Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tony Blair converts to Roman Catholicism

At last, the speculation is over. Tony Blair has finally converted to Roman Catholicism, and embraced the faith of his wife and children after receiving months of instruction for his penitent soul from two priests - RAF chaplain John Walsh and Father Mark O'Toole, secretary to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.

In a free country, Mr Blair is of course at liberty to convert to whatever faith he wishes, but he will hardly find the grass greener on the other side of the Tiber. As His Holiness (that is Pope Benedict XVI, not Mr Blair) abandons the reforms of Vatican II, reinstitutes the Tridentine (Latin) Mass, reintroduces the sale of indulgences, and reaffirms the existence of Purgatory, many of the Roman Catholic bishops of England are in a state of rebellion. Indeed, some are even calling for reformation…

While it is for God to judge the heart of Mr Blair, it is not unreasonable to ask why now? Had he converted whilst he was prime minister, it would have assisted his church in the eradication of centuries of prejudice. Was he afraid to do so? If so, why? Was he advised not to do so? If so, by whom? Is this simply another example of Blair opportunism? It is, at the very least, more than a little impolite that the Middle East Messiah Envoy has chosen the eve of Christmas to turn the spotlight on himself, thus eclipsing the Star of Bethlehem and upstaging the Prince of Peace.

But before the profession of faith and reception, candidates for conversion have to make a confession of sins. They are asked to inform the confessor that they are to be received into full communion. There has been much speculation about whether Mr Blair's confession would include any reference to the war in Iraq, or to Parliamentary policy on 'life' issues during his time as Prime Minister. What about his views on abortion, homosexual ‘marriage’, embryo research, the enforced closure of Roman Catholic adoption agencies, or his plans to force faith schools to take students who do not adhere to that faith? How can he reconcile these with the orthodox teachings of Rome?

While it would have been easy for him to profess the Nicene Creed, when it came to his formal reception he would have been required to swear: ‘I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God’. Only with a conversion on par with that of Saul could he have uttered these words in good conscience. To have done otherwise would make him a manifest hypocrite. But then ‘hypocrite’ is from the Greek word ὑποκρίτης (hypokrites), associated with hypokrisis, that is ‘actor’. Perhaps Mr Blair is simply pursuing his vocation, and (let's face it) there is far more theatre and spectacle in the Church of Rome than there is in the Church of England.

It is ironic that 'the most devoutly Christian prime minister since Gladstone' has done more to undermine Christian liberties than any challenge to the faith on these islands in more than three centuries. He is a spiritual fraud, and Rome is where his heart has always been: his professed Anglicanism was indeed simply a piece of theatre - a facade maintained for constitutional reasons.

As far as Cranmer is concerned, he can go, and good riddance - politically, spiritually, ecclesiastically, and theologically. But it is curious indeed that the Vatican would even want such a vain and corrupt dissembler in their ranks. He has failed consistently to adhere to the unequivocal teachings of the church he aspires to join, indeed, his record is one of consistently contending against the faith.

Yet Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor said: 'I am very glad to welcome Tony Blair into the Catholic Church. For a long time he has been a regular worshipper at Mass with his family and in recent months he has been following a programme of formation to prepare for his reception into full communion. My prayers are with him, his wife and family at this joyful moment in their journey of faith together.'

Rome is welcome to him. The Church of England is best purged of such hypocrites.


Blogger Manfarang said...

Not quite from ultramodern to ultramontane!

22 December 2007 at 15:23  
Anonymous Nathan Hale said...

I've often wondered what punishment the Almighty has for those politicians who enact bad laws or fail to remove preexisting ones. There can be no doubt that Tony Blair is guilty of a little bit of the former and much of the latter.

And yet I also think that God's mercy is so overpowering that it can blot out these dreadful misdeeds if the sinner is contrite and heart-broken. I hope that Tony Blair has reached that state and I hope that he, and everyone else in the world, will be received into the arms of our Eternal Father when the Judgment Day comes.

22 December 2007 at 15:41  
Anonymous Sally Staggers said...

He'll have his eye on the papal tiara, believe me. Pope Narcissus, here we come.

