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Cherie Blair says it’s ‘dangerous’ for women to stay at home to look after their children, who benefit if their mother works. But the evidence says not

She says women should have a choice: except, it seems, if they choose to disagree with her

By on Monday, 25 June 2012

Cherie Blair poses for photographers at a film premiere last year (PA photo)

Cherie Blair poses for photographers at a film premiere last year (PA photo)

Well, Cherie Blair has sounded off again, in her usual arrogant Left-wing elitist manner: this time giving us an almost archetypal specimen of feminist hostility to traditional marriage. It is also another specimen of hostility to what the Church thinks about marriage, and thus of her own very odd brand of secularised Catholicism-lite (she and her husband, of course, are notoriously great pals of Hans Küng).

Last week, at an international conference of “most powerful women”, organised by Fortune magazine, she explained that mothers who gave up work in order to concentrate on bringing up their children were making “a dangerous mistake”.

“Every woman needs to be self-sufficient”, she said; “and in that way you really don’t have a choice – for your own satisfaction; you hear these yummy mummies talk about being the best possible mother and they put all their effort into their children. I also want to be the best possible mother, but I know that my job as a mother includes bringing my children up so actually they can live without me.”

Finally, she claimed, astonishingly, that “what is important is that women have a choice”: though that, doesn’t, apparently, include the choice which many polls have shown most mothers would actually prefer, which is to stay at home to look after their children.

The reason they would prefer that is deep in a mother’s instinct that her child needs her. Perhaps the most poignant moment in a working mother’s day is the point at which (with or without the help of the local taxi service or other after-school child-collecting provision) the child, in her absence, arrives home to find, day by day, an empty house or apartment. The effects of this on many children are well-documented. Here, almost at random from an internet trawl (this example is interestingly from the South African Journal of Education – this is a worldwide problem), is an extract from one study, based both both on original research and on a survey of the existing literature:

The after-school hours alone at home can be very risky for children living in low income, dangerous, or disadvantaged environments. Children being left alone for more than three hours often present with low self esteem, low academic efficacy and high levels of depression. They are often not well adjusted and sometimes present with behavioural problems. Educators have expressed concern about the academic adjustment and achievement of self-care children. In this study we looked at the influence of a latchkey situation on children’s relationships with parents and educators in connection with educational success…

Eberstadt maintains that self-care children who show negative feelings are crying out for more parental time and attention. The author uses the term semi-chronic problems to refer to those negative outcomes such as feelings of depression, academic failure, isolation, and hanging around with the wrong children. In other cases latchkey children may show symptoms such as withdrawal behaviour, aggression, and delinquency.

“Children who spend time on their own at younger ages may be setting the stage for increased time spent with other unsupervised children and involvement in risky behaviours as they get older” (Vandivere et al). Peer pressure, television, and older siblings are influential factors in, for instance, early sexual involvement and drug experimentation (Eberstadt). When children are at home alone, they are likely to invite friends over or go to a friend’s house. Children who are at home alone are more likely to abuse alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs (Mertens et al). Exposure to high risk neighbourhoods could be the cause of poor developmental outcomes and scholastic achievement (Lord & Mahoney).

And on, and on and on. But we don’t actually need these high-powered academic studies to tell us what every mother knows in her heart: that when Cherie Blair says that having a working mother is good for children, and makes them more independent and self-confident, she is talking the most ineffable drivel. It’s all very well for her to say “what is important is that women have a choice”. That’s easy for her to say. She is a high-powered successful barrister. She is self-employed, which means that when she wanted to be with her growing children, she could be. She never had any trouble getting high-quality child-care (or expensive hairdressers or high-powered cranky lifestyle gurus). And despite her sneer about these yummy mummies wanting to be married to a rich man, she ended up herself being exactly that: and don’t tell me that that too doesn’t give her “choice” as to how at any hour of the day or night she can do exactly what she feels like doing. The fact is that most working women don’t have choice of any kind, especially to do what we know most of them would really prefer, which is to be at home. So, why doesn’t Cherie Blair just keep her irrelevant views to herself — irrelevant, that is, to the real life of most women? For quite simply, as Minette Marrin put it yesterday in the Sunday Times,

The experiences of an extremely rich, jet-setting, self-employed, flexitime QC are largely meaningless … to the large numbers of mothers of young children, who long to stay at home with them but cannot afford to. They are nonsense to people who cannot find flexitime working, much of it done from home, as she says she did. All these mothers face much harsher choices than Mrs Blair ever has, and are hardly likely to be impressed by being told what’s best for them by someone like her. What’s more, it seems not to have occurred to her that many mothers, even though they would not wish to tell her what to do, believe that it is not good for children to have both of their parents working long hours, pursuing demanding careers, and therefore unable to spend much time with them… They may well not approve of her example. There is such a thing as affluent neglect, particularly of young teenagers… Yet this seems to be beyond the imagination of the alpha female.

