Just a little something to cause you to snort your drink out your nose.
By Kerry Grove
Last Updated: 1:35am GMT 26/12/2007
Tony Blair has completed his long anticipated conversion to Catholicism.# Catherine Pepinster: Rejoice at Blair's conversion# Damian Thompson: Blair the Catholic: what on earth happened?# Christopher Howse: Catholics welcome Tony Blair
The former prime minister was received into the Catholic Church by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, in the chapel of the Archbishop's House in Westminster last night, after years of speculation that he would convert after leaving Downing Street.
Mr Blair, whose wife Cherie and four children are Catholic, met Pope Benedict XVI on an official visit in June - his third trip to the Vatican in four years.
Now a Middle-East peace envoy, he was reluctant to convert while in office because it could have caused a potential conflict with his role in choosing Church of England bishops.
His views on abortion, gay rights and stem cell research were also at odds with Catholic teaching, and his parish priest Fr Timothy Russ commented that he had “some way to go” on important moral issues.
Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor has welcomed Mr Blair into the faith. He said: “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."