Comments: Guardian editorial condemns St Paul's Cathedral

A pretty tough editorial by the Guardian here. Sadly, though, they echo the point of view of many in this conflict. It would seem that the main reason for the Dean and Chapter's insistence of the removal of the protesters is really all about the loss of revenue - from the extortionate fees gouged from the tourists whose interests is solely historical. In the meantime, the prayer-life of the Cathedral suffers.

I do think that Chancellor Giles Fraser was right - in his initial dismissal of the police, in the interests of the protesters' right to protest. However, the subsequent Protester-Fest, being sparked largely by professional rabble-rousers, whose main interest is in public disorder,has high-jacked the situation to the point of anarchy - a situation which neither Church nor State can allow to continue. Perhaps Canon Giles should be allowed to confront the Protesters, on behalf of the Dean and Chapter, to try to regain control. After that he should give a talk to the Stock-Exchange on the basis of Jesus and the money-changers on the Temple.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 25 October 2011 at 11:23pm BST

What did you think was going to happen? You wanted to embarrass the police with the demonstrators and within a week they ended up being an embarrassment to you.
Why isn't someone outside talking with these campers on a way to save face?
Stupid. You must want to be disestablished by contempt and popular disgust.

Posted by Nixon is Lord at Tuesday, 25 October 2011 at 11:29pm BST

Spot on.

I love Saint Paul's very much, and I'd hate to see it reduced to the status of a "whited sepulchre," emptied of all meaning, a huge relic that got lost in a place that looks like downtown Houston while on its way to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The protest seems to me to be a golden opportunity for the Church of England to assert itself as a prophetic voice, to turn all of Marx's taunts on their heads, and to be that "heart" in a world that really is heartless.

So far, the Church appears to want nothing of the sort. It wants to continue to be an academic faculty club presenting seminars on injustice, issuing reports that no will read or remember.

Posted by Counterlight at Tuesday, 25 October 2011 at 11:47pm BST

An intelligent editorial. But St. Paul's, with Giles Fraser on the team, is on the Daily Telegraph's side.

Posted by Paul at Wednesday, 26 October 2011 at 12:57am BST

If the Occupy movement has something to say about the economic crisis, why is it letting itself be diverted into a petty squabble about a cathedral?

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Wednesday, 26 October 2011 at 4:19am BST

This is a very sad situation, and the Guardian seems a better spokesman for the message of Jesus than the Bishop of London, or the Dean and Chapter.

It seems that the CofE, if this Diocese of London absurdity stands without challenge from elsewhere within the Church, is headed towards oblivion.

Yes, the protest situation is inconvenient and financially harmful in the short run, but there are far better ways to deal with the matter than what the Diocese has so far done, and the long run damage will only grow.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Wednesday, 26 October 2011 at 4:35am BST

When the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's finally come to their senses and the doors of the cathedral are open once more may I suggest that as an anthem the choir sing "Fling wide the gates" from Stainer's Crucifixion?

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 26 October 2011 at 5:32am BST

'But St. Paul's, with Giles Fraser on the team, is on the Daily Telegraph's side'.

The 'Today' programme has said this morning that 'The Times' reports that Giles Fraser has threatened to resign. As I said earlier it looks as if he has been sat on and been told to shut up.

There is stil a way out of this situation and the Cathedral can choose to ignore or find a way around the so called H&S issues, open the place and engage positively with the protesters. Arguing that the St Paul's Institute is already addressing the issues is completely irrelevent to those camped outside. Unless this is done the closed cathedral, the possible resignation of the Canon Chancellor, and even worse, the forcible clearing of the protesters, will ensure that this architectural monstrosity remains just that and loses any spiritual authority it might still pretend to.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Wednesday, 26 October 2011 at 8:46am BST

>> Jesus denounced his Pharisaic enemies as whited sepulchre

True, but I always felt that it was Joseph Conrad who made the phrase famous.

Re the financial inconvenience, I see both sides: in being open the Cathedral must pay its heating and lekky bills, and sadly, the cost of living in London being what it is, I bet few that work there can do so for free, so their wages bills must be met as well. It would be great if we could live on free air, but sadly that would leave Inland Revenue little to collect upon to keep the NHS and schools running.

Posted by Randal Oulton at Wednesday, 26 October 2011 at 8:48am BST

Spirit,
the movement does not let itself be diverted into a petty squabble about the cathedral but that is all the media are reporting. You need to go to Twitter and YouTube to see what the movement actually says and does.

At least we're all able to follow them that way rather than have to rely on patronising and dismissive reports of people with their own agenda.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 26 October 2011 at 9:48am BST

Telling phrase in the Guardian editorial: "the heritage industry." Stately homes and all that. Is that what the institutional church has come to?

Posted by Murdoch at Thursday, 27 October 2011 at 12:09am BST
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