Catholic Church in England and Wales
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Parliament told to follow the lead of Catholics on poverty

Wed 05 Nov 2014
By Marcus Jones

The leader of English and Welsh Catholics says Parliament could learn from the Church's hands-on approach to tackling poverty.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has been speaking as representatives from leading Catholic charities and faith based agencies gather in Parliament to celebrate their achievements.

Speaking about the good work these groups do in society, the Archbishop of Westminster said: "A crucial part of serving society, whether through the calling of politics or through the Church, is to face the reality before us. This is where rhetoric ends, where philosophy gives way to reality, where dogmatism gets its hands dirty. For us this is what being a Church of the poor and for the poor really means. Our self-awareness is sharp; our sense of purpose is clear. Perhaps governments could take a lead from this too."

Cardinal Nichols went on to talk about the impact of zero-hours contracts, the limitations of a minimum wage and the discrepancy between incomes and basic living costs.

He went on to thank the Catholic charities for the role they play in supporting the poor.

He said: "you help to house the homeless. You help to keep families together through relationship support. You act as a lifeline for those seeking asylum. Together, as a Church, we embody what it means to love our neighbour and work towards human flourishing."

Cardinal Nichols has previously criticised the Government for not doing enough to keep people out of poverty.

In February he said cuts were leaving increasing numbers of people facing 'hunger and destitution'.

He also said it was a 'a disgrace' people were going hungry in a country as rich as Britain.

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