It is all to do with the nature and purpose of the family, especially, Mrs Blair, of the Catholic family. In the words of the present Holy Father, “Father and mother have said a complete ‘yes’ in the sight of God… Likewise, for the inner relationship of the family to be complete, they also need to say a ‘yes’ of acceptance to the children to whom they have given birth … each of which has his or her own personality and character. In this way, children will grow up in a climate of acceptance and love”.

But how are they to do that, Mrs Blair, if they know their child-minder better than they do their own mother?

  • teigitur

    I have always thought her a silly person. This just confims my suspicions. “Friends of Hans Kung” Says it all really. Cafeteria Catholics of the worst sort.

  • Mary Pirie

    Some mothers do not have a choice.

  • James H

    Watching a trendy-lefty mouth off is always an enlightening experience. The rote recitation of tropes, the intolerance of dissent and the dogged denial of reality are all trademarks.

    It reminds me of nothing so much as the (apocryphal?) story of a member of the royal family on a visit to a poor neighbourhood during the 1930s, who was heard to ask the children, ‘Why, oh why, do you live like this?’

    On the Telegraph website, Mrs Blair/Mz Booth also said that women should try to ‘have it all’. Yes, a nurse married to a man with a cublcle job is really, really keen on living the feminist dream – NOT.

  • Burt

    It was always outrageous to me that her hubby B..liar was ever accepted into the Church.
    Heretical, Modernist, Cardinal Cormac Murphey-O’Connor of course welcomed it.

    I loved Pro-life worker John Smeatons comment: “having Blair as a Catholic is like having a vegetarian in a meat-eating club”

    To me it is yet another thing that should be held against the cause of Pope John Paul II’s canonisation (love him though I do). He should have refused Blair’s reception into the Church. The Blairs are so obviously and completely anti-Christian.

  • Bevgsmith

    The ultimate victory of men’s dominance over women is to tie all economic value to roles men have.  The fact women can now do them is only  a half-liberation because then we get the irony that women doing traditional roles outside that paradigm get the joy of being put down not just by men but now also by women.  Until we value women’s roles in the home not just their ‘earning’ roles, we have no liberation.  We have sell out

  • W Oddie

    Nobody should EVER be refused entry into the Church: this is not some Pall Mall club in which we have a blackball. Because of my book What will Happen to God? — a critical and largely negative study of feminist theology–  I remember that the Catholic Women’s Network Newsletter said I should have been refused entry into the Church 25 years ago, because of my supposed hatred of women (my wife and daughters were astonished). It is not for us to judge: there is always a good reason for wanting to be a Catholic. The sacraments of the Church aways work in the end, even if it can take time; sometimes it has to be left to purgatory, which few of us will escape. Let us be vey clear that there is a difference between criticising Mrs (and Mr) Blair and judging her: that is for God and not for us.

  • teigitur

    Indeed the sacraments will work in the end. But, he should have been made to publicly recant his very public support for abortion. His stand on this excommunicated him .
     This is not a judgement it is Gods law.

  • Burt

    Dr Oddie’

    I believe when our souls are released from purgatory, we will all be members of The Church Triumphant.
    In that sense I wish to see all souls who eventually make it to Heaven accepted into the Church.
    I do of course hope and pray all the Blairs make it there.
    But here and now to be received into Christ’s Church, while having views and beliefs utterly opposed to Catholic teaching, in my opinion it was wrong for him to be received.

    His pro-abortion views, long time support for embryonic stem cell research, recent pro homosexual ‘marriage’ statements,  show me he is not Catholic in heart.
    (his bloody hands in Iraq too)

    The same reason I believe the likes of Kathleen Sibelius should be refused Holy Communion and indeed threatened with excommunication.

    But if you think I am uncharitable, I guess it’s a good thing I was not called to be anyone with authority or influence in the Church.

  • John Jackson

    I recall my wife deciding that she wanted to stay home after our first child was born, some 27 years ago.  We had two incomes and a nice lifestyle.  We cut our income and lifestyle in half.  My wife, to this day, thinks it was among the best decisions we have made.  Life was financially more difficult, less jammed packed with fun things to pay for and do.  Life was enormously more rewarding, more fun and its all something we have never regretted.  It made me come home earlier from work as well!!

