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Tony Blair ‘could accompany the Pope for part of his trip’

The former PM will meet the Holy Father to discuss interreligious dialogue

By on Thursday, 9 September 2010

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation has been criticised as a "messianic" project to remould the world's religions  (Photo: PA)

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation has been criticised as a "messianic" project to remould the world's religions (Photo: PA)

UPDATE: A spokesman for Tony Blair has confirmed that the former Prime Minister will be meeting the Holy Father at Westminster Hall and not at the meeting of religious leaders in Twickenham.

Tony Blair is scheduled to meet Benedict XVI next week to discuss interreligious dialogue.

Although the date and time of their meeting isn’t known, it’s possible the former Prime Minister will join religious leaders when they meet the Holy Father next Friday at St Mary’s College in Twickenham. Some reports say he will also accompany the Pope for some of his trip.

Through his Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which he created after leaving Downing Street, Mr Blair has been trying to promote respect and understanding about the world’s major religions and show them as a force for good.

However, the organisation faced some criticism last year when a member of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences, Mgr Michel Schooyans, claimed the organisation was an instrument to further Mr Blair’s “messianic” revision of human rights, moulding all religions into his own idea of truth.

A foundation spokesman strongly denied the charge, saying it was “definitely not looking to discover or create a lowest common denominator among faiths”. On the foundation website Mr Blair insists that the aim of his organisation is not to “supplant or undermine” other religions, but rather “allow people to respect and value the other person’s beliefs, to understand what those beliefs really are, and to let those of different faiths see the values they often share”.

But there is also the serious problem of Mr Blair’s voting record on life issues. Among other policies, he voted to retain the 24-week limit on abortion and championed civil partnerships legislation. He has yet to publicly repudiate any of these since he was received into the Church in 2007.

Yet were it not for Mr Blair, this state visit may not be taking place.
According to sources, he was one of the first to support inviting the
Pope after paying three visits to the Vatican while he was the nation’s
political leader. Cherie Blair also had her own private audience with
Benedict. Their visits were followed by Gordon Brown who met Benedict
XVI twice at the Vatican, once as Prime Minister last year when he
invited the Pope on behalf of the Queen.

His predecessor, John Major, on the other hand, never visited the Vatican.

  • Bwaj

    Why should a heretic be allowed to meet the Pope? If Mr. Blair does not repent before he dies he risks going to eternal fire and what do you mean he will be present when the Holy Father meets members of other religions, not only is Tony Blair not the leader of any religion, but there is only one true religion which save us – the Christian religion – specifically the Catholic religion. No-one has the right to alter Our Lord's words: '”whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved”' (St. Mk:16.16).

  • Bwaj

    Why should a heretic be allowed to meet the Pope? If Mr. Blair does not repent before he dies he risks going to eternal fire and what do you mean he will be present when the Holy Father meets members of other religions, not only is Tony Blair not the leader of any religion, but there is only one true religion which save us – the Christian religion – specifically the Catholic religion. No-one has the right to alter Our Lord's words: '”whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved”' (St. Mk:16.16).

  • louella

    Please no! Tony Blair will ruin everything – he already thinks he has greater moral authority than the Pope – and he will take the Pope's applause. No – keep him behind closed doors. It's the Pope we want to see with all our hearts – NOT Tony Blair!!

  • TheBlueWarrior

    Right now I'm reflecting on the story of a high-profile Catholic convert (former Baptist) in the US who makes his rounds on the speakers circuit and leads pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Shortly after being received into the Catholic Church, he got up in front of his parish community and tearfully apologized for his years of aggressively proselytizing Catholics and drawing them away from the faith. I can't help but contrast his conversion of faith with this high-profile politician who once being received into the Catholic Church, publically turned toward the Vatican and said now I'm here to tell you that you must get with it on matters of contraception, abortion and same-sex marriage.

  • cunnane

    great idea. hated ex-PM accompanies hated vatican chief exec. What doesnt the hierarchy understand?

  • Mamasnookems

    I rely on God Himself not man. Trust in the Lord Jesus and not on man, any man.

  • J.Glanville

    Tony Blair is “tainted” he should not accompany the Pope. Why add an additional problem to the visit.

  • Tiggles

    Oh no surely not! The poor Pope has enough to contend with without the addition of Mr Blair.

    I presume this was some deluded Bishop s idea. The Holy Father should sack the lot of them and start again in this country.

  • Mamasnookems

    God Himself is the only Holy Father.

  • Wotmat

    We dont want this 'evil man and anti Christ' anywhere near the Pope.

  • Icenirising

    protectors of paedophiles uniting i see, two of the most disgusting people on the face of this earth, sickening to the core.

  • Yve Martin

    Tony Blair wouldnt ruin anything. Catholicism is a strong faith that seeks to engage opnely with any person of good will. We are not interested in images but in the conversion that will be engaged during and after the visit.

