Friday, 22 June 2007

Blair 'will become Roman Catholic'

Tony Blair is "certain" to become a Roman Catholic shortly after he steps down from office next week, friends of the Prime Minister have told The Independent. They believe it will happen "sooner rather than later".

Mr Blair is likely to discuss his conversion with Pope Benedict XVI, with whom he will hold talks in Rome tomorrow after attending his last summit of European Union leaders in Brussels.

Aides say that in the private one-to-one meeting, he will also discuss his plans to set up a Blair Inter-Faith Foundation aimed at fostering closer links between people from different religions. Read more

1 comment:

Young Fogey said...

Surely I am not alone in thinking it odd that a Prime Minister who has engaged in a war which was condemned both by the current Pope and by his predecessor should have an easy entry into the Church. Speaking about the possibility of an invasion of Iraq before his election to the papacy, the then Cardinal Ratzinger said:

"All I can do is invite you to read the Catechism, and the conclusion seems obvious to me…the concept of preventive war does not appear in The Catechism of the Catholic Church." Later he would say: "It should never be the responsibility of just one nation to make decisions for the world." And following the start of the War, His Future Holiness was unequivocal in his views: "There were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war against Iraq. To say nothing of the fact that, given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a 'just war'."

One might also wonder how Tony Blair managed to explain to His Holiness that it was his Government which tried to force faith schools in England to open up to accept 25% of pupils from other faith backgrounds -- a move which was strongly, and successfully, opposed by the Catholic church. Similarly, Tony Blair may find himself in a slightly uncomfortable position if the Pope decides to ask him if he doesn't think it slightly odd that he should seek entry to the Roman Catholic faith so soon after his Government created civil partnerships between gay couples and, most recently, ignored the Roman Catholic Church's desperate plea to exempt Roman Catholic adoption agencies from equality laws on gay adoption.
More on this on my own blog.