Dear Tony: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Hey, its been fun, Tony. We appreciate you stopping by. Here is your hat and your coat, time for you to go now. We thought this might work out. Sorry. We were wrong.
[Ruthie Gledhill] Speaking to the gay magazine Attitude, the former Prime Minister, himself now a Roman Catholic, said that he wanted to urge religious figures everywhere to reinterpret their religious texts to see them as metaphorical, not literal, and suggested that in time this would make all religious groups accept gay people as equals.

Asked about the Pope’s stance, Mr Blair blamed generational differences and said: “We need an attitude of mind where rethinking and the concept of evolving attitudes becomes part of the discipline with which you approach your religious faith.”
“There are many good and great things the Catholic Church does, and there are many fantastic things this Pope stands for, but I think what is interesting is that if you went into any Catholic Church, particularly a wellattended one, on any Sunday here and did a poll of the congregation, you’d be surprised at how liberal-minded people were.” The faith of ordinary Catholics is rarely found “in those types of entrenched attitudes”, he said.

He also thought that in Islam there would eventually be a change of heart. “I believe that, ultimately, people will find their way to a sensible reformation of attitudes.”

People’s thinking had changed fundamentally, he added. “Now, that doesn’t mean to say there’s not still a lot of homophobia and a lot of things to be done. But the fact that it is unacceptable for any mainstream political party to be anything other than on the side of equality and respect is, in a way, the biggest change. The items of individual legislation matter a lot, but I think it’s the general shift in climate that is perhaps the most important point.”
I am no canon lawyer, but it isn't established that if if a participant in a sacrament never really intended what the Church intends, it didn't really take. This is what I think may have happened here. Many suspected at the time that Tony hadn't really come around on Church teaching, now Tony has confirmed it.

So, no hard feelings. We gave it a go, Tony. Hey, it's not you. Really. It's us. We are so entrenched with our backwards thinking, we would just hold you back. Hey, we can still be friends, but can we have our Stryper t-shirt back? On second thought - you keep it.


  1. Sure, it is inconsistent for Blair to distance himself from Catholic disapproval of homosexuality.

    However, you've gone far into deep waters by suggesting that his reception into the Church was invalid.

    (1) Reception into full communion is not a sacrament. It's an administrative act performed by the bishop (or priest) in a liturgical rite. Confirmation usually follows, but that's a separate action, and the Confirmation can even be performed in a separate ceremony altogether.

    (2) The profession of faith which a convert makes is an acceptance of all _de fide_ doctrines. To deny one is heresy. However, since Blair's error is vaguely expressed, there's not enough substance in his statements to constitute an actual heresy. There's probably not even enough clear **thinking** in his statements to constitute heresy!

    Therefore, as the lawyers say, you have no case!

  2. He's kind of the Madonna of male chameleons. She was big on the Kabbalah...probably until she realized it was a book and not a bagel and cream cheese. Tony falls into that celebrity trap that includes Madonna, Elton John, the late Princess Di, and Barrack Hussein Obama. Sorry to see him leave but the Church esteems the free will God gave to us as both a gift and a cross.

  3. Patrick,
    "I am no canon lawyer, but it isn't established that if if a participant in a sacrament never really intended what the Church intends, it didn't really take."

    No. It is only the minister of the Sacrament who needs to form and maintain the proper intention in order to effect the Sacrament validly. Moreover, the intention need only be in conformity with the Church's insofar as the Sacrament itself it concerned. Being a heretic by denying the teachings of the Church concerning homosexuality does not invalidate the Sacrament of Confirmation. Only being a heretic by denying the Church's teachings on the Sacrament of Confirmation does that.

    But hey, I only go to Villanova; what do I know? ;-)


  4. Ok, before everybody gets all hot and bothered, I wasn't serious.

    It was more of a wishful thinking a la a marriage annulment. Hence the breaking up gag. So no more lawyer talk, ok?

  5. So Mr. Blair thinks that all of the Bible is metaphorical? Like Jesus' death and resurrection?

    His longish quote in the middle of your snippet is interesting. Mr. Blair needs to understand that dogma is not based on polling. It doesn't matter what the majority of self-proclaimed Catholics think about homosexuality, or divorce, or abortion...what matters is what the Church teaches.

