Catholics should find out what candidates for June's election think about life issues and family values, the Bishop of Portsmouth has said

Catholics should think “first, and foremost” how candidates in June’s General Election will protect human life from conception to natural death, the Bishop of Portsmouth has said.

In his weekly e-newsletter, Bishop Philip Egan said Catholic voters have a “crucial contribution” to make to the democratic process, and urged them to examine party manifestos and parliamentary candidates in light of Church teaching.

In particular, they should find out whether candidates oppose liberalising abortion laws and embryo experimentation, as well as their views on assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Catholics should also look at how candidates will “strengthen Britain’s Christian patrimony, its history, classics and values,” whilst also tackling fundamentalism “in its various forms, scientific and religious”, the bishop added.

On top of these, the list of 10 considerations also includes how candidates will support traditional family life, support the vulnerable, and whether they will encourage the government to stand up for persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

In his Easter sermon, Bishop Egan urged the faithful to lead the fight back against ‘secular totalitarianism’ and “lead the new evangelisation of our land”.

Secularists, he said, are “Hell-bent on burying the Christian patrimony” of Britain, proposing “Orwellian changes to our language and place ever more draconian restrictions on religious expression, even on what we wear.”

“If we let secularism prevail, British culture will become increasingly unhinged, adrift, prey to emotionalism and to the latest pressure group,” the bishop added.

“As we know, this has lethal consequences for the weakest, the unborn child, the handicapped, the elderly, the dying. This is why this Easter as Christians, it’s time we said: enough is enough! We need to rise up to the challenge. We need to roll back the agenda.”