St. Peterâ€™s Anglican Church has long been known as an open and inclusive place.
So open, it seems, they wonâ€™t turn anyone away. Not even a dog.
Thatâ€™s how a blessed canine ended up receiving communion from interim priest Rev. Marguerite Rea during a morning service the last Sunday in June.
According to those in attendance at the historical church at 188 Carlton St. in downtown Toronto, it was a spontaneous gesture, one intended to make both the dog and its owner â€“ a first timer at the church â€” feel welcomed. But at least one parishioner saw the act as an affront to the rules and regulations of the Anglican Church. He filed a complaint with the reverend and with the Anglican Diocese of Toronto about the incident â€“ and has since left the church.
â€œI wrote back to the parishioner that it is not the policy of the Anglican Church to give communion to animals,â€ said Bishop Patrick Yu, the area bishop of York-Scarborough responsible for St. Peterâ€™s, who received the complaint in early July. â€œI can see why people would be offended. It is a strange and shocking thing, and I have never heard of it happening before.
â€œI think the reverend was overcome by what I consider a misguided gesture of welcoming.â€
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