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October 19, 2012


ECUSA Abandons Diocese and Bishop

The Diocese of South Carolina

Episcopal Church Abandons Bishop and Diocese
Anglicans have been worshiping in South Carolina since its establishment as a British Colony.  From the beginning, they have defended and upheld the doctrine, discipline and worship of the faithful generations who came before them. That freedom is now under direct assault.

As a founding Diocese of the Episcopal Church, we have taken steps in recent years to defend our freedom of worship and order of gathering. On Monday of this week (October 15), the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence (14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina) was informed by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church that a disciplinary board had certified that he was guilty of abandonment of the communion of the church – that he had, in effect, by his words and actions, left the church. We believe that these actions of the Episcopal Church are both invalid under the Constitution of the Episcopal Church of this Diocese and violations of rights and freedoms which all Americans hold dear. We emphatically reject them, as well as the attempted restriction upon the ministry of our Bishop.

An Assault on the Bishop
This action is a deplorable assault upon the Bishop of this Diocese. The attack came in the midst of negotiations whose stated intent was to find a peaceful solution to our differences with the Episcopal Church. It involved a process in which there was no prior notice of the proceedings, no notice of the charges against him nor any opportunity to face the local accusers (who remained anonymous until today).

Also deeply concerning is the fact that all of the stated reasons for “abandonment” were known nearly a year ago, when an earlier attempt to remove him failed. This second attempt is double jeopardy of the most egregious sort and is contrary to the very canons they have used. Worst of all, canons that were originally meant for the removal of clergy who had well and truly “left” the church are now being used to purge a Bishop who has diligently sought to keep his Diocese both intact and within the Episcopal Church.

An Assault on the Diocese
These actions, however, are not just an attack upon Bishop Lawrence. They also represent an assault on this Diocese and its congregations. Two of the three actions that the Episcopal Church claims prove his abandonment are in fact actions of the Diocesan Convention. These were actions of the entire Diocese, all its parishes and missions, expressing together in duly elected convention what they needed to remain in the communion of this denomination. In effect, the Episcopal Church has said it does not care what the parishioners of this Diocese, who are its sole supporters, have to say about their own future. The final action for which the Episcopal Church claims Bishop Lawrence was found guilty was for confirming, by the release of quit claim deeds, that our congregations own their own property.

Abandoned
Bishop Lawrence’s actions have been taken to protect the integrity of the Diocese and its parishes. In the exercise of his freedom of speech, he has stated his personal good faith beliefs Episcopal Church Abandons Bishop and Diocese concerning the theology and polity of this Diocese. The parishes of this Diocese have repeatedly joined him in expressing those same beliefs. The actions taken by the Episcopal Church make it clear that such freedom of expression is intolerable to them. It is this Diocese and its Bishop who have been abandoned; left behind by a denomination that has chosen a radically different path from that of its founders. For that reason, we have disassociated ourselves from the Episcopal Church and will meet again in Convention on November 17th to consider further responses to these actions by the denomination we helped found. By God’s grace, we look forward to many more generations freely exercising the faith first brought to these shores so many generations before us.


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17 comments

BTW, this may backfire on them.  They keep pushing the envelope, and they may be pushing too far this time.  Time will tell…

[1] Posted by B. Hunter on 10-19-2012 at 03:37 PM · [top]

The Episco-left is ratcheting up the rhetoric.  Mark Harris called Bishop Lawrence a liar.

[2] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 10-19-2012 at 03:40 PM · [top]

As my mom said many years ago….. The church left me, I did not leave the church. Same applies to the diocese. TEC has pushed us to the point we are considering leaving.  Will it happen? Quite possibly they pushed the diocese one too many times as the process for withdrawl has been triggered. Only time will tell.

#2. Not just Mark Harris but over at SC Episcopalians where our *friend* Steve Skardon is sole author/editor, the rhetoric is becoming very emotional. He *claims* that “rumors abound about his (Lawrence’s) stability”.  Really? I think Skardon is writing about himself.  I can believe that Skardon is not happy about what his revisionist clergy friends told him about what happened at he meeting. Come on, Steve.  fess up. You ain’t happy about what is happening so you have to give the events the most negative spin possible.  That is the left for you. When in doubt, lie!

[3] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-19-2012 at 04:06 PM · [top]

#2 and 3 - these folks really are somewhat off-balance, aren’t they?  Mark Harris’ post strikes me as being slander given that he accuses Bishop Lawrence of lying but nowhere in his meandering post does he actually provide any evidence to support that accusation.  This Skardon guy just seems totally off the deep-end.

I think that sadly, this sort of thing will just keep on happening.  Bishops Dan Martin, James Stanton and the like, had better be preparing themselves, as they will likely be next.  As TEC continues to implode, the loony left will become angrier and angrier, and will scapegoat the next group that is sitting “at the end of the pew” (i.e. the next most conservative group in the church).  They will aggressively move against the next group on the theory that if only they silence and expel them, things will turn around.  But they won’t, and they can’t admit that it is their theologically and morally bankrupt false gospel is to blame, and so they will turn their anger on the next group.  Seriously, the threatened action against the handful of bishops who testified in court will likely be “abandonment of communion” charges 2 years down the road.

When history looks back at TEC’s collapse in the first quarter of the 21st century, they will marvel at how its leadership managed to ruin the denomination is such a short amount of time.  Quite apart from any theological or ecclesiastical issues playing out here, there is a wealth of lessons here about leadership - negative lessons to be sure, but it would behoove all to pay careful attention.

