I hope he remembered before he dropped the suit off at the cleaner's

Did you hear about how Stephen Harper may have been wandering around with a piece of Jesus in his suit pocket? The Telegraph-Journal explains:

A senior New Brunswick Roman Catholic priest is demanding the Prime Minister’s Office explain what happened to the sacramental communion wafer Stephen Harper was given at Roméo LeBlanc’s funeral mass.

During communion at the solemn and dignified service held last Friday in Memramcook for the former governor general, the prime minister slipped the thin wafer that Catholics call “the host” into his jacket pocket.

In Catholic understanding, the host – once consecrated by a priest for the Eucharist – becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ. It is crucial that the small wafer be consumed when it is received.

Monsignor Brian Henneberry, vicar general and chancellor in the Diocese of Saint John, wants to know whether the prime minister consumed the host and, if not, what happened to it.

If Harper accepted the host but did not consume it, “it’s worse than a faux pas, it’s a scandal from the Catholic point of view,” he said.

Here’s why this is so off-the-charts ridiculous: to be convinced that this is, in fact, scandalous behaviour on the Prime Minister’s part one has to literally believe the notion that a tiny wafer blessed by a priest becomes the actual body and blood of Jesus. This is absurd, of course, but let’s say you enjoy dogma and you accept this on its face. You then have to deem it an outrageous affront to put said wafer in your pocket, but eating it (and, uh, shitting it later) it is okay. I know, I know, Jesus said eat this blah, drink this blah. But if you actually spend fifteen seconds thinking rationally about this rather than reciting scripture, it’s painfully obvious that this is a non-issue.

Then again, expecting rational thought on a topic at the intersection of politics and religion might be asking too much. Isn’t that right, Diane Ablonczy?

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