Vicar makes dog's dinner of communion
An Anglican church in Canada has become the focus of controversy after a vicar gave holy communion to a pet dog.
The priest gave communion bread, considered by Anglicans to represent the body of Jesus Christ, to an Alsatian-cross called Trapper.
St Peter's Anglican Church in Toronto has been deluged with complaints by Christians throughout the country.
Donald Keith, the dog's owner, said he took his pet to the church because he had heard animals were welcome. Because he was a newcomer, the vicar, the Rev Marguerite Rea, invited him to receive communion.
"The minister said, 'Come up and take communion', and Trapper came up with me and the minister gave him communion as well," said Mr Keith. "It was a nice way to welcome me into the church.
"There was an old lady in the front just beaming when she saw this.
"Ninety-nine-point-nine per cent of the people in the church love Trapper and the kids play with him."
He claimed that one member of the congregation was unhappy and complained to the archbishop. The dog has since been banned from receiving holy communion.
Mrs Rea has since apologised to the area bishop, Patrick Yu, who was sent to investigate the complaint. He said the vicar was "quite embarrassed".
The bishop said it was "not the policy of the church to give communion to animals".
He added: "Unless there is any further evidence that she is giving communion to animals, the matter is closed.
"We are, after all, in the forgiveness and repair business." (© Daily Telegraph, London)