Rory Leishman

How can Paul Martin sleep at night? Judging from his public statements and frequent attendance at Mass, he sincerely considers himself a devout Catholic, yet has no compunction about publicly flouting the most solemn and authoritative moral teachings of his church.

In an interview with a Vancouver radio station in June, Martin was asked specifically about his defiance of the Catholic church on the issue of same-sex “marriage.” “I’m actually a very strong Roman Catholic,” he explained. “But I’m also a legislator and I believe that clearly, what I’ve got to do is take the widest perspective possible. And that perspective leads me to believe that the Charter of Rights is a fundamental pillar of our democracy.”

It matters not to Martin that when the Charter was enacted in 1982, no one perceived any conflict between that document and the teachings of the Christian church. In his view, the Charter is whatever the Supreme Court says it is. As soon as the court made clear that it was about to declare that same-sex “marriage” is required by the equality rights for homosexuals that the court had previously read into Section 15 of the Charter, Martin abandoned his public support for the traditional definition of marriage.

Martin, of course, is not the only Catholic official to have renounced the teaching of his church on marriage. Madam Justice Eileen Gillese of the Ontario Court of Appeal has done the same. Despite her understanding as a Catholic that marriage is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, she participated in the unprincipled ruling in Halpern, which imposed same-sex marriage on Canadians.

Former chief justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada was no less disposed to divorce his professed Christian beliefs from his judicial behaviour. While representing himself as a Catholic, he joined with the majority of the Court in the catastrophic 1988 Morgentaler ruling that invoked the Charter as a pretense for ending all legal protection for the life of a baby in the womb.

At least the Roman Catholic church is finally showing some reluctance to condone such gross affronts to Christian teaching. Bishop Paul Marchand of Timmins has taken the lead by barring Charlie Angus, New Democrat MP for Timmins-James Bay, from receiving Communion, because he voted for the Martin government’s bill on same-sex “marriage.”

In response, Angus has accused the bishop of violating the separation of church and state. “As a legislator, I have to represent the Catholics and the non-Catholics,” said Angus. “I can’t be taking my orders from the pulpit. Religious pressure is not the basis for informing your conscience.”

This argument misrepresents the issue. Marchand has simply resolved that Angus cannot receive Communion so long as he openly and flagrantly violates the commandments of Christ as declared in sacred Scripture and authoritatively interpreted by the teaching magisterium of the church. In the judgement of Marchand, legislators like Angus have no God-given exemption from the universal laws of morality.

Liberal MP Joe Comuzzi understands this point well. To his everlasting credit, he fulfilled his Christian duty by quitting his cabinet post rather than obey Martin’s illegitimate order to vote for the same-sex “marriage” bill.

Christian judges have a similar obligation to resign if confronted by an irreconcilable conflict between their core Christian beliefs and their sworn duty to uphold the law. In the past, no such conflict could have arisen, because the laws and the Constitution of Canada were grounded in the basic principles of Judeo-Christian morality.

Today, that is no longer the case. Thanks to the decisions of rogue judges and unprincipled politicians, Canadian laws are riddled with such excesses as legalized abortion on demand and the possession of self-created child pornography. Thanks to the Halpern ruling, judges are required by law to join a same-sex couple in “marriage” upon request. Rather than perform such a travesty of a marriage ceremony, a Christian judge should resign from the bench.