Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore is hosting former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for the inaugural Hanway Lecture in Global Studies on April 9. Blair was prime minister from 1997 to 2007. He was also the leader of Britain’s Labour Party from 1994 to 2007 and the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield, England from 1983 to 2007.
While Blair converted to Catholicism in 2007, statements by him both prior to, and after, his conversion, demonstrate that he differs with Catholic teaching on various social issues.
Prior to his conversion, Blair espoused public support for abortion-rights.
According to Blair, he entered the Church largely because it was the faith of his wife. In a 2012 interview with The Telegraph's Charles Moore, Blair admitted that he accepts the doctrine of the Catholic Church, but said, ''I’m not a doctrinal ideologue."
In the same interview, Blair admits that he supports homosexual marriage.
Writes Moore, "...it is not really possible to find a public policy issue where he takes a specifically religious view against the prevailing secularism."
“Prime Minister Blair’s unmatched insight will provide the ideal foundation for our lecture series on global awareness,” said President Father Brian F. Linnane, S.J. in a statement. “His extensive experience building social and political bridges across borders embodies our obligation as a Jesuit university to serve others on an international scale and prepare our students to be leaders and innovators in an increasingly interdependent world. It is both an honor and a privilege to welcome him to campus.”
Tickets to the event are free and open to the public.
The Hanway Lecture in Global Studies is an endowed lecture series made possible by a gift from Ed Hanway, a member of the University’s Class of 1974 and current chair of its Board of Trustees, and his wife, Ellen. The $5.2 million gift is the largest individual contribution in Loyola’s history.
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