogs, bird, etc. They sung “All God’s Creatures Have a Place in the Choir” and had crackers/treats and grapes for the animals during communion. The pastor walked around distributing the “elements,” and she blessed each pet. This is the first time I had ever seen this, and people were raving about the positive outreach to the community. I was shocked. I didn’t participate in communion obviously. It was a Lutheran (ELCA) church in California. Let’s just say that everything Lutheran in me cringed.

  • http://ruthlee86.blogspot.com Ruthie Wagner

    I had a speaking engagement a couple years ago in California. The day I visited, they had a pet ceremony. They held the service outside and people brought there pets, cats, dogs, bird, etc. They sung “All God’s Creatures Have a Place in the Choir” and had crackers/treats and grapes for the animals during communion. The pastor walked around distributing the “elements,” and she blessed each pet. This is the first time I had ever seen this, and people were raving about the positive outreach to the community. I was shocked. I didn’t participate in communion obviously. It was a Lutheran (ELCA) church in California. Let’s just say that everything Lutheran in me cringed.

  • E-Raj

    Joe @ 20:

    Finally! I was waiting for someone to bring up this point. The fact that a woman is dispensing communion under the guise of priest(ess) is the primary problem here. To whom (or what) she gives communion is secondary.

  • E-Raj

    Joe @ 20:

    Finally! I was waiting for someone to bring up this point. The fact that a woman is dispensing communion under the guise of priest(ess) is the primary problem here. To whom (or what) she gives communion is secondary.

  • E-Raj

    While I’m thinking about it, what about the person with the dog? Shouldn’t that person have known better as well, and stopped this from happening? Maybe the person was a “first-timer” at that particular church, but he or she obviously knew about going up for communion. Isn’t the dog owner also culpable in this? I mean (heaven forbid) if my pastor ever tried to give my cats communion, I’d enthusiastically deny them the privilege. Then again, I’m not taking my cats up to the front of the church anyway. The result would look like something from the Marx Bros.

  • E-Raj

    While I’m thinking about it, what about the person with the dog? Shouldn’t that person have known better as well, and stopped this from happening? Maybe the person was a “first-timer” at that particular church, but he or she obviously knew about going up for communion. Isn’t the dog owner also culpable in this? I mean (heaven forbid) if my pastor ever tried to give my cats communion, I’d enthusiastically deny them the privilege. Then again, I’m not taking my cats up to the front of the church anyway. The result would look like something from the Marx Bros.

  • WebMonk

    E-Raj, if you had bothered to read the article it explains that the guy was a “first-timer”. It also explains that he was invited up. RTFM. Or maybe RTF Article. :-)

  • WebMonk

    E-Raj, if you had bothered to read the article it explains that the guy was a “first-timer”. It also explains that he was invited up. RTFM. Or maybe RTF Article. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    And the pastor’s hands would end up looking like they display the stigmata! Meow. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    And the pastor’s hands would end up looking like they display the stigmata! Meow. :-)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    If the gentleman was indeed in church for the first time, it’s worth noting that the man didn’t have the right to take the Lord’s Supper, either.

    Good point from Joe on the woman pretending to fill the pastoral office, too. The whole thing is a mess….

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    If the gentleman was indeed in church for the first time, it’s worth noting that the man didn’t have the right to take the Lord’s Supper, either.

    Good point from Joe on the woman pretending to fill the pastoral office, too. The whole thing is a mess….

  • Another Kerner

    Ruthie at #33

    Exactly… there is serious link (transmission belt) to the Animal Rights/Animal Liberation movement’s worldview and the assertion that “all God’s creatures” have “personhood”.

    Joe # 20 and E-Raj #34

    Obviously some Anglicans are ordaining women as priests. Some of the women priests may never think to commune an animal.
    A male priest is just as capable of such an act.

    But this woman did think of it and acted on the thought.

    However, in her mind, it may have to do with the animals’ “Oneness” with the Creator. Recall the title of Smith’s book “A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy.”
    Just read Chapter 1. “Animal Advocacy Isn’t What It Used To Be.”

    Some of the more agressive advocates lobby US and state legislatures
    to insert the “Right Not To Be Property” for animals. And the truly agressive activist’s sometimes smash into labs or zoos releasing animals.
    There is a connection here with the worshiping the earth, some of the green environmentalists, the hating meat- eating crowd, and the anti-hunting crowd.

    Please try to see the interlock. Such animal advocacy is eventually acted upon in whatever role the individual has in society; in this case the Anglican church.

    Animal welfare and “Animal Rights” spring from two different worldviews

    The Lord does tell us that “A righteous man careth of the life of his beast”….

