From today's edition of the Globe and Mail:
LONDON — Former prime minister Tony Blair has left the Church of England and converted to Catholicism, the faith of his wife and children.
Mr. Blair converted during a mass Friday night at the private London chapel of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, the church said.
“I'm very glad to welcome Tony Blair into the Catholic Church,” Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said.
The church said Mr. Blair had been a regular worshipper at mass with his family and in recent months had been following a program leading to his reception into the church.l
There had long been speculation that Mr. Blair planned to convert to Catholicism.
Although he was an Anglican, Mr. Blair attended Catholic masses at Westminster Cathedral with his wife Cherie.
The couple's children have attended Catholic schools.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who is the spiritual leader of the world's Anglicans, wished Mr. Blair the best in his spiritual journey.
“Tony Blair has my prayers and good wishes as he takes this step in his Christian pilgrimage. A great Catholic writer of the last century said that the only reason for moving from one Christian family to another was to deepen one's relationship with God. I pray that this will be the result of Tony Blair's decision in his personal life.”
William Doyle, a reader from Prince George, Canada left the following remark on the Globe and Mail page:
Blair is now in good company in that Adolf Hitler also was Roman Catholic. I guess we will soon see George bush also join their Church.
Which doesn't really explain why Hitler killed at least three million Catholics. But, hey, that's the state of popular discourse in some circles these days.
And in news that is remotely related, at best, Beliefnet.com has a list of nominees for "Most Inspiring Person of 2007" that includes an actor, an actress, an environment activist, and a football coach. For what it's worth.
Speaking of lists, on New Year's Day I'll post "The Best Books I Read in 2007...", a collection of recommended books read by Ignatius Press authors, editors, and friends, a follow-up to last year's popular "The Best Books I Read in 2006..."