Trying to pack, but so. many. things.
One being: Who gives a fuck about Romeo Leblanc because Stephen Harper may or may not have pocketed a cracker (the video cuts away and it seems that he pocketed it, but his spokesperson claims that he ate it after that). I can’t believe I’m even talking about this. Perspective, Catholics. Seriously.
I mostly agree with Hemant: He was screwed whatever he did. BUT he probably should have better handlers who could explain what non-Catholics are supposed to do at a Catholic service before they showed up and/or asked the priest. From the fracas that’s going on, I assume they didn’t — or they talked about it and didn’t think hanging on to it would be a big deal. The host was probably not even on their radar of important things to think about — for a very good reason: because it’s not important to anyone else.
The Catholics themselves don’t make their own rules clear. Typically Protestants don’t take communion with Catholics. But apparently there are exceptions for special occasions? I didn’t know that. Do a lot of people know that? What’s the polite thing to do — especially if you’re the Prime Minister? A non-Catholic taking communion ever was a big no-no according to my catechism classes.
Anyway rather than getting all offended, how about the Catholics do something constructive and explain their rules to other people so that they would know what to do or would at least be aware of the important aspects of a Catholic service for when they attend. At services I’ve been to (most recently a funeral, as well), many people didn’t take communion and no one was offended that I saw — because it was a given that Protestants don’t take communion with Catholics. I didn’t even have to out myself as an Atheist because I just looked like another Protestant.
People generally know about their own church and not necessarily so much about the nit-picky things of other churches. The Prime Minister should probably be aware of these cultural differences, though…that doesn’t mean he has to “respect” the Catholic church or faith in general, as some have suggested (see link below). It just may be beneficial for him as a politician to know what is the polite thing to do at any religious service or secular function (i.e., it would be impolite to mention god a bunch of times at an atheist/skeptic/secular/humanist/etc event).
But anyway, how about some decency and understanding from the offended Catholics (given the situation) and let the media attention go where it’s deserved — remembering the former governor general? Or is that too much to ask? The communion wafer is important to you, got it, ok. But can you possibly contemplate how it’s not that important to other people, and maybe they don’t know what they are supposed to do with it, and calm the fuck down, please?