Tony Blair & Religion
Tony Blair’s religion became a political issue because of his role in the Northern Ireland peace process.
His critics said the denial of his Roman Catholic beliefs was for political rather than constitutional reasons and that was why he delayed announcing his conversion by the pope until after he had left office.
Blair had been attending Mass (and on some occasions receiving communion) for years before he converted. And it wasn’t just a case of Protestant v non-Protestant.
In England there are very different historical influences associated with being a Jew and a Catholic, and they would be viewed quite differently.
The long antipathy towards Roman Catholicism in England needs to be better understood. England as a nation rejected the power and authority of Rome, then destroyed thousands of Roman Catholic monasteries and churches. Indeed it still has an annual celebration, (Guy Fawkes) celebrating the execution of a small group of Catholics who tried to destroy the Westminster Parliament building.
And he would not have been allowed, as a Roman Catholic, to undertake the role of leader of her majesty’s government since it is the duty of the Prime Minister to prepare and give approval to the short list of Church of England archbishops to be submitted to the sovereign for appointment and attendance in the House of Lords.