Anglican Samizdat

April 28, 2009

The Diocese of Niagara on spreading infectious disease

Filed under: Diocese of Niagara — David Jenkins @ 6:29 pm

The Diocese of Niagara is intent on doing its bit for the eradication of swine flu. To this end, they have for some time forbidden intinction at the Eucharist:

However, he said, the practice of dipping the wafer, called intinction, may carry a higher risk since fingers are also often dipped into the wine. During the SARS outbreak in Canada, at least one diocese, the Diocese of Niagara (Ontario), banned intinction in its churches. The Anglican Church of Canada published on its website a research report on risks of infection and communion practices.

Of course, when it comes to the spreading of AIDS amongst homosexuals, the diocese is considerably less fastidious about who dips what into whom. This is because so many of its clergy are, themselves, enthusiasts of the practice.



  1. Seriously, David, there is no connexion between the two practises, and you don’t present any evidence to back up your suggestion that “many” of the Niagara clergy are homosexual. Given the common misuse of it, forbidding intinction when there is a high risk of infection is actually a legitimate course of action. It’s very true that they should be taking a different approach to AIDS (as they should with many things), but that last paragraph is completely unnecessary.

    Comment by Andrew — April 28, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

  2. Andrew,

    The post was intended to be comical as much as anything.

    That being said, I attempted to choose my words carefully: one can be an enthusiast of a practice without actually being a practitioner. I am a tennis enthusiast, but I don’t play – although I used to when I was younger, fitter, thinner and taller.

    As for evidence: in the final piece of preparation for new priests, Niagara Bishop John Bothwell was in the habit of showing them a hardcore pornographic homosexual film to introduce the innocent to his version of reality. This was in the early 1980s; I would claim this to be the act of an enthusiast.

    Comment by David — April 29, 2009 @ 8:22 am

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