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Blair quells speculation about his conversion

LONDON — Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair dismissed speculation he intends to convert from the Church of England to Roman Catholicism.

Blair commented after British newspaper quotes from the Rev. Timothy Russ, who regularly leads Catholic services at Blair's country estate, Chequers.

Blair has regularly accompanied his Catholic wife Cherie and their children to Mass, triggering conversion speculation.

By law, Britain's monarch must be Protestant. There is no legal barrier to a Catholic prime minister, but there hasn't been one since the title came into use in the early 18th century, a constitutional expert said.