"Perhaps Mr Blair is simply pursuing his vocation, and (let's face it) there is far more theatre and spectacle in the Church of Rome than there is in the Church of England."

Depends, ducky. My lot could show the left-footers a thing or two.

22 December 2007 at 15:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sally Staggers? If, by your name, you're at St Stephen's House, then you're right! That place is more theatrical than a Restoration romp!!!

22 December 2007 at 16:06  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Your Grace is too well informed blindly make such statements regarding the Pope and the RCC (It’s no wonder they made toast out of you), so either you must be fishing for a gullible papist to bite (Mr Blair perhaps?) or up to a bit of seasonal mischief making, Ho Ho Ho. Of course it depends where you go for the theatre and spectacle in the RCC, but we don’t have the degree of farce that Anglicanism seems to enjoy. I note this week the ABC has, on balance decided to accept the Virgin birth, that’s good of him, and he won’t even insist other Anglican do the same. How does that work, you believe this bit of the creed, I’ll believe that bit and he can believe the other, together we might make a whole one, how absurd.

As for the rest of the nativity, take it or leave it seems to be his message, he is a true disciple of Nestorianism, even with Blair I’d rather have Rome than the Pick’n’Mix of Lambeth, that kind of heresy is too hot for me, but you’d know all about that eh.

22 December 2007 at 16:15  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Christmas, Mr Recusant, Merry Christmas!

22 December 2007 at 16:22  
Anonymous billy said...

"t the Middle East Messiah Envoy has chosen the eve of Christmas to turn the spotlight on himself, thus eclipsing the Star of Bethlehem and upstaging the Prince of Peace."

I think that you are worrying a little too much here, Your Grace.
In 30 years Blair will be dead, and forgotten before that, but Christ will just be 30 years older.

22 December 2007 at 16:48  
Anonymous Robert said...

Let me correct your ignorance. The Tridentine use has not been re-introduced. It is just more readily available, though not so available as the Book of common POrayer, of which you should approve. Indulgencies can be obtained but not their sale. As for purgatory: read "the Great divorce" by (the Anglican) C.S Lewis for a very good exposition and, even if you disbleive it, would you have us be without Elgar's Dream of Gerontius?

22 December 2007 at 16:55  
Anonymous Robert said...

I wqs at Staggers! Theatrical? I will remind you of what a former principal said to a theatrical aspirant: what fairy grotto have you emrgerd fro. Go to Cuddesden; they cater for your type there. He did, and they do. Look at some of their products: the pompous grande dame, the Bishop of Winchester for example.

22 December 2007 at 16:58  
Blogger Dame Honoria Glossop said...

A Father Lombardi is quoted as saying "The choice of joining the Catholic church made by such an authoritative personality can only arouse joy and respect" . 'Fraid not, all it's aroused in me is is mirth and cynicism.

22 December 2007 at 17:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

22 December 2007 at 17:30  
Anonymous Edmund said...

What odious people are on this website! Pleanty of Catholics have always advised HM, but would refrain from doing on church matters. Expediency applies rather than law. If only there were a papist cabal rather than a secularist one. I am no supporter of Blair politically but I despise sectarianism. Anglican prelates are pretty third rate with the exceptions of Williams, York, Rochester & Richborough. St alban's is Mr Bean writ large!

22 December 2007 at 17:54  
Blogger Eddie said...

Well we always knew that he was never truly a member of the labour party, now we have confirmation that his anglicanism was a fraud too. Is there anything real about this man?

22 December 2007 at 17:58  
Anonymous crackers said...

Blair sees himself as a pretty straight sort of guy. He wishes ill on none and will only employ calumny and detraction on his political enemies. It also means that he will try to tell the truth unless it hinders his career.
He is incapable of a proper examination of concience since he means well and this covers ommissions and commissions.

That apart his wife has told him that you don't have to accept all the Church's teaching since these change over time. Tone's Catholic Church is the one he wants it to be.

Anything wrong with that.

Just curious.