  • MJCarroll

    Sorry folks I am here to defend Tony Blair. The Catholic Church is always on the lookout for high profile converts and now we have probably the most famous on the planet.

    British people need to be reminded that this is a man who brought peace to N. Ireland, Kosovo and Sierra Leone and was the most astute and skilled global political operator of our generation. If you were Prime Minister you too would have had to go to war with Iraq. This country is allies with the U.S. and that is the end of the argument. The British may not like TB but, in America he as been bestowed ever medal of honour available and is still receiving awards.

    Now if you think that Tony Blair is trying to form 'One World Church' as highlighted, in the bible, in Revelation (like many conspiracists do on the internet) then fair enough but, if you don't then give Tony a break!

    Having said that don't all complain at once. Even I don't want Tony as head of PR at the Vatican!

  • louella

    We don't need Tony Blair putting himself beside the Pope – in order to further his own self promotion! He is not the Pope's equal – and travelling with the Pope would make it seem as if he were!!

  • Bwaj

    It doesn't matter where TB decides to meet the Pope he is still an antiChrist and a heretic. Let him publicly recant his heresies on TV, ask the Holy Father's forgiveness, plead guilty as a war criminal and hand himself into the Hague to face trial. Then he can meet the Pope.

  • Bwaj

    Wrong: Our Lord created the Papacy. The first Pope was St. Peter and the only Church He founded was the Catholic Church – there is no other (St. Mtt:16.18-19). Why don't you read the Fathers of the early Church and the Councils of the Catholic Church which agreed on this the same time the canon of Sacred Scripture was finally sealed (4thc. AD) by the Catholic Church. Protestants will not like it but even Luther admitte the Bible is Catholic.

  • Bwaj

    Tony Blair is a heretic who believes he can tell the Pope what to do – the duty of the Catholic Our Lord tells us is to obey the bishops (1 St. Pet:5.1,5) and priests (Heb:13.7,17) not tell them to alter God's commands to win favour with unbelievers (Gal:1.7-10) just so they can be the next EU president.

  • Disbloke

    J Glanville, do you really think Tony Blair is any more tainted than the pope? I've not heard that TB has protected child abusers.

  • Mamasnookems

    The Bible is not Catholic, God didn't write a religion, He wrote the Word so we follow it and live by it. I am thankful that i turned from the rcc and God opened my eyes to see the truth of His Word, Jesus wants a relationship with us, not a religion. He did the complete work for us, to die for our sins and rise from the dead so we can have eternal life. thank goodness we don't have to do works to “earn” our way to heaven. Jesus did it all!

  • Mamasnookems

    Absolutely not. As a Catholic for 31 years; I know from experience after walking with Jesus being born again, that in no way shape or form is what the RCC teaches what the bible teaches. It does not line with the word in it's dogma, idolatrous practices and laws. It's a man made religion and cruel. Everything they do is made up by men such as the different sins. Actual sin, Venial sin and mortal sin if you can feature this. Everything this church teaches is not in the Word of God. They only use the word in bits and pieces; mostly the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and even then not taught in truth.

    Religion is what it is. They teach salvation comes through the RCC and no other way. They do not teach that salvation only comes through Jesus Christ. Mother church RCC will save you according to them. All other churches are fallen away and not really Christian. They believe they are the one (only one), true, apostolic, holy Catholic Church. This is why the RCC and the Pope are trying to unite all religions together to be one church worldwide.

    The Pope is not the vicar of Christ. According to the RCC he is infallible in all he says. The people worship the Pope. He is to them the sole representative here on earth of Christ. He's the final word.

    The RCC teach Mary is the co-redemptrix; another words the Word of God teaches Jesus is our redeemer. But the RCC teaches Mary is higher than Christ and she rules and reigns in heaven right now. Mary is adored, worshipped and prayed to with an idolatrous rosary, which originated from pagan religions. As a Catholic, I used to say 3 a day if you can feature. Jesus had something to say about repetitious prayer in his word in Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking.

    The apparitions of Mary so-called are none other than Satan appearing as an angel of light in lying signs and wonders. It's not Mary. Catholics worship a statue of Mary and pray to it and other statues of saints etc. According to the RCC, Mary rose from the dead and is ascended into heaven in body just as Jesus did. Catholics say a novena in honor of Mary. Everything is Mary and Jesus Christ who died on the cross is a sideline you might say. They believe you have to go through Mary in order to get to Jesus.

    The Catholic church believe in a place called Purgatory. A place where sinner work out and suffer so they can one day get to heaven. Every suffering here on earth can be offered up for the souls in Purgatory. Masses are also said for the souls in Purgatory and for the dead. Unless you measured up as a Catholic, then you will according to the RCC go to Purgatory.

