Tony Blair joins Catholic church
Saturday, 22 December 2007
Ex-PM Tony Blair has left the Anglican church to become a Roman Catholic.
His wife and children were already Catholic and there had been speculation he
would convert after leaving office.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Conner, who led the service on Friday in which Mr Blair
became Catholic, said he was "very glad" to welcome him.
Last year, Mr Blair, who is now a Middle East peace envoy, said he had prayed to
God when deciding whether or not to send UK troops into Iraq.
And one of Mr Blair's final official trips while prime minister was a visit to the
Vatican in June where he met Pope Benedict XVI.
Mr Blair has been receiving doctrinal and spiritual preparation from Monsignor
Mark O'Toole, the private secretary of Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, who is the head
of Catholics in England and Wales.
He was received into full communion with the Catholic Church during Mass at
Archbishop's House, Westminster.
Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said: "I am very glad to welcome Tony Blair into the
"For a long time he has been a regular worshipper at Mass with his family and in
recent months he has been following a programme of formation to prepare for his
reception into full communion.
"My prayers are with him, his wife and family at this joyful moment in their journey
of faith together."