Thinking Anglicans

The saga of South Carolina

Updated Tuesday morning
Still at 55 and Holding is the headline from Kendall Harmon.
The Bakersfield Californian has a report Local pastor hoping to take role of bishop.

The next few days see the conclusion of the current South Carolina election process, as the deadline for Standing Committee consents is passed. The diocesan website is being updated frequently with the latest count: 52 as I write this but for approval 56 are required. If these are not received, a new election has to be held. Scroll down for the full text of the letter from Mark Lawrence dated 7 March, or read it more conveniently here.

Press reports:
Charleston Post and Courier Adam Parker Episcopal bishop-elect confirms loyalty
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Steve Levin Episcopal nominee at center of storm
The State (Columbia SC) Carolyn Click Bishop-elect debate mirrors larger struggle

ENS had SOUTH CAROLINA: Bishop-elect again clarifies his stance on Episcopal Church membership last Thursday.
The Living Church had South Carolina Nears Necessary Consents for Consecration of its Next Bishop on 3 March.

A mid-February ENS report was SOUTH CAROLINA: Standing Committee asks other dioceses to reconsider withholding consent to Lawrence.

There is strong campaigning going on, see for example Sarah Hey’s Open Threads here and here at Stand Firm or on the other side from Lionel Deimel: A New Urgency.

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drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

Bishop-elect Lawrence’s essay for Living Church is quite informative. I think he makes himself quite clear. He cannot be in the same Anglican Communion with Bishop Robinson and the Diocese of New Hampshire. He can pledge to TEC, but in his mind’s eye, it is a TEC without Robinson and without New Hampshire. One at minmum hopes all standing committees weighing consent will read it carefully. He cannot perceive the signs of welcome that a big tent TEC has extended to many different folks, including of course queer folks, as anthing besides a fatal indication of weakness and coma and… Read more »

Weiwen
14 years ago

I have to ask this: Mark Lawrence has now stated relatively clearly that he intends to stay in the Episcopal Church. Why not consent to his election? If the Diocese of SC wants to walk, it will do so whether we consent or not – see what happens when we reject the Primates’ demands. Denying consent for Lawrence would move the process up (assuming they want to walk), but wouldn’t change it. If we consent and SC, under Lawrence, secedes, then at least we’ve shown some grace … and then we can depose him and take whatever legal steps are… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
14 years ago

Lawrence will be able join the ranks of those bishops(incl. archbishops and PBs) who say one thing before consecration, and another after.

May be he is secretly pro-gay and will do a Williams in reverse. I am not holding my breath though……

Lionel Deimel
14 years ago

Consecrating Mark Lawrence puts him in the House of Bishops. Particularly in light of the recent communiqué from the primates, with its demands of the House of Bishops, this is letting the fox into the hen house, since Lawrence advocated surrendering the autonomy of The Episcopal Church to the primates even before the primates acted to seize it.

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

I’ve gone back&forth on this one so many times, I’m dizzy. (I’m still grateful not to be on a Standing Committee, to have to decide this for real)

Thy will be done, Lord!

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
14 years ago

One definitionof insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

Every time anyone has given an inch to the conservatives, said, oh, that’s a pretty strong indication that he will stay in TEC, oh, they wouldn’t do that/go that far … guess what has happened?

David H.
14 years ago

I don’t see what the holdup, or the brouhaha, is about. The deadline is passed. He didn’t receive sufficient consents. Time for Kendall Harmon, et. al to stop their whinging & for the diocese to begin the process for a new election.

Simple, straight-forward, and according to the polity of our church…

Kendall Sims
14 years ago

I personally wrote to over 50 bishops and asked that they NOT consent to the election of Fr. Lawrence. Beyond the issue of Fr. Lawrence’s distressing remarks on the candidate questionaire, one must wonder at the circumstances of his election considering that Lawrence was the most moderate of the candidates and there were no nominations by petition. When I looked at the process, I found myself wondering if the process was manipulated.

Bill Carroll
Bill Carroll
14 years ago

I still don’t know why standing committees are being allowed to reconsider. If you didn’t mean your “no” the first time, you had no right to say “no.” I would have given Fr. Lawrence a pass if he had offered what he said in his final letter the first time he was offered the opportunity to clarify. As it happened, he was defiant. This looks too much like a statement under duress, and in any event, it is too late to reconsider. I think ample grounds exist to deny consent, and consent was denied. I don’t understand why the leadership… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

Ah, do not forget the intervening years of ministering around in the diocese, close up and personal, after the divorce and before the final election.

