St Paul's: a step in the right direction

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It appears that the resignation of the Dean of St Paul’s yesterday has made room for a much more constructive response on the part of the cathedral authorities towards the Occupy London protesters. A statement was released today, reported on the Telegraph website, which admits that the Dean’s action has provided an “opportunity to reassess the situation”.

Members of Chapter this morning have met with representatives from the protest camp to demonstrate that St Paul’s intends to engage directly and constructively with both the protesters and the moral and ethical issues they wish to address, without the threat of forcible eviction hanging over both the camp and the church.

This has to be applauded. I wouldn’t normally take such a direct interest in events of this sort here, being a mere interpreter of texts, but it seems to me that the situation has exposed if not the moral bankruptcy of the post-Christendom church, then at least a profound uncertainty regarding its prophetic authority. This statement must be a step in the right direction, but the church generally should not assume that it knows how handle these matters. We will have to learn the hard way how to make good use of the symbolic means at our disposal in a volatile cultural setting to give public expression to our belief in a just God.