Blair, ‘high-profile unofficial ambassador’ for Catholics, says Catholics are wrong on Gay sex
The Pope is out of step with ordinary Catholics because of his ‘entrenched attitude’ to homosexuality, Tony Blair has declared.
The former Prime Minister said the Vatican was far less tolerant on gay rights and was resisting adapting to modern life.
Mr Blair, who converted to Catholicism after leaving office, suggested it was too afraid to change its trenchant views because it could lead to a complete overhaul of the faith.
He also controversially implied that the Catholic Church should reform itself in a similar way to how he reshaped the Labour Party in the 90s.
His public disagreement with the Pope on homosexuality, published today in gay magazine Attitude, is likely to irritate the Vatican.
It still officially describes homosexuals as ‘intrinsically disordered’
Last year, Pope Benedict XVI sparked outrage by suggesting homosexuality was as big a threat to humans as the destruction of the rainforests.
Mr Blair has become a high-profile unofficial ambassador for the Catholic faith since he converted in 2007 shortly after stepping down.
Asked if he agreed with the Pope’s attitude to homosexuality, he told Attitude: ‘There is a huge generational difference here.
‘There’s probably that same fear amongst religious leaders that if you concede ground on [homosexuality], because attitudes and thinking evolve over time, where does that end?
‘You’d start having to rethink many, many things. If you went and asked the congregation, I think you’d find that their faith is not to be found in those types of entrenched attitudes.’
He added: ‘Organised religions face the same dilemma as political parties when faced with changed circumstances.
‘You can either A: Hold on to your core vote, basically, you know, say “look, let’s not break out because if we break out we might lose what we’ve got, and at least we’ve got what we’ve got so let’s keep it”.
‘Or B: You say “let’s accept that the world is changing, and let us work out how we can lead that change and actually reach out”.’
his wife Cherie is a Catholic and their children were brought up in the faith.
However, his record as Prime Minister sparked questions about how he would easily change faiths and be welcomed by the Church.
Some Catholics condemned his support for causes apparently inconsistent with Catholic doctrine but senior figures insisted the Pope’s welcome was the final word.
Sources at the time said the former PM would not have to account for his actions and beliefs in the past.
During his tenure, he presided over crucial changes in law on equal rights including civil partnership and lowering the age of consent to the same as heterosexuals.
He also has a generally liberal view on abortion and allowed embryo research.
Comments [from the Daily Mail’s website]
“The arrogance of this man continues, even after it has almost brought this country to its knees.
Who says that he is an unofficial ambassador for the Catholic church?”
- John, Cumbria England