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Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

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Brexit tops list of priorities in pre-election guidance issued by Catholic bishops of England and Wales

 

The post-Brexit future of the UK has been made a priority for Catholic voters in pre-election guidance issued by the bishops of England and Wales.

Reminding Catholics of their “important duty to vote”, the bishops this week published a two-page letter with a list of 10 key issues to put before prospective parliamentary candidates in the run-up to the General Election of June 8.

At the top of the list is a section entitled “Leaving the European Union”.

This deals with the future residency status of EU citizens living in the UK as well as the three million Britons who have relocated to continental Europe.

With Brexit bringing the swingeing repeal of swathes of EU legislation on human rights, the rights of workers and the care of the environment, Catholics are urged to ask their candidates how they envisage replacing such laws.

The bishops also invite voters to ask candidates what issues “should be the top priority when forming new international partnerships”.

In their preamble the bishops said the outcome of the election would determine the approach taken on Brexit is achieved, “the priorities we pursue and the values we wish to treasure as our own in the UK and as partners with countries around the world.”

“It will determine how we can heal divisions in our society, care for the vulnerable, how our public services are run and whether we can remain a united kingdom,” they said.

The second question on the list deals with so-called “assisted dying”, with Catholics urged to ask candidates if they would uphold a 2015 vote in the House of Commons which threw out a private member’s Bill to permit assisted suicide by a huge majority.

The bishops also suggested that Catholics ask candidates if they would “support measures to promote the intrinsic value of life at every stage”.

Other issues include prison reform in face of “unprecedented levels of violence and suicide”, the need for a fair migration system, and the expansion of schemes to find homes for refugees to the UK.

Catholics are also asked to inquire into what steps a candidate is willing to take to protect persecuted minorities overseas, “including Christian minorities” who are facing a risk of genocide in such countries as Syria and Iraq.

The letter makes modern slavery and poverty relief both at home and abroad issues of concern.

Support for the national system of state-funded Catholic education is also an issue, with voters advised to ask parliamentary candidates if they supported the rights of parents to choose Catholic schools for their children.

Please follow this link to either download or read the letter

 

(Photo by Simon Caldwell)