We sent this press release out today. The series it refers to can be found here.
Episcopal Diocese of Washington publishes
“Following the Money: Donors and Activists on the Anglican Right”
When the General Convention of the Episcopal Church meets in Columbus, Ohio, in June, a small network of theologically conservative organizations will be on hand to warn deputies that they must repent of their liberal attitudes on homosexuality or face a possible schism. The groups represent a small minority of church members, but relationships with wealthy American donors and powerful African bishops have made them key players in the fight for the future of the Anglican Communion.
Now, in a two-part series in its diocesan newspaper, the Washington Window, the Episcopal Diocese of Washington examines these organizations, their donors and the strategy that has allowed them to destabilize the Episcopal Church.
“Following the Money: Donors and Activists on the Anglican Right” will be published on Monday as an eight-page section of the Window. It will also available on the diocese’s Web site at: www.edow.org/follow
The first part of the series, “Investing in Upheaval,” draws on Internal Revenue Service Forms 990 to give a partial account of how contributions from Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr., the savings and loan heir, and five secular foundations have energized resistance to the Episcopal Church’s decision to consecrate an openly gay bishop and to permit the blessing of gay and lesbian relationships.
The article sets contributions to organizations such as the American Anglican Council (AAC) and the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) in the context of the donors’ other philanthropic activities which include support for conservative political candidates, think tanks and causes such as the intelligent design movement.
The second article, “A Global Strategy,” uses internal emails and memos from leaders of the AAC and IRD to examine efforts to have the Episcopal Church removed from the worldwide Anglican Communion and replaced with a more conservative entity. The documents surfaced during a Pennsylvania court case. The article also explores the financial relationship between conservative organizations in the United States and their allies in other parts of the world.
The series was written by Jim Naughton, a former reporter for The New York Times and The Washington Post, who is the director of communications for the diocese.