****Urgent Message from the Diocese of South Carolina Bishop and Standing Committee****

Posted by Kendall Harmon

October 5, 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On Thursday, September 29, 2011, the Bishop received communication from the President of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops that “serious charges” have been made under Title IV of the Canons of The Episcopal Church. These are allegations that he has abandoned The Episcopal Church. Since several of these allegations also include actions taken by the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina, after sustained prayer and discernment, it has seemed appropriate to both the Bishop and the Standing Committee to make these allegations available to the members of the Diocese. These allegations may be found on the Diocesan website…here.

Subsequently, the President of our Standing Committee, the Very Reverend Paul C. Fuener, received a letter from the Church Attorney assisting the Disciplinary Board seeking “Records maintained by the Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina.” This letter may be found on our diocesan website…here.

In order to understand the possible implications and to engage in corporate prayer for the diocese, I, as Bishop, have called a meeting of all our active and canonically resident clergy for this coming Tuesday, October 11, 2011 from 10 a.m. —12:00 noon at the Ministry Center of St. James Episcopal Church, James Island.

Rest assured we will do all in our power to defend gospel truth and catholic order. We and the members of our Standing Committee ask your prayers for God’s guidance and wisdom.

Yours in Christ,

The Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence
XIV Bishop of South Carolina

The Very Reverend Paul C. Fuener
President of the Standing Committee

Readers are asked to please note there are two documents to read in the links provided, the first of which is a 63 page pdf--KSH.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan CouncilsTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEcclesiology

Posted October 10, 2011 at 8:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. cssadmirer wrote:

Wow.  These are grave times for Bishop Mark and the Diocese.  Let us keep them in our prayers.

October 5, 9:11 am | [comment link]
2. seitz wrote:

+Warner was obviously a warm-up pitch. This is the real Title IV agenda at work.

October 5, 9:15 am | [comment link]
3. Br. Michael wrote:

Remember that TEC is fundamentally a lawless organization.  They will twist the canons they do have and apply as canon that which they do not have to achieve their desired goal which is to bring the Diocese of South Carolina to heel.  Expect no justice from that lot.

October 5, 9:16 am | [comment link]
4. Mark Baddeley wrote:

Points 10 and 11 are particularly noteworthy on the first page of the first pdf, in my opinion. Bishop Lawrence has abandoned communion by publicly stating that TEC is seriously in error in a way that interferes with the proclamation of the gospel, and for saying that the basic theology of much of TEC is fundamentally wrong.

I think with this, TEC is now moving more clearly to state that it has a clear gospel of its own and everyone has to hold to that to be in communion with it. If this goes ahead, any notion of a ‘big tent’, or that it has ‘a spectrum of opinions’ will be laughable. That should have implications for its relationship with the Communion as a whole in time - the moderate Primates will increasingly be forced to take a side by TEC itself.

Based on court rulings in South Carolina, TEC has to know that this will mean that, if they succeed in expelling Bishop Lawrence, all that will mean is that they lose almost all the Diocese and its property. No doubt they’ll pursue stuff in the courts - can’t afford not to and hold to their overall strategy - but it’ll be nice to see them shot down.

Other than that - no surprise, but it’s a really big development and we’ll have you (plural) in our prayers.

October 5, 9:22 am | [comment link]
5. BlueOntario wrote:

I agree, Mark. These accusations against Bishop Lawrence speak more of what TEc has become than any changes in him or his diocese. Let the church see!

October 5, 9:27 am | [comment link]
6. David Hein wrote:

1. “Dear Reverend Fuener”: Josephine must not be an Episcopalian.

2. But Bishop Lawrence hasn’t abandoned communion with the Episcopal Church, has he?

October 5, 9:37 am | [comment link]
7. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

I find this greatly disturbing. I stand in constant amazement at the laughable use and application of “abandonment of Communion” canons. Those have to do with a minister or bishop going down the street and becoming Baptist or Muslim or something.

October 5, 9:45 am | [comment link]
8. Brian from T19 wrote:

I am with Br. Michael.  Although this was obviously simply a matter of time.  +Lawrence will only be the first.  I assume the entire Standing Committee will be replaced.  I admire the Bishop and SC for taking a stand that could only have one outcome.

October 5, 9:56 am | [comment link]
9. Kendall Harmon wrote:

As before, please note that I am giving this post priority which means it will stay at the top until I change its status.  Therefore other posts will appear to be out of order with this one, or, if you look at it the other way around, vice versa.

And thanks you for your prayers for us here. I am just so glad we are not in charge.

October 5, 10:01 am | [comment link]
10. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Dr. Seitz (#2),

It’s gives me great pleasure to find a topic (and tactical assessment) on which we can agree 100%.  I’m sure you’re right.  The actions taken against +Warner (or even the bishop of central Ecuador) are just window dressing, to create the impression of fairness and even-handedness.  But it’s all a sham.  A complete and utter sham.

I fully expect and predict that any moves taken against the noble +Lawrence and the Standing Committee will have all the justice of a kangaroo court.  Or perhaps I should say all the justice presently on display for all the world to see in Zimbabwe under that notorious thug of a dicatator, Robert Mugabe, along with his ecclesiastical crony, +Kunonga..  Or should I say all the justice meeted out to Jesus by the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate?

The brazenness of the current regime at 815 knows no bounds.  Oh well, we all knew this kind of thing was coming sooner or later.  It may actually be best that it’s coming sooner.

I’d encourage everyone to remain as cool-headed as possible.  Maybe that’s easy for me to say since I’m safe now in the ACNA and not aligned with the Communion Partners network.  OK, that’s true enough, but let’s remember what Gandalf said, after he heard from Faramir that Gollum was leading Frodo into Mordor via Minas Morgul (and Shelob’s tunnel).  After the wise wizard got over his shock and horror, he mused aloud that often, the treachery of the wicked boomerangs on them.  I don’t remember his exact words, but that was the gist of it.  Or as Tolkien’s friend C. S. Lewis put it, the Devil often overplays his hand (in his eagerness and folly).

David Handy+

October 5, 10:07 am | [comment link]
11. Ethanasius wrote:

What a profoundly sad state of affairs.  I don’t understand what has inspired TEC, a denomination that prides itself on inclusion, tolerance, and diversity, to squash all opposition in such a blatantly fascistic manner.  As an ACNA clergyman in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, I was (and am) rooting for the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.  I thought that they could be a ‘inside-strategy’, model-diocese for a courageous and gracious stand against the steamroller of revisionism that is so present in nearly all of TEC.  It seems, though, that TEC will have none of it.  There is honestly no room within the organization for a dissenting, minority opinion.  The new model is just ‘lawyers, guns, and money.’ 

Praying for Bp Lawrence and all in his Diocese.  These are not easy times.

October 5, 10:12 am | [comment link]
12. A Senior Priest wrote:

One of the bases of the charge seems to be the Diocese’s endorsement of the Anglican Covenant.

October 5, 10:13 am | [comment link]
13. David Keller wrote:

#12—And refusing to sue St. Andrews for their property, which they can’t under SC law. KJS should know since show was a party to the lawsuit.

October 5, 10:24 am | [comment link]
14. Undergroundpewster wrote:

Prayers ascending for all clergy and laity in DSC.

From today’s Psalm (119:161-162)

161 Princes persecute me without cause,
  but my heart stands in awe of your words.
162 I rejoice at your word
  like one who finds great spoil.

October 5, 10:32 am | [comment link]
15. Undergroundpewster wrote:

Looks like they are fishing for stuff to use against members of the Standing committee as well.

October 5, 10:41 am | [comment link]
16. Gretta wrote:

They are claiming that the diocese is responsible for parishes not having national links on their websites? That’s evidence of a crime? Can you say Kangaroo Court?

They are also proffering as proof of the diocese’s severing of their relationship with TEC, the diocese’s “disaffiliation with a TEC organization”, specifically the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (page 5), This is listed as part of the evidence against the diocese.  If severing any relationship with an organization that supports abortion is a canonical crime, I hope the get “convicted” on that charge.

October 5, 10:42 am | [comment link]
17. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Let me please make a rather long comment of a personal sort that may seem initially to be off-topic, but I hope it’s relevance will soon become clear. 

When I was working on my doctorate, my dissertation superiviser, (or Doktorfater, as the Germans call it, and he was a father figure to me) was the renowned NT scholar Jack Dean Kingsbury, who was the only Lutheran on the faculty of Union Theological Seminary in Richmond (now known as Union Presbyterian Seminary).  He once made a memorable (and rather heart-breaking) comment to me that seems very apt with regard to this deeply disturbing development. 

As a former Missouri Synod Lutheran, Kingsbury had been effectively driven out of the LC-MS (because he rejected the shibboleth of.biblical inerrancy), but he nevertheless remained deeply orthodox and generally conservative theologically.  Nowadays, however, he has been sickened by the liberal takeover of the ELCA (to which he belongs).

