The believer in Jesus Christ cannot separate his or her understanding of responsibility in and for society from those criteria of judgment which are set out in the Gospel:
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (Mt 25:35 –36).
The Christian in politics and in society cannot renounce his or her special responsibility to protect the weak and the marginalised. This responsibility cannot be delegated or supressed to party interests or emptied into the language of spin.
Politics is not just the art of the possible; it is a vocation where the interests of all citizens should be respected and where the respect and trust of citizens will only be won by honesty and integrity.
As bishops we encourage all citizens to engage with and challenge their local candidates about their commitment to the questions we have indicated, and about their understanding of politics as truly working and walking together to foster the common good.