Giles Fraser’s last sermon at St. Paul’s Cathedral

It was Evensong. The reading was Luke’s version of the Beatitudes: “Blessed be you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. His reflections from the Church Times are here.

His conclusion:

For too long the Church has been obsessed with its own internal work­ings and with silly arguments about sex. Now is the time for a new debate and a new emphasis. For if we are not fully involved with complex dis­cussions about the relationship be­tween financial justice and the way our financial institutions work, then we might as well give up on being a proper Church and admit that we are the spiritual arm of the heritage industry.

Yes, it could get worse–Developments at St. Paul’s

The Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Rev. Graeme Knowles has resigned. The full coverage at Thinking Anglicans.

The article from the New York Times.

A background story from The Telegraph on the internal debates at the Cathedral over the last two weeks. Apparently the real power is a retired Major General, who served in Northern Ireland in the 90s. The mind boggles.

Andrew Brown’s commentary from The Guardian’s blog. He has strong words for Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, who is now the Church’s (and Cathedral’s) face in this mess. He’s trying to have it both ways, like bishops so often do, with the usual result of digging himself and the church into a deeper hole.

There’s a lot in the situation that is outside of our experience in the US. First of all, the Church of England is established, a state church, and second, it has a unique relationship with the corporation that runs the City, the square mile that is the heart of London’s financial district and a separate entity from London, with roots going back into the Middle Ages.

Still, it’s hard to see how the Cathedral or the Church of England can emerge from this scandal without greater damage than they’ve already brought on themselves. Given the marginal role of the Church in English society, and other controversies plaguing it, will this be a mortal blow?

The Archbishop of Canterbury has finally spoken out, at least on the departures of Giles Fraser and the Dean. His silence speaks loudly, given his recent courageous stance in Zimbabwe, as well as his extensive comments over the years on the ethics of the economy.