[4] Posted by jamesw on 10-19-2012 at 04:25 PM · [top]

#4, Jamesw.
Yep, It is amazing how off-balance and out of touch with reality they really are. I agree that these sort of events will continue and the bishops you mention better be preparing for the eventual reality of what is coming down the pike from TEC.  Yep, the Episco-left will never admit that their theologically and morally bankrupt “gospel” is the main cause of the demise of TEC. Just ..... never…...... will…....admit ...... it!

History won’t be a favorable/kind judge to the demise to the TEC over the last half of 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. There are indeed many lessons to be learned about leadership especially what NOT do.

[5] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-19-2012 at 04:36 PM · [top]

Mark Harris et al. are conveniently overlooking facts in order to dish their spin.  The Episco-left is pointing to the outcome, and shouting ‘told you so!’  ‘The Lead’ is full of such unsupported, unreasoned assertions.

Of course, they neglect to acknowledge that the resolutions of the diocese required TEC to satisfy certain conditions.  If TEC had not acted to satisfy those conditions, then the resolutions would never have been triggered.

TEC decided that it had to attack the Dio of SC and Bp Lawrence.  By its attack, TEC caused the disaffilitation.

Nothing would have happened without the attack.  Given the alacrity of the secret attack, clearly the conditional resolutions were reasonable precautions.

But then, the Episco-left, with its core doctrines of corporate governance, property, and implied trusts, can’t be bothered with facts.

rolleyes

[6] Posted by tired on 10-19-2012 at 04:46 PM · [top]

My Lord, SC blu cat lady!  I just visited Skardsie’s site and I couldn’t believe that anybody would actually post raving lunacy like that.  When the subtitle to your web site(speaking of which, 1995 just called, Steve, and is embarrassed at the lameness of your site design) is “Bearing Witness to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ through the Episcopal Church,” amateur psychiatry is something you should steer clear of.

[7] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 10-19-2012 at 06:54 PM · [top]

Hey folks—I ask that you not post links to revisionist sites—they get very very little traffic, we get a lot, and we have no intention of helping them gain a thimble-full more attention.

Keep in mind that these guys are starved for attention, members, links, and publicity.

We do not wish to give that to them.

I’m not directing this to one person—this is a general request, since posts will fly thick and fast in the coming months and years over the whole SC situation, and all of the SF bloggers are concerned about the use of SF bandwidth to send traffic to people who get and deserve very little traffic.

Thank you.

[8] Posted by Sarah on 10-19-2012 at 07:28 PM · [top]

Prayers for Bishop Lawrence and the wonderful Diocese of South Carolina.

Send KJS and Ian Douglas to Coventry.

[9] Posted by Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] on 10-20-2012 at 09:23 AM · [top]

Well, Well, well, look at what I found that Canon Jim Lewis wrote about what he found out concerning the Episcopal Forum of SC and their role in the latest round of accusations. Read the following article from Canon Jim Lewis. The only link would be to the diocesan website. It is on the right hand side under latest news.

Episcopal Forum Members Initiate Attack on Bishop        
By the Rev. Canon James B. Lewis, Diocese of South Carolina

Guess the Forum was not being as gracious as they want everyone to believe. I will let you read it. Quite interesting!

[10] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-20-2012 at 07:31 PM · [top]

WARNING!!!  I clicked on Mark Harris to see the bit about +Lawrence being called a liar.  There’s a bit on the right side of the page that notes people who have logged to the page.

Creeps?  I was the top one, coming from Stand Firm, did list my name as maineiac, but gave the name of my current town.  So, I quit it and came back here.  Decided to check it out a little more, so opened a new tab and entered his name to find.  I got this:

“This web page at markharrisonline.com has been reported as an attack page and has been blocked based on your security preferences.
     
“Attack pages try to install programs that steal private information, use your computer to attack others, or damage your system.Some attack pages intentionally distribute harmful software, but many are compromised without the knowledge or permission of their owners.

BEWARE!

[11] Posted by maineiac on 10-20-2012 at 09:52 PM · [top]

Maineiac,
We have been to his website several times (not often as it makes us too angry!!!!). We have never gotten that message before. Perhaps his website has been hacked or hijacked? Quite possible ....... $⁢ happens.

[12] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-21-2012 at 05:08 AM · [top]

maineiac, the “Mark Harris” you get when you Google that name is a rock musician, not the blogging priest from Delaware. And Google does note that the musician’s Website (called “markharrisonline”, as you state), is an attack site to avoid.

But the Rev. Canon Mark Harris does not have a site named after him—his site, called “Preludium”, is at “anglicanfuture.blogspot.com”, and while it has a device on the page to keep track of (and announce the originating page and city of) each person who goes there, you can bypass that mechanism by first going to Anonymouse before visiting his (or any other) website.

[13] Posted by A. S. Haley on 10-21-2012 at 12:10 PM · [top]

Thanks Mr. Haley! Mark Harris’ website is indeed “Preludium”. Still we don’t visit often due to possible health consequences (raising blood pressure,etc). Maineiac, If you do go to his website, be prepared for an interesting *twist* on actual facts.

[14] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-21-2012 at 01:19 PM · [top]

FWIW, I have posts at my blog, <a > One Daughter’s Perspective</a>, about the recent events in the diocese. JMHP as always.

[15] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-23-2012 at 07:41 AM · [top]

Blast! Why did not that work?Will try again One Daughter’s Perspective

[16] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-23-2012 at 07:43 AM · [top]

Thanks, Mr Haley.  It’s been a few days since I’ve been here, so just now getting your msg.

[17] Posted by maineiac on 10-24-2012 at 09:30 PM · [top]

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