Bishops issue pre-election moral 'audit' of British society
Ahead of European and Local Elections next month, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales are encouraging voters to back candidates who support Catholic Church teaching, particularly "where innocent lives are at risk".
The Bishops have issued a 100-page booklet entitled Cherishing Life, to "educate the conscience" of Catholics "and those who share our values".
Independent Catholic News comments that the bishops seek to present Church teaching in positive terms, but "do not shy away from criticising opposing views or identifying other positions they judge to be morally unacceptable".
Bishop Christopher Budd, of the Bishops' Department of Christian Responsibility & Citizenship said: "The multiplicity of issues underlines the complexity of living in our present world; the clear articulation of principles and values seeks to show the importance of a principled approach to moral questions.
"We have not sought to develop new teaching, but to present old teaching in a new context. It is, we believe, an example of drawing old and new from the treasure house of revelation and human wisdom."
Issues include criticism of UN initiatives such as the promotion of abortion and sterilisation, same-sex marriage, and sex education.
The text of the book is available for download from the Bishops' website.
London: bishops issue 'audit' of British society (Independent Catholic News 26/5/04)
Cherishing Life">Catholic Church in England and Wales
English bishops soften Vatican's moral line (The Guardian 26/5/04)
Voters Guided on 'Life, Love and Human Flourishing' (The Scotsman 26/5/04)
Gay rights groups hit out at Catholic "softened" stance (uk.gay.com 26/5/04)
Catholic bishops put emphasis on compassion
27 May 2004