Religious leaders were praying extra hard to be forgiven for being in the same company as Tony Blair. It was Blair who defended a proposal that 'religion is a force for good in the world'. He lost the vote 2 to 1 against atheist Christopher Hitchens.
Members of the audience were swayed by Blair's record in the Iraq conflict when he proved to be a force for bad and even the Pope felt the invasion of Iraq was unjustified. Inevitably some people considered that the chance of finding God was about as possible as was Blair's conviction that weapons could be found in Iraq.
'His messages from God, or MI6, were fanciful nonsense and he never apologised for all the deaths for which he was responsible' commented an observer.
Religious leaders of all faiths have come together to distance themselves from Blair, fearing that the drift away from their creeds will increase to an avalanche if Blair continues to undermine religious faith.
The Pope, in a statement from the Vatican, declared: 'We are disturbed by the behaviour of one of our flock. We were assured that TB was not an illness, in fact he is worse. He is undermining everything and we hope his behaviour will improve when he becomes penitent for all his sins.'