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Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

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Wythenshawe MP establishes ‘Catholics for Labour’ group at Party conference

 

A “Catholics for Labour” group has been founded with the help of an MP whose constituency lies within the Diocese of Shrewsbury.

Mike Kane, the MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, was among eight Catholic Labour MPs who established the group at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton.

He said the purpose of the new group is to assist “left-of-centre” Catholics to fulfil vocations of service in public life.

“We want to see more Catholics standing for public office both locally and nationally,” said, Mr Kane, who also took part in last year’s launch of Caritas Diocese of Shrewsbury, the new social justice and action agency of the Diocese,

“At the moment in Wythenshawe of 18 councillors only two are Catholic. There used to be a much higher proportion,” the Shadow Schools Minister said, adding that because “the call to participation in the community” was a key strand of Catholic social teaching “we want to see an organisation which supports people coming forward”.

Catholics for Labour was founded at the 5pm Mass at the Church of St Mary Magdalen in Brighton on Sunday.

Other MPs involved setting up the group include Jon Cruddas, Keith Vaz, David Crausby, Stephen Pound, Emma Lewell-Buck and Conor McGinn.

A letter signed by the eight MPs said: “Catholics for Labour has lofty ambitions. We are not about standing still or merely making observations of the world around us.

“Our hearts and minds are firmly focused on social justice and guided by the teaching of the Catholic faith we will work together to actively shape that world and prepare members for a life in public service.”

At present there are about 70 MPs who are Catholic and about 40 of them belong to the Labour Party.

Mr Kane said the mediation of Cardinal Henry Edward Manning in the London dock strike of 1889 meant that the Catholic Church had been instrumental in bringing the Labour Party into existence.

Since the turn of the 20th century working class Catholics had overwhelmingly voted for the Labour Party, Mr Kane said, adding that today “we want to see that strand reflected in the number of candidates coming forward”.

He said he believed that the rich tradition of the social teaching of the Catholic Church, dating from Rerum Novarum, the 1891 encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, continued to offer solutions to poverty, the erosion of workers’ rights and other problems which diminished human dignity.

 

(Photos by Simon Caldwell)