22 December 2007 at 18:12  
Anonymous mickey said...

"Fetch me the priest, I'm going to convert", said the wise old Ulsterman on his deathbed.

"But why, after all these years?" replied his pal, who sat with him that night.

"Better to lose one of them, than one of us!" answered the old boy.

22 December 2007 at 18:39  
Anonymous Alfred of Wessex said...

I don't expect my comment to the Telegraph article here
to be printed, so I am posting it here, safe in the knowledge that at least my opionion can be aired somewhere.

What about the New-Age rebirthing ceremony that Mr and Mrs Blair are alleged to have undergone during a holiday in Mexico ( )? Does Rome now welcome witches and warlocks without demanding proof of repentance by word and deed?

Not that conversion to Rome will do him any good when he stands before the Great White Throne on the Day of Judgment. The only thing that will count then is whether in this life he evidences conversion to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If he, or anyone reading this, fails to do so, he will hear these dread words from the lips of the King of Kings: "Depart from me you evildoers, I never knew you."

If Mr Blair's repentance is real, let him prove it first by openly renouncing all his former New-Age beliefs, second by abandoning his fixation with Islam which on his watch has reduced the institutions of this country to craven dhimmitude, and lastly by making restitution to the families of the thousands killed in his illegal war in Iraq.

If anyone deserved the epithet 'brood of vipers' it would be Mr and Mrs Anthony Charles Linton Blair.

22 December 2007 at 19:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony could no longer stand being told he did not belong to a real church by his wife.
Tony wanted to be truly religious and you can't be that if your a protestant - can you now.

22 December 2007 at 19:36  
OpenID yokel.php said...

My immediate thought was to refer to the song about the Vicar of Bray, who changed his ecclesiastical tone to suit the prevailing dogma. Blair needed to be a Protestant to be UK Prime Minister. Now his ambition is to be President of Europe, he needs to be a Catholic. If all you have is your ambition to preen yourself above all others, its quite simple really.

22 December 2007 at 19:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May we have the 17:30 comment removed, Cranmer, please. The language spoils your site.

22 December 2007 at 20:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edmund says

Pleanty (sic) of Catholics have always advised HM, but would refrain from doing on church matters.

Sadly Edmund this individual did have the ability to, if the law was upheld then none of the "Catholics" would have as they should not even be in Office.

Why is that? "well it was found that the allegiance to a foreign power or prelate was not compatible" and now the Islamists, Papists and the Secularists have managed to make Parliament a lap-dog to every one feeling "victimised" and so Parliament bends to suit everyone except the majority.

It was a law enacted Centuries ago by a far better Parliament than this bunch of ex-teachers, lawyers and Social Workers.

Anonymous said...

May we have the 17:30 comment removed, Cranmer, please. The language spoils your site.

Yes I forgot to delete the last word as I thought I was writing on Guidos site..!

22 December 2007 at 20:52  
Blogger Chuck Unsworth said...

Your Grace,

- and with considerable respect.

If the Church of England is indeed to be purged of such hypocrites, I must suggest great caution.

The question arises then as to just how many members of the Church of England may remain...

22 December 2007 at 20:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you say, "it is for God to judge the heart of Mr Blair"; we can only wonder: is it genuine religious ardor or just Tartuffism?

Mr Blair may have found in the Catholic Church the spiritual fulfillment that the Church of England could not provide him with, or he may have found that,like George Bush's America and Israel, this time, the Vatican could be a powerful ally to his ambitions
of becoming the first president of Europe.

22 December 2007 at 22:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Tony Blair is instrumental in achieving a peace treaty in the Middle East, and later is crowned President of a continent predominently Roman Catholic in tradition, then he will have manoeuvred himself into the position and title Cranmer often alludes to: Messiah. In this case of course false Messiah. This scenario is possible, and if greater powers than merely human are at work, then why not ? The Whore of Babylon is no doubt awaiting her final entrance, why should not T.Blair's crowned head herald the heavenly appearance.

Pope Benedict lectures us all on the morality of war forgetting perhaps the grim history of Roman Catholicism with regard to claims of world dominence,supporting and initiating wars, genocides, persecutions, inquisitions, tortures, banishments, exiles, burnings,my apology to His Grace, and so on.

