Archbishops call for politicians to 'honour the truth' in general election campaigns

PUBLISHED: 09:32 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:32 20 November 2019

ITV newscaster Julie Etchingham, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn after the election head-to-head debate. Photograph: ITV/PA Wire.

ITV newscaster Julie Etchingham, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn after the election head-to-head debate. Photograph: ITV/PA Wire.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued an appeal to voters and politicians to 'honour the gift of truth' during the general election campaign.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism

The Most Rev Justin Welby and Dr John Sentamu said everyone had a duty to "speak accurately and challenge falsehoods" when engaging in political debate.

In a joint pastoral letter to the Church of England, they urged people to discuss issues "with humility and in love" while acknowledging those who hold different views "are not our enemies".

The archbishops also drew on the example of Jesus to call for people to put "the vulnerable and those of the edges of society" while calling on all parties to commit to tacking climate change.

At the same time, they called on the parties to make it an "absolute priority" to offer to reassurance to those groups, including in Jewish and Muslim communities, who felt threatened and were in "much anxiety" at the current time.

In the letter, which they hope will be shared in local churches during the campaign, the archbishops stressed the need for issues to be debated "respectfully" and without resorting to personal abuse.

"As followers of Jesus Christ each of us is called to honour the gift of truth, both to speak it and to seek it," they said.

"We all have a responsibility to speak accurately, to challenge falsehoods when we hear them, and to be careful to separate facts from opinion.

"Offering facts and opinions should be done with humility and in love. People who hold different political views are not our enemies.

"Two people can look at the same facts and in good faith interpret them very differently."

They added they wanted to see the politicians "unite rather than divide", rebuilding trust in politics and institutions.

"As Jesus did, through his birth in poverty, his actions and words and his warning of judgment for those who seek only their own well-being, we must put the vulnerable and those on the edges of society first," they said.

The added: "That includes justice for the oppressed, protection for the persecuted, and a commitment to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.

"It also includes a just economic system, open and encouraging to aspiration and ambition, supportive of those who struggle."

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest anti-Brexit campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.