Anyway, he once made the following unforgettable, ironic remark to me:

David, I’ve seen the fundamentalism of the right and the fundamentalism of the left up close, and believe me, the fundamentalism of the left is worse!

Now if you know anything about how ugly and bitter the conflict became in the LC-MS in the 1970s, when an almost McCarthyite climate prevailed for a while, with many people like Kingsbury falsely accused of being “liberals,” then you appreciate what a profoundly significant observation that was (and is).  Somehow, it seems pertinent to this thread.

BTW, to highlight the irony even more, I have watched with increasing dismay as Union in Richmond has moved sharply to the left theologically (and politically) since I was a grad student there in the 1990s.  To his credit, Dr. Kingsbury became the leader of the orthodox faction that fought that disastrous move every step of the way for years, and as the sole Lutheran on the faculty of a PResbyterian school he displayed all the firmness and courage of Luther himself, and displayed a proud, unyielding “Here I stand” spirit.  Because Kingsbury had tenure and was world famous, the liberal presidents (Hartley Hall and even worse, his successor Louis Weeks) couldn’t just sack him (much as they wanted to).  They tried every underhanded way they could to induce him to take early retirement, denying him sabbaticals, making him cut his summer vacation short by requiring him to teach elementary Greek to incoming students in August (a thankless task usually assigned to more junior faculty), etc.

There is indeed such a thing as a Fundamentalism of the Left.  And it’s just as rigid and sometimes unjustly cruel as the fundamentalism of the right.  At least when those on the far right are exclusive and throw the liberals out (often alas, along with some moderates who get unjustly lumped in with them), at least they’re being consistent with their core principles.  But there are none so illiberal as hardcore dogmatic liberal activists once they come to power afer a long struggle and it’s payback time.

Alas, my esteemed mentor was right.  The fundamentalism of the left is indeed even worse. 

So sad.  But so predictable.

David Handy+

October 5, 10:43 am | [comment link]
18. Ralph wrote:

Pearl Harbor. An attack on the faithful of South Carolina, and an overt declaration of war. It cannot succeed for TEC. The PB will not only have to attempt to inhibit +Mark, but also attempt to dismiss the entire Standing Committee and replace them with her minions.

The matter will immediately be brought into the secular courts, and legal action will be ongoing for many years.

This is senseless.

October 5, 10:50 am | [comment link]
19. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

P.S.  Maybe I should complete the story of what happened to it my esteemed teacher Jack Dean Kingsbury.  After the liberal administration of Union couldn’t get him to retire with petty little insults (like having to teach summer Greek), president Louis Weeks finally called Kingsbury into his office and made him an offer he effectively couldn’t refuse.  He asked him pointblank, “Jack, what would it take to get you to retire?”  IOW, how golden a parachute do you need? 

When all else fails, I guess, resort to bribery,  Well, Dr. Kingsbury did take the buyout (he was in his early 60s anyway).  But believe me, he wasn’t laughing all the way to the bank.  He was deeply saddened that the seminary that he’d given his all to for many years was going down the tubes.

Alas, he got off better than I expect +Lawrence will.

David Handy+

October 5, 10:53 am | [comment link]
20. tired wrote:

I am a bit surprised by the alacrity of the persecution.  I wonder how much the timing may be influenced by (i) reappraisers within Dio of SC; or (ii) the status of diocesan lawsuits. 

As for (i), based on their prior communications with leadership, they do seem impatient and bitter - but I’m ignorant as to whether much has changed internally - unless additional churches are preparing to leave (as alleged) and they believe action must be taken now to interfere with the departures. 

As for (ii), leadership may view this as an opportunity to establish precedence supporting the fiction that the constitution and canons expressly prohibit an entity from withdrawing from its participation as a diocese, and that any effort to withdraw, even the measured actions in SC, are to be deemed an abandonment of the legal entity, the diocese, and TEC.


October 5, 10:55 am | [comment link]
21. francis wrote:

Nothing like the false claim of inclusivity being display for all the world to see.  These charges are not worthy of the name.

October 5, 10:57 am | [comment link]
22. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

The players all played at once without waiting for turns, quarrelling all the while, and fighting for the hedgehogs; and in a very short time the Queen was in a furious passion, and went stamping about, and shouting ‘Off with his head!’ or ‘Off with her head!’ about once in a minute.

Alice began to feel very uneasy: to be sure, she had not as yet had any dispute with the Queen, but she knew that it might happen any minute, ‘and then,’ thought she, ‘what would become of me? They’re dreadfully fond of beheading people here; the great wonder is, that there’s any one left alive!’


‘I don’t think they play at all fairly,’ Alice began, in rather a complaining tone,’ and they all quarrel so dreadfully one can’t hear oneself speak — and they don’t seem to have any rules in particular; at least, if there are, nobody attends to them — and you’ve no idea how confusing it is all the things being alive; for instance, there’s the arch I’ve got to go through next walking about at the other end of the ground — and I should have croqueted the Queen’s hedgehog just now, only it ran away when it saw mine coming?’

‘How do you like the Queen?’ said the Cat in a low voice.

‘Not at all,’ said Alice


‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first - verdict afterwards.’

‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’

‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.

‘I won’t!’ said Alice.

‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’

Prayers for Bishop Lawrence and the wonderful Diocese of South Carolina

October 5, 11:10 am | [comment link]
23. flaanglican wrote:

This is flimsy evidence.  +Lawrence should be punished because his SON chose to affililate with ACNA?  His son can make his own decisions and do whatever he wants.  So-called other evidence is that he dared criticize those currently in authority in TEC.  That’s like saying our U.S. citizenship should be revoked if we dare criticize our current government.  Seems totalitarian to me.

October 5, 11:36 am | [comment link]
24. seitz wrote:

The obvious question is: what happens when charges are brought and the sovereign diocese simply ignores them? They have state courts on their side. What could TEC accomplish, other than to show they have ousted a Bishop and SC but have got stuck in the threshold doing so? This is the obvious question. And another one entails PB/Chancellor over-reach, which the new Title IV enables. That is, what will even moderate Bishops make of this kind of use of power? Esp when TEC is itself now admitting major financial and polity issues.

October 5, 11:39 am | [comment link]
25. Yebonoma wrote:

How very sad, but not unexpected.  How we can expect better treatment than Jesus got at the hands of the religious authorities.

I am interested as to how this may affect those orthodox members of TEC who have chosen to remain within TEC to be a faithful witness and possibly attempt to change things.  Since it now seems that TEC is invoking a type of theological purity test, how will such orthodox persons be able to remain within TEC and still speak the truth?

October 5, 11:40 am | [comment link]
26. Karen B. wrote:

Not yet had a chance to look at the documents, but you can be sure that even busyness will not keep me from praying for +Mark, the standing committee and all those standing for Christ in the DSC.

I was meditating on Ps. 4 last night, and I find it coming to mind now as a very apt portion of Scripture for those in the midst of these trials:

Ps 4:1-8
1   Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
2   How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Selah
3   Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.
4   In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah
5   Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD.
6   Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
7   You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.
8   I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

The Lord will hear and HAS set apart the godly in SC for Himself and WILL keep them safe in His care no matter what damage KJS and TEC manage to do in the short term. 

+Mark, Kendall and all may He keep your hearts at peace and filled with His joy today.  And praying THAT gets me thinking again of +Mark’s incredible message about Christian joy once again…  May the Lord help you sing His praises in these dark times!

October 5, 11:43 am | [comment link]
27. Katherine wrote:

This is an appalling action.  The Bishop, clergy, and all the people of the Diocese will be in my prayers.

October 5, 11:50 am | [comment link]
28. David Hein wrote:

No. 24: “That is, what will even moderate Bishops make of this kind of use of power?”

Good question. And how about moderate TEC bishops manning up (personing up) for once and coming out publicly in defense of their brother bishop? There’s a lot of self-righteous playacting in TEC about getting all “prophetic” except when it really counts (or costs).

October 5, 11:50 am | [comment link]
29. Paula Loughlin wrote:

Has that woman no shame.  I am infuriated and deeply saddened by this attack on Bishop Lawrence. He will be in my prayers.  I take comfort in knowing that no matter the temporal outcome his life will continue to be a testament to the victory of Christ. 
Somehow this prayer seems to suit thi sitution: It is part of the Lorica of St. Patrick,
“I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude
I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me. “

October 5, 11:51 am | [comment link]
30. Creedal Episcopalian wrote:

The PB will not only have to attempt to inhibit +Mark, but also attempt to dismiss the entire Standing Committee and replace them with her minions.

I suppose they will depose the parishioners next?

Unless the PB has inside dope that the US Supremes will overturn the SC Supremes on the Denis Canon, this will simply destroy the existing Anglican structure in SC, with no benefit to TEC. Any parish that can muster a 51% majority can simply tell TEC to take a hike. The big losers will be episcopal clergy who’s pensions haven’t vested, who will either lose their position or lose their pension.