  • http://twitter.com/LaCatholicState la catholic state

    Double income households have put the cost of living sky high…..and driven the birthrate down.  They are a scourge.

  • Amkennedypayen

    How dare she say this !!! Who and what does she think she is ???!!!!

  • Desertwatch333

    June 25th.  Don’t forget that Cherie Blair AND her husband Tony are pro-abortion – and this was known before Mr. Blair was received into the Catholic Church…so why should this be a surprise.  Tony Blair was affirmed in his pro-abortion/pro-gay marriage/pro-contraception stand when he was received into the Church despite this flagrant defiance of Church teaching. 

  • Amkennedypayen

    Well said…..couldn’t agree with you more !

  • Desertwatch333

    Really Oddie…no one should ever be refused entrance into the Catholic Church? If one truly wants to embrace the Catholic faith, then there are ways to do that – if you make your own rules and regulations and demand that the Church submit to your guidelines then you are not really embracing the faith and the teachings of the Church. If you not only approve of killing the unborn baby but publicly urge others to do so and do all you can to make sure the killing of all unborn human babies remains legal – then you need to reject this stand before embracing the faith…at least we have to strive to understand the faith and to live it out, even though we fall many times.  But if we say, for instance, that adultery is fine and I’m going to commit adultery and urge others to do so but I want to become a Catholic and still be able to do whatever I want and get others to believe that this behavior is okay then, what’s the point?  If someone comes to you and says: “I want to live with you and your family and destroy your family because my values are different than yours.:”? would that be okay?  If you want to join any organization, secular or religious or political – there are rules of admission.  If you want to join badly enough, you will accept; if not, there are other places to go…

  • EndTimes101

     ‘Nobody should EVER be refused entry into the Church’
    That has to be the dumbest absolute statement i have ever seen on these boards. Really Mr Oddie, not even avowed Communists, or Freemasons who have entered the church with the sole purpose to destroy it from within? Oh but wait, that’s OK because ‘there is ALWAYS a good reason for wanting to be a Catholic’. Even if it’s to destroy from within it seems. But wait, what’s that i hear you say….
    ‘The sacraments of the Church always work in the end’
    Really, i must have missed that little gem in Catechism Class. All who receive the sacraments are saved, no matter what the condition of their soul when they receive them? I think you might want to tell that to St Paul. Where exactly Mr Oddie, do you derive is fact from? So everyone who receives the sacraments is saved (eventually)! Mr Oddie has proclaimed it so, right before he criticised someone for making Judgements on another soul.
    You response is so deplorable im having a hard time believing its genuine…….

  • Desertwatch333

    Actually Burt, Kathleen Sebelius has been told by her Bishop not to receive Holy Communion so she doesn’t.  However, Nancy Pelosi still receives the Eucharist and she is much more aggressive in her public pro abortion/pro gay marriage agendas and she is much more public in her defiance of the Catholic Church and the Bishops and brings other ‘Catholics’, even Religious – to stand with her. And yet, she is still permitted to receive the Eucharist.  This is what is causing so much doubt and confusion among, not only Catholics, but all who believe that terminating the life of an unborn human baby is murder…

  • Matthew Roth

    I think an RCIA director would ask someone to leave, or the prospective convert would leave, if he or she was in the situation you described. But baptism should not be outright refused in my view. Someone is inclined to God and His Will if he or she asks for it, in the manner that the Church teaches and with the intention of receiving the grace which washes away original sin.  

  • Matthew Roth

    1)How do we know Pelosi does not receive out of her own choosing?

    2)It is quite possible that she is under interdict and a)obeys or b) disobeys and the Bishop feels it most prudent to remain quiet to the public…

  • Patrickhowes

    But who looked after Mrs Blair when she was a child.A stay at home grandma and Mother?She owes a debt of gratitude to them .

  • JessicaHof

    Bully for her. Some of us would love to be mums. She’d have been nowhere without good Catholic women devoted to her upbringing. If liberation means anything it includes the right to follow or reject Mrs. Blair’s patronising advice.

  • Burt

    Well Done Ms Sebelius’s Bishop! and at least she exhibits some level of respect for complying. Nancy Pelosi is a disgrace, poor girl.
    I don’t feel entirely comfortable giving opinions about who should or should not be allowed to receive sacraments. But that’s the dilemma with prominent people who effect legislation completely contrary to Gods laws. Tony (we don’t do God) Blair’s reception into the Church was plain wrong to me because he was so obviously at odds with Catholic Moral teaching on so many key issues.