May God have mercy on us all.

22 December 2007 at 22:59  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

anon 22:59

Amen to all of that, and then some. Which I would love to expand on, but forgive me, I have a wife and children to worry about, and would like to see 50 at least.

23 December 2007 at 00:09  
Anonymous Sceptical Romanist said...


Some evidence that the Pope has approved the sale of indulgences? This papist suspects His Cremated Grace of invention.

23 December 2007 at 02:05  
Blogger Greg said...

anon 22:59
You left out the "Emperor of Europe" step, after Middle East Peace Envoy.

Otherwise, I'm with Atlas - all does seem to be falling into place in a worrying way.

23 December 2007 at 02:07  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Sceptical Romanist,

Of course:

In The Daily Telegraph (7 Dec 2007): 'Pope Benedict XVI is offering relief from purgatory to Roman Catholics who travel to Lourdes over the next year, the Vatican said yesterday.'

Yet there are some pedants who insist this is not a sale, yet how can pilgrims travel without cost? And will they not feel obliged to give more when they arrive? And how much will be spent on holy water or illuminating madonnas?

This is exploitation of the fear of death. It is the sale of indulgences pure and simple, albeit framed with more sensitive marketing spin.

23 December 2007 at 09:33  
Anonymous Bob said...

Yet there are some pedants who insist this is not a sale, yet how can pilgrims travel without cost?

I don't think this could count as a sale of indulgence - unless you can now pay for indulgences at the Ryanair desk while you're being overcharged for your luggage as well.

This posting had so much spin in it it was worthy of Alistair Campbell. How ironic!

23 December 2007 at 10:19  
Blogger Chuck Unsworth said...

Your Grace,

With regard to the sale or otherwise of indulgences. Cui Bono?

If, as I surmise, you feel that the beneficiaries from modern pilgrimage are all in some way fiscally linked to the Roman Church, it would be helpful to demonstrate how this works. From your description one can see that those offering travel and/or accommodation may benefit substantially, but I doubt that the money earned within and around Lourdes (for example) from the sale of quasi religious trinkets amounts to very much.

All pilgrims have distributed their largesse - by choice or perforce - since time immemorial. Indeed the many Christian pilgrimages and shrines are mirrored by those of other religions, with similar effects.

Your Grace may feel that this is somehow a venal exchange, and I might agree, but it is difficult to visualise how things might be better arranged.

However, if His Holiness is suggesting that monies be paid into the coffers of the Vatican in exchange for such indulgences that is a different matter altogether. At that point it will become clear how easy it may be for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, although it is probably less costly to enter the House of Lords.

23 December 2007 at 10:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you saying Blair is the AntiChrist?
Wow, I feel sorry for his kids.

23 December 2007 at 14:14  
Anonymous Robert said...

Emperor of Europe. That hope died in 1918 with the abdication of Charles. As a monarchist, I should like to see the Hapsburgs & Romanovs restored. Even if Europe were to be an empire, it would be small fry compared to the British world system which reached its zenith under King George V in the 1920s.

23 December 2007 at 14:44  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...


Who told you that the British world system reached its zenith under King George v in the 1920s. Because nothing could be further from reality.

Don't tell me your school teachers or the BBC, surly.

The British system as you call it has never been so powerful. In fact it completely dominates almost the entire planet.

The British establishment still rules the waves my friend and much much else besides. However I wish I could say the same thing about Britons never never never turning into slaves.

In the past we but chains around peoples necks. Now we just sell them mortgages.

24 December 2007 at 02:49  
Anonymous Alfred of Wessex said...

Let a Catholic have the last word:

Rocky Horror: The Rite of Reception of a former Prime Minister

Gathering Song

He who would a Catholic seem, ’gainst Guardianistas,
Let him see Michael Seed –he stays in Westminster
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to seem a Catholic

Who so beset him round with dismal spinning
Good job pro-lifers die –like Cardinal Winning
No foes shall stay his might; though he with Gordon fight,
He will make good his right to seem a Catholic.

