Comments: The Diocese of South Carolina responds

So. The chickens have come home to roost for Bishop Lawrence and the Standing Committee of the TEC Diocese of South Carolina! Let's hope that not all of the property has been alienated in the meantime.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 18 October 2012 at 11:00am BST

I have little (if any) sympathy for TEC.

It was quite obvious what Mark Lawrence was minded to do before he was made a bishop.

His declared agenda would not have gained him the necessary approval for his consecration in this Province. Only TEC could have even considered this man a suitable candidate, yet alone given its consent.

So, let's not have too much bleeding heart stuff from anyone on this thread. Once again, the only people who are going to benefit are the lawyers, one is left wondering if the lead antagonists had to pay for their mistakes rather than the Holy Church, just how many of these hopeless causes would be advanced.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Thursday, 18 October 2012 at 4:28pm BST

"Save your Confederate money boys, the South shall rise again."

Sadly there is still sentiment for secession in the South. It must be either the heat or the water.

And Martin, I agree that this could have been , and was, predicted before Bishop Lawrence was ordained to the Episcopate, in spite of his protestations to the contrary.

I dearly hope that we will exercise more care in our consent process in the future.

Posted by Deacon Charlie Perrin at Thursday, 18 October 2012 at 8:30pm BST

One factor, Martin, was that Lawrence was the most "moderate" of the three candidates in the 2006 election. The other two were the runner-up, Steve Woods, very recently consecrated as ACNA's "bishop of the Carolinas", and Ellis Brust, at that time chief operating officer of the the American Anglican Council. Brust jumped ship and joined Church Murphy's AMiA less than a month after the 2006 election.

I would be interested to know who - the bishop or the standing committee - holds the whip hand in the current shenanigans.

Posted by Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer at Thursday, 18 October 2012 at 11:56pm BST

I think it significant that these charges are not of "abandonment" in the terms of the earlier bishops who had sought connection with other ecclesial bodies. These are charges of specific violations of ordination vows within the Episcopal Church, rather than in leaving the Episcopal Church.

Second, these charges originated not with bishops, but with clergy and laypersons who are within the Diocese of South Carolina. Lawrence's partisans may blame the national Church, but this is from members of his own diocese who do not support his actions.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Friday, 19 October 2012 at 4:19am BST

I think it helps to keep in mind that TEC is strangely structured even in the strange world of the Anglican Communion. The actions Bishop Lawrence has taken, and for which he is now charged, certainly could have been, and I think were, foreseen. But the consent given was not approval of him as a bishop, but acknowledgement that the election was valid - nothing more. In the first election for Bishop Lawrence, when consent was withheld, it was only a matter of improper election procedures. And in this discussion much seems to want to be made of the PB's "over-reaching ambition" and other such libels. She has little to no discretion in the process as I understand it - a charge was brought and action must be taken.

That said, I do wish the diocese could be declared "incompetent" and a legal guardian appointed on their behalf...

But the wonder and disaster of TEC is that there is little power or authority beyond the diocese - in the same way that for the rest of the Anglican Communion there is no power or authority beyond the province.

Posted by Scott at Friday, 19 October 2012 at 4:58pm BST

By Scott's argument TEC is not an hierarchical church.

I guess the bishop of the new Church of South Carolina will be calling him to give evidence on his behalf.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 19 October 2012 at 8:27pm BST

Roger's memo was very salutary. I had not realised any of this.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 19 October 2012 at 9:11pm BST

"I would be interested to know who - the bishop or the standing committee - holds the whip hand in the current shenanigans." -- Lapinbizarre.

My money is on the standing committee as the source of trouble. I think it possible Mark Lawrence was sincere when he promised not to take South Carolina out of the Episcopal Church.

Posted by Charlotte at Saturday, 20 October 2012 at 1:49am BST

My money's there as well, Charlotte. If Lawrence was the prime mover, I believe that things would have come to a head sooner and that there would not have been less of the uncertainty and secrecy of recent months. I also wonder FitzSimons Allison, last SC bishop but one and begetter of Chuck Murphy's consecration and AMiA, who has had a foot planted in both camps these past fifteen years, is not still busily stirring the pot.

Posted by Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer at Saturday, 20 October 2012 at 2:32pm BST

I also wonder, given the $500,000+ the un-sued SC diocese has paid to lawyers this past three years, how many attorneys might be on the standing committee.

Just askin'.

Posted by Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer at Sunday, 21 October 2012 at 12:25pm BST
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