    When public figures convert to Catholicism it is often very en-heartening and inspiring. Converts like Anne Widdecombe. She became Catholic because her moral compass led her to Rome. 

    William Oddie is also one convert to the faith I am very thankful for, even if he disagrees with me on this one. ;)

  • Annie

    “Nobody should EVER be refused entry into the Church.” . . . William Oddie 

    The early Church thought differently.  Tertullian, in his tract, “On Baptism”, said that the Romans were known to plant agents among the Christians in order to find and arrest bishops, priests, deacons, and catechists, either to force them to recant or to make an example of them.  For this reason, those who were approached by individuals wishing to convert had to ask themselves, “How well do I know this person?  Is he sincere?  Will he make a good convert?  Could he be a government agent.?”  If these questions couldn’t be answered satisfactorily then the individual was rejected as a candidate for Baptism.

    A person passing this initial hurdle was then subjected to a further series of questions.  Hippolytus (in the “Apostolic Tradition”) provided a lengthy list of occupations a candidate would have to leave before he could be formally enrolled in the catechumenate:  pimps, prostitutes, charioteers, gladiators, pagan priests, enchanters, astrologers, interpreters of dreams, and military governors were among those who had to change their profession or cease their behavior before they could be admitted.  Soldiers could be admitted, if they would agree to refuse to execute anyone or take the military oath.  Special allowances were made for the problem of concubinage.  

    If a candidate passed that test he was formally enrolled in the catechumenate.  In Rome, this period normally lasted three years.  When the catechist made the judgment that the candidates were ready to move to the next stage, another examination was made of their lives.  Tertullian makes clear that not everyone passed these rigorous evaluations.  

    Those who did pass became “kneelers” which meant a long period of prayer and fasting.  Then came a public Confession and finally Baptism during which the individual recited the Creed. 

    The “Didache” – sacred instructions written in the first century of our faith -happens to say the following about abortion:  “Do not murder a child by abortion or kill a newborn infant.” 

    The early Church, which knew a thing or two about what Jesus taught and the apostles passed on, drew on the “Didache” to help them to determine the fitness of candidates for Baptism.  If Tony and Cherie Blair had lived in the time closest to those who knew Christ they wouldn’t have made it past the starting gate.               

  • Oconnord

    There is a simple solution. The churches should use their influence to campaign for a minimum wage, one that would allow a single wage-earner to raise a family.  

  • GFFM

    She really is too much. She is a caricature of feminist thinking of 25 years ago. Most of her opinions are time capsules of unadulterated drivel. As my daughter says, her views and “problems” are “so first world.”

  • londoner

    I am happy for you that your decision worked out well for yourself and your wife. However, these days many young couples simply cannot afford a mortgage or today’s high rents, while losing one income. It is now a luxury to be a stay-at-home mother as I was. In addition, the article above has been carefully edited. Cheri Blair’s reason for saying that it was dangerous for women to stay at home, was that they are then in a very vulnerable position if their marriage breaks up. Which is exactly the position I found myself in – little work experience for many years, no pension because I trusted that my marriage was for life and serious long-term health problems which in any case made full-time work impossible.

    Women can simply not afford to give up work, for most educated women it is not mentally stimulating enough, can be lonely and isolating and puts them in a weak position. Once upon a time, being a homemaker was a full-time job but now with automatic washing machines etc, there is no excuse for women not doing some sort of work and it is valuable for children to see their mothers as independent, intelligent, equal adults – not drudges. Dumb cows make good mothers, but we have brains equally as good as men’s.  As I have said elsewhere, society cannot afford to lose so much of the talent and workforce of society. 

  • Nicolas Bellord

    I cannot put my hand on it but the Chesterton Review had an interesting article upon the question of women staying at home to look after the children.  In the past workers’ unions campaigned for a living wage for men.  A wage which would give them enough money for their family with the wife staying at home to look after the children.  Then came the call for equality of wages for men and women.  This inevitably led to a relative decline in men’s wages and to the two-earner household which was always going to be able to outbid the one earner household for goods and services.  The article mentioned the emptying of the suburbs during the working day.  It is not easy to see how this problem can be resolved if to get a roof over their heads both husband and wife have to go out to work.

    I would suggest that we need to see some major changes.  Of course women should have the right to pursue the career of their choice.  But they should be reminded that getting to the top is a very limited possibility in a profession or business and therefore not likely to succeed whilst the career of a mother at home is much more likely to be successful.  Further bringing up a family does not last all that long and there is plenty of time later on to pursue a different career.

    Is there the possibility of providing a wage for single wage-earner family sufficient for the family perhaps with assistance from the tax system?  I seem to remember Philip Blond suggesting wage-earners should be better paid rather than being  forced to borrow.  At present the only way to get substantial money to buy a house is through borrowing and turning oneself into a slave to the banks at usurious rates of interest particularly if you finance purchases using a credit card.

    Further the world of work still seems to be modelled upon the male worker regime working from nine to five and commuting.  On my rare visits to London I witness the incredible cost of parking near a station and buying a ticket and the ever-increasing seething masses of people commuting.  In this age of the internet why are not more people working from home?

  • Sad

    That woman is a very dangerous woman the women that wish to make a life of peace should stay away from! She is a terrorist lover that never sees anything positive in teaching good morals to youths, that is why she was ready to represent a Muslim girl that could not abide by simple secular rule that others accepted to abide by.
    Also recall their evil role with Gadhafi, how they milked Libya, only to set the man up and murder him. If Gadhafi was that evil as they claimed before killing him, why were they not killed alongside him, because in our world, the same people that claim to be fighting terrorism, often kill or punish those that associate or even cross path with suspected terrorists.. What then is the different between the unholy marriage of most Western criminal leaders who wined and dined with Gadhafi, and Gadhafi himself? Show me your friends and I will tell who you are…
    Please keep this womans’ view away from people that wish to live normal family lives, to her family comes later, it is all about money, money, money, even from demons. Her husband and her cooked up selfish propaganda lies to destroy Iraq even Libya(He was Ghadafis’ whatever assistant till the time he got him killed), for their wicked personal benefits while hundreds of thousands of innocent souls perished  This woman is anti-Christian values and is in fact anti-Christianity! Any real woman that is blessed with a family but does not take pleasure in taking care of her family first before anything else is not worth being called a woman! For what use is she then, or how is she better than a woman that a man can pick on the street for a night?

  • Ephesians 5:22

    That woman is a very dangerous woman the women that wish to make a life of peace should stay away from! She is a terrorist lover that never sees anything positive in teaching good morals to youths, that is why she was ready to represent a Muslim girl that could not abide by simple secular rule that others accepted to abide by.
    Also recall their evil role with Gadhafi, how they milked Libya, only to set the man up and murder him. If Gadhafi was that evil as they claimed before killing him, why were they not killed alongside him, because in our world, the same people that claim to be fighting terrorism, often kill or punish those that associate or even cross path with suspected terrorists.. What then is the different between the unholy marriage of most Western criminal leaders who wined and dined with Gadhafi, and Gadhafi himself? Show me your friends and I will tell who you are…
    Please keep this womans’ views away from (normal women) people that wish to live normal family lives, to her family comes later, it is all about money, money money, even from demons. Her husband and her cooked up selfish propaganda lies to destroy Iraq even Libya(He was Gahdafis’ whatever assistant till the time he got him killed), for their wicked personal benefits while hundreds of thousands of innocent souls perished  This woman is anti-Christian values and is in fact anti-Christianity! Any real woman that is blessed with a family but does not take pleasure in taking care of her family first before anything else is not worth being called a woman! For what use is she then, or how is she better than a woman that a man can pick on the street for a night?

  • Sad

     That is the love of Capitalism.. the slow death of mankind.. Living the sick American/Western dream of greed, selfishness and wickedness.

  • Multitaskinglitigator

    Can I point out also that there is no apriori reason why men can’t stay at home and share the childcare at least part of the time. that;s what my husband and I who are both lawyers did

  • Jae

    I totally agree with however Hans Kung is not a cafeteria catholic, the guy is a heretic though not formally declared as YET. Also, the mere fact that both parents are absent about 85% of the child’s life suggest to the fact that these generations lack discipline, respect for elders and indifferent to the Faith thus would eventually apostatized which is the MAJOR cause of secularization in Europe and not the Teachings of VII.

  • Jae

    The problem is not really if one can pay house mortgage etc, but rather living a simple way of life, buying things within ones capacity to pay and afford, getting things that are NEEDED not wanted and contentment of what we already have. Those who think materialism has the answer to buy happiness, respect and self worth are the ones who are depraved of these.