Tony dost play tennis with Alistair Campbell,
Thought the old religious thing, a bit of a gamble,
Pol Toynbee flees away! I don’t read her anyway,
Tone labours night and day to seem a Catholic.

Cherie steps up to the lectern. She does not bow to the presiding prelate.

Reading from the Letter of St Tony to the Labourites

"Y'know - I'm a pretty straight kinda guy. I have only three policies:
Re-education until you accept gay marriage;
Re-education until you accept gay adoption;
Re-education until you accept an EU constitution devoid of reference to Christianity;
Re-education until you accept your place in the Caliphate;
Re-education until you realise what a wonderful, pure, innocent government you have.
Onwards and upwards"

This is the word of Tony

All: Thanks heavens for that!

Renewal of Baptismal Vows

CMOC:Do you renounce Satan?
TB: I don't, like, really 'do' the Satan thing, y'know, horns and tail and stuff, so not much to renounce there.

CMOC:And all his works?
TB: I refer the Eminent cardinal to my last answer

CMOC:And all his pomps?
TB: I refer the Eminent cardinal to my last answer

CMOC: Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
TB: Well OK, in a benign warm togetherness kinda way, not a big guy with a beard in the sky, right?

CMOC:Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and

was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
TB: Jesus? What a great guy. Virgin births? I'll pass on that one. Resurrection - well, we've all come back from the dead in

politics.Ha ha.....Ahem.

CMOC: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the

resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
TB: Spirit in the Sky, wow! Love the Catholic thing, yeah. Communion - already had it mate - though Basil wasn't too

happy about it. Forgiveness - great, yeah. Resurrection - see above. Life everlasting - do I look like I'm dying soon?

CMOC: God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and

forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.

TB: Yeah. Right.

CMOC (looks nervous): Repeat after me:

I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.

TB (looks brass-necked):Well, OK. Insofar as women have a right to any kinda life choices and gay-lesbian-transgender

folk can adopt and marry and stuff, yeah , that's kinda OK, but don't lay it on so thick. I'd just kinda like to go

Maaaaaassss in Tuscany and have communion. So I don't feel left out.


Here the sponsor comes forward. It may be Bernie Ecclestone or the Hinduja Brothers or Rupert Murdoch. If Bernie

Ecclestone, he will need a box to stand on. The sponsor places a hand on TBs left shoulder.

CMOC: Former PM, what name do you take
Sponsor: This is TB. He takes the name [it may be Rupert or George W or Augustus Imperator or Bono or Elvis or

anything else the former PM fancies]

The Cardinal anoints the former PM with Chrism. This should be first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, organically grown

in the Tuscan hills.

CMOC: [Rupert/George W/Augustus Imperator/Bono/Elvis] be sealed with the Holy Spirit
TB: Whatever.

Concluding Rite:
CMOC: Go in peace to love and serve the Party
All: Thanks be to Tony!
TB straps on his stratocaster

Concluding 'Hymn '
He's got the whole world in his hands
He's got the whole wide world in his hands
He's got the whole world in his hands
He's got the whole world in his hands
I had the British electorate in my hands
I had the British electorate in my hands
I had the British electorate in my hands
I had those dumb saps in my hands

I've got the Catholic Church in my hands
I've got the Catholic Church in my hands
I've got the Catholic Church in my hands
I've got the left footers in my hands
He's got the Middle East in his hands
He's got the Camel Jockeys in his hands
He's got the Middle East in his hands
He's got the Arabs in his hands
I've got the £1M book deal in my hands
I've got the £1M book deal in my hands
I've got the £1M book deal in my hands
I've got a wad of cash in my hands

Greeting of the Gentlemen of the Press

TB and Cherie will emerge quietly and with a minimum of fuss to the assembled press corps (ca 200 journalists and

photographers) and announce TBs support for women and gay priests and bishops, abortion to term, artificial

contraception and his own desire to stand for Pope at the next Conclave.

Labels: humour, rocky horrors, satire

posted by Paulinus at 12:10 AM

24 December 2007 at 22:22  

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