At Occupy London, organizers moved from the London Stock Exchange to St. Paul’s Cathedral, where as many as 250 protesters set up tents. As police prepared to “protect” the building, the cleric in charge of the facility, Giles Fraser, intervened. “Canon Fraser came out to greet us. It was amazing,” protesters said. “He defended the right to protest [and] asked the police to leave, and they did!”
Occupy, of course, is not a new concept. Christ invited occupation, even when it’s an annoyance.
Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.
“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:5-10)
The corporate media sites are centering on what will sell: tales of violence and a lack of manners. The violent and unmannerly are also to be found behind the locked doors of boardrooms.
Speaking for myself, I would like to see churches occupied. When my last parish was mentioned as a target of SNAP protests on a particular upcoming Sunday, I urged we welcome the protesters. Invite them in after Mass for coffee. Speak kindly to them outside. We have nothing to fear from those who ask, seek, and knock.