Marr's banana skin for Cardinal Cormac

A kind commenter alerted me to an interview with Cardinal Cormac on the BBC's Sunday AM programme this morning. Here is a link to the transcript of the interview.

Andrew Marr started by bowling an easy underarm question on migrant workers to which the Cardinal responded promoting the "Strangers into Citizens" initiative.

He then asked about the Tony Blair's legacy, focussing on Northern Ireland to begin with, but then asking for a wider appraisal. The Cardinal said:
Tony Blair's faith, his, his Christian commitment does help, yes. He's a man who prays. He's a religious man. He believes in God. He, he, in fact I'm quite sure that his religious commitment which he doesn't wear openly on his sleeve, but quietly and unobtrusively, I think that's had a very great effect ...
Pushed on the rumour about his possible conversion to Catholicism, the Cardinal said that he anyone would be very welcome in the Roman Catholic Church who came for the right reasons.

This is frankly a disappointing response. Under Tony Blair, we have had the Sexual Orientation Regulations, the Mental Capacity Act and the determined promotion of contraceptive sex-education for children. This is definitely a part of his legacy of which he is proud (see "Tony Blair's "little skip" at first gay marriage"). Would it be outrageously partisan to mention something of this general anti-life, anti-family agenda at least as a reservation?

The "banana skin" was a final line of questioning about the Classical Roman Rite. Marr took the now established BBC party line about the Old Mass being a barrier to Christian-Jewish relations. Marr himself spoke only of praying for the conversion of the Jews. It would have been easy to point out that most world faiths pray for the conversion of people of other faiths. Instead, the Cardinal himself introduced the question of the phrase "perfidious Jews."

This phrase has become an urban legend in discussion of the restoration of the old Mass. So let's set down a few facts for reference in case anyone else is interviewed by the BBC or anyone else on this question.
  1. The impression is given that this phrase is used in every celebration of the old Mass. In fact, it was used only once a year, in the intercessions on Good Friday.
  2. The phrase was not said in English but in Latin. "perfidious" is a rather over-enthusiastic translation of "perfidis" which could simply be rendered as "faithless" - i.e. not coming to faith in Christ.
  3. In any case, the word "perfidis" was removed in 1960 by Pope John XXIII so it is not in question if we are talking about the Motu Proprio which will allow the use of the liturgical books of 1962.
Now I know there are various opinions about the liturgical reforms that had taken place before 1962. But in the public square, it is surely sensible to get the facts straight. (It seems that Marr's researchers may have done their homework since he did not mention the word "perfidious.")

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