Stephen Harper has welcomed the news that a fellow religious extremist turned head of state, Benedict XVI, is officially turning a long-dead Mohawk woman named Katherine Tekakwitha into a saint. This is “a deep honour for our country,” he claims. Apparently the fact that Tekakwitha died in 1680, before there was a Canada, doesn’t alter the “honor” calculus at all. Harper doesn’t honour Aboriginal land claims, but he’s happy to claim their “saints” as Canadian.
More to the point, though, it’s worth pointing out to the Dear Leader that officially one does not become a Catholic saint by being a good person. According to Catholic doctrine, one becomes a saint by performing two miracles. That’s what Harper is endorsing here, not the honouring of an ancient Canadian indigenous woman.
And honouring for what, exactly? Does anyone in the PMO know why she is famous? Are they suggesting we should all swear ourselves to celibacy and walk across beds of hot coals to show our devotion to God? Is abstinance official Cabinet policy now? That’s going to come as one hell of a disappointment to Vic Toews, and to a few other ministers as well.
The two miracles, you’ll be interested to know, are that the smallpox scars on Katherine’s face vanished moments after she died, and a young boy whose life-threatening infection was magically cured several years ago after praying to Katherine to intercede. It was also “magically” cured after he was given a truckload of antibiotics, but I’m sure we all know what really cured him. Right?
This hokey claptrap is not an “honour” to Canada. Incidentally, Benedict XVI also says that God’s chief representatives on Earth are always, and only, men, because God thinks women are just not able to fill such positions of authority. Not a problem for Harper — his church is currently debating whether or not God thinks women can be pastors or not, too. I personally have no truck with such a God, and neither should my country. Take your sainthood and go back to the Vatican, Benedict. You can come out when you promise to share the toys with the other half of the human species.Tweet