October 5, 11:53 am | [comment link]
31. driver8 wrote:

Who the heck is the “Church Attorney” and what authority does he have in respect of the Standing Committee?

October 5, 11:55 am | [comment link]
32. APB wrote:

It is hard to imagine a better opportunity for a diocese to remain within TEC, but stand up to the lawless leadership.  Just say no, at each and every level, to TEC flunkies.  Simply pretend they are not there.  No doubt there will be Quislings, but surely the faithful will overwhelmingly outnumber them.  If DSC folds, then any sort of witness within TEC will be foreclosed.

October 5, 12:05 pm | [comment link]
33. Karen B. wrote:

The news today has temporarily pulled me out of “blogging retirement” and I’ve posted an urgent prayer request for +Mark and all the diocesan leaders over at Lent & Beyond.


October 5, 12:13 pm | [comment link]
34. Militaris Artifex wrote:

3. Br. Michael,

You wrote

…TEC is fundamentally a lawless organization.

That has been a publicly demonstrated fact since the week before Lambeth 2008. These latest actions only serve to emphasize the point. A citation of the specific evidence of the PB’s seeming inability to tell the whole truth can be found in the copy of my letter of resignation from my Episcopal parish in early October of 2008. The evidence from an interview article published at Forbes Online, is detailed in the first bullet point in that letter. If anyone had similar evidence prior to the publication of the Forbes article, I am unaware of it, but I would gladly relinquish any claim to being the first to note it. In all honesty I must admit that I doubt her first public prevarication in 2008 was anything new. Such apparently natural duplicity as one regularly sees from her is most typically a very well-practiced skill.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

October 5, 12:13 pm | [comment link]
35. Catholic Mom wrote:

Well, if a Catholic bishop stated publically that the Catholic Church was seriously wrong in its theology, teaching, or practice, he probably wouldn’t experience too many more sunsets as a Catholic bishop.  That’s called discipline.  Of course, if the Episcopal Church had ever had this kind of discipline, it wouldn’t be where it is today. 

It got where it was today because it espoused the “big tent” theory whereby anybody could pretty much believe and say whatever they wanted—up to and including a complete repudiation of the most basic tenets of Christianity, and indeed of theism at all.  How fascinating that it has now suddenly decided to become more inquisitorial than the Catholics. smile

Of course, this kind of discipline only works in large organizations with a strong stable core.  Otherwise you just get schism after schism with a final hard core of 30 people left saying “well, at least we got rid of all our opponents.”  Given the numbers in TEC, these folks would appear to be seriously shooting themselves in the foot.

October 5, 12:18 pm | [comment link]
36. MotherViolet wrote:

Of course the Roman church has serious flaws in core doctrine and discipline which is why the reformation was necessary. At least the episcopal church recognizes that it too can be seriously flawed. SC is a voice for renewal not rebellion.

October 5, 12:23 pm | [comment link]
37. William Witt wrote:

The last thing I expected when I read these charges was to find myself chuckling.  The accusation of “abandonment of communion” is the usual trumped up nonsense, but Bishop Lawrence is accused of abandoning the communion because he compared TEC to kudzu and a sidecar on motorcycle? Heh. Heh, heh, heh.

October 5, 12:25 pm | [comment link]
38. David Hein wrote:

No. 36: “SC is a voice for renewal not rebellion.”

Well said, though I would affirm that DioSC is a voice for nothing other than consistency with mainstream Anglicanism, and what’s wrong with that?

October 5, 12:26 pm | [comment link]
39. Townsend Waddill+ wrote:

To Bishop Lawrence and all my friends in DioSC.  We love you dearly and are praying for you at this difficult time.

October 5, 12:27 pm | [comment link]
40. MotherViolet wrote:

I Peter 4:14 (The Message) If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they’re on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that’s a different matter. But if it’s because you’re a Christian, don’t give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!

October 5, 12:30 pm | [comment link]
41. Militaris Artifex wrote:

[17] New Reformation Advocate,

Your observation that

…there are none so illiberal as hardcore dogmatic liberal activists…

seems contradictory because it is. It is a consequence of the historical fact that those on the left whom we now commonly refer to as liberals have no philosophical connections to the historical liberalism of those such as the founders of this Republic. It is a well documented fact of American history that by about the end of the Wilson administration progressivism was falling into disrepute with the electorate. This made it very difficult for any progressive to be elected. Consequently, the progressives began self-identifying as liberals in order to preserve their chances of election to office. So, what you are really talking about is not liberals but progressives.

And, while some may say it makes no difference what you label someone, I would disagree. Liberalism was, at heart, about liberty. Progressivism is about mankind’s supposed progress and our established ascent to superiority over the prejudices and superstitions of our forebears. Given different starting premises, it should not be surprising that the resulting conclusions are, at least qualitatively, different. This should remind you, as Christians, of two biblical figures, referring, of course, to Adam and Eve.

Progressivism is the apotheosis of Original Sin, thinking that we, the creatures, can solve any problem becuase we are now so intelligent and wise. We no longer need God to reveal what is right and what is wrong. This is not to suggest that those on the right are not subject to prideful and arrogant blindness, it is merely to point out that the reason that the atrocities of the Left are so egregious is that the Left of today starts from the point of apotheosizing themselves. Those on the Right, particularly among Christians, start from the premise of Paul—the good that I would I do not; the evil that I would not, that I do. This serves at least as an initial check on the process for many on the Right.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

October 5, 12:36 pm | [comment link]
42. Paula Loughlin wrote:

Catholic Mom, your comparison is in serious error.  The structure of the Episcopal Church is not the same as the Catholic Church.  It is not heirarcharal with the BP serving the role of a Primate or of the Pope.  The Diocese of S.C. predates the formation of a a General Convention of the National Church and is a sovereign diocese in its own right.

It also needs to be noted that Bishop Lawrence is upholding the teachings of the Anglican Communion and it is the TEC that has abandonded those teachings.  A prime example is the official teaching on marriage. 

Your assertion that this is a legitmate action of church authority is misguided and shows a confusion about both the authority of the PB and the General Convention as well as the structure of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

October 5, 12:43 pm | [comment link]
43. Karen B. wrote:

Someone just sent me a PM, reminding me of these verses:

Matt 5:11-12
11   “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12   Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

What is ironic is that I and colleagues here in Africa were just using this passage in praying yesterday for a local believer (from a Muslim background) here in Africa who had been harassed by the police for her faith in Christ.

So, one day I’m praying this passage for a Muslim convert to Christ here in Africa, and the next day for Bishop Lawrence in SC.  Quite striking…

October 5, 12:50 pm | [comment link]
44. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Upon further reflection, I find most of these charges laughable, and I write that as a priest who has served on an Ecclesiastical Trial Court. The first three might actually have some substance, if one parses “Abandonment of the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship” enough.

Seeing as none of these have to do with Worship, that one doesn’t apply. Abandonment of the Doctrine of the Episcopal church is likewise suspect because one would have to prove that we actually have criteria for defining and enforcing any sort of coherent doctrine, which we clearly don’t. That leaves Discipline. That’s the wild card.

The rest of the charges are a charade. I mean, for instance, No. 4. A resolution naming the bishop as having the powers of a… bishop…Yeah, that’s subversive.

I like No 6…not having enough links on a website. I am unaware of any canon that mandates what one must put on a Diocesan or parish website, or even if dioceses must have websites.

No 8, telling the bishop how to do his job as to recognizing what mission is parish status? What’s that about?

I particularly like No. 9:
He’s obviously guilty if some other organization mentions him in a newsletter.  Does that include pictures of him performing a Pet Blessing in the Local Newspaper?

Numbers 10 and 11 are also rich: since when has descent been non-canonical? We have a right to individual conscience in the Anglican moral tradition. Certainly the leftover hippies in the House of Bishops were part of that outspoken protest generation.

The last one interests me for a number of reasons. Skipping diaconal ordination and going straight to Priestly ordination is a very contemporary (and chic) argument going on in academic circles in the Episcopal church. Most dioceses in the American church already don’t allow priests to serve as the deacon of the mass once they are ordained a priest, as if they stop being deacons at all. This is an interesting doctrinal conundrum. Another angle is that we are in full communion with churches that do not ordain deacons (ELCA, for example.) Food for thought on that one.

October 5, 12:56 pm | [comment link]
45. Katherine wrote:

The problem is that the new canon makes the PB’s office into a dictatorship, unlike any Episcopal precedent, and actually, unlike American Catholic practice as well.  Since a retired ECUSA bishop was targeted last week on allegations of adultery, and now this week +Lawrence on entirely trumped-up allegations, may we look forward to an inhibition against J.S. Spong, who has denied official ECUSA teaching for decades?

October 5, 12:58 pm | [comment link]
46. Catholic Mom wrote:

Paula, I agree with much of what you say.  I understand that there is a somewhat mixed structure in the Episcopal Church compared to the Catholic Church.  Indeed, the very names indicate the difference—centralized authority reaching everywhere throughout the world vs authority residing in a local bishop. 

