Anglican Catholics and the Pro-Life Movement

When I began covering the pro-life movement and interviewing its leaders, the reputation of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) had preceded me.  Our now retired Bishop Robert Mercer had been a well-beloved figure in pro-life activities in and around Canada's capital for years.  He often used to drop by the local pro-life group's office when it was only a few blocks away from our little cathedral.  I'll say more about the ACCC's staunch support for life and family in a moment.

This past weekend, I spoke at the International Pro-Life Conference as part of a media panel with LifeSiteNews editor John-Henry Weston.

I spoke from the perspective of someone who started out in the mainstream media (MSM) sharing many of the negative stereotypes about pro-lifers that most North Americans have — that they are angry, bitter, "fetus fetishists" with perhaps some underlying psychological problems that make them focus so repetitively on one issue.

I advised the conference delegates I had no tips to offer on how to get good coverage, except to suggest they could guarantee coverage of their annual March for Life by marching naked.  Which was a joke, for the literal-minded among you.  Usually the March is ignored or its numbers vastly underestimated.

And I encouraged them not to be afraid of negative MSM coverage, instead to look at it as a badge of honor, a sign they are doing something right and striking a nerve so that the enemy of our souls has to marshal everything he can to fight back.

The contrast between the lies told about you and the truth and love you embody will change more lives than any arguments you make, I told them, because it is the love and holiness that I have discovered in the movement that have been the most convincing to me.  That contrast creates a big cognitive dissonance that can make someone realize that maybe they have been believing lies.

Being ardently pro-life and pro-family is not a politically-correct or popular cause.  Even many Catholics look at the political wing of the movement with the same prejudice I used to have.

Bishop Peter Wilkinson and Bishop Carl Reid have kept up the pro-life tradition of the ACCC.  Bishop Peter has traveled to Ottawa several times for the National March for Life held here every May.  Bishop Carl has been active in numerous pro-life activities, including a candlelight vigil and procession ending with Roman Catholic vespers at St. Patrick's Basilica to mark the last day of the 40 Days for Life vigil.

Bishop Carl told me today it was very cold out there last night!  We got a couple of inches of snow Saturday night to add to the unpleasantness.  Many of the international pro-life leaders stuck around to take part in the vigil.  Here is Bishop Carl with Dr. Jack Willke, one of the pioneers of the pro-life movement in the United States.

Bishop Carl signed up as a delegate to the International Pro-Life conference.  Here he is at the banquet with Archbishop Terrence Prendergast.

Author: Deborah Gyapong

Deborah Gyapong is a member of the Sodality of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( in Ottawa, a former parish of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (Traditional Anglican Communion) whose members were received individually and corporately into the Roman Catholic Church on April 15, 2012 by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast at St. Patrick’s Basilica. Under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, the community will celebrate an approved Anglican Use liturgy and hopes to soon join with other sodalities across Canada to form the Canadian Deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter under Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary. As we wait for our priest(s) to be ordained as Catholic priests, God willing, Archbishop Prendergast will provide priests to celebrate our Sunday Eucharist according to the Anglican Use. Deborah is a journalist who covers religion and politics in Canada’s national capital, writing primarily for Roman Catholic newspapers since 2004. Her novel The Defilers, published in 2006, was not a best seller, alas. She spent 17 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in news and current affairs, including 12 years as a television producer.

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