A Private Members Motion has been introduced for debate at the Church of England General Synod calling for the CofE to explore the possibility of being in communion with the so-called Anglican Church in North America. Like many PMMs, there is also a background paper by the mover of the motion - an expat Canadian called Lorna Ashworth.
Like The DaVinci Code, Ms Ashworth's paper includes a compelling narrative, including a band of heroes standing up to a powerful institutional oppressor.
The DaVinci Code, however, sticks more closely to the facts.
Canon Alan Perry of the Diocese of Montreal has prepared a rebuttal of Lorna Ashworth's fiction regarding the Anglican Church of Canada. Simon Sarmiento of Thinking Anglicans has prepared a similar rebuttal to Ms Ashworth's libel of the Episcopal Church.
See Thinking Anglicans here and here for further discussion.
The crux of the issue is this: People are free to leave the Anglican Church of Canada if they wish. Similarly, people are allowed to leave the Episcopal Church.
But, as Canon Perry so eloquently puts it:
The consequence of leaving is, well, to leave.
The congregation of St. Bumpkin's in the Bog, Lesser Mudpuddle can't declare themselves to be no longer a part of the Church of England and expect to keep the parish church.
The treasurer of the local Masonic Lodge can't resign from the Masons and expect to keep the bank account.
Only in the deranged dystopia of the far right do they expect that people should get to eat their cake and have it too.
What it comes down to is this: Ms Ashworth is calling on the Church of England (the official religion of most of the United Kingdom) to endorse theft and fraud.
The CofE House of Bishop's have introduced an amendment to Ms Ashworth's motion. Their amendment stops short of actually endorsing theft, but it fails to address the lies which are at the centre of this issue.
In any event, thanks to Canon Perry and to Simon Sarmiento for making the effort to challenge the slanders, libels and lies of the far right. Doubtless the irreconcilables will now complain bitterly about how the issue has been clouded with facts.