On the other hand, it is certainly true that for a very long time, if not from the beginning of the founding of the Church of England, and certainly the founding of the U.S. Episcopal Church, Anglicans/Episcopalians felt themselves to be first members of a national church, and secondly members of a specific diocese.    People did not move from one part of the country to another and then investigate their new local diocese to see if they wanted to “convert” to that bishop and his teaching, as it were.  They assumed that an Episcopal Church some place in Minnesota was essentially the same Church they belonged to back in Kansas.  And this could only be because a diocese, by virtual of its association with a national organization, held itself out to be preaching, teaching, and believing pretty much whatever every other member diocese did.  (Or at least with some allowed variation between “low” and “high” churches.)  They had in common, the Book of “Common” Prayer which spelled out cleary in its liturgy and elsewhere what was both common belief and common practice.

There was nothing in place (or at least nothing seriously enforced) to ensure that that minimal degree of homogeneity be maintained, however, and, as we’ve seen, it wasn’t.

Of course the situation here is not essentially a concern with theology or practice.  Presumably Bishop Lawrence could practice anything from druidism to sede-vacantist Tridentine Catholicism and the leaders of TEC wouldn’t care.  It’s that the leaders of TEC feel that Bishop Lawrence has criticized the leaders of TEC, and that is something they are not going to tolerate.

October 5, 1:02 pm | [comment link]
47. Terry Tee wrote:

FWIW:  What do you think is the end=game?  Expulsion of the diocesan leadership from the TEC?  Declaration that the see is vacant?  And then attempts to seize the assets?  If this is the aim, whether or not it founders in the courts, our lawyer friends will pocket enormous sums that could be better used for the witness and mission of the church.  How very very sad that hierophants should undertake such actions.

October 5, 1:07 pm | [comment link]
48. Paula Loughlin wrote:

For the most part I agree with you Catholic Mom.  However I do find fault with “And this could only be because a diocese, by virtual of its association with a national organization, held itself out to be preaching, teaching, and believing pretty much whatever every other member diocese did. ”  I don’t believe that to be how most orthodox Episcopalians view the matter and I would love to see one of them reply if it would not take the thread off course.

October 5, 1:19 pm | [comment link]
49. Fradgan wrote:

The time for a shift in strategy has come.  Skilled attorneys battle the TEC monster in courtrooms across this nation, but the priests, deacons and laity had better begin actively protesting the loss of their great church.  Yes, our clergy and leaders will be accused of meanness and hate, but thoughtful people everywhere are presently being painted by that foul brush.  It is the time for courage.  It is time for un-Anglican shouting.  As for the TEC… off with her head.

October 5, 1:22 pm | [comment link]
50. episcoanglican wrote:

A few observations:
This strikes me as yet another major turning point in the folly of TEC. Kyrie eleison.
Reading the “charges” reminds me once again that God has given the Diocese of SC a great bishop to lead them at this time.
And sort of like a wedding invitation before the engagement is announced, welcome to the ACNA SC. We will be blessed by your regularized fellowship.
Finally, I suspect that by the time ++Duncan retires as archbishop, his successor will have become obvious to everyone. (You heard it here first.)
SC, you are in my prayers.

October 5, 1:25 pm | [comment link]
51. Br. Michael wrote:

44, Don’t look for law in any of this.  This is nothing more than the raw exercise of power.  TEC abandoned any pretense of law when it tortured the abandonment of communion canon to summarily and selectively depose targeted Bishops.

In such an organization made up law, creation of evidence and otherwise illegal summary procedure is as good as any other.  TEC actually makes the Court of Star Chamber look good.

October 5, 1:36 pm | [comment link]
52. Jordan Hylden wrote:

Utterly bizarre.  Extremely sad.  This is completely outrageous.  What can they possibly hope to accomplish?

October 5, 1:39 pm | [comment link]
53. sophy0075 wrote:

Regarding TEC allegations #10 and #11, may I respectfully suggest that Bishop Lawrence publish his beliefs (the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Creeds, the divinity of Jesus, Jesus’s bodily resurrection, the Bible as containing all things necessary for salvation, etc) and insist that TEC explain how these are at odds with TEC’s theology? Let us see TEC publish its heresies - and then the good people of DioSC (and others of the faithful still clinging to TEC) will perhaps finally recognize the apostasy of 815.

October 5, 1:40 pm | [comment link]
54. justice1 wrote:

This is not an attack on the diocese of South Carolina and her bishop, but it is an attack on the whole Church.  It’s time our parishes, and other like minded bishops and dioceses, as well as other churches and like minded denominations stood with +Lawrence, and the Diocese of South Carolina in a public and active manner. 

When TEC attacks one of her own, who have not left, and who are actually growing, and preaching the faith once delivered to the saints, we should see this is a warning to all of us.

October 5, 1:52 pm | [comment link]
55. Pb wrote:

There is legal precedent in TEC that they have no doctrine and hence cannot try someone for heresy. I believe the Pike trial was one. DSC has not approved of a Muslim priest or had smudging ceremonies. Look like only DSC can break the communion.

October 5, 1:54 pm | [comment link]
56. C. Wingate wrote:

Interestingly, Jim Naughton doesn’t seem to be in the loop on this one.

October 5, 2:03 pm | [comment link]
57. Bill Cavanaugh wrote:

As #44 said, Worship is not the issue here.  The Righter trial concluded that the Episcopal Church has no ‘core doctrine’ other than the Apostles Creed—nowhere can Bp Lawrence be convicted for that.  So what is left is “Discipline”—he is an unruly child needing to be punished.  Pathetic.

October 5, 2:20 pm | [comment link]
58. David Hein wrote:

Yes, but it’s still interesting that stronger action could end up being taken against Bp Lawrence than was taken against Bp Pike. How would a historian in 50 years net out this distinction? —that the Episcopal Church was more concerned about _______________ than about __________________?

To be honest, I doubt that in 50 years anyone will see historians paying much attention to the later history of TEC. Sad, but true.

October 5, 2:30 pm | [comment link]
59. aterry wrote:

My prayers for +Mark J. Lawrence, Paul C. Fuener+ and the faithful in S. Carolina.  I read this and can only think of tanks rolling into Prague.

October 5, 2:31 pm | [comment link]
60. Kendall Harmon wrote:

If I could please ask that if people choose to refer to the Presiding Bishop, they do it in a respectful manner.  Her last name is Jefferts Schori (yes, both words).  References that are not appropriate on this score will need to be edited.

Thank you.

[Slight edits have been made accordingly - Elf]

October 5, 2:33 pm | [comment link]
61. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

A few rather random comments relating to earlier posts above:

Martial Artist (#41),
Keith, I take your comment about the strange illiberalism of so-called liberals (or “progressives,” which is actually another good word they debase and abuse) as a friendly amendment.  I agree with you completely, as I often do.

Dr. Witt (#37) and Archer (#44),
I also agree with you guys about the sheer absurdity of some of these ludicrous charges.  It reminds me of the dictum of the ancient Greek playwright Euripides,  “Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad” (i.e., insane).

Finally, an addendum to my own #10 far above.  I’ve now looked up the Tolkien quote I was thinking of earlier.  It comes in The Return of the King, chapter 4, “The Seige of Gondor,” after Faramir returns to Minas Tirith and reports to his father Denethor, in the presence of Gandalf and Pippin.  As LOTR lovers may recall, once Faramir tells how Frodo is being led by Gollum into Mordor via Cirith Ungol (Shelob’s lair), the great wizard himself is momentarily afraid.  Later he explains his fears to Pippin privately:

Treachery, treachery.  I fear treachery of that miserable creature.  But so it must be!  Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.  It can be so, sometimes.”  (p. 815 in the magnificent hardbound one-volume 2004 edition of Houghton Mifflin).

I know it may seem cold comfort to our friends in DSC, but I strongly suspect that this may be the case here.  ++KJS runs a very high risk of unwittingly betraying herself with this reckless move.  And she may well succeed in doing good in ways that she never intended.  As in Gen. 50, where Joseph tells his brothers, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good…”  Such are the inscrutable ways of a sovereign God, whose thoughts and ways are as high above ours as the heavens are higher than the earth.

David Handy+

October 5, 2:37 pm | [comment link]
62. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

Dr. Harmon, I hope you leave this post at the top for at least two months.  If we readers/bloggers want to find the new posts to read, we can simply hunt the site. 

“He has abandoned the communion of this church. He has called it a ‘comatose patient’”. 

Well, I’ve called it worse.  Puh-leeze. 

Posts above are correct in that the RC/TEC polity are entirely different.  Agree with it or disagree with it, but the best thing about the RC Church is that it has not allowed its doctrine to be corrupted.  As opposed to the latter mess—deviate from the actual and international teachings of the Church, and then discipline those who DON’T deviate from those teachings. 

Big prayers, and also BIG FAT INTERCESSORY PRAYERS OF SPIRITUAL PROTECTION for Bishop Lawrence and DioSC. 

