A recent column by Slinger in the Toronto Star has me a bit upset.
It's not so much that his column is completely uninformed, it's the open hostility towards the Catholic Church that offends me.
Is Mr. Slinger really concerned if Paul Martin is excommunicated? How does it affect him? Does Mr. Slinger know what it means to be refused communion, or to be excommunicated?
Let's give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume he's concerned for Paul Martin's status within his church. Then we must ask Mr. Slinger, what is wrong with the actions he claims that the Church is considering?
What the Church is saying is that a person's actions should be consistent with his beliefs. Sounds reasonable to me; anything less is hypocritical. Members of public office, like Paul Martin, since they are visible members of the community and are in leadership roles, need to strive towards setting a good example. When Paul Martin states that he is a devout Catholic, yet supports legislation that is clearly against the teachings of the Catholic Church, his actions are not consistent with his professed beliefs. And because his actions are much more public than my actions, for example, the consequences of those actions must also be more public.
If the Catholic Church decides that public officials should be refused communion if they publically, repeatedly, and persistently support legislation that is contrary to the teachings of the Church, then this is well within the Church's right. Paul Martin's human rights are not being violated. He has the free choice to decide to support unethical legislation and the Church has the free choice to discipline him for that choice.
All's fair in news and war now; apparently you don't need to do your research before doing either one.