A GetReligion reader north of the border -- not one of the Web Elves -- dropped me an interesting note a day or two ago about the unfolding drama within the Anglican Communion. This reader would like reporters to know that there are Anglican conservatives north of the border. In fact, some of them recently released a statement reacting to the Anglican primates conclave in Ireland and posted it at their very own website, which is quite easy to find. The organization is called Anglican Essentials Canada and here is its brief statement:
The message is as clear as it can get. In an unprecedented action, the Anglican world was changed last Thursday, February 24. The actions of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church of the United States have resulted in the Primates putting them on notice. Simply put, there is no more dramatic action that could have been taken than to request a Province of the Church to remove itself from the table. Clearly, there is before the Anglican Church of Canada the need to make a choice. Restoration to full communion requires repentance. The failure to do so implies the choice to walk alone outside the worldwide Anglican Communion.
In the days ahead Anglican Essentials Canada will be posting further reflections arising from these developments. May we all recall that the kindness of God leads us to repentance. (Romans 2:4).
Why, you ask, is this statement important?
For one very simple reason. If you have been reading a typical Canadian newspaper -- The Globe and Mail, perhaps -- you would not know there are any conservative Anglicans up there. The lack of balance in the coverage has been quite amazing. Consider, in particular, the work of Globe and Mail reporter Michael Valpy, as reflected in his weekend story with the headline "Top cleric faces rift among Anglicans." Here is the opening:
Canada's Anglican primate faced accusations from his own clergy yesterday that he betrayed gays and lesbians by endorsing a proposal to suspend the Canadian and U.S. churches from a key body of the worldwide Anglican Communion because of their acceptance of homosexuality.
Archbishop Andrew Hutchison acknowledged he will have to work to convince many Canadian Anglicans that the proposal, agreed to by all the primates, or senior archbishops and bishops of the communion, is necessary to stave off schism within the world's third-largest Christian faith.
He voiced regret over the treatment of homosexuals by the global church's leaders. He said in an interview: "I feel very sorry for them that there's no recognition of their plight." The primates' statement reiterated the communion's rejection of blessing same-sex unions and ordaining practising homosexuals as priests.
So far so good. And what happens next is good -- Valpy quotes the views of several leaders on the Anglican left, which is the strongest choir north of the border. But what happens after that is bad. It does not appear that there is a single Anglican voice, not even a rustic priest from a tiny prairie town, who supports the actions taken by Anglicans in the Third World who do not want to modernize the sacrament of marriage. Perhaps these Anglicans are so old-fashioned that they do not have telephones.
Come to think of it, I can't find a dissenting conservative voice in Valpy's earlier report on the actual decision in Ireland. Maybe someone on the copy desk is cutting out this crucial part of the story. Maybe.
Anyway, if Valpy or any other reporter in Canada would like to talk to one or more conservative Anglicans while attempting to do accurate and balanced coverage of this hot-button issue, the leaders of the Anglican Essentials network can be reached at 1-866-883-7328.