Sunday, 23 October 2011

St. Paul’s Cathedral and Occupy London
The news that St Paul’s has been closed because of ‘health and safety’ concerns will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the workings of the Church of England. Giles Frazer rightfully gathered much approbation for his decision to allow the Occupy London protestors to stay on the steps of St. Paul’s. Since then other forces have mobilised. 
Listening to ‘Any Questions’ on Friday night, the tory, Bernard Jenkins, made the astounding claim that, ‘Jesus was not a politician.’ This remark was howled down by the other panelists who mentioned cleansing the temple of money-lenders, rich getting through the eye of a needle, and blessed are the meek etc etc. A caller on the ‘Any Answers’ programme on Saturday pointed out that it costs £14-50 to enter St Paul’s. Yes, £14-50. Mammon is alive and well and living in the C of E. A comment today from some spokesvicar said they were losing £20,000 a day! All because people opposed to greed were taking action. Canon Peter Bruinvels, a member of the General Synod, said the financial losses caused by the closure were a tragedy. "Clearly now the demonstrators should pack up their tents and go. St Paul's is a greater cause than theirs." Observer 23/10/11

There are many entrances to St Paul’s. It is not difficult to carry on with normal proceedings. The tent village on the steps acts as a reminder of how bad the worst excesses of capitalism have become. And it does upset the Tories.
A simple question. What would Jesus have done? It is clear to this correspondent that Jesus would not have voted Conservative. Or New Labour either. Neither were socialist enough to match his values. As for the LibDems.......! Jesus would have pitched his tent with the occupiers - and laid into the bankers and financiers. And their political chums.
The Church of England used to be regarded as ‘the conservative party at prayer.’ Perhaps the powers that be (with the honourable exception of Giles Frazer) would prefer the cathedral to be renamed as St  Mammon's ?

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