Inspired by the manifestos of the political parties in the Parliamentary elections, the Conference of Bishops of England and Wales has issued its manifesto on behalf of the Catholic Church, a summary of which we reproduce below:
- The Catholic Church is the Church of ordinary, hard-working families. We are on your side. We are the listening church
- We pledge ourselves to remove all restrictions on artificial means of birth control by the end of the next pontificate; to remove restrictions on Holy Communion for divorced and remarried couples with immediate effect, and to set up a nationwide consultation on Equal Marriage.
- A commission of Catholic restauranteurs and food writers will review fasting policy.
- In response to widespread appeals from the public, the Inquisition will be reintroduced for paedophiles and child abusers, and a public auto-da-fe will take place monthly in some suitable public arena (probably a football stadium).
- Married clergy will be phased in over a period of ten years, and we pledge ourselves to reach stated quotas of gay clergy in every diocese by 2020.
- Homilies mentioning sin, penance, asolution and especially the Devil will cease forthwith. We pledge ourselves to an increased concentration on poverty, overseas aid and our NHS.
There are those who think that in the past the Catholic Church has been merciless and unforgiving. We pledge ourselves to end all that.
Vote Catholic, vote often – preferably every Sunday (unless you have something better to do)!