So, who’s next in her sight?

October 5, 2:43 pm | [comment link]
63. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

As for other orthodox bishops and dioceses left in TEC, such as +Love of Albany, +Stanton of Dallas, +MacPherson of W. La., +Smith of ND, +Martins of Springfield, or +Little of N. Ind., not to mention whoever is soon elected in Central Florida, and the standing committees of those faithful remnant dioceses, I would urge them to remember the famous words attributed to Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller, who rather belatedly stood up to Hitler and was arrested in 1937 and sent to a Nazi concentration camp.  His crime, according to Wikipedia was the in-credible (unbelievable) charge of “not being enthusiastic about the Nazi movement.”, which seems to be the real gist of the ridiculous charges levied against +Lawrence and DSC.

Anyway, the most widely accepted version of Niemoller’s wistful words goes like this:

“First they came for the communists,
  and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
  and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
  and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me,
  and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Let the Communion Partners all hang together here, or most assuredly they will all hang separately.

David Handy+

October 5, 2:51 pm | [comment link]
64. Brian from T19 wrote:

The obvious question is: what happens when charges are brought and the sovereign diocese simply ignores them? They have state courts on their side. What could TEC accomplish, other than to show they have ousted a Bishop and SC but have got stuck in the threshold doing so? This is the obvious question.

Well, I think this is the preliminary move.  Of course a deposition and removal of the SC will be the first step.  As for the courts, we need to really look at the situation.  The courts have said that an existing parish has the right to change denominations and take their property.  If the priest and SC are removed, then they are no longer the existing parish.  If +Katharine removes the priests and standing committees and they claim to still be members of TEC, she will then appoint new priersts and standing committees and forestall any property movement.

And another one entails PB/Chancellor over-reach, which the new Title IV enables. That is, what will even moderate Bishops make of this kind of use of power? Esp when TEC is itself now admitting major financial and polity issues.

Nothing.  It is too late for anyone to do anything.  They may be upset, but no one has the courage to attempt to inhibit +Katharine.

October 5, 2:52 pm | [comment link]
65. St. Nikao wrote:

Bishops who have tolerated Spong, Robinson, Andrus, Chane, Glasspool as bishops and Ragsdale as a dean won’t blink, flinch or gulp at this.  Not in the least.

October 5, 3:14 pm | [comment link]
66. Albeit wrote:

So, how long before they abandon the “P.B. term limitation?” Can ou imagine, a life filled with KJS?

October 5, 3:18 pm | [comment link]
67. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Addendum to my #61 above,

The precise biblical reference to that famous Joseph quote is Gen. 50:20.  A similar lesson can be gleamed, of course, from the familiar Rom. 8:28-29.  We have to believe that our almighty God will somehow work all things together for good here, as hard as it may be for us to imagine just how that may happen.

David Handy+

October 5, 3:29 pm | [comment link]
68. David Hein wrote:

A footnote to what to call the presiding bishop:

I notice that the current practice is to refer to her with two ++ s in front of her name. I think that’s a bad idea. She’s a bishop, period. One + should be enough. You can’t really add to that.

Furthermore, when the Episcopal Church started getting into this silly Most Reverend and Primate stuff, it only made the hierarchical regime in a diminishing denomination worse and, frankly, more ridiculous, and, perhaps to some, more offensive. The Protestant mainline has been sidelined, and denominational matters are not helped when vestments and hats are puffed up with hot air and high-sounding titles to offset the loss of societal impact.

That’s just the opinion of this humble historian, who has always thought that, for the American scene, “presiding bishop”  looked about right. And, similarly, +Jefferts Schori.

October 5, 4:06 pm | [comment link]
69. Spencer wrote:

Re: #17 David,
This is the quote of the day, “there are none so illiberal as hardcore dogmatic liberal activists”. Ironic but true. These are strange days indeed.

October 5, 4:11 pm | [comment link]
70. c.r.seitz wrote:

#64—what does this mean? “If the priest and SC are removed, then they are no longer the existing parish.  If +Katharine removes the priests and standing committees and they claim to still be members of TEC, she will then appoint new priersts and standing committees and forestall any property movement.”

Do you imagine that ecclesiatical ‘removal’ means vacating property/handing over assets to a ‘national church’? That seems implausible. The Diocese of SC (Bishops, SC, clergy) are not simply going to hand over their parishes to appointees.

I can’t follow your response above. Or do you mean: The PB will seek to get these properties by some new suits, overturning prior rulings?

You seem to conflate some kind of removal with vacating of property. The clergy, SC and Bishop are not going anywhere from what we have been told.

October 5, 4:28 pm | [comment link]
71. c.r.seitz wrote:

Professor Ephraim Radner has posted a response at ACI.

October 5, 4:41 pm | [comment link]
72. Fradgan wrote:

c.r., Do you have a link?

October 5, 4:50 pm | [comment link]
73. c.r.seitz wrote:

It’s here at T19.

October 5, 4:53 pm | [comment link]
74. Dick Mitchell wrote:

Prayers and best wishes for our friends in the Diocese of South Carolina. 
I suggest that those who wish to stand with the Diocese consider registering and attending the lively Mere Anglicanism Conference in Charleston in January.  See mereanglicanism.com.
Also, Kendall, please consider posting an address where folks who have the wherewithal may mail an unrestricted donation to the Diocese to assist with legal expenses.

October 5, 4:53 pm | [comment link]
75. Karen B. wrote:

I’ve not been following the Title IV changes closely in terms of the details of how the process now works.

I’m wondering just for reference and to provide context for prayer what the next steps might be, for instance, would the House of Bishops still have to vote to depose, or is there some way with the great authority under the new laws that KJS can act without the whole house of bishops?

October 5, 4:57 pm | [comment link]
76. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

OK, David Hein (#68).
I grant your point.  I repent and will henceforth use a single + before KJS.

And thanks, Spencer (#69), for the kind words. 
These are strange and momentous times indeed.  In fact, I’m inclined to see the cup as half full and not just as half empty.  Or to quote Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities,

It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.

Actually, the chaos of the French Revolution provides a rather apt analogy, since lawlessness and terror characterized that frightening period.  But if the dangers of the present time are blatantly obvious, it may perhaps be less clear that there are also golden opportunities for real change hidden in this crisis as well.  For the plain fact is that radical, lasting change is only possible in an organization as inherently conservative as the Church is when there is a widespread recognition that maintaining the status quo (always a popular idea) is simply impossible.

That’s why I continue to argue that we are actually in the early days of what may prove to be, if I’m right, nothing less than the Second Reformation.  The vast turmoil, bitter conflicts, and dramatic changes in alliances that we’re witnessing in Global North Christianity, and in the Anglican Communion in particular, are but the birth pangs (I beileve) of a whole new kind of Anglicanism that is just beginning to emerge into the light of day, a New Anglicanism that I hope and trust will be more soundly orthodox, and more rigorously disciplined, than anything we’ve yet seen in Anglican history.  As ++Duncan has aptly said, the old Elizabethan Settlement is finished, kaput.  The old Instruments of Communion/Unity have utterly failed us, and a whole new polity system will have to be devised at the international level.  And no one can yet predict just what form that new Global (Post-Colonial) Settlement will take (to use ++Duncan’s terms).

Or to put it in more biblical or spiritual terms, we’re dealing with death and resurrection here, at least potentially.  The old classical (colonial, Constantinian/Erastian) Anglicanism that we have rightly loved and cherished is in its death throes.  At least in terms of its weak system of discipline or polity above the diocesan level, and especially at the international level, those obsolete polity structures have to die in order to be replaced.  Likewise, the Achilles Heel of Anglicanism has always been, as Dr. Philip Turner has aptly diagnosed it, our over-adaptation to the cultural mainstream and the powers that be of this world (which has been alas true ever since Henry VIII claimed supremacy over the CoE and Cranmer servilely submitted to the subordination of the Church to the State). 

But all that doesn’t leave me dismayed.  Not at all.  For before there can be a resurrection, there must first be a death.

And we believe in a God who specializes in bringing life out of death.  That’s why I remain so hopeful about the prospects of what I love to call the New Reformation.  May it be so!

David Handy+

October 5, 5:00 pm | [comment link]
77. Karen B. wrote:

Ah, in follow up to my own #75, this new post at SF helps clarify a bit of what’s going on and a bit of the process:


October 5, 5:09 pm | [comment link]
78. ThinkingAboutItAll wrote:

Radner is right on! WordPerfect piece.  It is scandously beyond belief that KJS is counting everything that challenges her as, effectively, abandoning communion. Remember, I would add, it has been the self-assured intellectuals who were most responsible for the liberalization of attitudes and practices re: narcotics—we still live in the wreckage of that—and responsible for the utopianisms, and their massive destructions of life and liberty, in the 20th Century.  There is just no humility or trust in her IMHO. Never mind virtually nil discussion with, or response to, Mark Lawrence over the years.  And should we bring up the hypocrisy of allowing email consents to count in the election of +Virginia but not count in Lawrence’s'first election?


October 5, 5:09 pm | [comment link]
79. Karen B. wrote:

#78 writes:
It is scandously beyond belief that KJS is counting everything that challenges her as, effectively, abandoning communion.

Based on what Dorsey Henderson has written in a brief memo that is posted at Stand Firm, these charges came from within the Diocese (presumably the Episcopal Forum members) and NOT from KJS or the national church office. 

• Information was presented from communicants within the Diocese of South Carolina.

•The information was not brought forward by the Presiding Bishop’s office, or by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church. Therefore, the matter is not being handled by the Presiding Bishop’s office or anyone in the employ of the Episcopal Church Center.

see here:

So perhaps we should be a bit careful not to personalize this and make it out to be a personal war between PB Jefferts Schori and Bp. Lawrence.  I’m NOT denying 815’s involvement in this, but the info from Bp. Henderson is that this originated elsewhere.

October 5, 5:17 pm | [comment link]
80. c.r.seitz wrote:

It will be important to understand the significance of +Henderson’s remarks, as it is abundantly clear that the PB and others in the national church have been very involved up to this point in time. This is fully in the public record. Is he suggesting that they no longer have a grievance with +ML?
Also, we are going to have to watch closely as this Title IV juggernaut gathers steam. To intimate that the charges are simply being brought by a group of local plaintiffs may be technically true, but again, what of all the prior involvement of 815 in the Diocese?

October 5, 5:23 pm | [comment link]
81. Karen B. wrote:

That’s helpful perspective.  Thanks Dr. Seitz for helping us think through what Bp. Henderson is writing within the larger context of what’s gone before.  Yes, perhaps it is both/and.  It could be technically true that this was done within the diocese, but that does not yet exclude the involvement at some levels of the national leadership.

Time for me to call it a night here.  It’s getting late in my time zone.  I think my prayers will count for more than any other comments I might write.

October 5, 5:28 pm | [comment link]
82. trimom wrote:

Any word from the House of Deputies list-serve? Would love to know what the chatter is over there regarding the publication of this latest development.

October 5, 5:28 pm | [comment link]
83. c.r.seitz wrote:

Karen—I only know what is in the public domain, like you. I found +Henderson’s substance and timing a bit odd. It is not like a Review/Intake/Disciplinary committee has its hands tied. It did not have to write +Lawrence and indicate that charges were moving forward. That’s what it sounds like to me. We have over sixty pages of material here, as well as a SC Attorney asking for documents from the Diocese. On behalf of whom? Is she just acting alone?

I think this is why it is proper to think of Title IV as a juggernaut. And so to worry about our next season.

October 5, 5:41 pm | [comment link]
84. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

Those who have connections with Executive Council are asking members of Executive Council if they were aware of any action from within themselves, or of any action by the PB apart from themselves (their prior statements of “null and void” notwithstanding).  The Executive Council membership so surveyed - so far - are saying, “No.”
The rest is fairly typical of a one-sided conversation of the ascendent polity and theology:  “He had it coming.”
Isn’t that common fare for those seeking justification of their own opinions against those who would argue against, for whatever reason?  They don’t see that—if for no other reason (and that’s a big “if”)—TECUSA needs the South Carolinas for dynamic tension to prove any life at all.

I have to say, these are pretty specious items of public complaint even for the PB.  All that extraneous stuff (website links, etc.) will eventually disappear….but that it has to be dealt with at all shows extremely poor stewardship of the system in place (even the new Title IV) by those who submitted the complaint.
What seems to be missing in the implementation of Title IV at this early point is an investigative filter, prior to public notification, with no immediate detriment to the ministry of the person or institution being challenged.
What a mess.
Can you imagine the DeKoven/Ritualist situation with this Title IV in place back then?

October 5, 5:49 pm | [comment link]
85. Dick Mitchell wrote:

Fascinating that TEC (or Bishop Henderson) moved so quickly to clarify that these charges had come from local folks, and not explicitly from 815—lots of folks reading T19 today! 

There is a certain silly sophomoric quality to the charges.  I cannot imagine any high-paid “Philadelphia attorney” including the kudzu quotation—or counting DioSC website links.  Years from now, this may be recalled as the “kudzu case.”

October 5, 5:54 pm | [comment link]
86. Brian from T19 wrote:

You seem to conflate some kind of removal with vacating of property. The clergy, SC and Bishop are not going anywhere from what we have been told.

While the maxim “possession is 9/10 of the law” is still around, it has to do with legal control.  If the parish has no priest and standing committee (which it would not legally have) then they become squatters.  This applies to parishes, not the diocesan property.

October 5, 6:51 pm | [comment link]
87. St. Nikao wrote:

At another blog, a commentor said Bishop Lawrence was not the one who made the kudzu and other derisive remarks and gave the names of those who did.  You are right.  The list of complaints reads like a Junior High level quarrel.

October 5, 6:55 pm | [comment link]
88. St. Nikao wrote:

What is the mission parish that Bishop Lawrence has not acknowledged?  Is it a revisionist plant?

October 5, 6:57 pm | [comment link]
89. c.r.seitz wrote:

Thanks, #86, but I can’t follow you.
“This applies to parishes, not the diocesan property.”

October 5, 7:01 pm | [comment link]
90. Karen B. wrote:

I’ve now posted a list of the names of the Diocesan Standing Committee as a resource for prayer over at Lent & Beyond

October 5, 7:16 pm | [comment link]
91. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) wrote:

This and other quite vile actions emanating from 815 should be of not the slightest surprise, for they are merely the poisonous fruiting body arising from a long-standing and infectious rot.

Let us recall that at GC-2003 a rather straightforward resolution re-affirming the church’s traditional understanding of both scriptural authority and the role of the Holy Spirit in correcting error—B-001—was rather soundly defeated.

B-001 re-affirmed Articles VI and XX of the Articles of Religion, along with the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilatreal, and made the patently true statement that human councils err and can be set right by the Holy Spirit.

84 bishops of TEC voted against the resolution. Eighty-four. Bishops. VG Robinson was merely a symptom of pre-existing rot. As are KJS and her crew of thugs, henchmen, fellow travellers and useful idiots.

October 5, 7:30 pm | [comment link]
92. NCAnglican2 wrote:

It would seem that, although it would be sad, it would be a relief to no longer be fighting with the denomination to which one is clinging and be able to work with a larger province—ACNA—that is fully supportive, gospeling and missional.  The truth is the Dio of SC is in a sense at least “sleeping with the enemy” while associated with TEC.  Why not go ahead and get out of the bed instead of waiting to be kicked out?

October 5, 8:38 pm | [comment link]
93. Christopher Johnson wrote:

Strap in, Kendall.  It’s going to be an extremely rough ride.

October 5, 9:30 pm | [comment link]
94. Connie Sandlin wrote:

Technicality question:  Is it absolutely required for a man to be ordained a deacon before being ordained a priest?  In ACNA? TEO? Catholic Church?  I seem to remember church history about a layman who was dragged to the church to be consecrated a bishop?  Did I dream that?

October 5, 9:58 pm | [comment link]
95. Nikolaus wrote:

Many, many astute comments here.  I will restrict my observation to charge #12.  The issue is not that Chad was not a deacon first.  He was ordained a deacon in the ACNA, which TEC refuses to acknowledge.  TEC bears more charity toward Islam than it does to ACNA.  This charge is akin to the reason Bishop MacBurney was deposed - and I believe it was the sole charge against him.  Bp. MacBurney confirmed a class of confirmands in an ACNA parish.  Apparently performing any sacramental rite outside of TEC is sufficient reason for deposition.

I’m not intending this to be judgemental but, miserable sinner that I am, I prefer my odds at the Pearly Gates to the Presiding Bishop’s.

October 5, 10:19 pm | [comment link]
96. Henry wrote:

Connie (#94)—My understanding of the story you asked about…the Layman was ordained Deacon, Priest, and Bishop on the same day.  TEC & ACNA both have some time limits, such as serving for 6 months as a deacon, before being ordained priest.

October 5, 10:43 pm | [comment link]
97. Ralph wrote:

Normally, ordination to the priesthood requires consent from the commission on ministry, standing committee, and bishop. I would think that recognition of the diaconal ordination would be the decision of the diocesan bishop.

Interestingly, Chad Lawrence doesn’t seem to be listed in the online clergy directory at Church Publishing.

October 5, 10:55 pm | [comment link]
98. Connie Sandlin wrote:

Thanks, #96 Henry.

