The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports that a priest (Fr. Michael Seed) associated with Prime Minister Tony Blair and his family will publicly declare his Roman Catholicism when he leaves public office. His wife and family are Catholic. There was some commotion a few years ago when he received holy communion at the Vatican. Evidently this was not the only time he had been caught either. [By the way, CLICK on his head if you want to look like Tony Blair, and are not easily shocked!]
Father Seed stated: “He’s been going to Mass every Sunday. He goes on his own when he is abroad, not just when he is with his wife and children.”
Although he is known as an Anglican, except for official services associted with his office, he rarely attends the Church of England.
If I am correct, Catholics are still legally prevented from serving as prime minister. [Oops! While he has a role in the appointment of Anglican prelates, there is no strict “constitutional” impediment against a Catholic prime minister. I guess I spent too much time with my head in history books reading about the old penal laws? I heard that there is some informal concern from the crown about such matters in light of several recent high profile conversions to Roman Catholicism.]
Given the Catholic Church’s long and difficult history since the Reformation, such a reception into Catholicism would be a major event. However, one still has to wonder about his positions on such matters as abortion, homosexuality and same-sex adoption. Ah, if he only shared more views than just the war against terror and the intervention in Iraq with the conservative President Bush!