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British PM Boris Johnson's son baptized Catholic at Westminster Cathedral

La Croix International staff - United Kingdom - Fri, Sep 25th 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's infant son has been baptized Catholic. The Archdiocese of Westminster has confirmed that the baptism of Wilfred Johnson took place in London's Westminster Cathedral on September 12.

That private ceremony was attended by both parents and a limited number of guests. The child was baptized by Father Daniel Humphreys, the acting administrator of the cathedral.

Johnson had tried to keep the baptism a secret and Westminster Cathedral only confirmed the details after the prime minister was wrongly accused of holidaying in Italy that weekend.

Wilfred, born April 29, is Johnson's sixth child, and the mother who is the prime minister's fiancée Carrie Symonds, is a Catholic.

Johnson in 2018 separated from his second wife and mother of four of his children.

Johnson was baptized a Catholic, making him the first baptized Catholic to serve as a British prime minister.

He abandoned the Catholic faith to join the Church of England while at Eton College where he was confirmed an Anglican.

Former prime minister Tony Blair, whose wife, Cherie, is a Catholic, became a Catholic after he stepped down from office and formally converted to Catholicism in 2007.

Blair attended weekly Masses while he was in office and occasionally took Communion until the late Cardinal Basil Hume told him to stop because he was not a Catholic.

However, John Paul II gave Communion in the Vatican to Prime Minister Blair while he was still an Anglican.

Historically, British laws have made it difficult for Catholics to become prime ministers because the Catholic Relief Act 1829 said no Catholic could advise the British Crown in the appointment to offices in the established church - the Church of England.

Benjamin Disraeli, who was prime minister in the late 19th century, was born into a Jewish family but was baptized into the Anglican faith as a child.

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