    The RCC believe strongly and worship and pray to relics of saints they have canonized. They worship the saints equally with Jesus. There are so many things that they do worship; when God only wants us to worship him. They issue and sell relics to keep you safe and bring some special power and protection. They sell scapulars of St. Anthony for instance to keep you safe. Every saint who they worship has a particular job to do for you.

    The mass is the biggest idolatry of them all. The RCC believe in transubstantiation where the priest at the sacrifice of the mass each and every day changes the wine and the wafer into the actual body and blood of Jesus. They worship the wafer in the chalice and venerate it as it having some special power when it does not. The book of Hebrews tells all about how the priest stands daily sacrificing and it is not going to satisfy God for our sins.

    The sacrament of confession: the RCC priest hear your confession of your sins and then they give you absolution of our sins and give you penance to do for them in order to be forgiven. Where is this in the bible? We have one advocate with the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ. I John 2:1 We don't have to go through anyone to speak with the Father and ask forgiveness of our sins. One of the grievous sins is missing church on Sunday which is a mortal sin which will send you to hell unless confessed to the priest. Most sins will send you to Purgatory. This church instill the spirit of fear at every turn and people live in fear that they will not attain heaven.

    The sacrament of Marriage.

    All the sacraments have nothing to do with the Word of God and they are nothing but idolatry, rituals by men. There are the sacraments of the RCC. Water baptism of an infant, sprinkling in a font by the priest. Where they sprinkle water with a special ceremony on the head of the baby.

    The Sacrament of Holy Communion where the wafer god has special power given by the priest in a special way. And there are many rules in order for you to partake of communion and if you take it unworthily you will be committing a mortal sin which is damnable; unless you confess it to the priest. First holy communion of a child receiving communion for the first time and they have a special ceremony for this where the child dresses in white.

    Sacrament of Confirmation: No where in the bible. All these sacraments unless received will not warrant you going to heaven. Another words you have to earn your way to heaven by these good works. The Monsignor or Bishop usually performs this special and mysterious ceremony.

    The sacrament of confession as we have covered. Where you go into a stall with a door or curtain and confess your sins to a priest.

    The sacrament of excremunction when a person is dying the priest comes and anoint the person and brings communion. If a Catholic does not have this sacrament, they will not go directly to heaven, but to Purgatory. There must be an awful lot of souls in that place. The RCC pray for the dead special in masses said for them when you pay the priest to do that; so they will come out of Purgatory.

    Many people do not realize, but the RCC has treaties with every government in the world. The Pope is Christ's vicar and he considers himself to be Christ's representative on earth. They want every government, religion and people to bow to the Pope and give their allegiance as if he is a god. What the RCC is doing now to unite all religions and governments is bible prophecy coming to pass. The RCC will play a part in endtime things. The Pope has even spoken at the U.N. and leaders of world governments have an audience with him all the time. It's a very political church.

    Salvation does not come through the Catholic church and we are not saved by our works. We know that faith without works is dead and because we have faith we obey the Word of God; but it's only by grace are we saved it is not of ourselves. This is where the RCC becomes not biblical,

    Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. There is no other name, the RCC, Mary etc. that can save us only through the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Kenr

    Blair has turned into probably the most despised, disliked, hypocritical politician that the UK has produced in 100 years. He is thought off as no more than a war criminal who traded UK and Iraqui lives for his current wealth. He is a war criminal. When you line up Bliar, Kinnock, Mandelson, Prescott, it would be hard to find 4 politicians who so personify self interest, hypocracy and frankly, they have made Labour unelectable for years to come. They didnt and dont serve the people, only themselves. Prescott (Lord), Mandelson (surely slippery and dishonest), Kinnock (whole family on the European gravy train, much detested), and Bliar. The Pope needs to stay away from this nest of disliked people.

  • Mamasnookems

    I am trying to get this off, if I offended anyone, i am sorry, God is the only one that draws a person to himself then opens their eyes to the truth, I can't force nothing on you, just plant a “seed”.

  • MJCarroll

    I always admit when I'm wrong. In retrospect I must have been having one of my more pro-TB days. I take back what I say. I am reminded of Benedict XVI quotes “the Truth is not decided by popular opinion”. The only thing I do say to my anti-Tony Blair Catholic friends is that heretic he may be – but, I do hope he asks for redemption even if it is on his death bed.

  • Mamasnookems

    In Matthew 23:9 “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.”

    I don't fight God's word.

  • Intbel

    Don’t need the freakin’ pope, either.

  • Intbel

    “Holy Father” ???  He ain’t a father and he ain’t holy – he’s one nasty evil piece of putrescent bile.

  • Intbel

    Why not? They are as evil as each other.

  • Intbel

    Blair is guilty of covering up paedophilia – do some research re the Dunblane massacre and Victoria school.