Finally caught up to watch Cherie Blair's contribution to Channel 4's interesting The History of Christianity series (see Telegraph analysis)
Not as bad as I feared! As a part of a general demonstration of the benefit of religious belief, she mentioned the rather splendid Dietrich Bonhoeffer (right), who died for his stand against the Nazis in the Second World War. Chatted to a Roman Catholic priest (whose name escapes me) who seemed disturbed by the RC's move back to the right with Benny the 16th; she didn't seem interested in developing that particularly.She talked about the Church's ambivalence (!) to women, and had a heart to heart with the Archbishop of Westminster. Then went Stateside to examine some of the more successful churches over there. In conclusion, she asked that the Church update their attitude to things modern, and women. Some chance!
Cardinal O'Connor said
You take God out of society totally, and this is what some of the secularists and atheists want to do. Then it seems to me you have a society that's in my view very dangerous.
It seems to me that this is not going to happen, and I don't think that many atheists quite want that either (I certainly don't), but even if it did happen, would it be very dangerous?
There is surely nothing peculiarly Catholic about the beliefs that Cherie Blair has and which motivate her to do the good things she does (she recounted her younger days with the Young Christians). Anyone can, and does, do those things without a god belief, or with other god beliefs. It's the things she rails against that seem to me to be curiously Catholic: treatment of women, abortion, treatment of women, contraception, treatment of women, stance against embryonic research and treatment of women.
Which leads me to ask, why does she persist with the RC Church? She should drop it (I don't think for one moment that she would suddenly become immoral) and then continue leading her life without wasting her breath trying to affect the attitudes of one of the most paternalistic organisations in the world. In fact, famously she confesses to not following Catholic teachings on contraception, so why does she maintain this charade?
Obviously, only she can answer that. But one notes that the power of childhood indoctrination runs deep, and the history and traditions of many churches are a powerful draw. I have no doubt that anyone not brought up Catholic, but moral, could apply even more of their time to good work, without the unnecessary distractions of RC dogma.