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The inconsistent, beguiling thought of Boris Johnson

There is a popular misconception among Catholics in Britain and the United States that a Catholic cannot become Prime Minister of Britain. In fact, this is not the case. When the various anti-Catholic laws were established in Britain, the specific office of Prime Minister did not exist. (Sir Robert Walpole [1676-1745] was the first Prime Minister). There is no technical reason why the Sovereign should not send for a Catholic to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Where is Boris Johnson in this? According to a recent feature in the Spectator, he was baptized a Catholic as a baby, his godmother being Rachel Billington, a member of the staunchly Catholic Longford family. However, Johnson was subsequently raised as an Anglican and confirmed in that tradition at school at Eton.

Famously unfaithful to the Christian understanding of marriage—he is currently going through his second divorce and has a much-publicized live-in relationship with a young woman—Johnson is strongly informed by the Christian tradition and knowledgeable on Church history. He is quite aware of the reality of the central role of Christianity in the story of the West, and of the absurdity of pretending that any other religion, including current secularism, has any remotely similar role. Yet he openly admits the deeply inconsistent nature of his faith, saying, “I suppose my own faith is a bit like trying to get Virgin Radio when you’re driving through the Chilterns; it sort of comes and goes.”

Johnson’s public support for same-sex marriage has been backed by open enthusiasm and endorsement of marches and rallies organized by lesbian and homosexual lobby groups. As Mayor of London he gave the fullest possible support for these, and has continued this with vigor as both member of Parliament and columnist. Christian groups would place him in the wholly negative category on pro-life or pro-family issues.

In his speech in front of 10 Downing Street, on returning from Buckingham Palace having accepted his appointment from the Queen, Johnson delivered an upbeat affirmation of Britain’s place in the world and hopes for the future and of the need to improve education and raise standards across the country. He indicated that the major requirement was money. It would be good if he would in due course indicate that substantial funds could be saved by blocking the grants made to lobby groups promoting lesbian, homosexual and “transgender” programs in schools. And it would be great to see some understanding of the link between broken families—notably those where there is no marriage and children have to endure a series of complicated relationships with maternal boyfriends—and youth crime.

Read more at Catholic World Report 

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