Sunday, December 23, 2007

"The choice of joining the Catholic church made by such an authoritative personality can only arouse joy and respect"

Oh well I suppose I must.
Congrats, Tone, old boy, now you've finally crossed the Tiber and made it to Rome Sweet Home. For good reason, your conversion has caused more than a few raised eyebrows.
(Actually, that's putting it mildly. Damian Thompson is disgusted, pointing out that in terms of his voting record, Blair has "the blood of innocents on his hands.")
You know he's right, Tone. Your record on abortion and unethical embryonic stem cell research is indefensible and has scandalised the faithful. And that's not all. On Holy Smoke, Radical Orthodox Catholic blogger, Onthesideoftheangels (OTSOTA sets the standard for doctrinal orthodoxy by which the rest of us are measured) has identified another huge problem with the conversion: the Iraq War. OTSOTA writes:
"Tony Blair actuated an illegal unjust war ... An unjust war is canonically judicial murder - a latae sententiae excommunicable offence - therefore it has to be acknowledged as sinful and repented - something he has not done publicly - in fact he's stated the exact opposite at every opportunity! The cardinal had a duty and responsibility to address this - and this is not something TB can whisper in a confesssional - it's a public sin and hundreds of thousands died - his silence declares assent; as he has not recanted his position in public. If he was received into the church he HAD to repent - so why is there this silence on the issue - and why has his Eminence allowed this scandal to arise?"
Labour MP, Peter Kilfoyle has expressed similar sentiments. "I'm trying to think of a parable about this, but I don't think there is one to match it," he said. "Put it this way: if he showed one ounce of contrition over Iraq, then he would be closer to the body of morality that is the Catholic church."
Now Tone, you know that I'm inclined to see the best in people. You know how much I love concord and harmony. And you know that I'll go out of my way to be as charitable as I can about your appallingly anti-life voting record. Maybe just maybe you voted the way you did because you felt that was the only way to quell the whisperings of the small but spiteful anti-Catholic tendency in our party.
But the thing is Tone, even as skilled an advocate as my good self would have trouble selling that argument. See, the thing is, you didn't get where you did in politics by being timorous, or afraid of taking risks and if necessary hitching your colours to the mast and facing down the opposition. Indeed it was those very qualities you clearly displayed when taking Britain into possibly the most unpopular war ever. You see, Tone, now you're one of us, you'll discover that it's all one big seamless garment; one moral or political action connects to another. And that's why even for the likes of us (who believe in miracles and things like scales falling from eyes) your conversion stretches credulity and we are less able to rejoice in it than we would like.


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