Pope gives Communion to Anglican Tony Blair

Source: FSSPX News


On his visit to Rome, on 22nd February, in the context of his feverish manoeuvre in favor of the war in Iraq, Tony Blair assisted at the Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II and received Holy Communion from his hand. If Mrs. Blair and their children – who accompanied him on the trip – are baptized Catholics, this is not the case for Her Gracious Majesty’s Prime Minister. The Secretary of State justified the Pope’s gesture, saying there was no Anglican church to which Mr. Blair could go in the Vatican…. However, there are in fact three Anglican churches in the centre of Rome.The Revd Jonathan Boardman, Chaplain of All Saints’, an Anglican church in Rome, said on Wednesday: "It could be significant. This little stone could start an avalanche. The granting of dispensations becomes highly charged to those of us to whom they aren’t granted."

In Britain, it is permissible for a non-Roman Catholic in a mixed marriage to receive communion under guidelines set down in One Bread One Body, a 1998 Roman Catholic teaching document. But it states that, even in mixed marriages, "eucharistic sharing can only be exceptional." Circumstances for receiving communion might include the baptism or confirmation of the couple’s child.

The case of Tony Blair must be considered in a different light. He is Prime Minister of a country which kills around 250,000 babies per year. Moreover, he is partly responsible for new legislation, damaging to souls and to the whole population. By way of example, and only citing recent events:

• Homosexual relations are legal from the age of 16 (2002)

• New legislation against the "discrimination" of homosexuals, which in theory could lead to a summons of the English bishops before a tribunal, if they refuse Holy Orders to homosexuals (March 2003)

• Adoption legalized for homosexual couples (November 2002)

It is his generous support of a policy of embargo which has already claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, and he is a major protagonist in a war which will only increase the number of victims.

Even if Tony Blair were a Catholic, there are too many objective reasons for refusing him Holy Communion. We are a long way from the time when a Pope had the courage to offend the King of England in order not to offend the King of Kings.
Finally let us note that this single act says more than a whole dossier on intercommunion ever could. As another Anglican source in Rome said: "There are too many exceptions being made. It’s a rising tide. This demonstrates the Pope’s keenness to get on - doing the little things that can be done rather than the big things."

"There exists in certain places, confusion and abuses – for example, the frequent practice of intercommunion – which does so much harm in the search for an authentic unity. An ecumenism which more or less leaves on one side the question of the Truth, can have only the appearance of success." (Letter of Pope John Paul II to the German Cardinals, 22nd February 2001)