Graeme Knowles, Dean Of St Paul's, Resigns Over Handling Of Occupy London
Graeme Knowles, the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral is the latest high profile figure to resign over the handling of anti-capitalism protests staged by Occupy London Stock Exchange, saying that due to "insurmountable issues" his position was "untenable".
His resignation comes days after Giles Fraser, the Canon of St Paul's, said an eviction of the protestors would be "violence in the name of the church" after other senior clerics backed calls to remove the camp.
Stepping down, Rt Reverend Graeme Knowles admitted with "great sadness" that he believed he was no longer the right person to lead the Chapter of the cathedral.
“It has become increasingly clear to me that, as criticism of the cathedral has mounted in the press, media and in public opinion, my position as Dean of St Paul’s was becoming untenable.
“In order to give the opportunity for a fresh approach to the complex and vital questions facing St Paul’s, I have thought it best to stand down as dean, to allow new leadership to be exercised."
Outside the cathedral, the City of London corporation is due to hand a letter of eviction for the encamped protesters that is expected to give them a 24 or 48-hour deadline.
Speaking to The Huffington Post UK, a spokesman for the corporation confirmed that a letter is currently being drafted and said he expected it to be handed to the camped protesters on Tuesday.
The Spokesman would not be drawn on the exact length of the deadline but authorities have already ordered the removal of 200 tents from outside the building. A corporation official said that the protesters themselves would still be allowed to rally there.
Last week Knowles said that legal action would be sought to remove the protestors from outside the cathedral, provoking fierce attack from many quarters.
The Archbishop of Canterbury expressed his dismay at the latest development:
"The events of the last couple of weeks have shown very clearly how decisions made in good faith by good people under unusual pressure can have utterly unforeseen and unwelcome consequences, and the clergy of St Paul's deserve our understanding in these circumstances."
"Graeme Knowles has been a very distinguished Dean of St Paul's, who has done a great deal to strengthen the pastoral and intellectual life of the Cathedral and its involvement in the life of London."
"The urgent larger issues raised by the protesters at St Paul's remain very much on the table and we need – as a Church and as society as a whole – to work to make sure that they are properly addressed."