Jeremy
Jeremy
14 years ago

I believe I am correct in say that time has NOT passed. The consents must be POSTMARKED on the 12th. It is conceivable that we will have to wait until the end of the week before any official announcement. Of course, any Standing Committees who send their consent at this late hour would probably make an official announcement.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
14 years ago

“I believe I am correct in say that time has NOT passed. The consents must be POSTMARKED on the 12th” That is correct. I would certainly hope those mailing today would say how they voted, but they are under no obligation to do so. I expect if I were speaking for a moderate diocese that voted for him, I might want to delay the criticism from the people who were against him. I have written to a person on the Standing Committee in my diocese about how disappointed I am that they reconsidered and voted yes. In this diocese of… Read more »

David H.
14 years ago

Fr. Bill wrote, “I still don’t know why standing committees are being allowed to reconsider. If you didn’t mean your ‘no’ the first time, you had no right to say ‘no.’ “

Hmmm… Like Krusty the Clown on the Simpson’s, it looks like the folks at 815 need a visit from “Ms. No Means No”

http://www.nohomers.net/content/fun/impressions/krusty-danb.MP3

Louie Crew
14 years ago

I called the Office of the Presiding Bishop this morning for clarification about the deadlines for consents for Mark Lawrence as Bishop of South Carolina. TEC’s canons specify that the Presiding Bishop must confirm the authenticity of all balloting, not just the balloting of bishops. March 9th would have been the deadline, but 3 days have been added for a grace period. The Presiding Bishop consulted David Beers, her chancellor, as well as the parliamentarian of the House of Bishops. Therefore all consents must be postmarked by today, March 12th. By this evening the Standing Committee of South Carolina will… Read more »

Tobias Haller
14 years ago

Postmarked “on” the 12th or “by midnight on the 12th”? Which midnight belongs to the 12th? My assumption is that the 12th _begins_ at 12:00 am (or 0 hr). Thus to be postmarked “by” midnight on the 12th a note would have to have been mailed on the previous Saturday — US Post Offices not being open on Sunday. Does anyone know?

Kurt
Kurt
14 years ago

That Lawrence was considered the most “moderate” of the candidates tells you something about these people. Our British cousins should understand that Charleston is where our American Civil War began, because some of that city’s Episcopalians (and others) loved the institution of slavery more than they loved Jesus. Now today, we see that these people elect a Lawrence because love their anti-gay prejudice more than they love Jesus. Figures.

Anglicanus
Anglicanus
14 years ago

I venture to ask, from a different polity altogether, if it would not be simpler for the Presiding Bishop to invite the Bishop-elect to attend a celebration of the Eucharist at which she presides and offer him the consecrated elements. If he communicates then he wishes to be part of TEC. If he refuses and does not communicate, he does not wish to be part of TEC.

Paul Davison
Paul Davison
14 years ago

As of “early afternoon” on March 12, the Diocesan web page is reporting that 55 Standing Committees have now consented–one less than the required number.

Weiwen
14 years ago

the Stand Firm crowd says that this is going right down to the wire, and for once, I agree! as of 1536hrs, the Diocese of SC’s site claims to have 55 consents from standing committees, 56 required. he’s received the necessary consents from bishops. the tally is in bold font at the top of their front page. additionally, they have a list of “Reasserter” and “Reappraiser” websites, neatly dividing the universe into light and dark. I also see that they’ve cunningly doctored the “Reappraiser” list to make us look less numerous. 🙂 sisters and brothers, however this plays out, we… Read more »

David H.
14 years ago

Heh. Kurt’s right. I’d remind Simon’s erstwhile readers that, even amongst other Southerners, South Carolinians are considered errr… rather “extreme” in their peculiar eccentricity 😉

(yes, this is said tongue in cheek – but being a Southerner myself, of a line all the way back to His Majesty’s colony of Virginia, I *do* know of whence I speak 😉

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
14 years ago

55 and counting, a real cliff-hanger. Looks to me as though the moral victory lies with the ‘nays’. After pleas from the diocese to have their democratic decision upheld, the reverend gentleman will become bishop by the thinnest possible margin.

Of course, having had their democratic rights upheld, the diocese will then uphold the democratic processes of (now what was the name of that diocese again….????).

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

Now, now, Kurt (and David H): my late paternal grandmother was a Charleston Episcopalian, and look how (queerly) I turned out! 😉

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
14 years ago

I predict that if the election is not confirmed, they will make an appeal to the ABC and the primates to intervene in this grave cataclysmic injustice.

