Fox News personality Laura Ingraham was lectured on geography and fact-checking after tweeting a story from a right-wing media agency that hysterically and inaccurately claimed the city of Toronto, Canada, was using COVID-19 as an excuse to ban Holy Communion in Catholic churches.
“Will Joe Biden do more to protect religious liberty than Donald Trump? Not a prayer,” the conspiracy-pushing conservative tweeted.
Commenters were quick to point out that Communion isn’t being banned, Toronto isn’t in the United States and Joe Biden — a Catholic — has nothing to do with either of those things.
“Hey Laura, I live in Toronto and if either Trump or Biden start deciding what goes on here we have a serious problem because Toronto is in Canada eh,” wrote one Twitter user.
“The City of Toronto has banned nothing,” tweeted another critic. “The Archdiocese of Toronto has modified Communion in line with the tenets of the faith. So what you’re saying is that you want government to override the faith based decisions of religious institutions to suit your right wing agenda.”
The Archdiocese of Toronto modified the fashion in which its Eucharist transpired last month when Canada entered stage two of its reopening after being shutdown by the coronavirus pandemic.
Though an advisory from city health officials seemed to create some confusion about how Communion would work in this new era, the Catholic magazine America magazine clarified Friday that churchgoers in Canada had been taking Communion by hand, though not orally, for the past month.
Archdiocese public relations director Neal MacCarthy said Friday that church officials had been in regular contact with government officials throughout the reopening process. He reportedly clarified there was no Communion ban.
According to the Canadian Global Television Network’s Global News, church priests will continue to deliver blessings to worshipers from six feet away, hand over a Communion wafer, then the person receiving the sacrament will removed their mask and consume the wafer from a safe distance.
The article referenced by Ingraham appeared on a right-wing political site that had previously written about “Canada’s war on Christianity.”
That site referenced the vaguely defined rules for reopening from The Ontario Ministry of Health and included video of a preacher sharing his apparent misunderstanding of the regulations.
In fairness to Ingraham, a Connecticut native, her otherwise misleading Tweet didn’t literally allege Toronto, which is 500 miles from where she was born, is inside the United States.
The 57-year-old pundit opened her Thursday show “The Ingraham Angle” instructing viewers to “learn to spot lies that are made to sound truthful during this pivotal time.”
Ingraham was raised a Baptist until the age of 12, then converted to Catholicism as an adult. During a 2004 interview with the National Catholic Register, she said she’d baptized into the church on Easter 2003.
“It found me,” she told late radio host Don Imus after her conversion.
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