Anglican Samizdat

April 8, 2009

Tony Blair straightens out the Pope on homosexuality

Filed under: Christianity,homosexuality — David Jenkins @ 1:01 pm
Tags: ,

I suppose one can hardly blame a politician for giving free advice to Christian leaders, since Christian leaders cannot resist giving advice to politicians. In this spirit of cross-discipline enlightenment, Tony Blair is advising the Pope on how to deal with the homosexuality issue:Add an Image

The Pope and the Vatican have an “entrenched attitude” towards homosexuality which is less tolerant than the views of ordinary Catholics, Tony Blair says in comments published today.

The former prime minister, who converted to Catholicism shortly after leaving office two years ago, said he disagreed with the Pope’s stance on gay rights and controversially suggested that the Church should reform itself along similar lines to how he re-organised the Labour Party.

“Organised religions face the same dilemma as political parties when faced with changed circumstances,” he said.

His generally liberal stance on abortion also contrasts with the Vatican, which supported the excommunication of a mother and four doctors in Brazil last month who performed a termination on a nine-year-old girl who had been raped by her stepfather.

“You can either A: Hold on to your core vote, basically, you know, say ‘Look let’s not break out because if we break out we might lose what we’ve got, and at least we’ve got what we’ve got so let’s keep it’. Or B: You say ‘let’s accept that the world is changing, and let us work out how we can lead that change and actually reach out’.”

One wonders if Tony Blair actually looked into what Catholics believe he before decided to become one or whether it just seemed like a good idea at the time, and he is now belatedly discovering all the little obstacles entailed in his leap of faith.

The idea that the church must change to accommodate to the world is not a new one: it bedevils all mainline denominations. To succumb to it, of course, renders one’s faith changeable, meaningless, powerless and is a sure road to denominational extinction – just ask Western Anglicans.


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