Blair supports same-sex marriage, churches push back

One of Britian’s most well-known Catholics has expressed his support for a proposed same-sex marriage law. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who converted to Catholicism, joining the faith of his wife and children, said he “strongly supports” same-sex marriage. From The Independent:

Today the campaign against gay marriage is stepped up with a letter from two archbishops to be read to Catholic congregations  Blair across England and Wales at mass. The letter will claim that the new law would undermine the institutions of marriage and the family.


But despite the backlash, the Prime Minister and many members of his Cabinet are fully behind the plans. In a significant boost to Mr Cameron, Mr Blair – one of the best known Catholics in Britain – has told friends he "strongly supports the Prime Minister's proposal".

Mr Blair's position is likely to anger the Vatican, which is alarmed at moves in both the UK and the US for same-sex unions. Senior church figures are also opposed to church blessings of same-sex civil partnerships. Mr Blair was responsible for pushing through laws on civil partnerships and lowering the age of consent for homosexuals to 16, but he has remained silent on the issue of gay marriage until now.

When Mr Blair joined the Catholic Church, six months after leaving Downing Street, the Vatican's chief spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said his conversion "can only arouse joy and respect". He joined because his wife, Cherie, is a Catholic and their four children were brought up in the church. But Ann Widdecombe, the former Tory minister and also a Catholic convert, complained that his record as prime minister clashed with the church's teachings.

The Tablet reports that there is indeed pushback from the Vatican:

A senior Vatican figure has rebuked Tony Blair after it was reported at the weekend that he "strongly supports the Prime Minister's proposal" to legalise gay marriage.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation, had harsh words for the former Prime Minister, who became a Catholic in 2007 and whose comments were reported in the Independent on Sunday.

He said: "If the stories in the press about Blair's thinking are true, I think he should examine his conscience carefully", Vatican Insider reported.

Leaders in the Church of England have joined Catholic officials in opposing same-sex marriage.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
david power
7 years 11 months ago
Archbishop Fischella never fails to make me laugh.
We have orphans who cry themselves to sleep ,widows who probably have no tears left, men women and children who walk around maimed for life with an arm or leg missing .In the UK you have men barely at the age of thirty swinging from the end of a rope after a tour of duty ,a population so used to the carnage that the killing of 100 Iraqis  in a single day does not grab even a split second of our consciousness anymore.Babies limbs litter the bins of abortion clinics all over Great Britain and all of this was most dandy with our Neophyte .
Santo Subito gave him the body of our Lord just  before he  let loose the bombs on the Iraqi people , a nod is as good as a wink to a blind man right?
Then as the worms gorged on the bodies of innocent Iraqis Blair popped the Champagne and made his entry (not on an Ass!) into the one,true ,Holy and Catholic Church.Some cardinals even got a smileline on their faces from it all.Holy ,Holy ,Holy!
Then the hero of our tale says that gay people should be allowed to marry each other, clashing most clearly with catholic teaching and with a jowly flourish an Italian king of Evangelisation rolls out the Italianism of "examining conscience".Where  have you gone Joe DiMaggio?Our nation turns it's lonely eyes to you.    
david power
7 years 11 months ago
Yes David,

A not so subtly veiled "will to power ".
His sin is lack of omission.
Naivety is a form of narcissism said someone. 
Stanley Kopacz
7 years 11 months ago
Perhaps Blair thinks he can retard the progress of same sex marriage by lending his name to it.  I think the secret plan was laid out at that photographed meeting with the pope.  Very, very cunning.
Alfred Chavez
7 years 11 months ago
Screwtape's advice was followed by Blair's Wormwood to a ''T''.
Luigi Smith
6 years 10 months ago
Because of changes which is really inevitable today, the context of union of opposite sex has been opposed. This is due to same sex relationship that us we all see are accepted now by the society. Perhaps, the Catholic Church might not convince by the idea but as we all know the state and the church is completely separated . In fact, Former President Bill Clinton is appealing to the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which he signed into law, essentially barring federal recognition of same-sex marriages by defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. I read it here: Bill Clinton on same sex marriage


The latest from america

Tucker Redding, S.J. guides listeners through contemplative prayer in this 10-part mini-series "Imagine: A Guide to Jesuit Prayer."
Tucker Redding, SJFebruary 26, 2020
We are always tempted to make faith into something that we handle, not a way by which we surrender.
Terrance KleinFebruary 26, 2020
How perfectly the prophet Joel summons us to Lent with those two adverbs: “Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart.”
Terrance KleinFebruary 26, 2020
Join us throughout the Lenten season as we offer a special presentation of the Gospel, Passion and Resurrection narratives. 
Isabelle SenechalFebruary 26, 2020