Dog Eats God? Canine Receives Communion

A dog walks into a church and receives communion. This isn't the start of a joke. In fact, some think it's no laughing matter that...

Maria Goodavage  |  Jul 26th 2010


communion_A dog walks into a church and receives communion.

This isn’t the start of a joke. In fact, some think it’s no laughing matter that a dog recently wolfed down a wafer that represents the body of Christ at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, in Toronto.

It all started when church newcomer Donald Keith walked up to receive communion. His dog Trapper, being faithful (although perhaps not faith filled), went with him.

According to the Toronto Star, in a spontaneous gesture to make Trapper and Keith feel welcome, the interim priest offered communion not only to Keith, but to Trapper.

I think it was this natural reaction: Heres this dog, and hes just looking up, and shes giving the wafers to people and she just gave one to him, Peggy Needham, the deputy people’s warden, told the Star. Anybody might have done that. Its not like shes trying to create a revolution.

But a few days later a parishioner complained, and subsequently left the church. Word got out, and there’s been a mini storm of controversy about this act. Those against it have arguments like these:

1. Communion is to commemorate Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. “Our”, meaning “We”, meaning Humans. Thus a dog does not apply — Jesus sacrifice wasn’t FOR a dog’s sins.

2. Communion is for those who’ve accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins. Thus a dog does not apply — he hasn’t accepted Jesus sacrifice.

3. Communion is for those who’ve accepted Jesus’ sacrifice to save their souls. Dogs don’t have souls, therefore does not apply.

Trapper, post-communion, and Donald Keith. Is it just me, or does Trapper look a little concerned about having opened up such a can of worms? (Photo: DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)

The flap over this innocent act continues. But according to a story in Catholic Culture, the local bishop decided that while Trapper could no longer receive communion, he was always welcome at the church. (The church has a dog-friendly policy.)

And the church itself does not have a big problem with what happened.

In his email, the mans argument was that Christ wouldnt have liked it, Needham said. But in my opinion, Christ would have thought it was neat. It was just being human. And it made everyone smile.

I now open this up to Dogsters: What do you think? Have you ever attended church or temple or any religious service with your dog (other than for a blessing of the animals)? What are your thoughts about the reverend offering the dog the eucharist? Would you beam or bemoan if you saw this happen? And how do you feel about the argument that dogs don’t have souls? I can’t wait to read what you have to say. 🙂