According to the Daily Mail, Tony Blair is thinking of converting to Roman Catholicism when he leaves Downing Street. All well and good, if that’s what he wants, but a particular part of the Daily Mail story caught my attention. According to the story, Blair discussed with a local priest the possibility of him (Blair) becoming a deacon:
Mr Blair is reported as asking his confidant Father Timothy: “Would this be possible?” He was told: “It usually takes two or three years”, to which he replied: “The fact that I’m PM, could this make a difference?”
Interesting, if true. The Bible sets out the qualifications for becoming a deacon, and as far as I could remember, being the Prime Minister of Great Britain (or any other country, for that matter) was not among the criteria deemed by God to be necessary for this great office. Just to be sure, I looked up the relevant passage in the Bible, 1 Timothy 3: 8-12:
- 8. Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain,
- 9. but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
- 10. These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.
- 11. Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.
- 12. Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.
So there we are, being PM does not count for anything. As to the relevant criteria, though, it is for the Roman Catholic church to judge, whether, knowing what we do of Blair, he has satisfied the above conditions.