Baroness Thatcher grants an audience to Pope Benedict XVI
The world’s greatest living Conservative politician has met with one of the world’s greatest conservative theologians. Not, Cranmer hastens to add, as a prelude to conversion: indeed, Carla Powell, who organised the meeting, said: “I think there is more chance of Pope Benedict becoming a Methodist than Baroness Thatcher converting to Rome.”
Margaret Thatcher remains as devout a Methodist as John and Charles Wesley were dedicated Tories. And, unlike Tony Blair, she did not presume to proffer advice on how His Holiness ought to run The Vatican or adapt his theology to accommodate the tastes and fashions of the modern era. From reports, the principal topic of conversation appears to have been her endorsement of a Gordon Brown policy.
No, Baroness Thatcher has not lost her marbles. She simply reiterated the Prime Minister’s invitation for His Holiness to visit the United Kingdom. In an election year, this would be very useful to him, if only so he could bask in a little reflected (though quite undeserved) glory. The ‘feel-good’ effects of a Papal visit coinciding with the imminent beatification of Cardinal Newman may persuade thousands of disaffected and disillusioned Roman Catholics to return to the Labour fold.
One hopes and prays their discernment might be greater.
Being female and
For without faith, nothing is attainable in the religio-political realm. And without courage, there is no leadership to political enlightenment or spiritual salvation.
The world needs more of such as these, for ‘greatness’ has faded in the tediously interminable age of theological compromise and political mediocrity.