Therein lies one of the fundamental objections some have to the Catholic Church’s rather lax view of sin. For all his past egregious behaviour is simply wiped from the slate:
In Britain’s increasingly secular society, there is widespread misunderstanding about the doctrine of Christian reconciliation, or repentance, confession and forgiveness. “What Tony Blair did any time before he became a Catholic, is basically not relevant,” one insider said. “The whole point about the profession of faith is that he is professing to believe it from now.”
Ruth Gledhill, The Times, 24 December 20
No matter, then, what evil he has done, all he has to do is sign up along the dotted line and his support for abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, the assault on the family and marriage, the attack on the position of Church adoption agencies that did not wish to allow homosexual couples to adopt, all is forgotten in a trice.
How nice, how convenient for all the parties concerned! The Church gets a high profile convertee, indeed none higher than perhaps The Sovereign herself, and Smuggo emerges from his personal moral cess pit with a brand new Teflon Coating and a passport to paradise.
If only it were so easy for those grievously touched by his policies, the thousands of people killed in Iraq because he was so incompetent that he could not properly organize the peace there after his war, the people whose old age he and Gordon Brown have destroyed because of his dire pensions policies, to name but a few.
In its defence, one Canon Russ said:
Quite a lot of people will be quite anti-Tony Blair at first. They will be unhappy that he has become a Catholic so easily. But they have to realise that St Paul had been a frightful anti-Christian before he became a convert and did great things for the Church. I would advise people who are critical to wait and see what sort of man this will be, and how he might help our cause.
Well, we already know only too well what sort of man he is and if the Catholic Church really wants this man to help their cause, then does that not tell you much of the moral compass of that Church?
Or as the Bible would have it:
Beware of false prophets, which came to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles.
Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits shall ye know them.
The rest of us have to live with the fruits of his works and will be largely disinclined to be quite so accommodating and indulgent towards him as the Catholic Church apparently is in letting him off scot free.