NewsMon Apr 14, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
Blair Formally Refuses to Respond to Abortion and Embryo Research Questions after “Conversion” to Ca
By Hilary White
LONDON, April 14, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of Britain and avid supporter of legal abortion and homosexual "marriage" who was received into the Catholic Church late last year, has issued a statement refusing to answer questions regarding his position on abortion and embryonic research in the light of his alleged conversion.
In an open letter, the Director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, John Smeaton, had asked Blair if he would, now that he was ostensibly a Catholic, renounce his former views and political activism on abortion and the use of embryonic human beings in experimental research.
A spokesman from Blair’s office responded, "Mr Blair recognises that this is a subject of great concern to many people around the world and on which a variety of deeply held convictions are held."
"However the Foundation inevitably has to focus on a limited number of issues, especially as it develops its thinking and builds up its resources. It plans to concentrate initially on the following four areas: how the different faiths might work more closely together to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals…This means that, at the moment, the Foundation will not be able to address the issue of pro-life, weighty though it is. "
The letter was the second Smeaton had sent to Mr. Blair asking for answers to the same questions. The letter was sent after Blair gave the opening lecture of the Cardinal’s Lecture series April 3rd at Westminster Cathedral.
Smeaton wrote that the statement constitutes a non-response to questions he did not ask from a person he did not address. "I didn’t write to Mr Blair’s Foundation or to Mr Blair about his Foundation. I wrote to Mr Blair, at his office, to ask him whether he repudiates his anti-life record in parliament and government."
The letter from Blair’s staff concludes, "Nor, I am afraid, will Mr Blair be able to enter into correspondence on his personal beliefs on this or indeed other issues."
But Smeaton said he did not ask to "enter into correspondence" about Blair’s religious beliefs. "I asked him, a public figure, about his public record on matters of current public policy - under which hundreds of thousands of unborn British people, and unborn people in developing countries, are killed every year."
Questions about the depth of Blair’s reported religious conversion and the motives of Cormac Cardinal Murphy O’Connor who received him into the Church late last year have multiplied in the last few weeks, ever since Blair’s speech at Westminster Cathedral.
In his speech, with the Cardinal present, Blair promoted an ambiguous concept of "faith" as a force for "progress" in the political and social spheres. Blair said that people "of faiths" should not be exclusive or "extremist." Citing English new age author and former Catholic Karen Armstrong, Blair spoke of the "evolution" of religious thought from "earliest times" when it was irrational and unforgiving, to "modern times" when "faiths" share common values and purpose. Armstrong asserts that "all the great traditions are saying the same thing in much the same way, despite their surface differences," a doctrine known as "religious indifferentism" and condemned by the Catholic Church.
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation, said Blair, will promote the idea of faith itself as "something dynamic, modern and full of present relevance." Irrelevance he said, is represented by "stark dogmatism and empty ritualism".
Fr. Timothy Finigan, a priest and lecturer in theology wrote "I was struck by how cogently this globalistic pan-religious niceness ignores the real questions over which people of faith disagree with one another and, more, with the humanists whom Blair seems also to want on board the global faith fest."
Fr. Finigan, the founder of the group Association of Priests for the Gospel of Life, wrote on his weblog that Blair’s speech "blithely ignores the practical detail related to the high sounding principles it wafts before us," including the fate of unborn children and humans at the embryonic stage of life.
"In the Britain that has emerged from decades of increasingly secularist government, (not particularly impeded in any way by Tony Blair) the far more disturbing spectre is that of the secularists who are militant, extremist, closed, exclusive etc…The vaunted global mutual respect and solidarity will not survive long in the areas where their writ runs."
Read John Smeaton’s April 4th letter to Tony Blair:
To Contact Cormac Cardinal Murphy O’Connor:
London SW1P 1QJ
Phone: 020 7798 9033
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
"Some Catholic": Former PM Tony Blair is Now Raising Funds for Homosexual Group
Before Tony Blair Becomes Catholic He Must Renounce Anti-Life and Anti-Family Stands
Blair Championing Religion in Westminster Cathedral Leaves Catholics Outraged
No Right to Criticise Blair’s Reception into Catholic Church Says Church Spokesman