  • Another Kerner

    Ruthie at #33

    Exactly… there is serious link (transmission belt) to the Animal Rights/Animal Liberation movement’s worldview and the assertion that “all God’s creatures” have “personhood”.

    Joe # 20 and E-Raj #34

    Obviously some Anglicans are ordaining women as priests. Some of the women priests may never think to commune an animal.
    A male priest is just as capable of such an act.

    But this woman did think of it and acted on the thought.

    However, in her mind, it may have to do with the animals’ “Oneness” with the Creator. Recall the title of Smith’s book “A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy.”
    Just read Chapter 1. “Animal Advocacy Isn’t What It Used To Be.”

    Some of the more agressive advocates lobby US and state legislatures
    to insert the “Right Not To Be Property” for animals. And the truly agressive activist’s sometimes smash into labs or zoos releasing animals.
    There is a connection here with the worshiping the earth, some of the green environmentalists, the hating meat- eating crowd, and the anti-hunting crowd.

    Please try to see the interlock. Such animal advocacy is eventually acted upon in whatever role the individual has in society; in this case the Anglican church.

    Animal welfare and “Animal Rights” spring from two different worldviews

    The Lord does tell us that “A righteous man careth of the life of his beast”….

  • E-Raj

    WebMonk@36:

    I did read the entire article. The article states that he was a first-timer at that particular church (as I noted), but a valid inference from this would be that he wasn’t necessarily a first-timer to church in general, especially since he thought it right to go up for communion (and they accepted him as they would any baptized member). Also, the article says he was only invited to attend the service, not that he was specifically invited up to receive communion (your words). In preparing this reply, I carefully read the article again, and I’m not seeing what you’re seeing.

  • E-Raj

    WebMonk@36:

    I did read the entire article. The article states that he was a first-timer at that particular church (as I noted), but a valid inference from this would be that he wasn’t necessarily a first-timer to church in general, especially since he thought it right to go up for communion (and they accepted him as they would any baptized member). Also, the article says he was only invited to attend the service, not that he was specifically invited up to receive communion (your words). In preparing this reply, I carefully read the article again, and I’m not seeing what you’re seeing.

  • Cincinnatus

    Shane correctly interprets the issue: this brand of theological liberalism–and “unitarian universalism” more generally–exists to dispense niceness. It is, as Rod Dreher has famously noted, moralistic therapeutic deism.

    This sort of “religion” makes us feel good, and we all need to “feel good” to some extent. Why do they not simply start their own church rather than corrupt what already exists? That I cannot answer fully. Which came first? A corrupting bishop or a corrupt congregation?

  • Cincinnatus

    Shane correctly interprets the issue: this brand of theological liberalism–and “unitarian universalism” more generally–exists to dispense niceness. It is, as Rod Dreher has famously noted, moralistic therapeutic deism.

    This sort of “religion” makes us feel good, and we all need to “feel good” to some extent. Why do they not simply start their own church rather than corrupt what already exists? That I cannot answer fully. Which came first? A corrupting bishop or a corrupt congregation?

  • Cincinnatus

    Oops: Rod Dreher did not coin the term “moralistic therapeutic deism.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moralistic_therapeutic_deism

  • Cincinnatus

    Oops: Rod Dreher did not coin the term “moralistic therapeutic deism.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moralistic_therapeutic_deism

  • WebMonk

    Sorry about that Raj, the fuller story was in another article. He was invited up to receive communion.

    “He said that because he was newcomer the vicar invited him up in person to receive communion.”

    Other articles also specifically state he had never been to church before in his life. (neither had the dog)

    Sorry about wrongly accusing you of not reading the article Veith linked. It was other articles that had facts you guessed wrongly about. One of them is here: http://life.nationalpost.com/2010/07/26/dog%E2%80%99s-anglican-communion-leaves-tongues-wagging/

  • WebMonk

    Sorry about that Raj, the fuller story was in another article. He was invited up to receive communion.

    “He said that because he was newcomer the vicar invited him up in person to receive communion.”

    Other articles also specifically state he had never been to church before in his life. (neither had the dog)

    Sorry about wrongly accusing you of not reading the article Veith linked. It was other articles that had facts you guessed wrongly about. One of them is here: http://life.nationalpost.com/2010/07/26/dog%E2%80%99s-anglican-communion-leaves-tongues-wagging/

  • E-Raj

    No problem, WebMonk. I didn’t take it personally. Now that I know he was actually invited up, and had also never been to church before, well, it definitely puts the blame squarely on the priest.

  • E-Raj

    No problem, WebMonk. I didn’t take it personally. Now that I know he was actually invited up, and had also never been to church before, well, it definitely puts the blame squarely on the priest.


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