Category Archives: Parliamentary Affairs

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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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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Catholic work to promote religious freedom praised by Special Envoy

The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, Rehman Chishti, has praised the contribution of the Catholic Church to tackling religious persecution.

Speaking at a talk hosted by the Catholic Union on 7 November, Mr Chishti said that the Church and Catholic charities like Aid to the Church in Need are helping to provide information on the ground in some of the worst affected places. He also drew on the words of Saint John Henry Newman – lead kindly light – as inspiration for tackling religious persecution.

The event at Mary Moorfields Church in Moorgate began with a talk from the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, who led a recent report into Christian persecution.

Bishop Philip said that whilst he had been asked to lead the report by the Archbishop of Canterbury, he saw this as an ecumenical project and praised the contribution of Catholics to the review. He said that persecution of Christians was a “bellwether” for other forms of discrimination, both religious and other types.   Continue reading