Tony Blair, Britain’s former Labour Prime Minister and a Catholic convert, has come out in support of Conservative efforts to provide a way for gay and lesbian couples to marry.
Blair, who introduced same-sex civil unions to Britain, is reported as telling friends that he “strongly supports” plans for gay marriage.
Blair’s support of gay marriage is likely to upset the Vatican and is likely to see him also at odds with Archbishop of Westminister, Vincent Nichols, who wrote a letter to England and Wales’ 5 million Catholics. The letter was read at all masses on Sunday.
Blair joined the Catholic Church in 2007, just 6 months after resigning as Prime Minister and in what Vatican spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, described as an occasion that “can only arouse joy and respect”.
Mindful of events in Britain and the United States, Pope Benedict XVI, on Friday, called on visiting U.S. bishops to fight the “powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage.”
The Holy Father’s comments follow those of Scotland’s Cardinal, Keith O’Brien who as outlined in CathNews, described gay marriage as “madness”, “a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”, and a “redefinition of reality”.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu have also expressed their serious concerns.
The British government is expected to release a consultation document detailing its plans on the law next week.
News category: World.