In a recent interview with the BBC, Tony Blair, has explored some of the issues surrounding his conversion to Roman Catholicism. Although having brought his children up as Catholics, and attended Mass for 25 years, Mr Blair did not feel the time was right for conversion until he had stepped down from office.
During the interview, Mr Blair is quick to point out that his conversion was not as a result of conflict with the Church of England, but rather an intensely personal decision. He also acknowledges that the timing of his decision, and ultimate conversion, was greatly influenced by fear of public reaction. Interestingly, there has never been a Roman Catholic Prime Minister, and while Mr Blair rejects any idea that this will always be the case, he further explains his choice of timing by suggesting that his own personal development was not at the stage where conversion would have been an option.
Despite regrets that he did not discuss his own faith and religion whilst in office, it would seem that Mr Blair is now making up for lost time. Creation of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, aimed at ‘increasing understanding between the world’s major religions,’ suggests that he no longer feels inhibited, furthermore showing a commitment to discussing faith and religion internationally.
Church-State Relations in Europe
By Russell Sandberg and Norman Doe
(Vol. 2, September 2007).
The Practice of Faith
By Robin Gill
From The Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology