Tony Blair becomes Catholic

 Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was received into full communion with the Catholic Church by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. This took place during Mass in the chapel at Archbishop's House, Westminster yesterday - it was announced this morning. Mr Blair has been receiving doctrinal and spiritual preparation from Mgr Mark O'Toole, the Cardinal's private secretary. Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor commented: "I am very glad to welcome Tony Blair into the Catholic Church. For a long time he has been a regular worshipper at Mass with his family and in recent months he has been following a programme of formation to prepare for his reception into full communion. "My prayers are with him, his wife and family at this joyful moment in their journey of faith together." The Reception of baptised Christians into full communion with the Catholic Church is a liturgical rite by which a person who is already baptised is received into full communion with the Catholic Church. The rite normally takes place within the celebration of Mass. A baptised Christian who wishes to become a Catholic receives doctrinal and spiritual preparation adapted to individual pastoral circumstances. A pastoral discernment is made regarding the length of catechetical formation required for each individual candidate for reception. The rite involves making a profession of faith. It is part of the office of the diocesan Bishop to ensure that those to be received are properly formed and welcomed into the Catholic Church. Before the profession of faith and reception the candidate should make a confession of sins. They are asked to inform the confessor that they are to be received into full communion. At the reception a candidate should be accompanied by a sponsor. Source: CCN