Following the clamour since Tuesday morning about the involvement of St Paul’s in the eviction of Occupy London Stock Exchange, the cathedral have now released another statement. It is longer than yesterday’s statement, but completely fails to answer the questions that are being asked from all sides.
Police claimed on Tuesday morning that they had the cathedral’s permission to drag people away from the steps of St Paul’s, including several of us who were peacefully kneeling in prayer. The next morning, the cathedral issued a statement that ignored the issue. Under pressure from journalists, they said that they had not given police specific permission, but implied that they were OK with what had happened and had effectively given police permission in advance.
Their comments yesterday added insult to injury. Today, they have added insult to insult to injury, with another statement that says nothing about the questions they've been asked (see http://www.stpauls.co.uk/News-Press/Latest-News/Statement-from-the-Chapt... ).
How long will they keep this up? They have given many people the impression that, when push comes to shove, their loyalties lie with the City of London and its false gods of money and violence. It is vital that we proclaim a different and more authentic vision of the Christian Gospel than this. It is also vital that we keep pressing the Cathedral Chapter to answer the questions they are still avoiding.
What communication did they have with the police and City of London Corporation about the details and timing of the eviction?
Did they in any way give permission for the police to remove people from the cathedral steps?
Do they think it was right that this happened?
If they do, will they have the courtesy to admit it and tell us why? If not, will they apologise?
(c) Symon Hill is associate director of Ekklesia and a founding member of Christianity Uncut. For links to more of his writing, please visit http://www.symonhill.wordpress.com .