  6. The Blair Switch Project, now showing at a theatre near you.

  7. LarryD strikes again! LOL!!

    Does anyone wonder that people are joining the Church to try and destroy it from within? That's what I am starting to think. They think they can come in and change Her from the inside. In my Lutheran years I was always told, The Devil is in the church, too, waiting to pounce! Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing.

  8. Someone needs to track down the priest who gave him instructions and yank his faculties.

  9. Can he take his wife with him when he leaves? Pretty please?

  10. LarryD, you rock!

    I love Tony's dripping condescension. It's so...70's.

  11. The sad fact is Tony Blair was right when he said "if you went into any Catholic Church, particularly a well attended one, on any Sunday here and did a poll of the congregation, you’d be surprised at how liberal-minded people were". That's certainly true of my parish here in Sandy, UT.

  12. TragicallyUnhipMomMadAtThePhilliesApril 8, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    I'd just like to know what Blair is smoking and where can I get some?

    Tune in next week when the Obamamessiah grants Blair US citizenship and appoints him as the guy we send over to the Vatican....

  13. Surely TB is a sheep in sheep's clothing?

  14. "you’d be surprised at how liberal-minded people were"

    Good thing the Church is not a Democracy.

  15. I was under the impression that the Church already accepts gay people as equals. Certainly they are in need of the same Savior that I am. Certainly the Church encourages everyone to avoid all sin - not just the popular ones, and especially not just the ones that people use as part of their self-identity. The Church calls everyone to Christ, to grace, and to cultivate virtue in the place of vice: for in Him there is not man or woman, Gentile or Jew, slave or free, but Christ is all, and in all.

  16. Here we see the results of poor instruction and meaningless scrutinies.

    Tony thinks the Church can just revise its teaching because on some level he doesn't really believe revelation is REVELATION.

    I know a few cradle catholics who think the same thing.

  17. This excellent poem seems very a propos

    G.K. Chesterton

    "The Roman Catholic Church has never forgiven us for converting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle from his Agnosticism; and when Men like Mr. Dennis Bradley can no longer be Content with the old Faith, a Spirit of Jealousy is naturally roused."
    --A Spiritualist Paper

    She sat upon her Seven Hills
    She rent the scarlet robes about her,
    Nor yet in her two thousand years
    Had ever grieved that men should doubt her;
    But what new horror shakes the mind
    Making her moan and mutter madly;
    Lo! Rome's high heart is broken at last
    Her foes have borrowed Dennis Bradley.

    If she must lean on lesser props
    Of earthly fame or ancient art,
    Make shift with Raphael and Racine
    Put up with Dante and Descartes,
    Not wholly can she mask her grief
    But touch the wound and murmur sadly,
    "These lesser things are theirs to love
    Who lose the love of Mr. Bradley."

    She saw great Origen depart
    And Photius rend the world asunder,
    Her cry to all the East rolled back
    In Islam its ironic thunder,
    She lost Jerusalem and the North
    Accepting these arrangements gladly
    Until it came to be a case
    Of Conan Doyle v. Dennis Bradley.

    O fond and foolish hopes that still
    In broken hearts unbroken burn,
    What if, grown weary of new ways,
    The precious wanderer should return
    The Trumpet whose uncertain sound
    Has just been cracking rather badly
    May yet within her courts remain
    His Trumpet--blown by Dennis Bradley.

    His and her Trumpet blown before
    The battle where the good cause wins
    Louder than all the Irish harps
    Or the Italian violins;
    When armed and mounted like St. Joan
    She meets the mad world riding madly
    Under the Oriflamme of old
    Crying, "Mont-joie St. Dennis Bradley!"

    But in this hour she sorrows still,
    Though all anew the generations
    Rise up and call her blessed, claim
    Her name upon the new born Nations
    But still she mourns the only thing
    She ever really wanted badly;
    The sympathy of Conan Doyle
    The patronage of Dennis Bradley.

  18. Fr. Reichstag,

    I believe it was the good Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor who personally received Mr. Blair into the Church, and guaranteed that Mr. Blair had received personal private instruction and catechesis from a hand selected aide.

    And we wonder why the secular world holds us in contempt and suspects we don't believe any of the things we claim to believe?

  19. Sebastian - that is, like the rest of Chesterton, quite excellent!

  20. Speaking of "de fide" dogmas, has there ever been a list of what these are?

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