23-January-2003 -- Catholic World News Brief |

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NON-CATHOLIC PRO-ABORT CANADIAN GOVERNOR-GENERAL RECEIVES COMMUNION FROM BISHOP

OTTAWA, Jan 23, 03 (LSN.ca/CWNews.com) - A photo in Wednesday's Ottawa Citizen newspaper taken in September shows Canadian Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson receiving Communion from Ottawa Archbishop Marcel Gervais. The photo and commentary has stirred a controversy since Clarkson is not a Catholic but an Anglican. Moreover, Clarkson is known to support abortion and marriage rights for homosexuals.

Clarkson was listed in 1983 as one of eighteen "Honorary Directors" of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League. In 2001 Clarkson sent official congratulations to homosexual activists who staged a "marriage" in Toronto's Metropolitan Community Church. The Canadian Bishops Conference sent an official letter criticizing Clarkson for the letter.

Archbishop Gervais said through his spokesman Gabrielle Tass that ""the governor-general should not have come forward. It is not a policy in the Church to give Communion to people of other faiths." However, he said he did not want to "make a scene about it and refuse Communion."

Clarkson's spokesman Stewart Wheeler said that the Governor-General regularly flouts Catholic law and takes Communion. She "does take communion in Roman Catholic services. She attends Mass fairly regularly in Quebec City at the basilica," he said.

Art Babych, an Ottawa-based writer for the Catholic Register and other Catholic publications across Canada, took the photograph which sparked the debate. Babych was shocked by the lack of response on the matter from official diocesan newspapers, none of which he says even published the photo.

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