Friday, June 22, 2007

Pope Benedict to meet Tony Blair

~from AFP via Yahoo (I've avoided blogging about Tony Blair's possible conversion. But since he is meeting with Papa, I thought I'd post this news item.)

Protestant Prime Minister Tony Blair is due to meet Pope Benedict XVI before he leaves office next week in what media say involves his preparations for converting to Roman Catholicism.

Blair, an Anglican in a nation that has never had a Catholic premier, has denied persistant speculation about his faith fuelled by his regularly attending mass with his devout Catholic wife Cherie and their four children.

Officially, Blair will travel to the Vatican to discuss "inter-faith issues" at a time of Christian-Muslim tensions in Europe. Vatican sources say the visit takes place Saturday after Blair attends a European Union summit in Brussels.

Informed sources quoted by The Guardian newspaper said Blair has already taken his decision to convert, and it was just a matter of when he will announce it, though he will not do so during his visit with the pope.

...Three years ago Roman Catholic priest Timothy Russ, whose parish includes Chequers, disclosed that Blair had asked him for advice on switching churches.

But Russ, according to the Telegraph, said Blair had "some way to go" on important moral issues because his views on abortion, stem cell research and other issues are at odds with traditional Church teachings.

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