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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 April 2007, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Candidates face quiz by Catholics
Catholic Bishop Joseph Devine
Bishop Devine has already said he will not be voting for Labour
Catholic church-goers across Scotland have received a questionnaire allowing them to quiz Holyrood election candidates about their beliefs.

A letter, by the Catholic Bishops of Scotland, was being read out to 500 parishes urging voters to support politicians with Christian values.

It questioned recent legislation over civil partnership and political support for gay adoption.

It also raised concerns about the need to justifty Catholic schools.

The bishops highlighted a "conflict of values in society" which they claim has led to "legislation and regulations which are seriously at odds with the insights and values of our Christian faith and of other faiths".

There are signs of a desire for an authentic Christian voice in politics
Letter to parishoners

They went on to raise concerns about "abortion, embryo experimentation, easy divorce and civil partnerships" and the need to constantly "counter criticism of the very existence of Catholic schools".

Referring to recent regulations which could prevent Catholic adoption agencies from carrying out their work, the letter described "a stealthy and unjust attack on the freedom of religion itself and on the rights of conscience".

It described such innovations as "dubious" and "detrimental not just to the good of the Catholic community but to the common good of humanity as a whole" concluding "they deserve to be challenged at the ballot box".

'Christian values'

The letter added: "The coming elections give us an opportunity to vote wisely and to choose the best political representatives for our communities.

"Many of those standing share our Christian values.

"There are signs of a desire for an authentic Christian voice in politics serving the common good of people of all faiths and none."

Four statements are published for voters to put to candidates to decide on their value system - including ones about Catholic schools and marriage.

Last month in an unusual step for a church leader, Catholic Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Devine said he would no longer vote Labour because of policies such as civil partnerships for same sex couples and gay adoption.

At the time Labour said they perplexed that they had been singled out for criticism.




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