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Leading English prelate criticizes ‘Big Society’ program

Catholic World News - April 18, 2011

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster is criticizing the direction of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Big Society program-- an initiative designed to promote localism and volunteerism.

“We know instinctively that the state is often too inhuman, monolithic, and clumsy to tackle our deepest social problems,” the prime minister said at the program’s launch in 2010.

Archbishop Nichols, who had previously expressed support for the Big Society, expressed concern over budget cuts to the needy.

“It is not sufficient for the government, in its localism program, simply to step back from social need and say this is a local issue,” he said.

“A government cannot simply cut expenditure, wash its hands of expenditure and expect that the slack will be taken up by greater voluntary activity,” he added. “The poorest are taking the biggest hit while at the same time you see huge bank bonuses and profits, and this is not right.”

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  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Apr. 18, 2011 10:29 PM ET USA

    Archbishop Nichols, have you ever heard of the principle of subsidiarity? You should take Catholic Social Teaching 101. Why do so many of your ecclesiastical brethren on both sides of the pond have such fondness for big government programs?

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