Tony Blair's conversion to Catholicism was driven by wife Cherie

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London, August 29 (ANI): Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has revealed that his wife Cherie inspired him to become a Catholic, after he left Downing Street.

During a visit to Italy, he also said that converting from the Anglican Church to Catholicism two years ago was like "coming home".

"Frankly, this all began with my wife. I began to go to Mass and we went together. We could have gone to the Anglican or Catholic church - guess who won?" the Telegraph quoted him as saying .

"Ever since I began preparations to become a Catholic, I felt I was coming home; and this is now where my heart is, where I know I belong," he told the Communion and Liberation meeting in the Adriatic resort of Rimini.

Blair, who presently runs the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, became a Catholic soon after leaving office two years ago. His wife and children were already Catholic.

In an interview with the BBC last December, he revealed that he did not convert while in power because that would have made him Britain's first Catholic prime minister, and could have led to a "palaver".

He said that he feared that he could have been branded a "nutter", had he discussed his religious beliefs while in power.

Blair received a standing ovation for his speech in Rimini, during which he said that he was "humbled" to address such an eminent gathering because he was a "very new entrant" to the Catholic Church.

His speech touched upon issues ranging from faith and globalisation to the rise of China.

Blair also talked ruefully about his time as prime minister.

"I began hoping to please all of the people all of the time, and ended wondering if I was pleasing any of the people any of the time. But that's another story," he said.

Blair even said that visiting Italy was always a pleasure.

"It is here in this country that I have spent many happy times; and where 30 years ago, almost to the day, I proposed to my wife and three decades and four children later, I at least am still pleased to recall the memory," he said. (ANI)

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