By Hilary White

Update: has learned that Blair ultimately declined the invitation to deliver the keynote address at the Catholic youth conference in Rome. See for more details.

LONDON, October 16, 2008 ( ) – Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister and notorious opponent of Catholic moral teaching in the public sphere, has been invited as a speaker at an upcoming youth conference sponsored by one of the Catholic Church’s most important universities, the Pontifical Atheneum Regina Apostolorum.

Blair, who is known around the world as one of the “principal architects” of what Pope John Paul II called the “culture of death” will give the keynote speech, “Globalization and Faith,” at a youth conference at the European University of Rome next month. The conference, “Roman Encounters,” is to be held November 28-30 and will work on the theme “The Civilisation of Love,” based on the teachings of the late Pope John Paul II.

The conference is advertised as “a meeting of professionally and socially active young people” who “are not afraid to discuss the challenges and problems of modernity and who want to find solutions in the spirit of John Paul II’s call to “build a civilisation of love.” Lectures, discussions and workshops “will help us assess if our actions and decisions that we make in our lives are right,” the organisers write.

John Smeaton, director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) said that the invitation to Blair is a “scandal” and that he is “one of the worst possible role models to present to young people.”

In a letter to the organisers of the youth conference, John Smeaton wrote, “In view of Tony Blair’s unwavering pursuit of legislation and policies in Britain and overseas promoting abortion and other anti-life measures, it is clear that he is a principal architect of the worldwide attack on the value of life.”

Smeaton is asking organisers that Blair’s invitation to speak be rescinded and invites concerned people to do the same.

In his ten years as British Prime Minister, Blair voted three times to allow abortion up to the point of birth. He personally endorsed his government’s policy of supplying abortion and birth control drugs and devices to schoolgirls as young as 11 without parental knowledge or consent. His government committed Britain to the promotion of abortion on demand as a universal fundamental human right at the international level. He personally championed destructive experiments on human embryos and his government introduced legislation which allows doctors to starve and dehydrate to death vulnerable patients.

In addition to these, Blair and his Labour government have been instruments of the homosexualist political movement, taking instructions directly from Stonewall, Britain’s foremost homosexualist lobby group. One of Stonewall’s founders, the actor Sir Ian McKellen, told an audience of homosexualist activists at the Equality Dinner this year, “I reeled off Stonewall’s demands, and he [Blair] nodded, wrote them down and put a tick by them all. Then he said ‘we will do all that’.”

When Blair stepped down as Prime Minister, John Smeaton wrote, “In general, there is virtually no area of pro-life or pro-family ethical concern which has not been made worse by the Blair government.”

Under his tenure, and just months before he announced his “conversion” to Catholicism, Blair refused to allow an exemption to the Sexual Orientation Regulations on religious conscience grounds. Since then, Britain’s Catholic adoption agencies have been announcing either closures or secularisations in response to the government’s demands that they consider homosexual partners as adoptive parents.

In April this year, speaking in a lecture at Westminster Cathedral, Blair said that he had nothing to regret from a religious viewpoint. “There is nothing I look back on now and say that as a result of my religious journey I would have done things very differently but that is expressly not to say that I got everything right.”

Faithful British Catholics reacted with outrage at the revelation that Cormac Cardinal Murphy O’Connor received Blair into the Catholic Church last December without any indication that the former Prime Minister had recanted any of his anti-life, anti-family and anti-Catholic positions.

Catholics around the world were shocked again when Blair announced he would be setting up the “Tony Blair Faith Foundation” a non-profit think tank that says its purpose is to “promote respect and understanding about the world’s major religions and show how faith is a powerful force for good in the modern world.”

With Blair travelling the world presenting himself as a representative of religious belief, John Smeaton wrote to ask Blair if he had recanted his anti-life positions. After several attempts, Smeaton received the reply that Blair would not “enter into correspondence on his personal beliefs on this or indeed other issues.”

The editors of the Catholic activist website, Catholic Action UK, opined, “Is it possible that, having voted for every anti-life and anti-family measure put before Parliament, closed down the Catholic adoption agencies, criminalised the teaching of the Catholic faith in schools, and removed charitable status from large numbers of Catholic charities, he’s going to enter the Church?”’s News Editor, John Henry Westen wrote last year before Blair’s reception into the Church was announced, “Tony Blair, while he may be a star candidate for entry into any pop religion, would be in his current state of unrepentant pusher of abortion and homosexuality a scandal to the Catholic Church.  We have enough of those kind of politicians already, the last thing we need is a very public entrance of another high profile abortion advocate into the Catholic Church.”

To write to the event organisers:
  Organizing Committee,
  Youth Meeting in Rome
  Centrum Mysli Jana Pawla II
  ul. Foksal 11
  00 – 372 Warszawa


e-mail: [email protected]
  director e-mail:
  dr Piotr Dardzinski
[email protected]

[email protected]

Project Coordinator:
  Dominika Jarosz
  Tel: (+48) 500 621 037 (English)

Project Assistant:
  Anna Szymanska
  Tel: (+48) 500 621 038 (Italian)

Read related coverage:

Blair Championing Religion in Westminster Cathedral Leaves Catholics Outraged

Before Tony Blair Becomes Catholic He Must Renounce Anti-Life and Anti-Family Stands

British Clergy Say Blair Must Renounce Anti-Life, Anti-Family Views Before Becoming Catholic

Blair Formally Refuses to Respond to Abortion and Embryo Research Questions after “Conversion” to Catholicism