LONDON – Former Prime Minister Tony Blair's Faith Foundation has suffered a setback following Blair's comments that the Catholic Church should "modernize" its views on homosexuality.
William Chapman, who also served as one of Blair's prime ministerial aides, has resigned as a policy adviser to the foundation, following rumors of a split caused by Blair's "lecturing" of the Pope on homosexuality, according to The Telegraph.
A friend of Chapman claimed that he was not happy about Blair's recent interview with gay magazine Attitude.
During the interview Blair said, "Organized religions face the same dilemma as political parties when faced with changed circumstances.
"You can either A: Hold on to your core vote, basically, you know, say 'Look let's not break out because if we break out we might lose what we've got, and at least we've got what we've got so let's keep it'. Or B: You say 'let's accept that the world is changing, and let us work out how we can lead that change and actually reach out.'"
He continued, "When people quote the passages in Leviticus condemning homosexuality, I say to them – if you read the whole of the Old Testament and took everything that was there in a literal way, as being what God and religion is about, you'd have some pretty tough policies across the whole of the piece."
The friend of Chapman said that he felt his job, which had been to persuade Roman Catholic cardinals to become involved in the foundation, had become impossible following Blair's remarks.
Lamenting Chapman's leave, Ruth Turner, chief executive of the foundation, said, "William has been a very important part of establishing the foundation ... The work he has done will be of enduring value."