English bishops back call by lobby group for 'unjust debts' to be cancelled

Seven Catholic bishops in England have joined Anglican, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu religious leaders in calling for “far-reaching changes in the global economy”.

The bishops signed a statement by a lobby group, the Jubilee Debt Campaign, urging governments to cancel “unjust debts” and to introduce “progressive” taxation.

The statement said: “Over the last 30 years there has been a series of debt crises culminating in the present one in Europe. A self-serving financial system has brought the global economy to its knees and we are now seeing the poorest people in our own society and around the world paying the price for this excess.

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“That is why we ask people everywhere to join in calling for a renewed Jubilee. Finance must be put back in its place as a means to human well being. We need far-reaching changes in the global economy to build a society based on justice, mutual support and community.”

The bishops who signed the statement were Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, Bishop Christopher Budd of Plymouth, Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton, Bishop Terry Drainey of Middlesborough, Auxiliary Bishop William Kenney of Birmingham and Bishop John Rawsthorne of Hallam.

They were joined by 37 Church of England bishops as well as representatives of Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Zoroastrian faiths.

The statement, which can be read in full here, will be handed in to David Cameron next month.

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