Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 31 Comments
In a move that should shock or surprise absolutely no one, Mrs. Schori and her pseudo-spiritual debating society have officially declared war against the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina:
On Monday, October 15, 2012, Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina was notified by the Presiding [Officer] of The Episcopal [Organization], Katharine Jefferts Schori, that on September 18, 2012 the Disciplinary Board for Bishops had certified his abandonment of The Episcopal [Organization].
Because of the Episcopal Organization’s aggression, the Diocese has decided to stop pretending any longer.
This action by The Episcopal [Organization] triggered two pre-existing corporate resolutions of the Diocese, which simultaneously disaffiliated the Diocese from The Episcopal [Organization] and called a Special Convention. That Convention will be held at St. Philip’s Church, Charleston, on Saturday, November 17, 2012.
The problem with Mark Lawrence is that his god is Yahweh and not the Zeitgeist.
Bishop Lawrence was notified of these actions taken by the Episcopal [Organization] between two meetings, one held on October 3 and one to be held on October 22, which Bishop Andrew Waldo of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina and Bishop Lawrence had set up with the Presiding [Officer] to find a peaceful alternative to the growing issues between The Episcopal [Organization] and the Diocese of South Carolina. The meetings were to explore “creative solutions”
But Bishop Lawrence torpedoed all that when he kept insisting that the Word of God means what it clearly says.
for resolving these issues to avoid further turmoil in the Diocese and in The Episcopal [Organization]. A timeline of these events and their associated documents may be found below.
Episcopalians routinely babble on about how their “democratic polity” and how much it was influenced by that of the United States. So it sure would be nice if they’d eventually get around to the bit about being able to face your accusers.
Two of the three charges had previously been determined by a majority vote of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops in November 2011 not to constitute abandonment. The Diocese has not received a signed copy of the certification and also remains uninformed of the identity of those making these charges.
But don’t worry about South Carolina. It knows Who it worships while the Episcopal Organization worships it knows not what.
We feel a deep sense of sadness but a renewed sense of God’s providence that The Episcopal Church has chosen to act against this Diocese and its Bishop during a good faith attempt resolve our differences peacefully. These actions make it clear The Episcopal Church no longer desires to be affiliated with the Diocese of South Carolina.
I’m not a lawyer, I just play one on the Internet. I don’t know if the fact that the Episcopalians fired the first shot helps South Carolina’s legal cause any but I suspect that it may have a considerable impact.
For one thing, once the lawsuits get going, TEO will face a far more hostile legal environment than it has ever had to face before. If I’m not mistaken, a South Carolina court has already declared the Dennis Canon a dead letter in the Palmetto State.
[UPDATE: I’m not mistaken. Thanks to the Anglican Curmudgeon.]
In other dioceses that the Episcopalians have sued, there has been a sufficient quantity of Episcopal leftists for Mrs. Schori to go to the trouble of setting up Quisling bishops and standing committees and establishing Potemkin dioceses and parishes.
But I’m not sure that the Episcopalians can round up enough loyalists to keep two or three parishes going for any length of time, never mind an entire diocese. And from all indications, 815 will face a diocese whose people have overwhelmingly expressed their hostility to the Episcopal innovations again and again.
Should South Carolina throw in with the Anglican Church of North America? I wouldn’t for two reasons. Doing so might undercut South Carolina’s legal position; TEO could claim that Charleston intended to join ACNA all along.
The simple fact of the matter is that South Carolina doesn’t need ACNA and its headaches right now. The Diocese has a history that goes back almost 400 years and its Anglican identity predates just about everybody else on this continent. And South Carolina is thriving on its own while ACNA, as promising as it has sometimes shown itself to be, is still finding its sea legs.
What if South Carolina wins its independence from New York tyranny? Can South Carolina make it as an independent Anglican entity? I don’t see why not since it’s been practically independent for several years now anyway.
What would its relationship be with the rest of the Anglican world? If Charleston is freed from the Episcopal yoke, I suppose the Episcopalians will put great pressure on Lambeth Palace and its next inhabitant to withhold any recognition of what would, in effect, be a new but small Anglican province. If that happens, South Carolina may then come to some kind of accommodation with ACNA, up to and including actual membership.
But this, as Shakespeare put it, lies all within the will of God. We all knew this day was coming. We all knew that it was only a matter of time before the Episcopalians, by fair means or foul, purged the last of their “heretics.” And the sooner the Diocese of South Carolina can finally get itself clear of the cold, dead hand of Episcopalianism, the better for it and for every Christian in the Low Country.
I have to believe that there is no way the Episcopalians will prevail, mainly because the thought of such grand, historic Anglican churches as St. Michael’s and St. Philip’s falling into Episcopal hands and then being sold for God-knows-what when TEO’s new parishes there fail sickens me. But South Carolina doesn’t sound like it’s worried so I guess no one else should be either.
UPDATE: The party line is up.