There has been much talk recently within St. Blogs on the rumors of not only Tony Blair’s entrance into the Catholic Church, but his becoming a permanent Deacon.
Can. 1029 Only those are to be promoted to orders who, in the prudent judgment of their own bishop or of the competent major superior, all things considered, have integral faith, are moved by the right intention, have the requisite knowledge, possess a good reputation, and are endowed with integral morals and proven virtues and the other physical and psychic qualities in keeping with the order to be received.
Looking at the requirements of this Canon they don’t exactly scream Tony Blair to me. His record on homosexual acts is not exactly Catholic and just this year he said he did "a little skip" at a partnership ceremony on TV and that he is proud of his record concerning this. He has a 100 percent pro-abortion record and has helped to raise funds for Planned Parenthood and his wife Cherie has been involved with "Catholics for a Free Choice."
Now of course the history of the Catholic Church certainly contains some notable Catholics who were rather dicey at first who later became Saints and when it comes to England you can easily think of Saint Thomas Becket. Tony Blair without his repudiation of what he has done in the past and the recent past, bringing him into the Church when he was not yet in Communion with the Church would certainly cause scandal.
The issue of becoming a permanent Deacon is a another issue. For one I think it is generally a mistake to bring any convert to the Church immediately into such a role. St. Paul certainly touches on this and some diocese I believe do have a requirement of already being in the Church at least five years before any such consideration and then of course there would be a period of study for at least three years.
Mr Blair is reported as asking his confidant Father Timothy: "Would this be possible?" He was told: "It usually takes two or three years", to which he replied: "The fact that I’m PM, could this make a difference?"
The deacon idea emerged in a conversation a few years ago about Mr Blair’s plans after he leaves office.
Father Timothy suggested that taking on a formal role in the Church could give him fresh moral clout when he campaigns on climate change and Africa.
If this report is an any way accurate the idea of a former P.M. getting special treatment does not exactly bode well for the Diaconate which simply means servant.