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Creative Minority Reader

Fail, Britannia

George Weigel writes:

Two weeks before Pope Benedict’s visit to the United Kingdom this September, former British prime minister Tony Blair’s memoir, A Journey: My Political Life, was published in the United States. At first glance, the events may seem unrelated: a politician’s memoir, with its inevitable score settling, and a bishop’s pastoral visit, stressing unity amid contention. On closer inspection, however, Blair’s book and Benedict’s pilgrimage have a lot to do with each other, for A Journey: My Political Life helps illuminate, if indirectly and inadvertently, the ferocity of the campaign against Catholicism and the pope mounted in Britain prior to the papal pilgrimage. What Blair has to say about twenty-first-century Britain—and, by extension, twenty-first-century democracies around the world—also stands in striking contrast to the analysis of contemporary democratic public life offered by the bishop of Rome in Glasgow, London, and Birmingham.
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