Monday, 31 October 2011
Resigned as a bishop, resigned as a Dean...will there be any role for this chap?Lets hope the old boys network have have got their thinking caps on.
I think it might be wiser at this stage for issues to be separated from personalities. While mistakes have undeniably been made, it is scarcely charitable to make cheap (and ignorant) personal remarks. The Dean did not resign as a bishop. He was asked by the Crown to serve at St Paul's having been Bishop of Sodor & Man for four years. Much of his ministry had been in cathedral life. And at the age of 60, given the events of the past two weeks he could be forgiven for wanting to retire.
The "debate" between Anne Atkins and George Pitcher (BBC Newsnight) this evening was a testimony to the confusion approaching chaos that continues to dog this matter.
Later, on the BBC news channel the front pages of Tuesday's newspapers were being discussed and - yes, believe it or not ALL of them covered the resignation of the Dean in great detail with further coverage "inside".
I did not catch the name of the man who along with the anchor was analysing the coverage, but you could almost feel the discomfort he was in having to give his opinion on the stories. At one point he looked at the anchor with some disbelief that this story was still occupying so many column inches and such a high profile after two weeks.
After criticising the headline of The Times saying the story gave no support to its contention, he made a highly pertinent observation, noting that the collateral damage that had shattered St Pauls was unexpected and unpredictable and the Church could not have been expected to have a policy in place to deal with the situation that had arisen, It was as if he was describing the aftermath of a bus careering out of control after the driver has a heart attack and crashing into a Church killing some at prayer.
To be fair Anthony with the exception of our resident, rather bitter RCatholic troll above, the air has been relatively free of ad hominems.
One does have to wonder if the collapse at St pauls is now completely swamping the issues raised by the campers.
I am intrigued by the Bishop of London's statement in the Church Times that "while St Paul’s is not on any particular political side – that is not its role – it does have an important part to play in providing a place for reasoned debate within a moral and spiritual context."
Is the Bishop really suggesting that it isn't the job of the Church to take sides on political matters? I'm inclined to think that it is quite simply impossible for the Church - especially an established church - NOT to take sides on political matters. If it's not part of the solution, it's part of the problem.
Supposedly the Dean was leading the charge to evict, and then he realized that the Chapter wouldn't back him in this. So he resigns. So far, I get it.
But then the Chapter asks the Bishop of London for help in figuring out what to do?
And the Bishop of London, we are given to understand, is just as in favor of eviction as the Dean was?
Am I missing something?
Bring back Lucy as Dean of St. Paul's to restore some sweetness and light.
"One does have to wonder if the collapse at St pauls is now completely swamping the issues raised by the campers." (Martin Reynolds)
Yes, and, at the same time, the St. Paul's debacle is one and the same with the issues raised by the campers. At the core, the issue is the challenge to the undeserved privilege of entrenched power.
Hello, you may have suppressed the urge to criticise the intro to the big read about St Paul's (by me) but just to let you know the mistake has been rectified. Cheers.
"Alas for you, you blind guides, who say, "'Whoever swears by the Sanctuary it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the Sanctuary, is bound by the oath.' (Matt. 23:16)
The officials at St. Paul's Cathedral are publicly committed to (sworn by) the gold of the Sanctuary, that is, the physical assets, property and appointments which are in their care. Whatever their spin for public consumption, the clergy there see the physical asset as their primary solemn undertaking, but hope for a compromise. All the while, the moral capital that garners public credibility is depreciating rapidly towards spiritual bankruptcy: 'But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men' (Matt. 5:13) Anglicans should brace for a public display of open contempt and vandalism.
In contrast, although they also swear by the Sanctuary itself, declaring allegiance to the covenant principle of devotion towards God before Mammon, when challenged to choose, they consider the gold of the Sanctuary as the higher obligation.
The partial answer to: 'What would Jesus do?'
1. Declare to Cathedral admirers, somewhat ambiguously and to the delight of His detractors (who would have him charged under the Terrorism Act): 'Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.' and then, 'Destroy this temple! I will build another in a few days'
2. Resign his post and then camp out with the protesters, holding nightly story-telling sessions. The crowd favourite would be 'the City banker and Lazarus'. He'd also help to clean out the Portaloos, probably giving up His tent and blanket to an elderly campaigner.
3. Travel week after next to Edinburgh to speak at school assemblies during Anti-Bullying week (14th November), popping in to see Sir Fred Goodwin's kids and helping them to cope with the widely-reported bullying that they experience at school.
It's not that our clergy don't think. It's that they don't think nearly enough!
Reading the Gospel today for All Saints - the Beatitudes - reminded me of the thousands of schools around the country where children are being taught "christian values" - the values inherent in Christian discipleship. One question about the situation at St Paul's could be: "What could the people involved now do to exemplify Christian values to our children?" ... just looking for some key to get some constructive forward movement.
Lois Keen sums up the whole issue splendidly.