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Riddle of Blair Catholic Communion
Times Online ^ | October 15, 2004 | Ruth Gledhill

Posted on 10/15/2004 8:59:24 PM PDT by Land of the Irish

There is a hint that pledge may have been broken by Prime Minister

TONY BLAIR’S family priest strongly hinted yesterday that the Prime Minister was breaking his pledge not to take Roman Catholic Holy Communion in Britain. Father Timothy Russ also said that Mr Blair, an Anglican, “may well” convert to Catholicism. The revelation will increase speculation that Mr Blair is preparing to convert to Roman Catholicism despite a clear denial from Downing Street.

Father Russ is invited regularly by Mr Blair to say Mass in a drawing room at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s weekend retreat. A table is used as an altar.

The services are attended by the Prime Minister, his family and house guests. Mr Blair used to attend Father Russ’s parish church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the nearby village, but for security reasons rarely does so now.

Mr Blair’s interest in the Church is growing and he has told Father Russ: “Theology is much more interesting than politics.” He has also asked him whether the Prime Minister of Britain could be a Catholic.

If Mr Blair converted while in office, he would be the country’s first Catholic Prime Minister, although there is no constitutional bar to a Catholic in Downing Street.

Cardinal Basil Hume, the late Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, wrote to Mr Blair in 1996 demanding that he cease taking Communion at his wife’s church in Islington, saying that it was “all right to do so when in Tuscany for the holidays . . . as there was no Anglican church near by.”

Mr Blair promised to stop receiving Communion at the Church of St Joan of Arc if his presence there caused a problem for the Catholic authorities. But he made clear that he did not agree with the decision in a pointed letter to Cardinal Hume which said: “I wonder what Jesus would have made of it”.

The Pope issued an encyclical last year which said that Communion could be given to an Anglican only if it was required to “ meet a grave spiritual need for . . . eternal salvation”. Earlier this year, Mr Blair, whose wife Cherie is a Catholic, took his first Catholic Communion in public for seven years when staying in Cusona, Italy, offending local clergy and leading to demands for an investigation by the Vatican.

However, Father Russ, parish priest in Great Missenden, yesterday insisted that Mr Blair could receive Catholic Communion.

He declined to confirm that the Prime Minister was taking Communion but defended the use of the principle of epikeia, which allows exceptions to rules under certain circumstances, in such situations.

He said that it would be “unwise” to speculate that the Prime Minister was close to converting. “It might well end up that way but a lot of things would have to change in his modus operandi and in his way of thinking and working before he could be a Catholic.”

The epikeia principle, outlined in Canon 1752, allows priests to override the strict letter of the law in cases where rigid application of the law would frustrate the intentions of the author, or God. The Canon states that the salvation of souls in the Church must always be the supreme law.

Sources close to the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, indicated that under the epikeia principle, there would be no objection if Mr Blair had been receiving Communion. Father Russ said that he was concerned about the Prime Minister’s views of the moral order and the sanctity of family life.

He said: “Tony Blair is a lazy thinker when it comes to certain ethical questions.” But he said that the Catholic Church fulfilled many of the Prime Minister’s socialist ideals.

Downing Street said last night that Mr Blair had no plans to convert.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic
KEYWORDS: blair; catholic; holycommunion
But he said that the Catholic Church fulfilled many of the Prime Minister’s socialist ideals.
1 posted on 10/15/2004 8:59:24 PM PDT by Land of the Irish
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To: Akron Al; Alberta's Child; Andrew65; AniGrrl; apologia_pro_vita_sua; attagirl; BearWash; ...

Ping


2 posted on 10/15/2004 9:00:13 PM PDT by Land of the Irish
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To: Land of the Irish
But he said that the Catholic Church fulfilled many of the Prime Minister’s socialist ideals.

The heretical 'faith' and false and apostate 'church of vatican ii' fulfill many of Lenin's ideals because he is the one who in 1923, following in the footsteps of the Freemasons, orchestrated the Communist infiltration and subversion of the Roman Catholic Church, with the result that now the true Church, and its true members are turned out and reviled, and the apostates and their false unholy church of satan are accepted by all those who are eager to be deceived.

3 posted on 10/15/2004 9:26:36 PM PDT by Viva Christo Rey
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Viva Christo Rey
18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

... the apostates and their false unholy church of satan are accepted by all those who are eager to be deceived.

"Lenin defeats Christ" would make an appropriate tag line for you.

5 posted on 10/16/2004 4:07:36 AM PDT by bornacatholic
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: sinkspur; Land of the Irish

"You idjits take a beautiful story about the potential conversion of Tony Blair"

Blair won't convert. He is a proponent of murdering babies, he stacks his cabinet with sodomites, he supports sodomitic "marriage", he supports cloning and embryo experimentation and he is a public fraud and liar.

This idiot priest has absolutely no justification for giving Holy Communion to this servant of satan - there are plenty of Anglican churches in England where he can receive "communion" without profaning the body and blood of Christ.

If Blair should ever seek to become Catholic he should publicly repent for all the public opposition to Catholic doctrine and the Law of God that he has exemplified in his professional career.

According to Redemptionis Sacramentum, this priest has committed a grave delict by giving communion to this man, not to mention the grave indiscretion he has committed by discussing private conversations in the national press. I hope he is delated to Rome.


7 posted on 10/16/2004 5:10:31 AM PDT by Tantumergo
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To: Tantumergo

But...but...how can you criticize Tony Blair, the faithful friend and ally of our Great War President? Don't you know that all that matters is that the British government blindly support the US in whatever it does? Who cares that Blair has practically destroyed the British constitution, undermined the monarchy, kicked the hereditary peers out of the Lords, promoted multiculturalism and uncontrolled immigration, diminished Britain's national sovereignty, advocated abandoning the Pound, appeased IRA terrorists, shown more sympathy for criminals than their victims who try to defend themselves, ignored rural concerns, and trampled on individual liberty? He supported the War, so he must be a conservative, right? Because that's what conservatism is really all about. War, War, War.

</sarcasm>

(from a paleoconservative Anglophile disgusted with the blindness of most American "conservatives" regarding that despicable creep in 10 Downing Street)


8 posted on 10/16/2004 6:24:26 AM PDT by royalcello
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To: sinkspur
You idjits take a beautiful story about the potential conversion of Tony Blair...

His ignorance and lack of humility in his reaction to doctrine on receiving the Eucharist shows he hasn't been Catechized past square-one. A self important public figure who views our faith as a buffet table is not a "beautiful story". It would be if he humbled himself and submits fully.

His high standing in the world has no bearing. He should submit himself, become a catechumen and reject his anti-Christian ways like any other earnest convert. Once he does so the angels will sing and it will then be a beautiful story.

9 posted on 10/16/2004 7:18:36 AM PDT by AAABEST (Lord have mercy on us)
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To: royalcello

"He supported the War, so he must be a conservative, right?"

Here I think you have hit the nail on the head as to why there is so much naivety about Blair in the U.S..

Morally and socially the man is on the same level as JFK - somewhere between an amoeba and a cockroach.


10 posted on 10/16/2004 8:49:14 AM PDT by Tantumergo
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To: Tantumergo
"Blair won't convert. He is a proponent of murdering babies, he stacks his cabinet with sodomites, he supports sodomitic "marriage", he supports cloning and embryo experimentation and he is a public fraud and liar."

Why not? He would fit in great with Kerry/Kennedy/Daschle/Cuomo/Schwartneggar/Pelosi/Harkin/Dean.

He is neo-Catholic to the core, a perfect fit, the new Katholik (soviet) Man, nuanced, apostate, universalist, socialist, internationalist, metrosexual.

He's perfect. Let him suck down the communion kookie!!!

11 posted on 10/16/2004 9:32:39 AM PDT by Pio
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To: Tantumergo; AAABEST; Land of the Irish; seamole; Viva Christo Rey; Pio

>> Here I think you have hit the nail on the head as to why there is so much naivety about Blair in the U.S.<<

And there, I think you have hit the nail on the head.

Sadly, few of our US friends have the opportunity to see Blair wearing his usual hat. A far, far cry from conservative. This is a man who would, customarily, agree with the last guy to leave the room if he thought it would advance his own personal agenda.

I doubt that his popularity quotient would be so high in the US if they were aware of his almost slavish adherence to the whims of his (thankfully now ex) Press Secretary, Alistair Campbell. For the uninformed, the latter is the pit-bull thug, press bully boy and self-proclaimed atheist who, effectively, ran then country whenever Tony was off accompanying Cherie on one of her mantra-chanting, chakra-seeking, crystal-rubbing, guru-hunting outings. Of course, since Fr. Russ approved then that makes it all right.

I am sure Tony would be a trifle less popular had they witnessed the occasion when, following a question to his master on the moral probity of going to war, Campbell rebuked an elder statesman of the Downing Street press corps with the scathing “We don’t do God around here!!” To a shocked room, Blair could offer no more than one of his diffident little smiles and a "Oh, you really are a godless lot around here”

So, yep, our PM is ripe for conversion to Fr Russ’s church.

