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News Archives 5381-5400
Number Title Post Date
5381 Murdoch’s US troubles keep getting worse 27/02/2012 11:44:13
5382 Was Murdoch's Sun on Sunday brought forward to beat bloodbath? 27/02/2012 11:45:10
5383 Linking side effects that develop many years after an exposure to the exposure 27/02/2012 11:47:51
5384 Antipsychotics raise risks of death in dementia patients - study 27/02/2012 11:48:48
5385 Savage disability benefit reform in chaos as two in five appeals 28/02/2012 15:20:28
5386 A promise from Occupy London: this is only the beginning 28/02/2012 15:22:10
5387 Bradley Manning, U.S. soldier accused of leaking material to WikiLeaks, among those nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 28/02/2012 15:23:35
5388 Police corruption, Murdoch and the Leveson Inquiry 28/02/2012 15:25:51
5389 Influenza vaccine ineffective on elderly 28/02/2012 15:28:00
5390 Whittemore Peterson Institute seek millions in damages from fired researcher 01/03/2012 15:51:37
5391 Slap: American Psychiatric Association Pressures Brit DSM5 Blogger Suzy Chapman 01/03/2012 15:54:41
5392 The Scientific Curmudgeon - Are psychiatric drugs making us sicker? 01/03/2012 15:58:48
5393 Three deaths linked to flu vaccine 01/03/2012 15:59:49
5394 Early diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccination associated with higher female mortality and no difference in male mortality 01/03/2012 16:01:41
5395 UK Charities and Workfare: The Sad Truth 01/03/2012 16:03:02
5396 As Daniel Morgan police corruption murder reopens, James Murdoch quits UK 01/03/2012 16:04:22
5397 One Click Stats, February 2012 01/03/2012 16:09:55
5398 The Occupy saga shows why the Church is becoming irrelevant 02/03/2012 17:53:49
5399 How Workfare trapped charities into offering free labour 02/03/2012 17:55:25
5400 Ex-police official admits links to hack suspects 02/03/2012 17:56:43

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The Occupy saga shows why the Church is becoming irrelevant
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The Occupy saga shows why the Church is becoming irrelevant

by Guest    
March 1, 2012 at 10:40 am

contribution by Joseph Cottrell-Boyce

The role of St Paul’s Cathedral in the Occupy London saga, especially by the final weeks, can best be described as farcical.

While publicly making vague noises expressing regret that it had all come to this, Church authorities were quietly colluding with the Corporation of London. At the final hour they authorised police to forcibly remove protesters from the cathedral steps; outside the scope of the Corporation’s eviction order.

Earlier this month, the Bishop of Exeter Michael Langrish complained to the BBC that his Church was threatened by a secular agenda to “drive religion out of the public sphere”.

So why, when a public forum for discussing the most pressing social and economic issues of our time landed literally on its doorstep, did the Church decide it didn’t want to get involved?

Turn on the news and debates over the role of the Christianity in public life are being shaped by the Christian Institute and its gay bashing campaigns or figures such Tory MP Mark Pritchard bemoaning “Christianophobia” at the hands of the “politically correct brigade”.

It’s an ugly picture; a bunch of conservative nasties fighting for the right to be bigoted. But I don’t believe it’s a representative picture.

There are scores of Christians of all denominations tirelessly working for social justice, some of whom were themselves part of the Occupy presence at St Paul’s.

The leader of the Church of England, Dr Rowan Williams, is himself a man who’s record is hard to fault: he was arrested at 1980′s CND demos, publically opposed the Iraq war, said future interventions in Iran or Syria would be “criminal, ignorant and potentially murderous folly”, condemned the “radical, long-term policies for which no-one voted” of the government, and expressed concern over the “quiet resurgence of the seductive language of ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor”.

He’s right on. But his Church’s stance is flaky and confused.

If the Church of England wants a place in public life then it has to earn it. It has to be relevant. In matters of social and economic justice its leadership will have to go beyond making nice statements and start using their considerable resources and influence to fight for the most marginalised in society and against corporate greed and spiralling inequality.

They need to get their hands dirty.

The Church recognises Martin Luther King and Oscar Romero amongst its 20th century martyrs. If it wishes to stay relevant in the modern world it would do well to follow in their footsteps and adopt a coherent and uncompromising line on social justice.

Failing to do this would pose a far greater threat to its survival than the forces of ‘aggressive secularism’ or ‘Christianophobia’.

Joe Cottrell-Boyce is a Policy Officer at the Irish Chaplaincy in Britain’s Traveller’s Project

Related Links:
* A promise from Occupy London: this is only the beginning
Information Release, Occupy London
* Occupy London protesters accuse St Paul's of betrayal
James Ball and Ben Quinn, The Guardian

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