"Abortion is a primordial evil and one of the fundamental problems of our age ... We call for a massive international effort by politicians and legislators in favour of human life ... We call for legal protection for the unborn child from the moment of conception. We recommend unequivocal pro-life legislation on embryo experimentation and genetic engineering ... We call for an end to the 'contraceptive imperialism' of population control promoted with the use of abortion, sterilization and contraception."
Nor does Mr Blair quote what Cardinal Rodriguez said about politicians who support abortion, shortly before Mr Blair was received into the Catholic Church in 2007:
"A politician who publicly supports abortion, he excommunicates himself ... [T]hat person himself is doing an act that is inconsistent with what he says he believes. That is, we're talking about a person who...is doing something that is a lie."
Since being received into the Catholic Church shortly after leaving office, Mr Blair has refused even to comment upon, let alone repudiate, the swathe of anti-life laws and policies he supported as prime minister and as a parliamentarian.
Mr Blair goes on to praise Pope Paul VI's encyclical Populorum Progressio on international development. Yet Mr Blair makes no reference to certain other of Paul VI's words:
- "It is inadmissible that those who have control of the wealth and resources of mankind should try to resolve the problem of hunger by forbidding the poor to be born." (address to UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, 1974)
- "[I] declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children." (Humanae Vitae, 1968)
- "[W]hatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or wilful self-destruction...are infamies indeed. They poison human society" (Gaudium et Spes, 1965)
Mr Blair, stretching to his full moral stature, preaches to us: "[S]ins of omission can vary in their gravity, and the worst can be more grievously damaging than sins of commission." Indeed - omitting to repudiate anti-life laws and policies for which one is mainly and personally responsible, and refusing to witness to the sanctity of human life.
Mr Blair predictably reminds Tablet readers that "countering climate change [is] the greatest moral challenge of this century." So, Mr Blair, is countering climate change the greatest moral challenge of this century, or abortion? Was Pope John Paul II wrong to tell pro-life leader Fr Paul Marx that he was "doing the most important work on earth"?
Tony Blair, and his anti-life wife, is undermining the faith of the church into which he has been received.
Supposing Tony Blair had pursued throughout his political career, policies in support of killing bishops or the lay faithful of, say, the Catholic Church or the Anglican Communion? And, supposing, having been received into the Catholic Church, he refused to repudiate such policies? Would The Tablet give him free rein to present his thinking on religious matters? If not, why not? What distinctions does The Tablet draw between unborn children and the respect due to their right to life, and the right to life of Catholic and Anglican bishops and lay faithful?