October 6, 12:20 am | [comment link]
99. Karen B. wrote:

We’ve got a bunch of prayers and resources posted now at Lent & Beyond.  Here’s the link to the “menu” of all the South Carolina-focused posts:


October 6, 7:05 am | [comment link]
100. NoVA Scout wrote:

I’m very sorry to see this happen and find it difficult to see any positive outcome, at least in the near term.  The facts presented in South Carolina present the National Church with significant challenges that force its hand.  Although I am assured by others that Bishop Lawrence is strongly dedicated to continuing his work within the Episcopal Church, events within the Diocese do lend themselves to the outward impression that the Diocese has been positioning itself to dismantle impediments to withdrawal from the National church structure.  Without some action to arrest those events, however misunderstood they may be by those not convinced of the Bishop’s determination to remain within the Church, the appearance that the Diocese is, as a unit, preparing to depart is something that requires a response.

I suppose the good news (if there be any good news whatsoever) is that the antidote to most of these charges is simply Bishop Lawrence’s profession of intent to remain within the structure of TEC and his explanation that the renunciation of the canons and governing instruments have reasonable purposes separate from any plan to depart and to claim property.  I am assured that he can make those statements without reservation and, absent contradictory evidence, I would think that would be the end of it.  Whatever forum there is to hear this kind of thing also provides a Diet of Worms moment for the Bishop, in which he would, I suspect, be very effective and can provide a strongpoint within the around which more traditional worshippers can coalesce.  In reviewing the charging paragraphs posted by Dr. Harmon, items 10 and 11 seem to be merely statements that there are differences of opinion about the wisdom of TEC’s course over the years.  That, in itself, is no grounds for ecclesiastical discipline in a church within the Anglican tradition.  The other charges (leaving to one side the strange issue of the ordination of the Bishop’s son - something about which I know nothing and have no views - it appears just to be a make-weight tossed on the pile) are ones that assuredly have some other explanation than intent to separate from the Church, given Bishop Lawrence’s continued loyalty to TEC. 

The reason these events force the national church’s seemingly heavy hand is that there have been instances in other dioceses and at the parish level where clergy have remained in place long after they reached the internal tipping point that led them to conclude they should re-affiliate with other denominations.  They then worked from within to undermine their diocesan structures and to enhance claims to property and other legal positions preparatory to departure.  Those actions are dishonorable and dishonest at their core.  Once one knows that in good conscience he must go somewhere else, he must leave.  The Church authorities have no choice but to act decisively against that kind of scheming.  But those I know who know the internal workings in the Diocese of South Carolina have told me with some conviction that departure is not this Bishop’s intent and that he can be counted on to stand firm within the Church.  I think that all points to ultimate vindication here, despite the appearances created by the actions mentioned in the first nine charging paragraphs.

October 6, 7:37 am | [comment link]
101. robroy wrote:

I would bet you a cup of coffee, NoVa Scout, that +Lawrence will be found guilty. The TEO is sawing off the tree limb that it is sitting on, cutting off the blood supply that gives it nourishment. There will be no life in it, whatsoever. The United Church of Christ didn’t have this rancor and is declining faster than the TEO, and the TEO is trying its best to be the UCoC. I don’t fault the leaders of the TEO. Schori is naturally arrogant and ruthless with no mind for the consequences other than centralizing her power. I fault the liberal laity, who can see the UCoC and others, who see the arrogance of Schori and ignore it and think the outcome for the TEO will be different, and then act surprised when their parish closes.

October 6, 7:57 am | [comment link]
102. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#100 NoVA Scout

Well, that’s all very soothing and self-justifying but akin to “he looked at me so I had to smash his face in” - but a line I am reading on a number of blogs to justify this outrageous act emanating from the PB and her chancellor, albeit using stooges, and the carefully prepared complaint package being bandied about last year by the Episcopal Forum here.  It read and this complaint reads exactly like what it was - something put together by the litigation factory.

I note how Bishop Dorsey Henderson goes to some effort to parse his words to claim that the PB, Beers and his firm, Goodwin Proctor have neither brought this complaint nor are involved in the review process.  As important is what he does not say, that these bodies have not been fully apprised, participated in, and encouraged and assisted the bringing of this complaint.  The ommission is as glaring as what he did say.

So to claim:
1. “The facts presented in South Carolina present the National Church with significant challenges that force its hand” and “the appearance that the Diocese is, as a unit, preparing to depart is something that requires a response” is very much in the “who you looking at Jimmy” category which required a Glaswegian kiss;
2. That when Bishop Lawrence and the diosesan authorities maintained that there is no intention to leave the Episcopal Church that leaves open their intention to leave; as some on other blogs are claiming a “right wingers plot to leave” is a direct contradiction of what has been said by the Bishop; and
3. That Bishop Lawrence will be fine if he is innocent with presenting himself at the offices of the Inquisition
frankly sounds like a set of talking points from TEC’s propaganda department - a set of talking points I am reading all over the place.

No, the obvious answer is the simplest - the paper trail leads back to KJS, Beers and his firm, and the pattern has been established in the “acceptances of renunciation” and the depositions initiated by KJS, Beers and Goodwin Proctor we have seen in the past.  The only differences are that:

1. The disciplinary rules in Title IV have been changed in July to spread a veneer of process and legality over actions which they formerly undertook disregarding the provisions and procedures under their own canons;

2. They have progressed from deposing departed bishops and clergy, to attacking a sitting bishop of the Episcopal Church who rebuffed their attempts to interfere in the diocese last year; and

3. Their litigation factory is now in full swing collecting information for future use by the Committee of Public Safety against remaining clergy and bishops in the Episcopal Church who resist the centralising and controlling efforts of the Presiding Bishop.

It stinks to high heaven, and so do the talking points being put out and from what I have heard from England, I am not alone in being outraged.

The peculiar thing is that all this is happening to the one diocese in TEC whose membership has grown, is doing a wonderful job of ministry, and has got its act together for evangelism.  Instead, while TEC is closing cathedrals, losing members, raiding its endowments to litigate, building a litigation factory, shrinking evangelism and losing seminaries, the determination to eat itself has come to dominate.  What do I hear?  It sounds very much like a death-rattle.

October 6, 8:41 am | [comment link]
103. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Some early reaction from over here from John Richardson:
and from New Zealand, Peter Carrell:

October 6, 9:20 am | [comment link]
104. c.r.seitz wrote:

The Lead is saying the charges were not brought by Episcopal Forum of SC.
Why won’t anyone take clear responsibility for this?

October 6, 9:26 am | [comment link]
105. WestJ wrote:

I am reminded of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:10
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

Substitute TEC for Israelites and you just about have it.
Yet God is in control and will not be mocked. This is a trying time for us in SC, but I trust +Mark’s leadership and that God’s will will be done.

October 6, 9:36 am | [comment link]
106. SC blu cat lady wrote:

#53, Sophy. There is plenty of information on the diocesan website. Why should he go to the trouble of doing this? He has made his views clear.  Remember the bishop votes like any other clergy member in a convention. His votes are recorded in the official record of the diocesan convention. Many of these votes have been by “order” meaning that there is a roll call and as names are read, that person says how s/he vote (remember there are women who are delegates to the convention) and that vote is recorded. Here is the diocesan website if you want to look for such records of our diocesan conventions.

While you are there, please read the many sermons and other writings from Bishop Lawrence. These especially make it clear what he thinks and in whom he places his faith.

October 6, 9:40 am | [comment link]
107. Br. Michael wrote:

And, make no mistake, the AC and the ABC, which, through effective sanctions, could have prevented this, did nothing and will continue to do nothing.  If that are not placing the wood around the stake, they are at least holding the match.

October 6, 9:45 am | [comment link]
108. SC blu cat lady wrote:

#104 To which I say baloney! They knew exactly what they were doing when they informed the executive council. They can claim that they are not responsible all day long. However, their own web site makes it very clear that informing the executive council, the Presiding Bishop, and others in positions of power at 815 has been going for years!!! They can deny all they want but their website tells a very different story. Believe me they are responsible! They may not want to admit it but they are.

October 6, 9:59 am | [comment link]
109. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#104 Professor Seitz

The Lead is saying the charges were not brought by Episcopal Forum of SC.

I have no knowledge, but the suggestion is that the charges were made by members of the Episcopal Forum who are also involved in St. Mark’s Chapel, Port Royal [note the complaint that the bishop will not approve as a mission this church plant established without his approval!]

Why won’t anyone take clear responsibility for this?

Well let’s see:

1. The Episcopal forum says it has not brought the complaint itself, but does not say its members didn’t

2. Bishop Dorsey Henderson says the Presiding Bishop did not bring the complaint, but does not say she or her office was not involved in or approved or encouraged or assisted the bringing of the complaint:

The information was not brought forward by the Presiding Bishop’s office, or by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church. Therefore, the matter is not being handled by the Presiding Bishop’s office or anyone in the employ of the Episcopal Church Center.

3. Bishop Dorsey Henderson says the Presiding Bishop’s chancellor Beers is not retained to assist the disciplinary board, but does not say he or Goodwin Proctor or those they have seconded to the litigation factory were not involved in or approved or encouraged or assisted the bringing of the complaint, nor that they are not retained by the Presiding Bishop in relation to this matter:

In situations as this, the “church attorney” is an attorney who is retained by the Disciplinary Board to investigate cases brought to the Disciplinary Board. The “church attorney” is not the chancellor to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Why will no one take responsibility?