  • Jae

    Moreso asserting that automatic washing machines, etc would make no excuse for mothers to work thus make them drudges is just silly in fact the opposite would result. Without mothers tending and caring to their little ones which no amount of money can buy resulted in this deplorable state of European families. Do you want us to enumerate the disfunctionality of this generation? Unprecedented divorce rate, broken families, disrespect toward parents and elders, rampant pornograhy, crime, violence, immorality, 50 million deaths by abortion every year, where ones morals is as good as any others etc.

  • Jae

    Teigitur don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you blame VII for the Hans Kung of this world rather I agree with you about these Catholics who frequented Cafeterias, lol.

  • Patrickhowes

    Agreed,but it is wrong to criticise the millions of women who see it as a privelege to rear families

  • Capitalism

    I think the church need to stand up for the Billions that are under the bondage of Capitalism, you cannot serve God well under Capitalism, it is either money , money,  money  or love your neighbour for real..

  • JByrne24

    “….my supposed hatred of women (my wife and daughters were astonished).”

    The good relationship between a father and his daughter(s) is quite different from any other normally accepted good relationship between a man and a woman/women – in work/business, as a colleague or as a friend. 
    The husband/wife relationship is a unique one.

  • Andrew4

    It is even more dangerous for mums to listen to her or her husband.He is pro abortion therefore the people that DO listen to them have no children because they advised them to abort unwanted by them but welcomed by Almighty God….ironic is it not? The same God ask of mothers to be mum`s first and foremost.Dear Mrs Blair,it`s is called doing Almighty God`s will,not yours.Just because you followed your own inclination does not make it right for other mum`s to stay at home,

  • Parasum

    “Well, Cherie Blair has sounded
    off again, in her usual arrogant Left-wing elitist manner: this time
    giving us an almost archetypal specimen of feminist hostility to
    traditional marriage.”

    ## Manner is not content – surely what matters is not how or by whom a thing is said, but whether what is said is good logically or morally or in some other way.
    “She never had any trouble getting high-quality child-care (or expensive hairdressers or high-powered cranky lifestyle gurus).”

    ## But how are her arrangements any objection to the worth of the substance of her case ? If “It’s all very well for *her* to talk, because *she* can afford to say what she does” is a valid argument against what she says – how does the same objection not undermine what the Popes say ? They don’t have to bring up children, or feed or clothe or bathe or sit up at night or educate them – Catholic mothers do. Even if they are dirt-poor, as many of them are. It is all very well for them to talk – they are not the ones who have to bear the consequences of what they require of others. The spectacle of people who give orders without having to be affected by them is an unattractive one; this Olympian detachment from the consequences one’s will imposes on others by requiring the to behave in a certain way was not imitated in the Incarnation, or in the Passion.

    Having umpteen children in some dirt-poor region or country can’t be good for the children if the sanitation is basic or non-existent. If US politicians who are not “pro-life” enough for their detractors are complicit in allowing abortions, & can be refused the Eucharist, even though they have never aborted a single foetus – how is the Pope not complicit in bringing children into the world so that they can have beri-beri, or be blinded, or suffer some other misery resulting from living in unhygienic conditions ? His moral pressure occasions these latter, more certainly than the lack of moral pressure by politicians to do away with abortion causes the former. Urging abstinence from sexual activity is good as far as it goes – but it doesn’t go far. In the world that most peple live in, a lot of people are not going to be abstinent. “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”.  

    “Likewise, for the inner relationship of the family to be
    complete, they also need to say a ‘yes’ of acceptance to the children to
    whom they have given birth…”

    ## How would he get on if he were the father of a family with (say) six children, lost his job as (say) an accountant, and had a mountain of school fees, & a mortgage to pay, and a sick wife to look after ? The Pope probably has no “job satisfaction”, but he has “job security”.

    To quote:

    “”The experiences of an extremely rich, jet-setting, self-employed,
    flexitime QC are largely meaningless … to the large numbers of mothers
    of young children, who long to stay at home with them but cannot afford
    to. They are nonsense to people who cannot find flexitime working, much
    of it done from home, as she says she did. All these mothers face much
    harsher choices than Mrs Blair ever has, and are hardly likely to be impressed by being told what’s best for them by someone like her.””

    ## No doubt. That being so, how does what the Pope requires withstand the criticism of last two  sentences any better ? No doubt Mrs. Blair is richer than Croesus, especially when her hubby’s earnings are added to hers – but even she does not live in quite the surroundings that Popes do. Do the Blairs have a chapel with an original Michelangelo on the cieling ? The Pope does. And a rather nice garden:

    “The Vatican Gardens (Italian: Giardini Vaticani) in Vatican City are urban gardens and parks which cover more than half of the Vatican territory in the South and Northeast. There are some buildings such as Radio Vatican within the gardens.

