Fresh on the heels of federal government audits of such long-standing charities as PEN Canada (which advocates for free speech) and Oxfam, the Harper government has now set its sights on the Catholic Church.
According to anonymous sources with Canada Revenue Agency, the centuries-old religious institution has been targeted by the Harper regime for its opposition to poverty and its steadfast promotion of faith, hope and love.
“A more blatant and nefarious political agenda could hardly be imagined,” said one source.
If found guilty of engaging in political advocacy, the Catholic Church – and all its subsidiary charities – could face a loss of charitable status and the tax benefits such status accrues.
According to sources, Canada Revenue Agency has advised the Catholic Church to abandon its support for the poor and to reject its claims that human salvation is possible.
Catholic spokespersons refused to comment on the matter, but did indicate that there are no looming plans to revise scripture at this time.
Federal Conservatives: handouts are a privilege to be paid for
Opposition parties have decried the move, citing the lengthy heritage of charitable activity by the Catholic Church. They have also noted that this year’s
political persecution audits for political activity could result in the elimination of all charities from the list of registered charities.
“We really don’t see a problem with that,” said a Conservative Party spokesperson. “I mean, we give tax breaks to corporations because they make money and contribute to our re-election campaigns. Registered charities ask people to give *them* money. If they’re going to ask for public handouts, they can bloody well pay the ruling regime for the privilege.”
Canada Revenue Agency has purportedly demanded the Pope meet with auditors and respond to accusations that he has engaged in political activity. Papal spokespersons say the Pope has not had a chance to respond to the demands, due to ongoing obligations in war-torn countries where he is advocating for world peace and harmony.
“The plot thickens,” said a CRA officer.
Jesus Christ: Orange Agent?
Unnamed sources within the Conservative caucus have hinted at other reasons for the Harper government’s targeting of the Catholic Church.
“We have reason to believe Jesus Christ was an NDP activist,” said one source. “While historical records from 2,000 years ago are spotty due to the fall of the Roman Empire and aggression by Hamas against Israel, we have reason to believe he was a card-carrying member!”
The NDP, for their part, have denied that Jesus Christ is, or ever has been, a member of the party.
“Jesus Christ has never paid one cent to Caesar, nor to Tom Mulcair’s NDP,” said a party commissar under condition of anonymity. “Regardless of his name recognition, branding success and social media presence, we would not authorize his nomination as a candidate without subjecting him to a full and rigorous review, including scrutiny of his Facebook photo archive for potentially embarrassing selfies.”
Sources within the Conservative Party scoffed at the denials, and said regardless of Jesus’ political affiliations, it was quite clear the Catholic Church was engaged in political activity.
“I mean, just look at the whole idea that by being good you can get into Heaven,” said one MP on condition of anonymity. “Can you come up with a more clear-cut effort to influence political behaviour? I mean, what sort of message does that send to Canadian mining companies that are engaged in evicting and bullying indigenous communities around the world? Or to the thousands of refugees we’re holding in immigration detention in violation of human rights standards? How are we supposed to implement a neoliberal Conservative austerity agenda if they’re running around putting the fear of God in people?”
Church spokespersons reiterated their commitment to fighting the accusations and defending their charitable status.
“We’ve faced lions. We won’t let Stephen Harper scare us,” said one prelate, nervously thumbing a rosary.
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