"The undertaking given by the Prime Minister that he will listen more attentively to the voice of the people during this term of office is an invitation to be taken seriously," said the Archbishop of Birmingham in a special post General Election message released today. "I encourage Catholics to express their beliefs clearly, especially those concerning key moral issues surrounding the origins of human life and its natural ending," emphasised the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols. "Actions proposed or supported by the new Government should not undermine respect for human life, as a gift of God, not even in the name of pursuing apparently laudable aims such as medical advances and cures. "The words spoken by Pope Benedict XVI as he took possession of the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, the Basilica of John Lateran, last Sunday, 8 May, are an encouragement for us. "Pope Benedict accepted that his mission, like that of Pope John Paul II, takes place sometimes 'in the face of erroneous interpretations of freedom' and requires the underlining 'in an unequivocal way, the inviolability of the human being, the inviolability of human life, from its conception until natural death.' "Pope Benedict stated: 'The freedom to kill is not true freedom, but a tyranny that reduces the human being to slavery.'" Archbishop Nichols added: "I hope all Catholics will play their part in our democratic processes and not hesitate in letting their MPs know of their concerns in all these matters. "I will be paying particular attention to the way in which, in the coming Parliament, the Government proposes to deal with key moral issues, especially concerning the origins and beginnings of life, and its natural endings. These should concern us all. "We have a new Government - well the same Government returned - but in very different circumstances. I keep all those in public authority very much in my prayers, and I hope you do too. Their task is difficult and crucial."
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