Cardinal Vincent Nichols has described the development of the Catholic Union in recent years as a “great strength in the Church.”
He made the remarks at the November plenary meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, held at Hinsley Hall in Leeds.
The Catholic Union gave a presentation on their latest work and some of the political challenges and opportunities ahead of the next General Election, which is expected sometime next year.
This was the first time that the Catholic Union had been asked to address one of the plenary meetings of the Bishops, which are held twice a year.
Cardinal Nichols, as President of the Conference, chaired the meeting. He remarked on the “sense of purpose and partnership developing between the Bishops and the Catholic Union.”
Cardinal Nichols, who has been Archbishop of Westminster since 2009, said that the work of the Catholic Union was important for the “very legitimate and proper empowering of the Catholic voice” in this country.
His remarks build on the letter issued by the Cardinal to members and supporters of the Catholic Union in their latest Annual Report.
The Catholic Union will be working closely with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference and its agencies in the run up to the next election. People are being encouraged to join the Catholic Union to support its work as we move towards a busy election year.
Catholic Union Director, Nigel Parker, commented: “It was a great privilege to join the Bishops for this meeting. Our invitation to take part is a sign of how far the Catholic Union has come in recent years and the sense of trust and partnership that exists in our relationship with the Conference. The Cardinal’s warm words were a further sign of this. With a General Election on the horizon, it will be important for all Catholic groups and organisations with an interest in advocacy to work together. There are so many issues where the Catholic viewpoint needs to be understood and has much to offer. In working together, we will make sure the voices of Catholics are heard by our politicians.”