Tony Blair joins Catholic Church
Former prime minister Tony Blair has left the Anglican Church to become a Roman Catholic.
His wife and children are already Catholic and there had been speculation he would convert after leaving office.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Conner, who led the service to welcome Mr Blair, said he was "very glad" to do so.
Last year, Mr Blair, who is now a Middle East peace envoy, said he had prayed to God when deciding whether or not to send UK troops into Iraq.
And one of Mr Blair’s final official trips while prime minister was a visit to the Vatican in June where he met Pope Benedict XVI.
Mr Blair was received into full communion with the Catholic Church during Mass at Archbishop’s House, Westminster, on Friday.
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, who is the head of Catholics in England and Wales, said: "I am very glad to welcome Tony Blair into the Catholic Church.
Fr. Z. has some cogent remarks about this in consideration of Mr. Blairs past support for homosexuality and abortion.
At the same time, none of us are finished products yet. I suspect Mr. Blair or other politicians will not change his positions if they are constantly blasted with nastiness. Persuasion is needed. In no way does this condone public denial of Catholic doctrine. I am trying to underscore the fallen dimension of our human experience.
Thus, I am glad that Mr. Blair desired closer unity with the Catholic Church and acted on it. However, I would like some clarifications.
Hopefully we will get some clarifications on this. If he has not changed his positions that are contrary to Church teaching I would certainly like to know how the Cardinal would justify brining him into the Church at this time. As I have mentioned before in connection to this is that one of my favorite stories from Alice Von Hildebrand’s book "Soul of a Lion" about her husband Dietrich is that when he was taking private instructions to come into the Church he announced to the priest that he was ready to enter the Church. The priest knowing Dietrich’s opposition to the Church’s teaching on contraception told him he would not bring him into the Church unto he accepted this. Dietrich then made an act of faith and said that he believes all that the Church teaches and then later became a great teaching on the truth of the evil of contraception.
None of us enter the Church perfected, though I would think that when we make the Profession at Faith when being received into the Church and saying that we believe all that she teaches that there should be a reasonable chance that we are telling the truth. To bring someone in that we knew to not hold all that the Church teaches would be to have them perjure themselves before God.
I sincerely hope that he has had a change of heart and if not that he will in the future.
Update: I see that Diogenes is on the same page as myself on this:
Tony Blair recants position on abortion!
Well he did, didn’t he? And somehow I just missed the headline?
In order to be received into the Catholic Church, one must make a profession of faith, affirming that one believes all that the Church teaches. And the Church teaches that support for abortion is gravely wrong, and so now we know– don’t we?– that Blair recognizes his past public stance was gravely wrong. Don’t we?