Northern Bishops: ‘Give Reasons to Hope’ statement on Westminster Elections

27 Jun, 2024 | Bishops, Church, News

On 25 June, the Northern Bishops published a statement ahead of the Westmister Elections of 4 July.  The bishops’ pastoral reflection titled Give Reasons to Hope is based on values which, come from the example of Jesus and have been developed in Catholic Social Teaching.

Encouraging all to vote, bishops said, “we are appealing to every one who has the ability to do so, to participate in the democratic process by exercising their hard-won right to vote.  Even where there is no candidate who reflects the full range of a voter’s values or aspirations, it is still a fundamental Christian duty to maximise the good we can do by taking part in the democratic process.”

On their pastoral reflection the bishops addressed the following reasons to give hope for:

  • To our politicians – give reasons to hope!
  • There is hope – when life is respected!
  • There is hope – when I can live free from addiction!
  • There is hope – when all can live with dignity!
  • There is hope – when I have somewhere decent to live!
  • There is hope – when I feel welcome and secure!
  • There is hope – when the faith, community and voluntary sectors are valued and supported!
  • There is hope – when there is justice and reconciliation for all!

The bishops concluded, ” ‘Without a vision, the people perish!’. This is the famous and ancient insight of the Wisdom tradition of the Old Testament.  It holds true to this day. If our political leaders do not give people concrete reasons to hope, if they do not hold out a vision for our society that embraces the basic needs, dignity and inherent worth of all, it should be no surprise that society fractures, and confidence in politics is eroded.

“As Christian leaders, we continue to be inspired, and driven in our steadfast hope for society, by the vision of Jesus, that we might have life, and have it to the full (Jn. 10:10)!  All that truly gives people life, brings society hope! In this short reflection, with deep gratitude and respect for all those who put themselves forward, with courage, and commitment to public service, for elected office, we express our sincere hope that, if elected, they can shape a better future for us all. We also express our conviction, rooted in the promise of Jesus to be with us to the end of time, that even yet, there are many reasons to hope!”

To read the full text of the bishops’ pastoral reflection click here



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