Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral Resigns in Wake of Protests

Posted October 31st, 2011 at 12:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London has resigned following criticism of the way the church has handled anti-capitalist protests on its grounds.

Reverend Graeme Knowles said Monday that mounting criticism of his handling of the situation has made his position “untenable.” He added that he was resigning “with great sadness” to allow for new leadership.

Several hundred people in the “Occupy London Stock Exchange” protest started pitching tents and camping out in front of the cathedral about two weeks ago. Last week, the cathedral shut its doors for several days, calling the campsite a health and safety hazard. It reopened on Friday.

In a statement on its website, the Occupy London protesters said its cause was never directed at the staff of the cathedral. The group called for “open and transparent” dialogue involving all parties in its call for change in what it described as the “unsustainable financial system that punishes the many and privileges the few.”

Senior clergy had been divided over how to handle the protests, but the church and City of London Corporation have launched legal action in order to clear the tent city from the area in front of the cathedral.

The church lost ten of thousands of dollars in donations each day it remained closed.