Loading
Prime Minister Tony Blair contemplates becoming Catholic
Prime Minister Tony Blair contemplates becoming Catholic

.- According to the Associated Press, a priest close to Tony Blair says that the prime minister will declare himself a Roman Catholic on leaving Downing Street.

Father Michael Seed, who is known for bringing high-profile politicians and aristocrats into the Catholic fold and who says Mass for the Blairs in Downing Street each week when they are in London, made the prediction to friends at a recent memorial service.

Last night, when contacted by The Times, he did not deny his comments, but said he did not know if Blair would ever be received “formally” into the Roman Catholic Church.

The prime minister’s formal reception into the Church would require him to take part in a process called the rite of Christian initiation for adults (RCIA), followed by Confirmation, and the reception of Holy Communion.

Father Seed said: “He’s been going to Mass every Sunday. He goes on his own when he is abroad, not just when he is with his wife and children.”

Another Church source said that many of the early saints and martyrs were not baptized. Such people were held to have had a “baptism of desire.”

He said that Blair was a Catholic by desire and that this did not necessitate a formal conversion. “He is an ecumenical Catholic,” said the source. “He is a liberal Catholic. In terms of his private life, he is a Roman Catholic.”

Although technically an Anglican, Blair only “darkened the door” of Anglican churches on state and other formal occasions, he added.

However, the source did not mention if Blair’s well known views on homosexuality, same-sex adoption and abortion will change. The prime minister’s views on these matters have recently brought him into conflict with the Church, particularly on the issue of adoption by homosexuals.

Downing Street would not comment on the suggestion that Blair would declare himself a Catholic. A spokesman said: “This story is always circulating in one form or another. The P.M. remains a member of the Church of England.”

Blair has always been reluctant to discuss his religious beliefs. Alastair Campbell, the former Downing Street communications chief, famously told one interviewer: “We don’t do God.” The prime minister has also indicated in the past that he attended Mass so that his family, all Catholics, could worship together.

To receive Blair into the fold would be a triumph for the Roman Catholic Church, which has in the past two decades in particular regained its confidence, recovering from the centuries of persecution that followed the Reformation.

Blair has been criticized for receiving Communion at Catholic Mass. Cardinal Basil Hume, the late Archbishop of Westminster, wrote to him in 1996 demanding that he should cease taking Communion at his wife’s church in Islington, although he added that it was “all right to do so when in Tuscany for the holidays ... as there was no Anglican church near by.”

Blair made it clear that he did not agree with Cardinal Hume’s opinion, writing in a pointed letter to him: “I wonder what Jesus would have made of it.”

Writing in The Tablet, the Catholic weekly, Father Seed described how the prime minister had regarded his time in office as akin to a “vocation."

He first made contact with Blair when the family moved into No. 10, and strengthened their links with The Passage, Britain’s largest homelessness center, attached to Westminster Cathedral. Blair launched the government’s policy on homelessness there in 1998. Father Seed says that being prime minister is both a cross and a privilege.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: