Author Archives: James Somerville-Meikle

Catholics call on BBC to broadcast the Mass

The Catholic Union has urged the BBC to broadcast the celebration of Mass on Sundays as the Coronavirus crisis continues.

Public Masses have been suspended by the Bishops in Scotland, and England and Wales, following Government guidance on social distancing. Churches have now closed their doors to visitors completely as efforts to stop the spread of the virus intensify.

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Labour leadership candidates urged to support the common good

The Catholic Union has called on the three remaining Labour leadership contenders to support the common good, ahead of the new leader being announced next month.

Catholic Union Director, Nigel Parker, has written to Rebecca Long Bailey, Lisa Nandy, and Sir Keir Starmer, to ask them to back five key commitments on social policy. These include a pledge to scrap the two-child tax limit on benefits, support for new Catholic schools, and continuing to respect abortion and assisted dying as matters of conscience.

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Catholics call on government to support families in budget

The Catholic Union has joined forces with the Catholic Bishops to urge Chancellor Rishi Sunak to abolish the two-child limit on benefits as part of next month’s Budget.

In a letter congratulating Mr Sunak on his recent appointment, Nigel Parker (Director of the Catholic Union) and Bishop Richard Moth (Chair of the Bishops’ Conference Department for Social Justice), called on the Chancellor to help more than half a million children by abolishing the two-child limit for Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit in his forthcoming budget, scheduled for next month.

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Cardinal celebrates 150 years of the Catholic Union

Cardinal Vincent Nichols celebrated a special Mass to mark the 150th anniversary of the Catholic Union.

The Mass took place at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, on Wednesday 19 February. It is part of a series of events to celebrate the landmark anniversary of the Union.

During his homily, Cardinal Nichols congratulated the Catholic Union on a “significant birthday” and noted its “distinguished history” since being founded in 1870.

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Catholic Union responds to shake up of divorce laws

The Catholic Union has called on the Government to focus on supporting marriage and family life rather than looking at plans to make divorce easier.

The Government is planning a shake up of divorce laws in England and Wales, which will remove the ability to contest a divorce and replace the requirement to produce evidence of ‘irretrievable breakdown’ with a simple statement.

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Catholic Union briefed on religious freedom work

The Catholic Union met the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Religious Freedom, Rehman Chishti MP, this week (27 January).

Director, Nigel Parker, and Head of Public Affairs, James Somerville-Meikle, met Mr Chishti in the Foreign Office to discuss the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the Truro report into Christian persecution.

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Catholic Union response to Queen’s Speech

Following the Queen’s Speech on Thursday 19 December, the Catholic Union has issued the response below.

“There is much to welcome in the Queen’s Speech, not least a commitment to protect those persecuted for their faith and implement the recommendations of the Truro report. This is something the Catholic Union has been calling for. The Government must now put words into action and show that promoting religious freedom around the world is a key foreign policy objective.

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Do your parliamentary candidates support freedom of conscience?

Each of the three main parties has been accused of discriminating against people with religious beliefs. There appears to be an alarmingly low level of understanding of the nature of a religious belief and about what it means to respect the beliefs and consciences of others.

The Catholic Union has therefore formulated three questions for you to ask your parliamentary candidates. It also sets out some facts for discussion should you wish to use them.

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Catholic Union calls for freedom of religion or belief manifesto commitments

The Catholic Union has called for a manifesto commitment from the three main, national parties to tackle religious persecution.

Writing to Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, and Jo Swinson, the Catholic Union has called for freedom of religion or belief to be at the heart of government policy, whoever who wins the election.

The Catholic Union has specifically called for a commitment to implement the recommendations of a recent report into Christian persecution, carried out by the Bishop of Truro.

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