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Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey blasts Justin Welby's 'blindness' to migration concerns

by Lydia Davies

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey has accused Most Rev Justin Welby of being "blind" to the impact of mass migration.

His criticism comes as judges have raised concerns that some ''unquestioning' 'church leaders are being ''duped'' by asylum seekers who convert to Christianity in order to avoid deportation.

They questioned the motives of some converts, with one judge finding it "very surprising" that a church allowed an asylum seeker to be baptised just five weeks after arriving in the UK.

However, the Church of England denied claims that it is complicit in a "conveyor belt" of asylum seeker baptisms.

In one case, a judge found that a church leader had been tricked by an Iranian migrant who was unable to even name the church. In another case, a judge said that a vicar had taken an asylum seeker "uncritically at face value" and had not considered alternative motivations for joining the church.

The Anglican Diocese of Leeds, which is responsible for Wakefield Cathedral, said that ministers take potential baptisms "extremely seriously" but admitted that it is difficult to assess someone's personal integrity and commitment”

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Lord Carey accused his successor, Archbishop Justin, and other bishops in the House of Lords, of overlooking the impact of mass migration on “our culture, our infrastructure and our common life”.

He also linked the ongoing dispute over conversions of asylum seekers to Archbishop Justin and other bishops’ opposition to the Government’s Rwanda plan.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury said that the Church’s opposition has “disturbed me by its ferocity and intensity”.

Lord Carey urged bishops to do “much more” to listen to “struggling communities” who feel “alienated and marginalised by unprecedented rates of immigration and change”.

The Church of England said that it expected clergy to uphold the law and make truthful representations, but a spokesman acknowledged that it is impossible to know for sure whether someone is a genuine convert.


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