Who says Anti-Catholicism doesn't exist?
"Granny told me not to marry a Catholic, Tony Blair tells paper"
Tony Blair has revealed that after ignoring a stern warning from his great-grandmother about marrying a Catholic, he now finds his new-found faith has become the driving force in his life as he seeks to clear up the world's religious conflicts.
Speaking to L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's daily newspaper, Blair said today he considers Pope Benedict's belief that God is central to politics, society, economics and culture "brilliant".
Weeks after a packed Catholic conference in Italy gave Blair an ovation for his words about the universality of Catholicism, the pope's newspaper was equally effusive, calling the convert "a gentleman, educated, smiley, courteous in a way few know how to be".
Letting slip the Vatican's possible ambition for Blair, the paper also described him as "a probable future president of the European Union".
With a double page spread at his disposal, Blair served up a mix of anecdotes about his conversion and strong indications of how faith is at the heart of every step he takes.
Starting with his childhood, he recalled how "in one of her rare moments of lucidity, during an illness, my great-grandmother – who was in many ways fantastic – told me,
'Do whatever you want but don't marry a Catholic.' Which is exactly what I did."
Despite ambitions to be a rock star or a footballer when he arrived at university,
Blair said he was soon taken by his future wife, Cherie Booth, who was already an active Catholic on campus.
During his recent speech, Blair said she had been the driving force behind his conversion shortly after leaving office two years ago. Today
he added that conversion was "a path I have followed for 25 years," helped, he added, by a crucial private mass held by Pope John Paul II in 2003.
"It was an episode which really struck me," he said.
Catholicism's universality was its appeal, he added.
"If you are Catholic you can go anywhere in the world and take part in mass in any country."
The last people to understand this, he complained, are British journalists, who are still unprepared for religious, let alone Catholic, politicians.
"It's a shame but that is how it is.
However, I can say that for normal people, as opposed to those who speak on TV or write in newspapers, it was never a problem."
Faith, he added, would help him tackle "the Christian responsibility" of fighting climate change, creating dialogue with China ("They are talking a lot about Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism"), understanding what makes a family strong, and even how to fight poverty.
Going beyond Mr. Blair's grandmother's anti-Catholocism, I highly recommend that you click on the news link above (under the title of the article) and search under 'politics', 'religion' and "Tony Blair' to read the ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIC ANTI-CATHOLIC comments left by British commentors on this article. Ignorance.....sheer and utter ignorance about the Catholic Church prevail in England!