Tony Blair Converts to CatholicismExcerpt from the UK Telegraph:
Tony Blair has completed his long anticipated conversion to Catholicism.
The former prime minister was received into the Catholic Church by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, in the chapel of the Archbishop's House in Westminster last night, after years of speculation that he would convert after leaving Downing Street.
Mr Blair, whose wife Cherie and four children are Catholic, met Pope Benedict XVI on an official visit in June - his third trip to the Vatican in four years.
Now a Middle-East peace envoy, he was reluctant to convert while in office because it could have caused a potential conflict with his role in choosing Church of England bishops.
Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor has welcomed Mr Blair into the faith. He said: “For a long time he has been a regular worshipper at Mass with his family and in recent months he has been following a programme of formation to prepare for his reception into full communion."
While in office, Mr Blair had chosen to keep his religious views private, and last month sparked controversy when he claimed that people who speak about their religious faith can be viewed by society as "nutters".
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Also from the UK Telegraph:
The Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday that the Christmas story of the Three Wise Men was nothing but a 'legend.
Rowan Williams has claimed there was little evidence that the Magi even existed and there was certainly nothing to prove there were three of them or that they were kings. Hesaid the only reference to the wise men from the East was in Matthew's gospel and the details were very vague.
The Archbishop went on to dispel other details of the Christmas story, adding that there were probably no asses or oxen in the stable.
He argued that Christmas cards which showed the Virgin Mary cradling the baby Jesus, flanked by shepherds and wise men, were misleading. As for the scenes that depicted snow falling in Bethlehem, the Archbishop said the chance of this was "very unlikely".