A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Church of England in 'sham marriage' crackdown

Pixilated policeman in bridal handcuffs arrangement!
The BBC is reporting the agreement between the Church of England and the UK Border Agency in their combined attempt to reduce the number of "sham marriages". Of course, it all depends on what is defined as a sham marriage. This is basically aimed at non-Europeans, as we are being told. I take it that the term "European" means a Rumpuy-Pumpuy type of European and not a Ukrainian or a Serb, for example.

In this matter I feel there is a difference between a sham marriage and a bogus one. Sham marriages occur on a regular basis. Many saying their vows without meaning them. In the Roman Catholic understanding, a deliberate attitude of negativity can lead to grounds for annulment. However sham they may at the outset, most are consummated. Bogus marriages on the other hand are mostly not. It is a purely financial and status acquiring business. Most brides would shudder at the thought of intimacy with some of the grooms on offer. A lot of the grooms seem totally out of place next to their nervous brides. Bogus is bogus and sham is something else.

The difficulty for clergy is that they know only a tiny minority of their parishioners. However, they are in the legal position of caring for all souls. So it is relatively easy for a smooth-talking stranger to say that his niece is in need of a marriage to be performed fairly quickly. How is a priest to gainsay it all? Probably by reading up on the new guidelines.

The practice of bogus marriages is not uncommon. There is a big trade in it, as with all aspects of people trafficking. I suspect though, that this is not being applied fairly. It would appear that Africans are more likely to get caught than Asians. Surely that would not be right. What about marriages of convenience by people from the Sub-continent? Maybe I'm being too jumpy. But the track record in these things is to use a sticking plaster on the easy bits and turn a blind eye to the more complicated.


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