    The gardens cover approximately 23 hectares (57 acres) which is most of the Vatican Hill. The highest point is 60 metres (200 ft) above mean sea level. Stone walls bound the area in the North, South and West.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gardens_of_Vatican_City

    ## The Blairs may well be humungously well-heeled, but do *they* have 57 acres of garden ?  With fountains & sculptures ? One expects a Queen not to be in the bread-line, but the Founder of Christianity seems to have been less affluent than most of the Churches, the CC included. The garden of Eden may had four rivers – but no sculptures, and certainly no original Michelangelos.

  • Parasum

    Apparently, that would be “dangerous” – who knows: if women go out to work, they might want to wear trousers, and that *would* never do :)

  • Parasum

    People in the FW aren’t *allowed* to have, or, don’t have, problems ? OK. If she were an unemployed, battered, Jamaican paraplegic, would that make her opinions less unwelcome ? That sounds like PC silliness in reverse.

    Disqualifying a statement by drawing attention to some features of it – date, society of origin, morals of its first holders, familiarity to its opponents, group of origin, wealth or poverty lf those who hold it, etc. – does not make it untrue, inaccurate, uncalled-for, or unworthy of notice. Unwelcome, maybe. So what is wrong with what she has said ?

    She seems to have touched a raw nerve in some people – which nerve, is not clear. 

  • Parasum

    “If Tony and Cherie Blair had lived in the time closest to those who knew
    Christ they wouldn’t have made it past the starting gate.”

    ## Nor would a lot of others. The papacy is – to put it mildly – not exactly like what St.Paul said a Christian *episkopos* should be. Compared to some Popes, both Blairs are plaster saints. Whatever can be said against them, they do at least not claim the moral & spiritual authority which the Papacy, despite the remarkably unChristian behaviour of many of its incumbents, does claim. A common murderer is (all things being equal) not as bad a man as the murderer who cloaks his criminality in appeals to the Will of God.

    And St.Paul does have some authority as a source of what counts as the Will of God. So does Jesus.

    Ephesians 5.3: “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becometh saints;…”

    ## That would settle the hash of more than one Pope. So would this:

    24 And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. 25But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26“It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

    http://biblebrowser.com/matthew/20-1.htm

    26“But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. 27“For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

    http://biblebrowser.com/luke/22-26.htm

    13 You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18 I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’ 19 From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2013:13-John%2013:38&version=NASB

    ## Those prohibitions & warnings do not really describe the behaviour of Popes. This is much closer:

    9 I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. 10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=3%20John+1:8-10&version=NASB

    ## To judge what the NT says, how many Popes (to say nothing of any other bishops) would not be excluded from the early Church ? Probably the overwhelming majority of Christians would be. So that point against the Blairs, however valid, doesn’t amount to much. Would Jesus, or the Apostles, recognise covering up the molestation of minors as Christian behaviour ? The Blairs are innocent of *that*, at least. “Love covers” (= atones for ?) a multitude of sins”, beyond a doubt. Unfortunately, & in a very different sense, so does ecclesiastical skullduggery.

  • Parasum

    “Nobody should EVER be refused entry into the Church: this is not some
    Pall Mall club in which we have a blackball.”

    ## Unfortunately this nonsensical “club theory” of the Church seems to be almost universal. Maybe it is “all too human” to regard the Church – which is meant to be the polar opposite of a club – as a club.

    To think of it as a club is uncomfortably close to thinking of the Church as a fortress that we can retreat into: but the parable of the leaven in the lump, the comparison of the disciples with lights in the world, the Great Commission to “Go forth”, and the Incarnation & the Passion, all point in the opposite direction: we are meant to “get stuck in” the world, without belonging to the world – just as God in Christ has done so. Fortress Christianity is not an option, because that leads to the Church becoming a “holy huddle” – which is what some Pharisaic piety was. Which was fine for the Pharisees, but no good to the “unclean” people Jesus made a point of mixing with. FC is not missionary, or Catholic, or Apostolic, even if it makes a first-rate club. 

    “Let’s start with a very intriguing quote from a former Archbishop of Canterbury. He said, “The church is the only society on earth that exists for those who are not its members.” [Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple, quoted in Feasting on the Word, Year A, Volume 1, p. 336]”

    http://christchurchredding.org/Sermons/2_6_11_Salt_and_Light/

    “Because of my book What
    will Happen to God? — a critical and largely negative study of feminist
    theology–…”

    ## It’s a good read, though it’s a bit too short. “Ungodly Rage” by Donna Steichen, on feminist theology  in the USCC, is c.400 pages long, and very readable. STM that “What
    will Happen to God ?” would have been better and stronger, had it been 50-100 pages longer.  BTW, is there going to be a sequel to, or a revised edition of, “The Roman Question” ?   

