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October 22, 2012


Episcopal Forum Members Initiate Attack on Bishop

Excellent analysis by South Carolina’s Canon to the Ordinary, Jim Lewis—make certain you read the entire piece so that you can point out that no, the acts against Mark Lawrence are not “representative” of the diocese at all, they are rather representative of a tiny cabal of revisionists.

Most troubling is the assertion that they have released their names voluntarily, as a courtesy, to avoid the scandal of secrecy.  That is precisely what these actions represent.  The diocese was dragged all the way through this process once already last Fall, before the Bishop was acquitted, without the Bishop ever being able to face his accusers. The likelihood of that being a separate group than the present accusers seems vanishingly small. Yet, only now are they graciously coming forward.  The real reason is that the Canons require it. Upon the request of the Diocese, that information HAD to be revealed.  There is nothing gracious at all about their actions.  It is posturing that never should have even been allowed if the Disciplinary Board for Bishops and its President and Attorney had followed their own canons.  Providing these names should have been proforma and immediate when the charges were certified in September.  Instead it has required an entire month before that happened.

This goes to the heart of the essential sickness of The Episcopal Church in these days. It is a place of canonical chaos. Even when it has applicable canons, it does not follow them. At its own discretion it applies them capriciously or not at all.  It is for good reason that the Diocese of South Carolina put in place the canonical and constitutional firewalls that now seal it off from such continued abuses.


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12 comments

Yes, love this analysis by Canon Jim Lewis. He makes an excellent point that the Forum really does NOT have the broad support across the diocese they think they do.  Notice the Diocese ASKED for the names. The Forum did nothing gracious at all by releasing the names. This attitude is typical for the Forum.  Also, I know people who are Forum members who are not revisionist in their ideas at all.

Has anyone else noticed that it took about a month for Bishop Lawrence to be contacted once the DBB had made the decision? Did it take +KJS that long to agree? Just slow moving bureaucracy?

[1] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-22-2012 at 08:25 AM · [top]

I think the lesson here, if it was ever in doubt or one held hope to the later, is that TEC expects every ordained person and every diocese to assent to a national hierarchy, hold property in trust, and avoid contact with non-communion partners which are not recognized by the ABC. Any deviation will result in an assumption of guilt and intent to abandon TEC. Period. It’s that simple. Things like TEC committees, although functional, are always secondary to the hierarchy of the presiding TEC biship. Kind of like a having a Pope.

[2] Posted by Festivus on 10-22-2012 at 08:51 AM · [top]

“...half the lay members indicating they are parishioners of Grace Church, Charleston”

One wonders whether the fine folk of Grace Church will choose to leave the Diocese of South Carolina, and affiliate with whatever entity TEC will provide for them. They can certainly do that.

I wonder how many conservatives are in that parish. Not many, I suspect.

[3] Posted by Ralph on 10-22-2012 at 09:21 AM · [top]

Maybe this is what is meant by the phrase our bishop (Upper SC) used the other day when referring to resolving conflict (on same sex blessings) when he asked us, “Is it not possible for the church to bless such relationships as it seeks a balance between law and grace that errs on the side of grace, and still upholds the core of our biblical and theological inheritance?”

This is what you get when the Church errs on the side of Grace (church).

[4] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 10-22-2012 at 09:43 AM · [top]

#4 - me thinks the bishop of USC does not know we are not under the law, nor understand following Scripture is a component of being under grace.

[5] Posted by Festivus on 10-22-2012 at 10:19 AM · [top]

This goes to the heart of the essential sickness of The Episcopal Church in these days. It is a place of canonical chaos. Even when it has applicable canons, it does not follow them. At its own discretion it applies them capriciously or not at all.

I would submit that TEC has more than one “essential sickness,” but his point is well taken.

[6] Posted by the virginian on 10-22-2012 at 12:48 PM · [top]

#3, Ralph. There are some conservatives but I don’t know how many. Probably the vast majority of Grace Episcopal parishioners are TEC loyalists/Forum supporters. However those conservatives who want to remain with the diocese have a couple of choices nearby.

[7] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-22-2012 at 03:49 PM · [top]

How many of the complainants have personal or family connections to South Carolina law firms?

[8] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 10-22-2012 at 05:26 PM · [top]

Jill, I have no idea. Given the number of attorneys in parishes, it is pretty hard to not have a personal connection to an attorney.

[9] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-22-2012 at 09:44 PM · [top]

Perhaps I should reword the question, How many of the complainants, or their family members, have monetary connections to South Carolina law firms?  I want to ascertain if the complainants might hope to benefit financially from this effort.

[10] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 10-23-2012 at 08:54 AM · [top]

Or, in other words, who among all of the members of the Forum (including the complainants) would have anything to gain, materially, from this process. I think that’s a very good question, albeit a secondary one.

Obviously, any lawyers involved in any litigation that might ensue, will benefit substantially - except for those working pro bono. I’d think there will be a veritable feeding frenzy. After all, they have to make payments on their Bentleys, and TEC has lots and lots of money.

It’s like chumming sharks.

[11] Posted by Ralph on 10-23-2012 at 09:23 AM · [top]

While Melinda Lucka is not one of the *Schori 14*, she is an attorney and current President/Chairman of the Forum’s board. No doubt, she would stand to *gain* monetarily from law suits against the diocese.

On the other side, a recent past President of the SC Bar association is very orthodox in her faith.

[12] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-25-2012 at 11:40 AM · [top]

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