Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, November 12th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 65 Comments
It begins. The South Carolina snakes emerge from the grass:
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has declared the ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese of South Carolina vacant and has backed a faction within the diocese that is seeking to fill the “vacuum” created by the suspension of Bishop Mark Lawrence.
The loyalist “Transitional Committee” has also declared the South Carolina Standing Committee to be vacant and has formed a “steering committee” to act in its place.
On 11 Nov 2012, the steering committee announced that it had taken charge of the diocese. “We write to assure you that The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina is continuing,” they said, noting they had formed a “steering committee of faithful Episcopalians” to “reorganize our continuing Diocese over the next few months. This committee will serve as the broad-based group in the Diocese that communicates with the Presiding Bishop during this period when the Diocese has no functioning ecclesiastical authority.”
The loyalist faction, writing in the name of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and acting under its seal, has called a diocesan convention for 8 March 2013 to “begin the work of selecting a bishop, a new standing committee, and forging ahead with our missions and ministry.”
The names affixed to the document for the group claiming to exercise the legal authority of the diocese, a South Carolina corporation, were:
Hillery P. Douglas, Charleston, Chairman; Erin E. Bailey, Mount Pleasant, Secretary; The Rev. James E. Taylor, North Charleston, Treasurer; Holly H. Behre, Charleston; William P. Baldwin, McClellanville; Charles C. Geer, MD, Charleston; Lonnie Hamilton, III, Charleston; Margaret S. Kwist, Summerville; The Rev. Richard C. Lindsey, Hilton Head/Beaufort County; Rebecca S. Lovelace, Conway; The Rev. Wilmot T. Merchant, II, North Myrtle Beach; John O. Sands, Pawleys Island; The Rev. Calhoun Walpole, Charleston; and Virginia C. Wilder, Summerville.
Two retired bishops living within the jurisdiction of the diocese, The Rt. Rev. John Buchanan and the Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg were listed as the group’s “Episcopal Advisors”.
Here’s an ad these people took out, once again illegally using the diocesan seal, in a couple of South Carolina papers.
No ecclesiastical trial. No court case, never mind court decision. Mrs. Schori wants Mark Lawrence’s head, Mrs. Schori will have Mark Lawrence’s head and damn any stupid racist, sexist, “homophobic” and bourgeois concepts like legality which get in her way.
Some people might toss around the phrase “Episcopal pope.” But that’s unfair to the Chair of St. Peter. As ruthless as some of its unworthy occupants sometimes were, there were at least procedures to be followed. There seem to be none whatsoever here.
If a tiny, leftist minority in some diocese wants a traditionalist bishop out, Mrs. Schori will be only too happy to oblige them. If Mrs. Schori wants you professionally dead, you will, in a very short time, be professionally capped in 815’s Lubyanka.
So call Mrs. Schori an Anglican Robespierre or an Episcopal Lenin if you want to. Just don’t insult my intelligence or my Savior by expecting me to refer to Mrs. Schori, the organization she heads or the rest of the Episcopal left as fellow Christians.
Which brings me to South Carolina’s traditionalist Episcopalians. This may violate every principle you claim to possess but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, don’t take this lying down. Take the fight to them; Bishop Lawrence hasn’t been formally or legally deposed so this group has obviously been using the diocesan seal illegally. You have nothing to lose so make them pay a price.
Someone also might want to alert my gracious lord of Durham. You’ll recall that among other things, the allegedly right-of-center Justin Welby told TEO’s House of Squishops:
I have found some myths demythologised. For example the myth that TEC is only liberal, monochrome in its theological stand, and the myth that all minorities of view are oppressed.
If Welby hears about South Carolina (and about all the rest of Mrs. Schori’s dictatorial moves, for that matter) and starts prattling on about “dialogue” or “reconciliation,” you will know that the Anglican Communion is officially dead. And if you insist on remaining connected to it, what happens to you is your own fault.
Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head(Ezekiel 33:1-4).