As soon as he was made aware of Mrs Blair’s record of public dissent from the Church’s teaching, Jack requested that all reference to meeting her be removed from the published recollections of his visit. The article on Times Online was duly amended yesterday (November 26th), but unfortunately Jack’s request came too late to remove the reference to Mrs Blair from the print version of the Herald.Read the original
The conjunction of Mrs Blair’s ‘conscientious’ dissent from the teaching of the Church with Jack Sullivan’s apparent endorsement of her could do harm to Newman’s reputation, and that is our reason for posting this clarification. Newman is indeed the great teacher of the rights and duties of conscience. It is of the greatest importance that his teaching is not used to make him the patron of Catholics, like Cherie Blair and others, who in the name of conscience practice dissent from the Church’s teaching.
The decision to arrange Jack’s visit to Mrs Blair, and then to publicise it under Jack’s name, has not contributed to upholding a true interpretation either of Newman, or of Cherie Blair. We hope that making public Jack’s desire, as far as possible, to reverse that decision, however, will do something to draw attention to the truth that is in danger of being obscured.
The Apostleship of the Sea used Mrs Blair to front its appeal this year, a few weeks ago they rang around chasing up the money, that has not happened before. When I told them I would not be sending any because of Ms Blair's involvement and I had refused to display the poster displaying lest it scandalise the faithful, I got a silly snotty letter from the Development Manager Sheila Bailey, saying they didn't make judgements.