Saturday 22 December 2007


From the Times (UK)

The former Prime Minister Tony Blair has been received into the Roman Catholic Church.

Now, this is news, especially following my last post!

Mr Blair was received into full communion with the Catholic Church by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, during Mass in the chapel at Archbishop’s House, Westminster, on Friday

I did the same thing in 1989 (i.e. being received into the full commuion of the RC Church.)

Mr Blair, formerly a member of the Church of England, has been receiving doctrinal and spiritual preparation from Mgr Mark O’Toole, the Cardinal’s private secretary.

I received mine from The Very Rev Allan White OP, then the Chaplain at University of Edinburgh, now Prior Provincial of the English Dominicans (hence the Very Rev).

He was once chastised by the former Archbishop, the late Cardinal Basil Hume, for receiving communion alongside his Catholic wife Cherie and his children at their former church in Islington. Inter-commununion is banned by the Catholic Church although permitted by Anglican bishops.

I didn't realize that.

Before the profession of faith and reception the candidate make a confession of sins. They are asked to inform the confessor that they are to be received into full communion. At the reception a candidate is accompanied by a sponsor.

There has been public speculation about whether Mr Blair’s confession would include any reference to the war in Iraq, or to Parliamentary policy on ‘life’ issues during his time as Prime Minister.

That kind of speculation is rather silly, despite the sinfulness of the issues concerned.

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