Quite why Blair chose to support the war on Islamic terrorism, I don’t understand and it’s a whole, other story. Let’s just be thankful that he did so.

And, by the way, there are probably a lot of deeply offended amoebae and cockroaches out there (grin).

p.s. Just ignore the other fellow. Almost everybody else does these days.


12 posted on 10/16/2004 10:34:38 AM PDT by Selous
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To: sinkspur
"You idjits take a beautiful story about the potential conversion of Tony Blair and tie it to Masonic conspiracies. Do you people ever wonder why most everybody else in the entire friggin' world thinks you're a bunch of fruitcakes?"

There is no beautiful story here, just further proof of a world gone wacky, and the sense of enitlement that everyone in it seems to hold.

There is no need to further point out the errors of Blair and Russ. They are painfully apparent. And the validity of the private Mass for notables only in a nonconsecrated surrounding is also called into question.

Us 'idjits' (including those in the Vatican who are opposing this) are possibly the only ones holdng the fabric of the Church together from people like you and your 'legion'.

13 posted on 10/16/2004 11:22:08 AM PDT by Arguss (Take the narrow road)
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To: sinkspur
You idjits take a beautiful story about the potential conversion of Tony Blair and tie it to Masonic conspiracies

What's so beautiful converting from the Anglican Church to the new catholic church. He's wasting his time - the're practically the same.

14 posted on 10/16/2004 11:53:17 AM PDT by Grey Ghost II
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: Grey Ghost II

Except the Anglicans generally have better music than the Novus Ordo.


16 posted on 10/16/2004 12:49:49 PM PDT by royalcello
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To: sinkspur
You idjits take a beautiful story about the potential conversion of Tony Blair and tie it to Masonic conspiracies.

It's just that a conversion to the Novus Ordo religion isn't exactly a step up from Anglicanism. Seriously. He's probably better off where he is.

Do you people ever wonder why most everybody else in the entire friggin' world thinks you're a bunch of fruitcakes?

Not at all. It's clear to us why we're considered fruitcakes. What puzzles us is why people like you think being considered fruitcakes by people like you is a bad thing.
17 posted on 10/16/2004 1:05:59 PM PDT by latae sententiae (Last Things first!)
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To: Viva Christo Rey

"But he said that the Catholic Church fulfilled many of the Prime Minister’s socialist ideals."

Some socialist! He is now in the process of buying a fancy house in Mayfair costing £6,500,000! If this is an example of Blair's beliefs, his dalliance with selected Catholic churches for their 'socialism' is quite farcical and defies any serious analysis other than the theatrical posturing of modern politicians.


18 posted on 10/16/2004 6:20:45 PM PDT by Wessex
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To: Tantumergo
Re: "Blair won't convert. He is a proponent of murdering babies, he stacks his cabinet with sodomites, he supports sodomitic "marriage", he supports cloning and embryo experimentation and he is a public fraud and liar."

I thought the PM was one of those rare breeds of Liberals who was pro-life. As to the other stuff I know he is pro-gay and I don't know about the rest. I don't keep up with British politics.
19 posted on 10/17/2004 6:52:47 AM PDT by Mark in the Old South
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To: Mark in the Old South

"I thought the PM was one of those rare breeds of Liberals who was pro-life."

Not in the least I'm sorry to say. He maybe one of those "Personally opposed, but.." types, however, he certainly had no qualms in voting for the murder of babies right up until birth.

The current spate of controversy occurring under his regime is whether doctors have the right to refuse to treat disabled children. The latest case is an 11 year-old epileptic child with learning difficulties who lives at home with her parents. After a recent case of pneumonia, doctors told her parents that they didn't want to treat her again if she became ill.

Moral: don't live in Blair's Britain if you have any form of disability whatsoever!


20 posted on 10/17/2004 7:24:14 AM PDT by Tantumergo
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To: Tantumergo
Re: "Moral: don't live in Blair's Britain if you have any form of disability whatsoever!"

It is happening in this country as well from what I hear. Are we getting to the point in American Medicine where it is a Dutch treat? But of course if we vote for a third party it is the same as voting for sKerry; where it will be more of the same.

Our democracy is gone our values are gone it just a matter of raiding the public purse. Last one is a rotten egg/pro-lifer/right winger nut/whatever.
21 posted on 10/17/2004 11:36:47 AM PDT by Mark in the Old South
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To: Land of the Irish; GatorGirl; maryz; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; livius; ...
But he said that the Catholic Church fulfilled many of the Prime Minister’s socialist ideals.
22 posted on 10/17/2004 11:41:12 AM PDT by narses (If you want ON or OFF my Catholic Ping List email me. + http://www.alamo-girl.com/)
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To: latae sententiae

I am inclined to agree with you.


