The Telegraph highlights tonight's Channel 4 installment on the History of Christianity hosted by Cherie Blair, wife of former PM Tony Blair. Click here for the full article...
She said few believers liked to discuss their faith openly, echoing comments by her husband who said he avoided speaking about religion while Prime Minister, for being of being labelled "a nutter". (Cherie, love, this wasn't the reason people thought your husband was a nutter. People thought he was a nutter because he was best mates with a fruitcake in the White House and invaded Iraq on the pretext of weapons of mass destruction, which, to this day, are seemingly so technologically advanced that they are invisible).
Mrs Blair, a lawyer and committed Catholic (as in faithful or sectioned?), also said Christianity was "ambivalent to women" and will not have a future unless traditional churches do more to reflect social change. (In other words, Cherie wants to see equal opportunities in the Church and women priests and bishops. You said, "Women priests," Cherie, our survey of the Magisterium of the Church said, "nah-nah". Hmm...What chance Cherie reads the Tablet?)
She also claimed reports her husband prayed with President Bush were untrue and revealed she seemed to become pregnant every time she had not used contraception. (Here it comes - the petition for change of Holy Church teaching...) Her comments were made in the final part of the Channel 4 series Christianity, to be screened on Sunday night, in which she gives her own perspective on the future of the religion.
Mrs Blair spoke of her disappointment at the apparent "terminal decline" of Christianity (publicly questioning articles of faith, bordering on denial of those articles hardly helps...anyway St Mary Magdalen's was packed this morning), adding: "Everywhere you look today churches are being closed, Christians are often being marginalised and faith is something few people like to discuss openly."
During an interview with former Laura Bush, wife of former US president George W Bush, for the programme, Mrs Blair said the division between religion and public was "a very fine tightrope" and could "lead to assumptions being made and unfair criticisms being made about the motivation and reason why politicians take the decision they do". (Like wars?)
She added: "People used to suggest that Tony and George would actually pray together and that never happened of course." (Lord, help us to invade this sovereign nation and to 'sex up' the intelligence dossiers). Mrs Bush replied: "Never happened, absolutely," adding: "That is part of the problem of anyone mentioning what their religion is… I can see 10 Downing Street would not want the Prime Minister to say God bless our country, because there is criticism." (Yes there is criticism...the whole Court of Heaven disagree with our abortion legislation, Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill, same sex 'marriages' and a raft of measures that enshrine sin into the law of the land. After all that, if you want to ask God to bless the country you possibly are a nutter. You could give it a go, though I suppose).
Tony Blair discussed the issue in a BBC programme following his departure from office in 2007. He said that, while it was commonplace in the US and elsewhere for politicians to talk about their religious convictions, "you talk about it in our system and, frankly, people do think you're a nutter". (Yep, best to just vote with your conscience and say yes to abortion on demand...The phrase 'Jesus loves you but everyone else thinks you're an a***hole' springs to mind).
Mrs Blair said women were "virtually invisible" in the public face of Christianity and that its failure to recover from the social changes of the 1960s was one of its "fundamental weaknesses. (Two words...Mother Teresa. There you go, she was a visible public face of Chrisitanity, sanctity, holiness and awe-inspiring love. Not enough? St Terese of Liseux, St Clare, St Teresa of Avila. I'm sure the Holy Father gives thanks to God daily for the work of nuns whether they be missionaries, teachers, nurses or in enclosed orders. Lady, what do you want to be? A priestess? Or a Saint?) Until the traditional churches fully resolve their relationship with the female half of the population, how can they expect Christianity to have a future in the modern world?" she asked. (Oh good grief, woman, just put the kettle on will you? I don't know...Nag, nag, nag...)
"Traditionally it was women who passed religion on to their children and who kept the church going through good times and bad, but when it comes to the public face of Christianity, women are virtually invisible." (Err...you're a Catholic, you're a woman and you're on TV more than any priest I know!)
She was filmed interviewing Britain's most senior Catholic, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, about the issue. "If you actually look at the formal structures of the Catholic Church you don't see a woman's face when you see people speaking for the Catholic Church... can we change that?" she asked. (Translation: "Come on, you and me, Your Eminence, let's take on the Holy Father and march on Rome with an army of 10,000 women to be ordained! I know all the Apostles called by Christ were men, but Christ was, like, so 33 AD. God has to get with the programme, man!")
He replied: "I don't think that will develop towards priesthood or episcopy because of the tradition of the church in that role, but I do see that the roles and the gifts of women being, not just appreciated, but used more fully."
A former churchgoer told Mrs Blair she became angry at the church's stance on abortion and contraception. The QC replied: "I'm a feminist…(rather than a Catholic?) How could I have done all the things I have done if I hadn't used contraception? Because actually every time I didn't use contraception I seemed to have a baby." (Blasted babies! Getting in the way of money, careers and public life! Well, thank God you and your husband are minted so you didn't have to worry about affording nappies, university fees and the rest of it. Every baby is a gift from God! Don't blame the Church for encouraging Catholics to accept the gift of children and to be open to new life and to try and live in accordance with God's will! Nobody said it was easy! Publicly confessing your very personal struggles with contraception is one thing...but it sounds like you want to nail condoms to the church door in some obscure German town and make Church teaching in your own image).
Aren't I horrid!? I just find it so infuriating that here is a public Catholic with an opportunity to expound upon the truths of the Catholic Faith and she seemingly has used the programme in order to stand on a soapbox and tell the Church to 'modernise or die'. I mean, have these 'modernist' people never noticed that everything that is modern, apart from the internet, is vulgar and pants? There's a very good reason the Vatican isn't furnished by Habitat...There is also a very good reason why Church teaching on the Priesthood is as it is and why Church teaching on abortion and contraception is as it is and any Catholic worth his or her salt knows it. Have these liberal Catholics, who publicly undermine the Holy Father and the Infallible teaching of the Church no fear of God?