Marriage licences

I would call this utterly predictable.

Confidential guidelines have been issued by bishops to warn clergy of the scam, which has exploded since a Government crackdown on sham marriages was introduced in 2004.

Official figures show that the number of bogus weddings performed by Anglican priests has risen by as much as 400 per cent in some dioceses over the last four years.

Foreign nationals have turned to the Church because it is exempt from rules that require all foreign nationals from outside the European Union to obtain a Home Office certificate of approval to marry in a register office.

The prize of legal residence is so great that close off one route of getting it and  people will find, pretty quickly, any other means of getting it.

One wonders what the bureaucrats behind the original decision thought.  That immigrants only knew about register offices or something?

This is also depressingly predictable:

These regulations, which require people not legally settled in the UK to seek special permission to marry, were ruled as unlawful by the Law Lords ruled last month, but a Home Office spokesman said that they would continue to operate the current scheme to investigate individual applications.

We don\’t care what the law is, we\’re going to do what we want anyway. Typical of the Home Office.

4 thoughts on “Marriage licences”

  1. how times have changed…
    civil marriages were originally used to escape the power of the churches to determine who would marry..
    now the churches /government have flipped positions..

  2. There’s a certain unmentioned reality operating here, I’d wager.

    In the US, up until relatively recently, gambling of all sorts was proscribed by law; the last 25 years have seen a proliferation of state-sanctioned lotteries and nearly ubiquitous casino operations.

    In the political battles to maintain illegality of gambling, two broad groups could always be counted on for support of the status quo (illegality): 1.) organized religion (including especially Catholic churches deriving Bingo! income and not wishing their clientele distracted by competition) and 2.) organized crime, especially Mafia-based, desirous of protecting their “numbers” and bookmaking operations.
    Criminals did not make their opposition public but simply made financial contributions to the battle waged by churches of various denominations.

    It is simply impossible that most–if not all–of the priests, bishops, and other higher-ups of the CofE are unaware that a piece of paper that can establish (or make a supporting argument for) a legal residency for one otherwise a “visiting”
    foreigner–has a more or less specific, cash market value. I’m of the opinion that this cash value is not being foregone by the religious parties involved. As a matter of further opinion, I’d expect such figures to have been supportive of the present legal regimen (otherwise, they’d have been eschewing whatever advantage they now hold).

    It’s as true as ever–follow the money!

  3. “I’m of the opinion that this cash value is not being foregone by the religious parties involved.”

    Perhaps you are getting mixed up between the Church of England, and the Lavender Hill mob.

    We’ve all done that, it’s an easy mistake….

  4. Monty:

    It doesn’t have to go in the till and on the books–sub rosa (translation: under the robes) works well.

    I don’t mix churchmen with mobsters. The latter hardly ever invade the turf of indulgences.

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