Bishops are oppressors if they fail to act on migrants

Anglican bishops oppressors

The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged Anglican bishops to speak out against ‘unethical treatment’ of migrants and climate change, and failing to act would make them “one of the oppressors”.

Justin Welby encouraged Church of England leaders to “take risks”.

“To be silent on the unethical treatment of migrants or on war or oppression, on the abuse of human rights, on persecution, is to be one of the oppressors” he told the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops.

The Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops is convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury once every 10 years. It took place at the University of Kent, Canterbury Cathedral and Lambeth Palace between July 26 and August 8.

Calling climate change an “undeclared war”, the former oil executive warned it could create 1.2 billion refugees with consequences “tragic beyond anything in human history”.

The Archbishop continued: “Climate change, better called the climate crisis or better still the climate emergency, as we know is the result of the wealthier countries having declared war on God’s creation unknowingly and unthinkingly starting from the 19th century.

‘The symptoms of that war now are that the wealthy dump refuse in the oceans.

‘They tell the poor not to use carbon-generating fuels and they say to the world, too often, not by their word but by their actions, we will keep our wealth and you, the poor, must discover new paths”.

Welby also criticised the UK government’s deal with Rwanda in which UK asylum seekers would be sent to the African country. In exchange for accepting them, Rwanda will receive millions of pounds in development aid.

Archbishop Welby said the Rwanda proposal would not “stand up to the judgment of God”, adding there were “serious ethical questions about sending asylum seekers overseas”.

His criticisms, and similar private remarks reported to have been made by Prince Charles, led PM Boris Johnson to acknowledge the Rwanda deal had drawn opprobrium from “slightly unexpected quarters”.


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