Catholics cannot claim to be true to their faith if they do not support Church teaching on abortion, Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster

has said.

Abortion is a “foundational issue”, Bishop Campbell wrote on his blog. “Sadly, the price of admission into mainstream British life has meant that we somehow keep the Catholic brand name and tribal loyalty, but are content to live a mix of nostalgia and generic good will and ‘keep our heads down’ in the public sphere,” he said.

True Catholics, on the other hand, have a duty to “sanctify and humanise” the country, and lead it towards Church teaching.”

This week, the bishops of England, Wales and Scotland issued a rare joint statement to mark the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act.

The bishops describe every abortion as a “tragedy” and lament the 200,000 terminations that happened in 2015 alone. They criticise the fact that Britain sometimes allows abortions up to birth, and said that doctors and nurses “face increasing difficulty in being able to combine their dedicated professional work with their personal conviction”.

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