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Montrealer faces charge of cultic activity over ‘illegal’ Catholic mass
National Post ^ | September 27, 2011

Posted on 09/28/2011 6:34:21 AM PDT by NYer

MONTREAL — Paula Celani will be in a Montreal courtroom Nov. 1 fighting a fine for attending an illegal Roman Catholic Mass.

Canadians of all religious faiths – and even those who care only about protecting Charter freedoms – should cross their fingers that she wins.

Celani actually showed up to fight the case this week. Alas, three public sector “witnesses” expected to testify against her were no shows so the matter was delayed until the day after Halloween.

“I’m not sure why I’m the one who has to make the effort to come back when they’re the ones who didn’t show up,” Celani said after Tuesday’s brief hearing before Judge Jean-Pierre Bessette. “It doesn’t make sense, but then nothing about this does. It’s ridiculous.”

Ridiculous doesn’t begin to describe it. Frightening is a much better place to start for the events that began with an entirely uneventful gathering of a Catholic group on October 4, 2009. Celani is the one in court only because her signature was on a $700 rental contract for the use of two rooms in a city-owned complex called La Maison du Brasseur in the borough of Lachine, just west of downtown Montreal.

About 100 people belonging to a lay Catholic association used the rooms to watch some inspirational videos and have a potluck lunch together. Oh, and horror of horrors, they sang songs and held a Mass behind closed doors. Then everyone went home. End of story. Or so it seemed.

Except that seven months later, in April 2010, Celani received a $144 ticket for having allowed the Mass to take place.

(Excerpt) Read more at life.nationalpost.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Politics; Worship
KEYWORDS: canada; montreal; quebec

1 posted on 09/28/2011 6:34:24 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
What Celani and her group did not realize was that they were being “observed” by three employees of the borough of Lachine working at the complex that day. In fact, no one had warned Celani, or anyone else in the group, that a Catholic Mass is now a legally prohibited activity in parts of Quebec.
2 posted on 09/28/2011 6:36:01 AM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer
Hunh. It's 1600 all over again.

Or whatever year that was.

3 posted on 09/28/2011 6:37:31 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (...then they came for the guitars, and we kicked their sorry faggot asses into the dust)
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To: kristinn; HonestConservative; holdonnow

ping


4 posted on 09/28/2011 6:38:44 AM PDT by AliVeritas (Purloined from the PeoplesCube: http://thepeoplescube.com)
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To: NYer

??

What is the problem? I bet they have no issue with renting meeting rooms to NAMBLA or Muslims.


5 posted on 09/28/2011 6:40:53 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: NYer

You cut the article off at the most important part.

**********

Except that seven months later, in April 2010, Celani received a $144 ticket for having allowed the Mass to take place.

By so doing, she had broken a bylaw that prohibits “cultic” activity such as “praying, singing religious songs or conducting religious celebrations.” Under the same regulations, interestingly, renters are allowed to serve liquor provided they have the necessary permits. They are forbidden, however, from using propane tanks to cook inside the building. So, you can get hammered in La Maison du Brasseur. You just can’t blow the place up or mention God.

What Celani and her group did not realize was that they were being “observed” by three employees of the borough of Lachine working at the complex that day. In fact, no one had warned Celani, or anyone else in the group, that a Catholic Mass is now a legally prohibited activity in parts of Quebec.

Still, the observers dutifully filed reports attesting that the law had been ravaged by prayer, song and thanksgiving.

One of the employees, Virginie Gagnon, complained some of the group were even guilty of “soliciting” by attempting to sell rosary beads within the Maison du Brasseur precincts.

(In fact, Celani admits, some younger members were selling rosaries to their friends to raise money for an aid project in Haiti. In the immortal words of Ebenezer Scrooge: ”Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?”)

Elsewhere in the 15-page document that forms the evidentiary basis for the case against Celani, an employee/witness named Francois Vaillancourt notes that in one video a man on the screen was “speaking in Italian, I believe.” Italian, eh? Suspicious, that. No doubt some kind of code these Catholics use among themselves. Kind of like Latin for Mafioso.

Such low-rent absurdity can’t be allowed to obscure the very real, very serious, very frightening abuse of Charter-guaranteed freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of religion here.

By what authority can municipal pipsqueaks in Montreal or Lachine or anywhere else for that matter, decide that “religious songs” are anathema while hip-hop music, to take one genre, is just ducky?

Under what mandate can they forbid a group of people from renting a room to quietly celebrate their faith, yet allow, say, a group of louts to rent space to set up a TV and collectively drink their faces off watching the Canadiens lose to the Leafs during the Stanley Cup playoffs? (Okay, bad example because it will never happen. But you get my point.)

And finally, how do they dare go against established Charter law that freedom of religion doesn’t just mean the freedom to keep one’s faith in one’s head. It means the freedom to live out that faith within the very wide ambit of reasonable behavior in a free and democratic society?

With luck, these questions will all be answered Nov. 1 when Judge Jean-Pierre Bessette throws out the ticket and Paula Celani walks out of the courtroom with a big smile on her face, having won one for freedom. Fingers crossed. If not, if the fine is upheld, we are in frightening times indeed.

- Peter Stockland is director of the Cardus Centre for Cultural Renewal and a former editor in chief of Montreal’s The Gazette newspaper

.


6 posted on 09/28/2011 6:45:37 AM PDT by Larry Lucido (I can only be series in a parallel universe.)
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To: NYer
The comment section of the article is eyeopening!

