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Church Of England Slammed For General Election Guidelines: 12 Times The Church Meddled In Poltics

The Church of England's leading bishops have claimed they have a "duty" to discuss politics - but their 52-page manifesto for the general election has drawn bitter complaints of left-wing "Tory-bashing".

But the Church of England and Catholic Church have always been political - ever since Henry II famously said "will no-one rid me of this troublesome priest?" in reference to his ill-fated advisor Thomas Beckett.

Justin Welby is one of many outspoken bishops

And the CoE doesn't mind being a bunch of troublesome priests. It even makes that point in its lengthy voting document, saying: "Some people, including some in the positions of influence in the media, politics and elsewhere, claim that religion and politics cannot mix.

"[But] it is not possible to separate the way a person perceives his or her place in the created order from their beliefs, religious or otherwise, about how the world’s affairs ought to be arranged."

Elizabeth Oldfield, the director of Christian think tank Theos, told The Huffington Post UK last year: "Church voices don't fit easily into either party, many leaders are socially conservative, but also welfarist, pro-immigration. You can't fit the church in a box of left or right. This means they are always being critical, and tend to annoy most governments."

As these 12 examples show, the UK's Christian figures have a long history of sticking their noses into politics, but often at the expense of Tory policies.

Thatcherism

10 Times The Church Intervened In British Politics

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