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Thursday, September 29, 2016
Cardinal calls on Britain's leaders to embrace 'prosperty with a purpose'
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¬†The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, today called on political leaders to take to heart a major study by the Churches on poverty and wealth which was released this morning at the House of Lords. The pre-election discussion document, Prosperity with a Purpose, argues that poverty can be overcome in a free-market economy with the right use of resources and state instruments. The document, which was released this morning by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), says the principle of "nobody left behind" should be embraced by political party platforms in advance of the general election, which is widely expected to be called in May. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor called this morning for government and voters to take seriously the document's conclusions. In a statement read by an auxiliary bishop of Westminster, Bernard Longley, he said: "In 1997 the Catholic Church published, in The Common Good, its teaching on social issues. Today's document, which echoes much of the message of The Common Good, has been commissioned by all the Christian Churches in Britain and Ireland. Their representatives have put forward their analysis of the moral challenges for governments and people of our affluent society." The Cardinal added: "This document is not a complaint or a rant. Nor is it a prescription. It does not offer simple answers to intractable problems. But it challenges all of us, private citizens as well as those in public life, to recognise our responsibility to the disadvantaged in our own country and beyond. A lot has been done. We need to do more. Today we, the Christian Churches in our country, are asking that government, the political parties and individuals take to heart this serious analysis and reflect on the policy ideas it puts forward." The report's principal author is the Catholic journalist and commentator Clifford Longley. "We set out to see if there was a consensus among the Churches, and we are convinced we have found one," said Longley. "There is a remarkable measure of agreement, not only about what needs to be done but also about the underlying theological and moral issues. The document is intended to have a major impact on public opinion in the pre-election period." Prosperity with a Purpose argues that wealth creation is a continuation of God's creative action ≠ as long as it is governed by a strong commitment to social justice. Work is the participation in this divine action, which must therefore enhance human dignity and creativity. It is crucial to readjust the work-life balance to restore respect for personal and family values, argues Prosperity with a Purpose. "It is the responsibility of those engaged in politics to reconcile the outcomes of the market economy to the demands of the common good," the document argues. Prosperity with a Purpose is the most comprehensive endorsement of a market economy by church leaders in many years. The report is critical of previous generations of Christian thinkers for seeing economic activity as a "zero-sum" activity, believing that wealth can only be created at the expense of the poor. In this document, the Churches increasingly affirm the contribution to the public good made by business and industry. But they all also recognise the new reality of globalisation, which demands a new commitment to global solidarity. Prosperity with a Purpose was launched today before press, church leaders and Parliamentarians in the Moses Room, Palace of Westminster, at 11am. Other events will follow in Ireland, Wales and Scotland. CTBI is the official ecumenical body which brings together Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Reformed, Free Church, African and African-Caribbean traditions. CTBI is the direct successor to the old British Council of Churches. There are two documents: Prosperity with a Purpose - Christians and the Ethics of Affluence (CTBI A33.99) and Prosperity with a Purpose - Exploring the Ethics of Affluence (CTBI A311.99). Both are available from CTBI Publications, phone 01733 325 002 For more information visit: http://www.ctbi.org.uk/ Source: Archbishop's House
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