Canadian Mint and Religious Neutrality

by | March 31, 2014

The Royal Canadian Mint has delivered a crushing blow to religious neutrality in Canada.

The Royal Canadian Mint is issuing pure gold and silver coins to commemorate the upcoming canonization of Pope John Paul II:

“These coins honour the extraordinary life and legacy of Pope John Paul II, and his accomplishments of universal significance: his message of courage, his defence of freedom and the profound statements of hope he expressed to the world,” said Wladyslaw Lizon, Member of Parliament for Mississauga East-Cooksville. “Pope John Paul II’s work transcended so many boundaries and he promoted the values of peace, tolerance and freedom.”

The coins also reinforce the myth of transubstantiation:

The reverse image on both coins reproduces a photograph of Pope John Paul II offering Mass during his first visit to Canada in 1984. Through the expert application of varied finishes and skilled engraving, Royal Canadian Mint engravers faithfully captured the power of the moment as the pope raises the Consecrated Host at the elevation.

According to Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint,

“These gold and silver coins are beautiful additions for any collector or stunning gifts for history buffs, followers of Pope John Paul II and Canadian history enthusiasts.”

The coins are available on April 1, 2014, a day history buffs and history enthusiasts will remember as the day the The Royal Canadian Mint made the foolish decision to grant iconic status to man whose record as leader (1978-2008) of the Catholic Church is full of scandal, poor management and interference in the decisions of the Canadian government:

Barbara Blaine, head of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) group, points out, “In more than 25 years as the most powerful religious figure on the planet, John Paul II did almost nothing to safeguard kids.”


Pope John Paul personally intervened to advise Jean Chretien against introducing legislation to allow same-sex marriage. His edicts against condom use undermined worldwide public health efforts to control the spread of AIDS.

Don’t be a fool; don’t support the Royal Canadian Mint by buying one of these commemorative coins.

5 thoughts on “Canadian Mint and Religious Neutrality

  1. H. E. (Ernie) Schreiber

    I suppose the Canadian Mint can stamp all kinds of coins if they wish; it should not ever be connected with the Canadian Government. The government ought to be neutral in religious superstitions. To connect one specific religion with the Canadian government is strictly illegal and a disclaimer ought to be stamped on the coins such as “this coin is not to be considered as an official government approval of this religion.”

  2. Theo Bromine

    If the coins are officially legal tender, presumably some level of official government approval is required. Which prompts the question: Why would the Canadian Mint want to officially recognize a person whose only claim to fame is as a world religious leader, and has no connection with Canada besides sharing a religion and/or ethnic heritage with an apparently important minority of our citizens? Well, I’ve heard that various country’s mints or post offices issue coins/stamps in honour of people from other countries – “Collectible stamps…can actually be a significant income for small countries. Often they’ll issue stamps with the images of luminaries from other nations so international stamp collectors will buy them up”.*

    So I guess we can say that issuing J2P2 coins gives Canada a level of international credibility similar to that of Togo, Mali, the Republic of Guinea, and the island of Jersey. (Not to denigrate the good people of those countries, but I thought that our government had rather greater aspirations than that.)

    I should also point out that, leading up to the 2009 celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of his publication of the Origin of Species, the Humanist Association contacted the Post Office, and suggested that in honour of Darwin, they might consider issuing stamps about Canadian sites of importance to evolutionary science – we cited the Burgess Shale, Dinosaur National Park, and Joggins fossil cliffs. We were disappointed (but not particularly surprised) at their lack of interest. Too bad we couldn’t have enlisted help from an MP like Wladyslaw Lizon, who clearly has nothing better to do than tirelessly pursue the public recognition of his patron saint.

    * See

    1. David Phillips

      Not sure, but I doubt these coins are legal tender. Most pure gold or silver coins are not, and have value only for their precious metal content and or collectibility.

  3. Randy

    Canada is not a “separation of church and state” kind of country.

  4. Pingback: Alice Munro Honoured | Canadian Atheist

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