Clerics rate Blair

Published July 3, 2007

The two senior leaders of the Church of England paid tribute recently to British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s religious commitment but voiced concern over his decision to embark on military action in Iraq.

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, referred to Mr. Blair – who was scheduled to step down as British prime minister at the end of June – as a person of genuine personal faith. “There have naturally been differences of vision and judgment between the prime minister and the Church of England, not least over the Iraq war, but he has been consistently willing to allow these disagreements to be voiced and discussed openly,” said Archbishop Williams.

“I fundamentally disagreed with Tony Blair over the invasion of Iraq – which I saw as a breach of international law – but disagreement is part of the free and fair society which he has endeavoured to uphold during his time in office,” said Archbishop of York John Sentamu, who holds the church’s second-highest post.


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