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

Thanks Weiwen for reminding us all of the long view. Theologically, Lawrence’s consent or lack of it to be bishop has rather little or nothing to do with whether he will saunter through the pearly gates, come the Last Day. If I had anything to do with an SC vote, however, I probably would vote against consent at this point. Too many realignment hawks already squawking about the TEC chicken coops, claiming to have flight and dinner plans authorized by the Global South Primates – for my taste. The realignment straws that broke my camel’s back of welcome (to leadership,… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
14 years ago

About South Carolina there is much lore [I speak as a Yankee who has lived in Virginia for a long time]. Here are some things I’ve been told: South Carolina – too small to be its own country – too big to be its own insane asylum. The people of Charleston are said to be like the ancient Chinese: they eat rice and worship their ancestors. Charleston, where the Ashley and the Cooper Rivers join to form the Atlantic Ocean. And finally: North Carolina – a Valley of Humility lying between two Mountains of Conceit. Brits may wish to consult… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
14 years ago

As a lowly member of the Church of England as by Law Established, and one who is thereby unused to the machinations of democracy, I ask whether there are many precedents for a majority of Standing Committee consents being so hard to come by? What’s the previous ‘tightest’ race? Were there any long-term consequences of a grudging consent?

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
14 years ago

“are many precedents for a majority of Standing Committee consents being so hard to come by?”

Not sure who did the refusing, bishops or standing commitees or both, but yes, there have been a number of men who have been elected but denied consents – someone with a quicker grab on history than I can supply names. Most refusals were 19th c I think, but some early 20th c.

lapinbizarre
lapinbizarre
14 years ago

Cynthia. Speaking as a 30-year resident of South Carolina, if this state’s highly over-rated lowcountry cuisine is “some of the best eating in the US”, then American food is in a truly bad way.

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett):

James DeKoven was twice elected bishop & failed to receive the necessary consents.

He is now on the Kalendar of The Episcopal Church.

Make of it what you will.

Doug Simonsen
Doug Simonsen
14 years ago

I am grateful to Louie Crew for reporting this clarification from the PB’s office: “March 9th would have been the deadline, but 3 days have been added for a grace period.” I would now be even more grateful if someone could inform us as to where the PB’s office derives its authority to add a “grace period” to the canonical 120 day consent period. I’ve read the explanation from ENS that the extension is “to take into account the movement of mail.” But Canon III.16.4(a) already accounts for mailing delays by counting the consent period from postmark to postmark. If,… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
14 years ago

“if this state’s highly over-rated lowcountry cuisine is “some of the best eating in the US”, then American food is in a truly bad way.”

You don’t live in the Shenandoah Valley – it’s all a matter of what you’re used to and expectations, I guess.

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

3 day grace period? (What is this—the Triduum?)

I can only imagine the kicking and screaming that would have occurred, if there had been ANY kind of irregular voting shenanigans in order to get +GR consented in ’03! :-/

cryptogram
cryptogram
14 years ago

According to the lead news story on Anglican Mainstream, Fr Lawrence failed to get his consents.

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

EpiScope has a list of those elected who did not serve:

http://episcopalchurch.typepad.com/episcope/2007/03/not_the_bishop.html#more

JPM
JPM
14 years ago

Any guesses as to what SC will do?

Will they do the decent, honorable thing by choosing a new candidate who is an actual conservative rather than a radical fundamentalist with schismatic ambitions?

That doesn’t seem likely to me–it’s just not their style.

So will they re-elect Lawrence and begin the consent process again, or will they call in their new friends in Africa and hold an illegal consecration?

NP
NP
14 years ago

SC should just wait until 30.9.07

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
14 years ago

Np advises us that “SC should just wait until 30.9.07.”

Whether they choose to it now, or choose to wait until September 30th, should 20% or 30% of the Episcopal Church parishioners in South Carolina wish to leave the Episcopal Church and their parishes, and join some other faith community to worship with them, so be it.

I believe it will be their loss primarily, and only a bit a loss for the super-majority of TEC who welcome the diversity that we now encompass.

Just don’t imagine, NP, that they can take “the family car” when they leave the family.

Scott Henthorn
Scott Henthorn
14 years ago

Wondering when the thinking is going to start. I read strategy and political prognostication; not thought. I’d smile at your mutual admiration love fest if you were not dividing the Church with your intolerance. Do you love the Church? Then take the time to articulate this love to all, not just your lexicon cohort.

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