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Sunday, June 24, 2007


Robert Miller

God bless the Pope!

I am reminded, after reading the comments of the flappable Brits who take exception to the Pope setting the bar for admission to the Church, of an old Clancy Brothers chant: " Up the long ladder and down the short rope, to hell with King Billy and God bless the Pope ...".

Blair, of course, is not King. But neither is he Newman. Chesterton would make more appropriate reading for the allegedly Catholic-aspiring soon-to-be-ex-PM.

Cristina A. Montes

Is it a coincidence that the meeting took place a day after the feast of St. Thomas More?


I don't know if the Pope had Tony Blair in mind during the Angelus but one could easily compare Herod's dilettantish fascination with John the Baptist with Blair's dalliance (in his own mind anyway) with Catholicism.

John Powers

About once a year I post the following on this blog. It would be much easier to bring converts into the Church if we would quit condemning those that want to enter. I am sure that Pope Benedict knows quite a bit more about his conversations with Blair than the people posting on this Blog. Why not accept those that want to join the Church at face value, and leave the confidential details between Blair and the Pope?



"Why not accept those that want to join the Church at face value...?"

John, in this case, the face value of Tony Blair's belief system is active support for -- indeed, promotion of -- abortion, destruction of embryos for medical research, and prohibition of the Church from running adoption agencies according to Church teaching. Tony Blair has given no indication of being in communion with the Church on any of these issues. Elswhere someone commented that Tony Blair wants to take communion with High Church ritual but without accepting the Pope's authority on moral issues -- the very definition of Anglicanism.

I suspect that the Pope perceived that Tony Blair needed a wakeup call.

If Tony Blair truly was coming to the faith while Prime Minister, he would have been in the position to do something truly heroic. He could have, for example, given a speech along the following lines: "After deep reflection and wide reading, and with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, I've come to realize that abortion, embryo destruction and gay adoption are deeply wrong and I will now do everything in my power to put an end to these evils. Because I was not elected on this platform, I hereby resign as Prime Minister because I cannot in good conscience support a government that is committed to the platform on which I was elected. I am truly sorry for the evil that I have promoted. I will now seek to enter the Catholic Church and join her effort to promote a culture of life, and of love. As for what I've done in the past, I look forward to the day when I am in the loving embrace of the Catholic Church and can celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation in full communion with her."


If the Times report is accurate, then the Catholic world would have had a much better lesson if the Pope had sent a recording of it to every Bishop in the world as an example of how to actually be pastoral.

John Powers

But Dan,

You do not know what Blair and Pope Benedict talked about. Perhaps there was a contrition, who knows? But certainly that is a matter between a Priest and a penitent, and should not be subject to scrutiny. Criticize his politics all you like, but if the man wants to join the Church, don't vilify him for his choice, rather encourage him to straighten up and start putting his envelope in the collection basket.

Again, attacking and insulting people wanting to join the Church is probably the worst Evangelical method I have ever heard of.


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