Thinking Anglicans

The Diocese of South Carolina responds

The Diocese of South Carolina has published in addition to the announcement reported previously, the following documents:

The Board of Directors and Standing Committee unanimously vote to call a Special Convention the first Saturday that is 30 days after any “Action” by The Episcopal Church (“TEC”) against Bishop Lawrence.

September 20, 2012: Standing Committee asks Bishop Lawrence to interpret provisions of the Constitution & Canons of the Diocese. October 2, 2012: Bishop Lawrence issues his interpretation of the Constitution & Canons.

Standing Committee and Board of Directors vote unanimously to disaffiliate with, and withdraw membership from, TEC effective upon the taking of any “action” as specified in the motion


  • 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.

  • Martin Reynolds says:

    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.

  • Deacon Charlie Perrin says:

    “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.

  • Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer says:

    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.

  • 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.

  • Scott says:

    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.

  • Martin Reynolds says:

    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.

  • Martin Reynolds says:

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

  • Charlotte says:

    “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.

  • Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer says:

    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.

  • Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer says:

    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’.

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