ACNS report on GAFCON III denounced as misleading

“The ACO was not refused press credentials” – Andrew Gross

Claims the Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) was denied accreditation at the GAFCON III conference are incorrect, the director of communications for the pan-Anglican gathering in Jerusalem tells Anglican Ink.

On 18 June 2018 ACNS — the media office for the Anglican Consultative Council in London — released an article noting the opening of GAFCON III. In its concluding paragraph the press release stated: “The Anglican Communion News Service applied for media accreditation to cover the Gafcon conference, but organisers declined.”

The Rev. Canon Andrew Gross, GAFCON III communications director, stated this assertion was not entirely straight forward. He said:

“The ACO was not refused press credentials.  GAFCON’’s media team is normally inclined to grant credentialing requests, regardless of a journalist’s biases. However, there is significant history behind the particulars of the ACO’s request.  When they put forward for credentialing the same staff member who had acted questionably at the Primates Meeting in October, GAFCON’s media team attempted to begin a dialogue that might lead to credentialing.  The ACO stopped returning emails. To now claim that credentialing was denied, when in fact they chose to stop engaging the process is misleading at best.”

At the October 2017 primates gathering in Canterbury, a reporter for the ACNS attended a press gathering led by Canon Gross on behalf of the GAFCON primates. The ACNS reporter subsequently behaved in an unprofessional manner, distorting statements made at the GAFCON press conference and then asking a question based upon the misleading summary to the Archbishop of Canterbury at the ACNS press conference in what seemed to other journalists to be an attempt to create a controversy. The noted Anglican blogger “Archbishop Cranmer” excoriated the ACNS for its conduct after investigating details of the exchange.

Poor professional relations dating to the 2008 Lambeth Conference have hampered media exchanges between the liberal and conservative camps within the Anglican Communion, and have now surfaced at the latest pan-Anglican jamboree.

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