Hilary White

  LONDON, May 21, 2008 ( – Neither the office of the cardinal archbishop of Westminster, nor the bishops of England and Wales had a comment when Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, told a television interviewer this week that contraception is “really important for women”.

  Describing herself as a “good Catholic girl,” Blair said on a morning television programme yesterday, “One of the reasons women’s lives have changed is that they have been able to control their fertility, it is an important issue.”

“People seem to be quite shocked that perhaps a Catholic girl even uses contraception but it is really an important thing for women because one of the things about the book is about how women’s lives have changed,” Blair told interviewer Lorraine Kelly.

  Blair, a barrister known professionally as Cherie Booth QC, was speaking in an interview on Good Morning Television. She responded to viewers’ questions about her remarks on contraception in her new book, “Speaking for Myself”. In the book about her life as the Prime Minister’s wife, Blair described how her youngest son was conceived during a visit to the Queen’s residence at Balmoral when she forgot to pack her contraceptive equipment.

  Tony Blair was received into the Catholic Church by the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster shortly before Christmas 2007 and was invited to give the first of a series of public lectures on faith and public life at Westminster Cathedral in London.

  The press secretary of Cherie Blair’s bishop, Cormac Cardinal Murphy O’Connor did not return phone calls from and the spokesman for the Bishops of England and Wales declined to comment, saying it would not be “appropriate”.

  This is not the first time that Cherie Blair has been in public opposition to the teaching of her Church. She is well known as a supporter of abortion and in 2003 while her husband was Prime Minister, was criticised for her support of a project by International Planned Parenthood Federation called “Lust for Life”. Mrs. Blair hosted a private reception at 10 Downing Street for Lust for Life, hoping to raise £100,000 for the organisation.

  To contact Cardinal Murphy O’Connor
  Archbishop’s House
  Ambrosden Avenue
  London SW1P 1Q
  020 7798 9033
  020 7798 9000 (voicemail)

  Apostolic Nuncio, Faustino Sainz Muñoz
  London SW19 5NE,
  54 Parkside, Wimbledon
  Phone: 020 8944 7189
  Fax: 020 8947 2494