Saturday, June 16, 2007

Blair’s city academies – the Roman Catholic seed

It transpires that the Prime Minister’s education programme has benefited from a serious injection of cash through a Roman Catholic priest – Father Michael Seed. Whilst Scripture deploys the ‘seed’ metaphor as a leitmotif for the importance of growth in faith, Cranmer would like to suggest that the involvement of this particular ‘Seed’ in helping to finance a project so closely associated with the Prime Minister is nothing short of seedy.

Father Seed is the ‘ecumenical adviser’ to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, and is known as ‘priest to the stars’ because of his involvement with very high-profile conversions, including Duchess of Kent, John Gummer and Ann Widdecombe. The Daily Telegraph reports that he has used his contacts with wealthy businessmen to raise millions of pounds for Labour’s city academies. It would appear that his frequent visits to Downing Street have not merely been to conduct private masses for the Blairs, or even to advise the Prime Minister on conversion to Catholicism, but to discuss how millions of pounds may be raised to finance government initiatives. Perhaps most significantly, the transactions involve one Anthony Bailey, a leading Roman Catholic and millionaire public relations executive, who is to chair the Government's ‘Faith Task Force’ when it launches next month. Is this ‘Cash for QUANGOs’? The sums involved are reported to be £8 million for the funding of four academies.

Apparently, the connection of Father Seed to the academies project has caused concern at the most senior levels of the Roman Catholic Church, with Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor privately expressing ‘deep unease’. The Cardinal has told senior bishops that he feared the introduction could be seen as ‘blurring the boundaries between the Church and party politics’. Strange, that, given his church’s historic support for the Labour Party in the UK, and its fusion on the Continent with the ‘Christian Democrat’ parties…

But knowing the Blairs has certainly brought its benefits. Last week Father Seed was able to launch his childhood memoir Nobody's Child in the House of Commons. Cranmer does not wish to make light of Michael Seed’s appalling abuse and evidently traumatic childhood, but the religio-political activities of this priest would appear to be worthy of a much greater degree of scrutiny.


Anonymous Protestant said...

Makes you wonder what catholic Blair is doing in support of the church. The pope has a foreign policy and I for one would not be suprised if Blair carries some of it out. Flooding this still protestant nation with immigrant catholics just as in the US is just one.

16 June 2007 at 13:03  
Blogger Ian Hall said...

Whether or not it is a deliberate policy on the part of Blair I don't know . However it is undoubtedly true that there has been a huge influx of Romanists - particularly Polish papists .

16 June 2007 at 13:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Protestant, just watch how the foreign policy of the Bishop of Rome, the substitute for Christ, is adopted by the EU's new Foreign Minister.

After all, in most of the State of Europe they do not understand why it was wrong for Constantine to let the worshippers of Mithra claim membership of the body of the believers in the Jewish Messiah, and turn it into what we now see as the Church of Rome.

I fear that it will be illegal to be a Protestant in my lifetime. Divisive bigots or some such legalese for insisting on the truth of scripture, and ignoring the "early fathers".

16 June 2007 at 13:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


16 June 2007 at 16:54  
Anonymous Voyager said...

It is getting very Charles II and James II all over again, isn't it ?

16 June 2007 at 17:55  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Voyager,

Quite so, quite so.

But whence shall come a Cromwell, and what likelihood of a glorious revolution?

16 June 2007 at 18:05  
Anonymous Voyager said...


Anthony Bailey, KCSS, 37......operates the largest group of academies in Britain. Long active in interfaith work, he advises several philanthropic organisations in the Arab world, including the King Faisal Foundation. He is chairman of its sister project, Painting & Patronage, which organises educational and artistic exchanges between Arabs and Europeans.

Bailey was born in London in 1970, studied Contemporary East European Studies at University College London and further studied at Budapest and Sofia Universities.

You were made a Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of Pope Saint Sylvester by Pope John Paul II in recognition of your interfaith work. Does that make you the world's youngest papal knight?

Protestants and Catholics were not fighting each other in Northern Ireland over questions of transubstantiation, any more than Israelis and Palestinians kill each other because they disagree over the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad.

The last sentence shows a casual disdain for Judaism

You are about to be married to a descendant of one of the most Catholic of royal families. Was that a hard decision?
I'd say I've never felt so relaxed and content about making such an important life- changing decision. My mother always said that you will know when the time is right. For me, that moment happened with Marie-Therese,

16 June 2007 at 18:19  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Mr Anthony Bailey is Chairman of the public diplomacy firm Eligo International. He is also Chairman of the Painting & Patronage initiative and holds senior executive positions with the United Church Learning Trust, King Faisal Foundation, Constantinian Order of St George, Moroccan-British Society and the Three Faith Forum. Mr Bailey is also a member of the London Challenge Ministerial Advisory Group of the Department of Education and Skills. He has been decorated by ten countries for his professional and charitable work most recently by the Vatican City State, Morocco and Portugal.

16 June 2007 at 18:23  
Anonymous billy said...

Cranmer said...
But whence shall come a Cromwell, and what likelihood of a glorious revolution?

6:05 PM

History is on our side, Your Grace. The latter day Cromwell is out there somewhere, warts and all.

16 June 2007 at 21:35  
Blogger Cato, author of said...

Your Grace, I am disturbed that from your lips should fall the words "But whence shall come a Cromwell ...". Surely Your Grace, whose own pen wrote the words of the 37th Article of Religion "The Queen's Majesty hath the chief power in this realm of England ..." is not looking for another murderer of Princes? I trust you can set my mind at rest.

17 June 2007 at 18:53  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Metaphor, Mr Cato, metaphor.

Please refer to the context, which was clearly a reference to the reformations deemed necessary during and folliwng the reigns of Charles II and James II. Of course His Grace would not wish for a 'murderer of princes'; simply one that would assert and implement a 21st-century equivalent, which would include the constitutional right to warn Her Majesty of her obligations as the 'chief power'.

17 June 2007 at 19:24  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The Scotsman (born Fife) Charles I was not beheaded until he engaged in treachery and sought to raise an army in Scotland and fight Parliament.

Offered a Constitutional Monarchy he chose instead to attempt Absolutism with Scottish troops.....Cromwell ended both delusions and stopped the subjugation of England by the Scots

17 June 2007 at 21:15  
Blogger Laban said...

And in the end (if I remember my history) General Monck and his Scottish troops were instrumental in restoring the monarchy.

(the story of the Scots during the Civil War is a fascinating one. Started fighting the King over Laud's Prayer Book, invaded England as paid troops of Parliament, then invaded England again as a Royalist Army. Scotland was of course divided between Royalists and Covenanters. Both combined under Charles II and were beaten at Worcester. Finally Monck took his troops south peacefully to organise the Restoration (Convention) Parliament)

21 June 2007 at 02:11  
Anonymous Voyager said...

and Charles II had a Catholic wife and flirted with disaster over Catholicism until his brother brought things to the brink of ruin and had an English General smooth his path to exile rather than the scaffold........

thus endeth the Stuart experience of the English throne and the Hanoverians then had to fight off two Stuart rebellions backed by Catholic France

21 June 2007 at 06:50  

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