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Friday, 28 October 2011

National Shrine or National Shame

So St Pauls is to re-open and legal moves begin to forcibly remove the protestors.

This has led to the decision of Cannon Giles Fraser to resign. In expressing his concern about these developments he told the Guardian -

"St Paul was a tentmaker. If you looked around and you tried to recreate where Jesus would be born – for me, I could imagine Jesus being born in the camp,"

He went on to say  - 

"The church cannot answer peaceful protest with violence."

This again raises the question of the point of a Cathedral like St Pauls. It is a beautiful building which attracts many tourists who bring in healthy revenue. But it is essentially a church - a place where people remember and think about the life, works and message of Jesus Christ. He unequivocally identified with the poor and vulnerable and would have stood alonside Giles Fraser.

The BBC's religious correspondent Robert Piggot says on their website - 

'But the truth is that St Paul's is a national shrine, a theatre for the finest religious music and worship. That role was reasserted today.'

Well call it a national shrine and theatre if you like. But don't call it 'worship' and then disregard those who are campaigning for issues at the heart of the Christian message. Because it then ceases to be any more than a popular tourist venue.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I heard someone on the radio talking (above a background of hymn singing) about the cathedral getting back to normal almost as though its only purpose was as a place to sing religious songs and follow a set pattern of worship. I think that the Cof E has missed a great opportunity to show that it is on the side of the poor and dispossessed. Years ago I watched a great sketch called 'Away with the manger' in which each of the characters in a nativity tableau was gradually removed by an over zealous photographer who wanted to get the perfect shot. Eventually he said, 'Away with the manger!', as he felt that Jesus in the crib was spoiling the picture. I wonder why this sketch came to mind this week? Glenys