Friday, March 23, 2007

TEC - The Quebec of the AC

I was reading this Mark Steyn piece on the never-ending drama of Quebec's "separatist" movement which never gets closer to separating. But when I came to the part about the "low-key ethnic cleansing" that's going on there, which is leading to the gradual disappearance of the English-speaking population, I felt as if I were reading about the similar policy of extirpating conservatives in the Episcopal Church.
The Quebec Liberals’ position is that you’re entitled to attend an English school only if you have a parent who was educated at an English school in Canada. The Pequistes’ position is that you should be entitled to attend an English school only if you have a parent who was educated at an English school in Quebec. Either way, it’s no good to a New Yorker or Dubliner contemplating a job in Montreal. So the English school rolls fall, and fall, until, as Scowen points out, today there are proportionately fewer anglophone students in Quebec education than francophone students in Ontario. The overnight exodus after the PQ victory in 1976 was perhaps unintended, but the slow death since is not: As a matter of policy, the Anglophone club is prevented, by law, from accepting any new members. You can leave, you can die, but you cannot join.
That's the situation in the Episcopal Church in the US, and I expect Canada is not far behind. With liberals now able (and willing) to veto the election of any non-liberal to the House of Bishops, conservatives are now realizing that they are trapped in this system, and will never have greater strength than they have now. Indeed, the system is set up to starve them to death within another generation, as conservatives bishops are replaced by liberals, and these proceed to choke off conservatism at the parish level by refusing to place priests who do not worship at the revisionist altar. "You can leave, you can die, but you cannot join."

Steyn's earlier paragraph is like a current snapshot of TEC:
His point is that it’s not enough to win the big nailbiting showdowns like the once-a-generation referendum when remorselessly, day by day, you’re losing everything in between. In 30 years, the anglophone population of Quebec has fallen by a third, from ten per cent of the population to seven per cent. Where will it be by, say, 2020? Smaller still, and older.
No wonder the Anglican Communion is in such a mess. It's one big Canada.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I witnessed this done with great skill in one diocese of TEC. The liberal bishop would put all kinds of subtle pressure on a conservative parish to make sure everyone was miserable. Then when the conservative rector finally retired he would swoop in and tell the vestry that what the parish needs now is a reconciler, someone who can reach out to all groups, who can strengthen ties with the denomination instead of straining them. The parish, at its weakest and most vulnerable, would agree and accept a "moderate" who would begin preaching every Sunday about how you all need to be tolerant and open-minded. Many a bedrock conservative parish was flipped to hard core liberalism in a couple of decades this way. It was done without lawsuits, without headlines, and without open scandal.

12:33 pm  
Anonymous Mrs. Falstaff said...

Ah, but there is hope for orthodox Anglicanism in Canada. As proof, I offer:

10:57 pm  
Anonymous Mrs. Falstaff said...

I have no idea why that link isn't clickable, sorry....

10:58 pm  
Blogger Ellie M said...

That's ok, I just cut & pasted it into my browser and found the site. Very interesting link, by the way.

9:19 pm  

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