The bishop of London has told anti-capitalist activists camping outside St Paul’s Cathedral that although he understands their motives they also had to understand that the Church has more important things to think about than morality.

Speaking minutes after addressing Occupy London protesters on the cathedral steps for the first time, Dr Richard Chartres said:

Getting the legal situation clear about how we can resume fleecing tourists with our exorbitant entrance prices to the Cathedral is a much more pressing matter for the Church authorities than pie-in-the-sky discussions about morality. The cathedral charges £14.50 for entry and, with the restaurant and gift shop also shut, we estimate we’ve lost more than £100,000 because of the protest.

On the subject of the Cathedral’s decision to forcibly evict the protesters, he added:

I don’t myself subscribe to the idea that using violence to evict the protesters is instantly going to lead to  confrontation. If the protesters quietly and peacefully accept being baton charged and hit over the head by mounted riot police there’s no reason why a reasonable discussion cannot be had while they’re being dragged away by their hair.

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