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The Deacon's Bench

One of the Church’s most famous recent converts spoke recently about what led to his conversion — and, not surprisingly, it had a lot to do with his wife:

Tony Blair said his conversion to Catholicism had been driven by his wife, Cherie, adding that it “felt right” and “is now where my heart is”.

The former prime minister, who now runs the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, switched from the Anglican church to Catholicism soon after leaving Downing Street two years ago. His wife and children were already Catholic.

He told the Communion and Liberation meeting in the Italian resort of Rimini yesterday: “Ever since I began preparations to become a Catholic, I felt I was coming home … this is now where my heart is, where I know I belong.”

Blair said he was “humbled” to make a speech to such eminent delegates because he was a “very new entrant” to the Catholic church.

In off-the-cuff remarks reported by the London Evening Standard, he added: “Frankly, this all began with my wife. I began to go to mass and we went together. We could have gone to the Anglican or Catholic church – guess who won?

“As time went on, I had been going to mass for a long time … it’s difficult to find the right words. I felt this was right for me. There was something, not just about the doctrine of the church, but of the universal nature of the Catholic church.”

Blair, now also a Middle East quartet envoy, used his speech to tell delegates that it was always a “pleasure” to be in Italy.

“It is here in this country that I have spent many happy times, and where, 30 years ago, almost to the day, I proposed to my wife,” he said.

There’s more about his remarks at the link.

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