Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has lashed out at Bishops who tried to derail a Government plan to cap welfare payments.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Lord Carey, 76, criticised the five bishops, led by the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds Rt Rev James Packer.
Rt Rev Packer tabled an amendment in the House of Lords, which defeated the government and sent the welfare bill back to the House of Commons.
Lord Carey, who was Archbishop of Canterbury until 2002, said he was sure that the Bishops had voted against the government because they felt they needed to speak up for the poorest in society.
But he warned that their opinions were out of step with many hard-pressed church goers.
He said: “these five bishops — led by the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds — cannot lay claim to the moral high-ground.
“The sheer scale of our public debt, which hit £1trillion yesterday, is the greatest moral scandal facing Britain today.
“If we can’t get the deficit under control and begin paying back this debt, we will be mortgaging the futures of our children and grandchildren.
“In order to do this, we desperately need to reform our welfare system.”
Lord Carey, who also recently spoke out against the Occupy protests in central London, warned that the welfare system is not the ‘insurance safety net’ that it was intended to be, and claimed that the current system was developing a culture of dependency.
He said: “The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds (the Right Rev John Packer) quoted the Bible as he criticised the Government’s plans in the House of Lords this week.
“He pointed out that ‘Christianity, along with other faiths and beliefs, requires us to think most of those that have no voice of their own. Children are one of the most evident examples of that.’
“While I quite agree with the sentiment, I can’t possibly believe prolonging our culture of welfare dependency is in the best interests of our children.
Lord Carey left school at 15 to start work, and feels that more young people need to see a lifetime of work as something that is worthwhile and fulfilling.
He wants to see a new attempt to deal with the root causes of poverty, and advocates a return to the culture of philanthropy and social entrepreneurism which saw Christian social reformers like Dr Barnardo and Salvation Army founder William Booth change the face of society.
January 25th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross