Well of course the queen is down with it

Oh yay, Canada gets to have a Pope John Paul II Day.

It what? Why would it even want such a thing? Why would anyone want such a thing?

The Catholic Register gives us the skinny.

The bill to establish Pope John Paul II Day passed the Senate Dec. 16 and has received royal assent.

Conservative MP Wladyslaw Lizon introduced private member’s Bill C-266, an Act to establish Pope John Paul II Day, in 2011. The bill designates April 2 as Pope John Paul II Day, though does not make it a legal holiday or non-juridical day.

In a statement, Lizon described the passage of the bill as a “proud but very emotional moment.”

Lizon’s bill passed the House of Commons in the spring of 2013 with support from members of all three major political parties. But it faced some snags in the Senate due to concerns the bill was honouring a religious figure.

Well quite. If any one human being on the planet is unmistakably a religious figure, it’s the pope. What’s a secular government doing creating a specific-pope day?

Lizon had argued Pope John Paul II’s legacy was far more than religious.

“Pope John Paul II’s work transcended so many boundaries,” said Lizon. “He promoted the values of peace and tolerance along with his strong stand against human rights violations. These are values that resonate deeply in our country and with Canadians. This was the motivation of this legislation.”

Bullshit. The Catholic church ferociously opposes many core human rights, especially those relating to women. John Paul was a reactionary on that subject.

They should change the date of his day to July 37.


  1. says

    Considering the history of the catholic cult in Canada (*), highly inappropriate doesn’t even begin to describe the obscenity of doing this. The catholic cult is a minority of the populace, even within Quebec, so why create “pope john pedophile II day”?

    (* re: “residential schools” and their two crimes – the mass rape of children, the cultural genocide of the First Nations people)

  2. says

    To be picky the Queen didn’t actually do anything. It’s the Governor-general David Johnston, her official stand-in, who did the actual assenting. Not that it would have made any difference if she had, she would have had to assent, or have a virtually impossible to imagine reason not to.

  3. Eric O says

    I just looked at Wikipedia to see what other events and people could be commemorated on April 2 instead:


    – Completed construction of the CN Tower (1975). Definitely an engineering marvel that Canadians could get all teary eyed and nationalistic about if we were so inclined.
    – First female premiere of a Canadian province (1991). Rita Johnston in BC. She was part of the Social Credit Party, which isn’t something to be proud of (they were pretty right-wing), but it’s still noteworthy.
    – Birth of Kurt Winter from The Guess Who (1946). He’s cool, I guess. Never really listened much to the band but I like some of their songs.
    – Birth of Alec Guinness. He’s not Canadian, but he’s an actor that most Canadians respect. Flimsy reasoning, maybe, but it’s no worse than the reasoning behind Pope Jean-Paul II day.

  4. RJW says

    The Catholic Church was about the only independent organisation left during the period of the Communist regime in Poland, so there’s more than religious sentiment involved.
    Some people, not all of them Catholics, claim that John Paul II was instrumental in the collapse of the Communist system, that’s why he is regarded as a human rights advocate.

    The Canadians don’t even get a holiday.

  5. Lenard Lindstrom says

    As a Canadian I am disgusted that C-266 passed. It implies federal endorsement of a specific religion, Roman Catholicism. Even so, many opposition Members of Parliament voted in favour of C-266. Could it be they wanted to share some of John Paul II’s popularity? Once again image trumps principles in politics.

  6. sigurd jorsalfar says

    In fairness to the queen, ‘royal assent’ has nothing to do with her. Royal assent is granted by the governor general, and is, for the most part, a formality.

  7. sailor1031 says

    WTF is next? Heinrich Kissinger day?

    Note to left0ver1under: Quebec, I’m happy to say, is the most secular province of Canada. As my nephews from Ste Julie tell me “nobody believes that stuff anymore”.

  8. says

    Well that just made me throw up in my mouth a little. I am Canadian and I am not happy about this!

    Though not terribly surprised considering that we have religious fundies currently in power.

  9. grumpyoldfart says

    On Pope Day each year, get every Canadian blogger and journalist to publish a list of crimes committed by the Catholic Church. Turn it into an embarrassment for the pedophile protecting clown.

  10. RossR says

    Those who aren’t Catholic could instead celebrate April Fools’ Other Day, perhaps with pointy hats and red shoes.

  11. Decker says

    Note to left0ver1under: Quebec, I’m happy to say, is the most secular province of Canada. As my nephews from Ste Julie tell me “nobody believes that stuff anymore”.

    There are a lot of conversions to Islam in Québec. So many that I’m beginning to think that the current secular period is but a brief, transitory interlude. The slate has been wiped clean of Catholicism and is now ready for another religious script. The Quebecois in their 20s and 30s who’ve no knowledge or experience with Catholicism, or indeed any religion, are particularly vulnerable because religion is once again “new” and Islam is about the only religion that enjoys a high public profile and immunity from criticism because such criticism has been conflated with racism and bigotry, a conflation established, ironically, by those traditionally most opposed to religion. The number of mosques has mushroomed and one often sees young French Canadian women in hijabs. Some studies done in Western Europe claim that 70% of new converts to Islam are young women and so I suppose it’s much the same here.

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