Apparently, the Church can't allow rentals of church halls for traditional weddings because if they turned a homosexual wedding down they would be in violation of whatever passes for ‘law’ in Quebec.

Unused rectories are being torn down because of the same rental ‘laws.’ If the church refuses to rent to those who are in opposition to church teachings, they are in violation.

How long before this comes to the US? We are fortunate enough to have a First Amendment, but even that is being abrogated.

7 posted on 09/28/2011 6:46:36 AM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: NYer

Forget the “crossing of fingers” ....and go for praying and working against such nonsense.


8 posted on 09/28/2011 6:50:37 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: NYer
Oh well now... the story is about Quebec. this is nothing new for Quebec whose idea of religious freedom is the right to ask permission of the “authorities”. In French of course, moansewer.
9 posted on 09/28/2011 7:04:48 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: NYer

Jawdropping! How can this hapen in a “Christian” country, much less in “Catholic” Quebec?


10 posted on 09/28/2011 7:06:46 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

You really haven’t been paying attention to what’s been happening in Quebec for... the past 40 years?


11 posted on 09/28/2011 7:23:20 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Ecrasez l'infame.)
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To: the invisib1e hand
1500 ~ by 1600 everybody was being distracted by Philippe II of Spain ~ the playboy king. His solution to "the Protestant problem" was to resettle them OUT of the Hapsburg Empire (Spain got pretty big in those days) along a strip of land on the East Coast of North America stretching from roughly 54'40 down to about where the Savanna river enters the Atlantic.

He was going to solve "the French problem" (equally large in his mind) by giving them a hunk of North America ~ with some pretty definite dimensions all the way West of Hudson's Bay (in territory no one had realized had already been explored and marked by Spanish surveyors).

Details on a settlement with Russia (and the Orthodox, another Protestant like problem, but with dimensions similar to the French problem) would come later, but the border was set at 54'40. No one had done much inland study of Alaska so they had no idea who wanted what to do with which to whom.

That was the genius solution to the intractible problems of Europe ~ and by 1604 when Philippe crammed down the deal in the Treaty of London, he had bought Europe 20 years of peace.

Think of that ~ AMERICA, as we know it, was founded in the name of 20 years of peace ~ not more ~ because they discovered they were all working towards THE THIRTY YEARS WAR.

That, too, had its religious elements, but mostly it was about politics and Sweden.

New France was created by Philippe without a single thought towards religious liberty for Catholics ~ THAT WOULD BE THE ONLY CHURCH ALLOWED.

I do believe that Quebec law violates the very foundation of their existence.

Now we have people in America who don't like the idea that folks of diverse religious beliefs have the liberty to exercise them, but that's what we were created for ~ and for no other reason. Philippe's father, Philippe I wished to destroy Protestantism, but II didn't think that was all that wise, besides there were all those strange folks throughout the Hapsburg Empire to be dealt with. He preferred to party so he carved out the ghetto and let it fester!

Frankly, I think we've done much better than New France!

12 posted on 09/28/2011 7:23:52 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: OpusatFR

We have the Second Amendment available to protect our First Amendment rights. All of us should be willing to defend.


13 posted on 09/28/2011 7:25:36 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: OpusatFR

It’s been here for a long time. In many places you cannot rent public space for religious functions.


14 posted on 09/28/2011 7:26:15 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

I guess not. I’ve always assumed that the few reports I’ve heard were overblown hyperbole — that the real peple didn’t think that way. Those “employees” sound like something out of East Germany in the 1950s.


15 posted on 09/28/2011 7:26:38 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: count-your-change
People tend to forget that Quebec is populated mostly by French people whose forebears came here at a time when it was necessary even in France under an extremely Catholic King (Louis XIV) for a church to get the permission of the government to parade from the Sanctuary to the graveyard.

France was as bad under that regime as it had been in the 1100 to 1500 period ~ and though folks might think the RC church was paramount, all the priests were nobles' sons, and the Kings named the bishops, and Cardinals were ordinarily wealthy married men who were also cousins of the royals.

The heirs of Hugh Capet OWNED IT ALL!

I doubt it ever occurred to a Quebecer that you can do religion on your own without a government permit ~ why would it be otherwise?

16 posted on 09/28/2011 7:32:25 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: afraidfortherepublic
One view of Quebec, from 16 years ago. And it's much, much worse now.
17 posted on 09/28/2011 7:33:22 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Ecrasez l'infame.)
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To: muawiyah

all I was really saying was, it’s the dark ages all over again. no wonder islam is ascendant.


18 posted on 09/28/2011 7:51:05 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (...then they came for the guitars, and we kicked their sorry faggot asses into the dust)
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To: OpusatFR

You can already get sued in the US for refusing to rent a space or provide a service for a “gay wedding.”

I think a lot of Catholic churches are going to have to find some other way of renting their space (not only for weddings, but for lectures or other events), or will probably have to quit renting it altogether.


19 posted on 09/28/2011 1:59:58 PM PDT by livius
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To: Straight Vermonter
It’s been here for a long time. In many places you cannot rent public space for religious functions

Just where is it that a landlord cannot rent to someone who wants to use his property for religious purposes?

20 posted on 09/28/2011 7:29:00 PM PDT by terycarl (lurking, but well informed)
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To: terycarl

The article is about government owned property. That’s also what I was referring to.


21 posted on 09/29/2011 1:20:10 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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