Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral stepping down

By the Associated Press | October 31, 2011 | 10:30 AM EDT

LONDON (AP) — The Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London says he is resigning following criticism over the church's handling of anti-capitalist protests on its grounds.

Clergy have been divided over how to handle the scores of tents, inspired by New York's Occupy Wall Street movement, that are set up outside the iconic cathedral.

Graeme Knowles said Monday that as criticism of the cathedral has mounted, his position has become untenable.

He said in a statement that he is stepping down "with great sadness" to allow for new leadership.

On Sunday, clergymen and demonstrators held talks aimed at avoiding a violent confrontation over the camp.

The protests forced the cathedral to close for a week on health and safety grounds.