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Catholic church issues voting guidance for followers

Cardinal Vincent Nichols Credit: Katie Collins/PA Wire

The Catholic Church has issued guidance for its members ahead of the general election.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has released the letter which follows a similar move by the Church of England earlier this month.

We expect politicians to be committed to the common good. We also each have a responsibility to be involved in the democratic process. It is important that we vote. It is a duty which springs from the privilege of living in a democratic society. In deciding how we vote the question for each one of us is then: How, in the light of the Gospel, can my vote best serve the common good?

– Letter issued to Catholic ahead of the general election

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Bishop's letter angers some Conservatives

Church of England bishops caused a stir with an unusual and unexpected intervention in politics.

Calling on Christians to use their vote, the bishops sent out a letter calling for a "fresh moral vision" on issues like poverty and Britain's nuclear deterrent.

That angered some Conservatives, although, as ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby reports, not David Cameron.

Claims Bishops' election letter 'leans to the Left'

Church of England Bishops took the unusual step today of urging their flocks to vote in the general election. In a formal, pastoral letter they also called for a 'fresh moral vision' from party leaders.

The Prime Minister welcomed the intervention but some Conservatives have complained it leans too far to the Left.

ITV News Political Correspondent Emily Morgan reports:

Bishop: We should engage in politics for the common good

The Bishop of Norwich told ITV News that the Church of England was calling for more people to be engaged in politics and encouraging ordinary people and politicians to come together "for the common good."

The Rt Revd Graham James said: "Sometimes our political culture and the name calling within it doesn't actually do politicians themselves much good. What we're calling for is for all of us to engage in a politics that actually has a vision that is for the common good."

Bishop of Leicester defends Church's politics letter

The Bishop of Leicester, Tim Stevens has said that the Church of England's letter is meant to encourage politicians to "take their vocations seriously."

Responding to comment from David Cameron he told ITV News: "There are many things that have gone well, we acknowledge that unemployment has come down but we also notice that inequalities between the wealthy and the poor remain unhappily wide."

Mr Cameron has urged the Church to recognise improvements his Government had made, outlining efforts to create jobs, cut taxes and develop the economy.

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PM 'keen for anyone to intervene in politics'

David Cameron has welcomed a letter from Church of England leaders ahead of the general election.

The Prime Minister said he was "always keen for anyone to intervene in politics", adding: "I think it's good - we want to have a political debate in our country."

Mr Cameron also urged the Church to recognise the improvements his Government had made, outlining efforts to create jobs, cut taxes and develop the economy.

"I would say to the bishops, I hope they would welcome that because work does bring dignity, does bring self-reliance, it does enable people to provide for their families, it creates a stronger society as well as a stronger economy."

C of E's first woman bishop to make official appearance

The Church of England's first woman bishop will make her first official public appearance since she was ordained. The Rev Libby Lane is due to launch a campaign against human trafficking at Manchester Airport.

The Rev Libby Lane after a service at York Minster. Credit: PA

Airport staff will be given training to identify vulnerable passengers and look out for typical signs of trafficking as part of the Travel Safe Week initiative. She made history last month when she was ordained as the eighth Bishop of Stockport in a service at York Minster.

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