23 posted on 10/17/2004 2:55:44 PM PDT by thor76 (won't you try a little liturgy in the worship space? No - I would sooner drink Drano !)
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To: royalcello; All

I love Tony, and I won't hear a word said against him. So there!


24 posted on 10/17/2004 7:15:23 PM PDT by jocon307 (Don't let Australia down: Re-elect President Bush!)
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To: jocon307
I love Tony, and I won't hear a word said against him. So there!

I see from your home-page that you live in New Jersey. It is perfectly clear from the comment above that you do not live in the U.K.
25 posted on 10/18/2004 12:45:38 PM PDT by tjwmason (Coerced and bribed window-dressing.)
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To: tjwmason

"It is perfectly clear from the comment above that you do not live in the U.K."

Well no I don't, and believe me, my Irish Grandmother rolls in her grave every time I mention Tony. You folks need some help over there, that is clear, but you'll have to prevail on the Tories to improve before you get any, I'm afraid. I think Blair has done some really stupid things that I totally disagree with, but he did move Labor right, and I'm sure many thought that would never be done. And he is completely staunch in the WOT which is far more that you can say about our own "dims".

You guys need to get your guns back, I'd make that priority #1, and that's from a second amendment supporter who will never, ever, own a gun.


26 posted on 10/18/2004 4:08:12 PM PDT by jocon307 (Don't let Australia down: Re-elect President Bush!)
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To: jocon307; tjwmason; Tantumergo
he [Blair] did move Labor right

This is just not true. New Labour may have abandoned old-fashioned socialist economics, but culturally and constitutionally they and Blair are way to the left of any previous Labour government. No previous Labour prime minister would have dreamed of doing any of the revolutionary things Blair has done such as expelling the hereditary peers from the House of Lords, banning foxhunting, or advocating replacing the pound with a common European currency.

Worst of all, while Blair personally claims to support the monarchy, anti-royalism is far more prevalent in New Labour than it was in the old days, when patriotic socialists (yes, they did exist) had no problem with the existence of the Crown. I'll take a socialist loyal to his Queen over a capitalist with no regard for his country's heritage and traditions any day.

I suppose you are free to take my opinion with a grain of salt since I am a monarchist (who probably should have been born in pre-20th-century Europe) and an anti-Iraq-war paleoconservative on US politics (I don't like Bush either and will be staying home on November 2). But face it: Blair is no conservative of any kind; in fact he is the most un-conservative leader Britain has had since Oliver Cromwell.

27 posted on 10/19/2004 11:48:57 AM PDT by royalcello
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To: royalcello

"Blair has done such as expelling the hereditary peers from the House of Lords, banning foxhunting, or advocating replacing the pound with a common European currency."

I agree that these are all stupid things. I must say that our American left used to be patriotic too, so it doesn't surprise me that Labor used to be more patriotic, I doubt that any change in those attitudes is the result of Blair alone.

I admit, I don't understand why the Tories can't get any traction with the anti-Europe angle.


28 posted on 10/19/2004 1:57:01 PM PDT by jocon307 (Don't let Australia down: Re-elect President Bush!)
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To: jocon307
I admit, I don't understand why the Tories can't get any traction with the anti-Europe angle.

The problem here is two-fold, first, it is a mainly theoretical issue and secondly, that it is quite remote.

FReepers would be perfectly happy to discuss the implications of 'legal personality' for the Union, but the typical voter merely finds such discussions off-putting. The whole discussion of national sovereignty is quite esoteric, especially when the leftists muddy the waters by talking about 'pooled sovereignty' and similar nonsense (sorry nuance).

The remoteness is rather like slick Willy's famous 'it's the economy, stupid'. People see who their jobs are, their income, their medical treatment, their children's schools, their house-prices. Europe is something 'out there', it is dealt with by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (equivalent to the Department of State). Thus it is not a voter priority.

The other point worth consideration is that neither party has a good record vis a vis Europe. Thatcher is regarded as the most anti-European P.M. we have had, yet she signed the Single European Act, and laid the foundations for the Maastrict Treaty on European Union. Large-scale integration has proceeded on the basis of half-truths and outright lies since we first joined in 1973 under both parties.
29 posted on 10/20/2004 2:25:47 AM PDT by tjwmason (Coerced and bribed window-dressing.)
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