  • Libsarecreepy

    When did Blair turn into Rachel Dratch?

  • Parasum

    “‘Nobody should EVER be refused entry into the Church’

    That has to be the dumbest absolute statement i have ever seen on these boards.”

    ## It seems clear enough from the context that good will, honesty, understanding, and deliberation on the part of the aspiring entrant are presumed. Posts are not theological teatises, so it’s not fair to judge a post with the rigour that a theological censor might use.  The emphasis is on “ever”, & not on “nobody”. if “nobody” had been emphasised, the objection might stand. If the OP’s meaning is “No one who is in good faith should ever be refused entry into the Church”, that may not be an absolutely valid statement; since some exceptions to even the most certainly true  statements can always be discovered. But most people most of the time do not go looking for the exceptions. Should leprechauns be refused entry into the Church ? That would depend – but it seems unlikely that the OP had them in mind. So they can be ignored, for the time being at least.

    “”The sacraments of the Church always work in the end””

    “Really, i must
    have missed that little gem in Catechism Class. All who receive the
    sacraments are saved, no matter what the condition of their soul when
    they receive them?””

    ## The OP said, & implied, nothing about salvation. The sacraments can be efficacious themselves, without bearing any fruit in the recipient. The valid and licit consecration of a Host, however piously & faithfully & orthopractically  & orthodoxly performed by a validly-ordained priest in good standing & of unblemished character who fully intends to do what the Church intends in her sacramental ministry (I think that covers everything), will all go for nothing, if the recipient is not in a state of grace.

    “The sacraments always work in the end”, in that sense at least. That they do so, does not logically require that they will be efficacious, at least when received. Some of them can “revive”, if the obstacle to their operation is removed – so (IIRC) someone who makes a bad Communion (which is a sacrilege, & thus a mortal sin). if and when he or she repents of the sacrilege, can then receive the grace of the sacrament, which until then has been inoperative because of the bad disposition of the receipient.

    The doctrine of the revival or reviviscense of sacraments isn’t basic stuff: it is logically dependent on the recognition that the Church has a sacramental economy, which is itself a consequence of the Incarnation. Which is itself, arguably, logically dependent on the Grace of God. The ins & outs of sacramental theology require some knowledge of Catholic theology – which a lot of people don’t have.  But salvation is not through what we know, even in theology – it is through Christ.

  • Jacob Neeson

    Now, this may be difficult to understand, but the riches of the Church belong to the Church. The Church is literally (don’t miss this) the people of God. The riches of the Church belong to all of the people of God. Now divide all of what you said by over a billion living Catholics. The Pope is taken care of by Catholics because he is our leader. Any reasonable person understands taken care of one’s leader. 

    Can President Obama sell the white house? No, because he doesn’t own it. Your comparisons are far from being apples to apples. 

  • Jacob Neeson

    Or you can use your freedom to love your neighbor while still retaining the freedom that makes the act a loving choice in the first place. 

  • GFFM

    Sadly you have missed the point.  Poor women in third world countries don’t have her elitist problems. Are you really that dense? Cherie Blair spouts the usual feminist Western none sense. 

  • Hamish Redux

    “Nobody should EVER be refused entry into the Church”.

    I don’t see that at all, sorry. Someone who is unwilling to accept the doctrines of the church (who publicly rejects them) is obviously in the wrong place, and should be excommunicated from Day 1.

    If Mr Blair had gone through one of those ceremonies where they ask “Do you renounce Satan and all his works?” I can imagine that his response would have been “Hey, let’s look at the broader picture here. Well, obviously, I can’t be expected to reject all his works, not in this day and age, can I? We’ve moved on a bit from the old ideas of Good and Evil, haven’t we?”

  • Burt

    “If Mr Blair had gone through one of those ceremonies where they ask “Do you renounce Satan and all his works?” I can imagine that his response would have been “Hey, let’s look at the broader picture here. Well, obviously, I can’t be expected to reject all his works, not in this day and age, can I? We’ve moved on a bit from the old ideas of Good and Evil, haven’t we?” ”

    Hamish, that made me chuckle. I can just picture him so clearly saying all that, although he might have a few “y’know”s in the sentence somewhere.