LONDON -- Former prime minister Tony Blair is expected to be received into the Catholic Church within weeks, Catholic newspaper The Tablet will say in its Saturday edition.
The weekly said it understood that Blair, an Anglican, was to convert to the religion of his lawyer wife Cherie and their four children.
Blair is likely to be received into the Church by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster and the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, the newspaper said.
His acceptance into the faith would take place during a mass in the private chapel of Archbishop's House in Westminster, central London, it added.
However, Blair's spokesman said: "This is just the same old speculation that I'm not commenting on."
There were frequent rumours throughout Blair's 10-year premiership, which ended when he stepped down in June, that he would convert.
However, the Church of England is the state church in England and many pundits felt Blair might be putting off converting while in office due to the difficulties that becoming Britain's first Catholic premier might pose.
Blair, 54, is the envoy for the Middle East Quartet -- the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States -- working towards peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Blair regularly took communion at his local Catholic church when an opposition leader before being elected prime minister but was asked to desist by cardinal Basil Hume, then the archbishop of Westminster.
The Tablet said some Catholics might be upset by Blair's conversion, given that his parliamentary record showed he supported abortion.
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