Posted at 10:51 AM ET, 11/01/2011

Occupy London: St. Paul's Cathedral halts legal action against protesters

Following a string of resignations by clergy over its handling of the situation, London's landmark St. Paul's Cathedral will suspend legal action against the Occupy London protesters camping out on its square, it said Tuesday.

A banner reads “What would Jesus do?” flies outside St. Paul's Cathedral in London on Monday. (Suzanne Plunkett - Reuters)
In a statement, St. Paul's said that the resignation of the Cathedral’s Dean, Reverend Graeme Knowles, had given the cathedral leadership “the opportunity to reassess the situation.” Knowles resignation came just days after the Cathedral Chancellor quit, saying the legal action could cause violence to break out in the name of the church. The decision Tuesday to suspend the legal action was unanimous.

The City of London Corporation, however, which runs London's financial district, is still debating whether to bring legal action against the protesters camping out in some 200 tents on the square.

In a new show of support, CNN reports that Cathedral leaders met with representatives of the protesters Tuesday morning. The Bishop of London also made a statement, saying:

The alarm bells are ringing all over the world. St. Paul's has now heard that call... Today's decision means that the doors are most emphatically open to engage with matters concerning not only those encamped around the Cathedral but millions of others in this country and around the globe.

The Bishop of London has asked investment banker Ken Costa to spearhead an initiative “reconnecting the financial with the ethical.”

A new document from the Vatican calling for a central world bank and a “supranational authority” to advance the common economic good suggested that even the Pope could be in support of Occupy Wall Street.

As for the Occupy London protesters, they said their cause had never been directed at the cathedral staff, although they had flown signs that had messages like “What would Jesus do?” to get across their point.

The protesters told CNN their cause was, as it has always been, about “social justice, real democracy and challenging the unsustainable financial system that punishes the many and privileges the few.”

By  |  10:51 AM ET, 11/01/2011

Tags:  World, Occupy Wall Street, Occupy London, St. Paul's Cathedral

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