Comments: South Carolina disputes clergy discipline canons

Bishop Lawrence's defence of his high-handed opposition to TEC polity is not unlike that of the Arch-priest of CANA - Robbie Duncan.

Obviously, Lawrence's eventual consecration as Bishop of South Carolina was a tactical mistake, semeingly aided and abetted by no less an organisation than that which is oxymoronically-named the Anglican Communion Institute.

This faux-official organisation within TEC is not truly representative of the Episcopal Church in North America, and might more properly be seen and recognised as an underground advocate of the more conservative elements of the Anglican Communion - notably GAFCON, CANA and the Diocese of Sydney; not to mention the faux-Anglican Church of north America (ACNA).

One can only hope that Bishop Lawrence moves over to his natural constituency of ACNA - but without appropriating the TEC people and the resources of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. TEC will need to find ways of disciplining this worm within the fabric of its episcopal covering. My prayers are for the loyal people of the South Carolina Episcopal Diocese (sans Lawrence) .

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 1:59am BST

The tea-baggers have invaded off of Fort Sumter again and S.O.B's are taking St. Michael's.

The Holy City is definitely in the hands of the Christan Taliban, trust me.

Posted by evensongjunkie at Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 4:29am BST

Lawrence's defence of diocesan sovereignty rests in part on a textbook published a dozen years before significant 1967 amendments to the Constitution and Canons -- including the Preamble and the assignment of visitatorial and pastoral authority to the Presiding Bishop -- amendments made long before his ordination as deacon, priest, or bishop.

Citing a legal opinion on a law since repealed makes a poor case in addressing current and long-standing law.

Posted by Tobias Haller at Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 3:59pm BST

"The tea-baggers have invaded off of Fort Sumter again" evensongjunkie

Could you explain the term "tea-baggers" in this context - where I live, it means "those who engage in the sexual practice of tea-bagging" and I'm guessing that's not what you mean here.

Posted by Laurence C. at Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 5:56pm BST

For those not from below the Mason-Dixon line (or USA):

Tea-Baggers: Raging white-middle class undereducated who feel that Obama has caused all the ills of today. ("Tea-Party")

S.O.B: South of Broad, a very proper neighborhood in Charleston. S.O.B's: People from the same.

Holy City: Another name for Charleston, due to all the churches on it's low skyline (of which St. Michael's is an official steering mark on NOAA Navigation Charts)

Fort Sumter: Where all the fun began way back in 1861.

Posted by evensongjunkie at Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 8:27pm BST

St Michael's is SOB geographically, junkie.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 9:29pm BST

Shouldn't the canons of the Episcopal Church have a written clause that any future bishop must accept that all property within the diocese he serves belongs to the national Church.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Sunday, 26 September 2010 at 8:55am BST

Additional SC Lore:

Charleston is where the Ashley and the Cooper Rivers join to form the Atlantic Ocean.

Charlestonians are like the ancient Chinese: They eat rice and worship their ancestors.

North Carolina is a Valley of Humility located between two Mountains of Conceit [Virginia to the north, South Carolina to the south}.

And, all that aside, my heart goes out to the loyal Episcopalians who, by accident of birth or employment, are stuck in the cespool that is that diocese.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Sunday, 26 September 2010 at 1:42pm BST

RIW, the canons of the Episcopal Church already state that all property is held in trust for the diocese and the church. Bishops are supposed to conform to the discipline of the church as spelled out in the canons, or so they affirm when they sign the oath of conformity as part of the ordination rite.

Law does not guarantee obedience, even in your own church, and no more so in mine.

Posted by Tobias Haller at Monday, 27 September 2010 at 12:06am BST

Thanks, Cynthia.

Those of us living in the South(USA) also love to note that South Carolina is " too small to be a country, too large to be an insane asylum." Rude, but true.

Posted by John D at Monday, 27 September 2010 at 1:09am BST

"What will emerge from this struggle we cannot say-but I am convinced of our vocation to Make Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age. It is far more than a slogan for a T-shirt. Not unlike a battalion in a military campaign which is ordered to hold a pass even against overwhelming odds, we are called to resist what appears is a self-destructive trajectory by many within The Episcopal Church."

- Bishop Lawrence - Statement to the Diocese of South Carolina, TEC., 15 September 2010 -

Is this not a provocative statement from a diocesan bishop of The Episcopal Church in the United States, who has been accused by loyal Episcopalians in his own diocese of behaviour unbefitting a Bishop in TEC? Bishop Lawrence's resistance to oversight by the Presiding Bishop is surely a sign of his unwillingness to remain as part of the episcopal team within the provenance of TEC - when, in fact, at his recent enthronement he pledged loyalty to that Church - not just the Diocese of South Carolina, but The Episcopal Church of the US.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 27 September 2010 at 11:45am BST

"Shouldn't the canons of the Episcopal Church have a written clause that any future bishop must accept that all property within the diocese he serves belongs to the national Church."

I say Yes. The "held in trust for the diocese and the church" language is being twisted by conservatives. In Dallas, "the church" means "the diocese". The National Church is really considered to be nothing more than a trade association.

Get the attorneys to write a new canon which explicitly refers to all property in dioceses belongs to TEC in its correct legal name where no court can misconstrue its meaning.

Posted by Dallas Bob at Monday, 27 September 2010 at 7:15pm BST
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