St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Toronto, Canada, doesn’t like turning people away. So when Donald Keith was told by police he couldn’t sit on the church’s steps while the international economic meeting of G20 countries was in session nearby, church members simply invited him in to join their service.
Trapper, his German shepherd rescue dog was welcomed in, too.
And when it was time to step forward for communion, Donald took Trapper with him.
Wafers! Trapper, like any dog, looked up at the source of the tasty treat, and interim priest Marguerite Rae obligingly dropped one into his mouth with a smile. (No wine, though.)
Needless to say (sorry to say), one member of the congregation took objection and wrote to the bishop. The complaint was not so much that Trapper is a dog, but that he hadn’t been baptized … and that Jesus wouldn’t have liked it.
No one can say for sure what Jesus would or would not have had to say about this violation of church policy. (Maybe something to the effect that whoever is without sin could cast the first biscuit.)
Anyway, the bishop confirmed that it’s not church policy to give communion to non-humans; the Rev. Rae has not commented; and the people’s warden, Peggy Needham, told local newspapers that most people didn’t think it was that big a deal. “I think it was this natural reaction: here’s this dog, and he’s just looking up, and she’s giving the wafers to people and she just gave one to him,” she said. “Anybody might have done that. It’s not like [the interim priest was] trying to create a revolution.”
Donald has been told that he’s welcome back in church, but that Trapper can’t take communion. Donald will just have to keep a supply of wafers in his own pocket.