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Clergy accuse Archbishops of backing Tories in election letter

Mon 08 May 2017
By Marcus Jones

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are facing backlash following the pastoral letter they released over the weekend.

Most Rev Justin Welby and Dr John Sentamu's note ahead of the election said faith has a central role to play in politics.

It called on Christians to set aside "apathy and cynicism" and draw new inspiration from the ancient Christian virtues of "love, trust and hope".

It also asked believers to pray for political leaders and for those who will be elected.

But it was the use of the word "stability" which raised concern from dozens of clergy and other Christians.

In an open letter to the Archbishops, penned by Rev Al Barrett, the clergy say it's term which has become synonymous with the Conservative leader Theresa May.

"It is impossible to eescape the fact that the leader of one of the major political parties competing in this General Election has used the phrase 'strong and stable' almost as a mantra throughout the election campaign thus far.

"For your pastoral letter to focus so positively on such a politically freighted word seems to us, at best, as a case of desperate political naivety, and at worst, an implicit endorsement of one party in this election."

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