A rose by any other name

Tony Blair seems to think that Catholicism has no actual content – that it’s just a name or a label attached to a set of harmless weekend habits.

Mr Blair left little doubt that it was fear of the public and media reaction that led him to delay his conversion until after he quit as PM – even though he had been attending mass for 25 years and was bringing his children up as Catholics…”There was no disrespect… for the Anglican church, it’s just that my family all go to mass, my kids are brought up as Catholic and I have been going to mass for 25 years, so to come into full communion seemed to me my natural home. There is no great… doctrinal dispute I have with the Anglican church… It wasn’t about that at all, it was a very personal decision.”

So his conversion wasn’t actually a conversion then? It was just a name-change? Does his priest know that? Does Ratzinger?

“I hope we’re not in a situation where you couldn’t have a Roman Catholic as Prime Minister. I don’t, to be honest, think it makes any difference to people at all, politically.” Describing his own faith as “the foundation of your life”, Mr Blair said he thought it “sad” that as Prime Minister he was unable to talk openly about it.

I think it’s ‘sad’ that he wanted to join a church that outlaws abortion and contraception and in vitro fertilization and homosexuality, and that declares women inferior in all but name (the euphemism is ‘complementary’). I think it’s ludicrous or worse that he thinks ‘it’ makes no difference at all. I think it’s rather shocking that he simply ignores the reactionary character of the actual existing Catholic church, and pretends it can be reduced to merely a ‘very personal decision.’ He presumably wouldn’t say that about joining any secular reactionary organization; it’s much odder than he apparently realizes that he says it about the appallingly reactionary Catholic church.

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