NewsMon Apr 20, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST
“Architect” of U.K.‘s Anti-Life Culture, Tony Blair, Promotes Himself as “Faith” Leader in Toronto
By Hilary White
TORONTO, April 20, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair may have made his fame as the re-shaper of Britain’s political culture, but now he is travelling the world in an effort to remake himself as a world leader in "faith." Blair gave an email interview to the Toronto Star last week prior to a visit to Toronto, in which he said, "I’m really, and always have been in a way, more interested in religion than politics."
Blair told the Star, "To understand the state of modern politics you have to understand the modern state of religion."
Blair was invited to Toronto to speak to the Canadian Club on Friday by the Belinda Stronach Foundation. In September 2008, the Belinda Stronach Foundation, founded by the heavily pro-abortion and left-leaning Liberal party representative of Newmarket, Ontario, announced its partnership with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in promoting the Faiths Act Fellowship. The program has been described by British pro-life advocates as having "deep pro-abortion roots."
Shortly after leaving office and only a few months after being received into the Catholic Church, Blair began to remake himself as a leader in "faith," in part by establishing his foundation. He described the aim of the foundation to the Star, saying, "It is true there are two faces of faith: one reactionary, extreme, occasionally violent; the other, compassion, love, fellowship and solidarity.
"So the task for the foundation is: first, to help people understand different faiths better so they can understand different cultures more fully; and, second, to promote faith as part of progress and reconciliation, not a focus for conflict and sectarian divisions."
Although he is regularly described as having "converted" to Catholicism shortly after leaving office, many British Catholics have decried Blair’s refusal to recant his support for a number of positions deeply opposed to Catholic moral teaching, including his adamant support for legal abortion and the virulently secularist homosexualist political agenda. Pro-life and pro-family advocates have described Blair as the "architect" of Britain’s anti-life social culture and his political program as one of the most destructive to traditional Christian values in Britain’s post-war history.
Blair described his attitude to Catholic teaching earlier this month in an interview with a homosexualist magazine in which he called on the Catholic Church, and Pope Benedict XVI to "rethink" "entrenched" Catholic teaching on sexual morality.
He said, "For all religions, the challenge is how do you extract the essential values of the faith from a vast accumulation of doctrine and practice?"
He indicated that the solution to the problems "organised religions" have with "the role of women, [and] the issues to do with sexuality," is to "break with the past."
Asked if he sees any conflict between being "very religious and "pro-gay," Blair responded, "I came to a religious faith through people who were themselves very much open and liberal on all these issues, and who would have regarded it as bizarre to have attitudes of hostility to gay people. I think it would have been, actually, the other way around."
He continued, "For many people, the reason for their religious faith is less to do with the doctrine and practice, and more to do with the values like love of God and love of your neighbour."
But Blair’s newly acquired persona as a leader in religious issues is not gaining converts in Britain. Blair’s comments to Attitude magazine received a gentle rebuke from the recently appointed Archbishop of Westminster, who said that the belief of the Catholic Church is "rather different" from that of the former Prime Minister.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols told BBC Radio 4, "Mr. Blair is a very fine politician, and he has got very well-tuned political senses. But I am afraid the way the Catholic Church thinks is rather different to that and I think I will take my guide from Pope Benedict actually."
Read SPUC Director John Smeaton’s critique of the Faiths Act Fellowship
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Tony Blair Organizing World’s Faiths to Stump for Abortion Via UN Millenium Development Goals
Tony and Cherie Blair Attack Pope on Homosexuality and Condoms