Canon Giles Fraser accuses his critics of 'talking complete nonsense'
Following the continued closure of St Paul's Cathedral, the Canon Chancellor the Rev'd Giles Fraser has issued a tetchy statement:
Statement from Canon Giles FraserIt is an interesting rebuke (not, of course, directed towards His Grace, for he never alleged that the Cathedral was closing for commercial reasons: quite the contrary) for, with Lucan undertones, it purports to preach justice for the poor while rebuking his critics for 'talking complete nonsense'.
22 October 2011
The Revd Canon Dr Giles Fraser, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, issued the following statement today (Saturday 22 October 2011)
"I remain firmly supportive of the right of people peacefully to protest. But given the strong advice that we have received that the camp is making the cathedral and its occupants unsafe then this right has to be balanced against other rights and responsibilities too. The Christian gospel is profoundly committed to the needs of the poor and the dispossessed. Financial justice is a gospel imperative. Those who are claiming the decision to close the cathedral has been made for commercial reasons are talking complete nonsense."
This intemperate language manages to be patronising, arrogant, high-handed, self-righteous, rude and condescending all at the same time. Presumably, appearing, as it does, on the Cathedral's website, the statement is issued on behalf of the Dean and Chapter. It is evident that the Rev'd Giles Fraser is something of a loose canon.
But, on the matter of 'talking complete nonsense', this is the man who massacres Scripture; despises the 'ego' of heterosexual weddings while lauding gay marriage; berates conservative Anglicans as 'homophobes' and 'extremists'; equates 'Islamophobia' with racism; does not believe in the immortality of the soul; rejects the salvific notion that Jesus was sacrificed for our sin...
His Grace could go on (and on). So, when it comes to 'talking complete nonsense', perhaps the Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral might express a little Christian humility, patience, kindness and love. Perhaps he might understand that there are Christians outside of his narrow cloisters who hold beliefs just as sincerely as he holds his. He may be privileged to preach his liberal socialist gospel from the pulpit of St Paul's. But others of us are restricted to our blogs.
Ah, but then Giles Fraser thinks we bloggers write 'the most disgusting bile, wrapped in the clothing of anonymity'. He alleges that 'nasty and insulting comment drives away all the interesting stuff' and that we are 'poisoning the wells of open debate, not enhancing it'. The medium, he avers, is 'abandoned to people with thick skins and short tempers. And that is hardly the open forum that many bloggers claim they are protecting'.
Abandoned to people with thick skins and short tempers?
Sounds like the Canon Chancellorship of St Paul's.