Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Saturday Stub: Not Catholic Enough for Canada

Posted by Ethan Clow on September 24, 2011

Welcome to another Saturday Stub, where I take some bit of interesting something and present here for you all to enjoy and consider, at least for a little while, this is Saturday after all.

Earlier in the week I came across this story in the National Post: Name Mary’s mother, and other tests of a refugee claim.

Needless to say, this caught my eye.

So what is the story about? Basically, a refugee from China, a Mr. Mao Qin Wang, fled to Canada because he was being persecuted for his religious beliefs in China. According to the article:

“Mr. Wang, 26, says he turned to religion after his father was seriously injured in an accident and a friendly Catholic said he was praying for him. When his father improved, he started attending his friend’s underground church in 2007, he says.”

However the Chinese government shut down his church, calling it an illegal religious establishment. They soon came after him as well and so Mr. Wang decided to flee the country. After paying a smuggler $30,000 to get into Canada, he filed for refugee status saying he would face “arrest, jail and maltreatment because of his religious beliefs if returned to China.”

The next step was for Mr. Wang to prove he was Catholic enough. After all, we here in Canada can’t just open the flood gates to everyone feeling religious persecution, you need to prove that you’re really as religious as you claim. Otherwise, we could be overrun with fake Catholics. (Maybe an expert on immigration would inform me on the true danger of fake Catholics?)

Anyway, so Mr. Wang fell into the hands of Rose Andrachuk, an IRB adjudicator who previously was chairwoman of the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Andrachuk decide to quiz Wang on his knowledge of Catholic dogma to see just what sort of Catholic he was. Turns out, Wang isn’t so up to speed on the finer points of Catholicism. When asked who was Mary’s mother and who was John the Baptist’s mother, Wang was clueless. The answer is Anne and Elizabeth, DUHHHH!

Jesus' Grandma

To quote the article again:

“The claimant was asked whether the consecrated wafer or the bread represents the body of Jesus or whether it is the body of Jesus. The claimant responded that it represented the body of Jesus, which is incorrect,” she wrote in her IRB decision.

She continued: “The claimant was asked to tell the panel what happens at Mass from the beginning to end. The claimant listed introductory rites, liturgy of the Word, liturgy of Eucharist and conclusion rites, which is correct. The claimant was asked to explain introductory rites. He replied that it is sprinkling of water and priest’s blessing. Neither are essential parts of introductory rites.”

This guy is worse than a fake, he sounds like a Protestant!

So to summarize, Wang knew Mary was Jesus’ mom and that Jesus was baptized by the aptly named John the Baptist. But he couldn’t name of Mary and John’s mothers; Wang correctly answered questions about the rosary and the seven sacraments; he named books of the Old Testament but didn’t know what they were about; and he failed to note that 2009 was dedicated to St. Paul by the Catholic Church… that fucking heathen!

Based on all this, Andrachuk ruled that Wang was unlikely to be a real Catholic. However, Mr Wang appealed this decision to the Federal Court of Canada where it was decided that Mr. Wang was held to “an unreasonably high standard of religious knowledge.”

What’s my take in all this? Personally, I think Andrachuk was being a dick. The arrogance of this woman that she and she alone knows what makes a True Catholic, a True And Genuine Believer no less. One really has to wonder who else Andrachuk has thrown out of the country because they couldn’t meet her unreasonably high standard of Catholic Trivia Pursuit? Let’s not forget that Mr. Wang needed a translator for his quiz, and perhaps we should also consider he was from an underground church! Perhaps not the best place to learn the intricacies of Catholic mythology?

What really annoys me is the confidence that Andrachuk has that she knows the One True Faith and that she gets to sit on a high horse and dictate who measures up to her benchmark of a “true Catholic” Now I could make a comment about sexual abuse and where that fits in with who a real Catholic is but I think you all already know what I think about that.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s