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
John 3:19-20

October 6, 10:04 am | [comment link]
110. LumenChristie wrote:

Why is anybody the least tiniest bit surprised or upset by this?  Everyone always knew this was coming—if they opened their eyes at all or used 2 or 3 brain cells.  This scorched earth policy was always part of the plan—“We want those pesty conservatives OUT” has been said out loud for years.

Don’t bother trying to figure our who is “responsible.”  Everybody who is in this Game ultimately has the same experience.

Just go.  In the words of e. e. cummings:  There is a perfectly good universe next door.”

October 6, 10:05 am | [comment link]
111. c.r.seitz wrote:

Thanks for laying this out Pageant. It is important that everyone understand that a good deal of scrambling is going on, and that the Title IV process—without adult supervision of some kind—is going to turn into a mess (#110—something everyone here knows already and predicted; at issue is getting the facts as clearly before us as can be done).

October 6, 10:12 am | [comment link]
112. Kendall Harmon wrote:

In terms of the “charges,” let me say this.  Note that the 63 page document is an addendum, it is an addendum to a letter, we do not know from whom and we haven’t seen said letter.

Let us also be clear that if the powers that be WANTED to, they could make clear that they wanted these charges and this process not to proceed and it would be quashed. Over. End of story.

Sometimes it is not only what is happening but what is not happening that is part of the picture.

I of course write this for myself and in no official capacity whatsoever.

October 6, 10:22 am | [comment link]
113. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

A brief detour backwards to earlier posts.

First, an addendum to my own earlier #63, where I urged the Communion Partner bishops and dioceses to hang together or hang separately.  I inadvertently left out +Bauerschmidt of TN from the list, but it wasn’t intended as a complete list anyway.  However, I’d now add that the Communion Partner rectors need to weigh in as well.  For the handwriting on the wall is very clear: outspoken conservatives who buck the system and stand in the way of the New Thing will be banished to Timbuktu (or worse).  So much for inclusivity.

Secondly, responding to Connie Sandlin’s question way back in #94, I think you may be recalling the famous story of St. Ambrose, the great Bishop of Milan in the late 4th century.  If so, it’s even more interesting a story than most people realize, for before his election as bishop Ambrose wasn’t even a layman.  He was only a catechumen. 

As the Roman governor of the province, Ambrose necessarily had to engage in some violent punishment of criminals and other unsavory things that back then were thought incompatible with being a Christian at all (much less a minister) and that therefore inhibited him from going ahead and being baptized, although he was already a believer in Christ (his sister was a famous nun).  But when chosen bishop, Ambrose resigned his high political position, and was apparently rushed through baptism and through the orders of being made a deacon, priest, and bishop in a matter of a few days (although the historical record is actually unclear on the details).

However, there is clear evidence that in the patristic period (before AD 600) some people were ordained directly as priests without serving as deacons first (the notion that the diaconate is a probationary step toward the priesthood is really a medieval development).  Likewise, there is clear historical evidence that in the early patristic era, some deacons were made bishops without being priests first.  That is especially true of Rome, where several popes were (arch)deacons but never priested before their consecration as bishops.

The whole evolution of the ministerial offices is more complicated than most people realize.  So you’re not alone, Cionnie, in your confusion or hazy memories about these matters.

David Handy+

October 6, 10:25 am | [comment link]
114. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Kendall (#112),

You’re absolutely right.  Glad you weighed in.

It reminds me of the great Sherlock Holmes’ mystery, The Hound of the Baskervilles, which was a case the immortal sleuth solved precisely because he fully realized how important a fact it was the a dog DIDN’T bark.

David Handy+

October 6, 10:39 am | [comment link]
115. David Hein wrote:

No. 114: I thought that was in the story “Silver Blaze.”

October 6, 10:44 am | [comment link]
116. Connecticutian wrote:

Re NoVa Acout in #100 - My impression is that a potential aggressor (TEC) has behaved in a threatening manner, and the threatened party (DioSC) has begun taking an assertively defensive posture.  If there is no agression, then the defensive posture is harmless.  To use the defensive posture as justification for the aggression is circular and (IMHO) stupid.

Granted, some may not perceive DioSC as being assertively defensive, and therefore conclude it “must be” an exit strategy.  In that case, you might be right that a clear assurance from +Lawrence would do the trick.  But that ignores the history: A significant minority of TEC never wanted +Lawrence consecrated in the first place, and he HAS made such assurances over and over.  They will not listen, they will not grant him the least charity and goodwill that would take him at his word.

October 6, 10:56 am | [comment link]
117. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

David Hein (#115),

Perhaps the motif occurs in both stories.  I admit that I don’t know “Silver Blaze,” but the idea of a dog that doesn’t bark is definitely central to the classic Sherlock Holmes’ tale.

David Handy+

October 6, 11:01 am | [comment link]
118. Connecticutian wrote:

If I hadn’t already left TEC as a senior warden, I think this would probably do it for me personally.

But if I were still in TEC, I would be writing to my bishop and standing committee to forcefull object, and expect them to do the same.  And I would be contacting my diocesan convention delegates to put forth a resolution to escrow the diocesan contribution to TEC until it drops this witch hunt.

(That would be tilting at windmills here in CT, but if enough moderate dioceses pinched the cash flow, it might make an impression.  As someone above hinted, a diocese shouldn’t have to be a friend of DioSC or +Lawrence to see that this is abusive.)

October 6, 11:06 am | [comment link]
119. Ralph wrote:

On reflection, it occurs to me that if young Chad Lawrence was ordained in ACNA and did pastoral training in an ACNA parish, then +Mark’s ordaining him as a priest in TEC is merely further affirmation that +Mark plans to remain active in TEC. Otherwise, he could have let his son remain in ACNA. Instead, he’s a curate in a large, thriving TEC parish in Beaufort.

October 6, 11:31 am | [comment link]
120. c.r.seitz wrote:

Kendall is spot-on. There is a level of vagueness in this that requires careful attention. Email members of the Disciplinary committee and ask for a response.

October 6, 11:48 am | [comment link]
121. c.r.seitz wrote:

PS—you apparently can’t ordain a Priest an ACNA deacon, but you could a RC one, and you can receive a serial sex abuser into Holy Orders in TEC.

October 6, 11:49 am | [comment link]
122. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

Connie, (98),
Ambrose, Bp of Milan, at age 35 or so.
He had been a catechumen; so add baptism to the list.  Baptized, ordained deacon, then priest, then bishop.
Incredibly influential person in the Arian/Catholic struggles in Italy and the Western Church.
Side note:  it would have been like electing the son of the Pres of the USA.  His father (when he died at an early age, as did Ambrose) was prefect of Gallia.

October 6, 11:53 am | [comment link]
123. William Witt wrote:

After a day’s thought, the most bizarre aspect of these charges seems to be the objection that Bishop Lawrence ordained his son Chad as a priest after Chad had first been ordained as a Deacon in ACNA.  One wonders what theology of orders is operating here.  Is TEC claiming that ordinations conducted by ACNA bishops are not valid?  I have heard enough TEC apologists refer to Augustine and Donatism that they should be familiar with the theology here.  Is TEC going to expand this principle to refuse to recognize diaconal ordinations of Roman Catholics or Orthodox clergy?

Here in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the mantra of the TEC diocese is that clergy who have left TEC for ACNA are always welcome to return.  Fine.  Ignoring for argument’s sake, the question of who is the legitimate Anglican bishop of San Joaquin, Chad Lawrence was a member of that Diocese when they withdrew from TEC.  My understanding is that he was subsequently ordained deacon in ACNA, and was then ordained priest in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, making the appropriate promises to “be loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them” and “to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church.” So, what’s the problem?  Does TEC not take seriously its own offer that those who have left are always welcome to return?

October 6, 12:26 pm | [comment link]
124. Grant LeMarquand wrote:

Chris - I emailed a member of the Disciplinary committee - he won’t talk. Everything (as Dorsey Henderson has said) is confidnetial.

October 6, 12:31 pm | [comment link]
125. Milton Finch wrote:

Well, now that the nest has been kicked, I think that whoever is perceived as kicking it is finding out quickly that them ain’t hornets coming out like they usually were.  Instead, they are seeing African Killer Bees swarm.  They ain’t as friendly as hornets and they are much better organized.

October 6, 12:43 pm | [comment link]
126. C. Wingate wrote:

re 123: The argument apparently is that ACNA’s orders are not recognized, presumably because acknowledging ACNA’s orders would imply acknowledging the authority of ACNA’s bishops to ordain someone.

October 6, 12:47 pm | [comment link]
127. In Texas wrote:

121. c.r.seitz, just to follow up on the “what you don’t hear is important topic”.  I think it’s telling that there is very little chatter on the HOB/D List Serve on these charges.  Just recently someone from the SC Episcopal Forum wrote in regarding the upcoming SC convention and the changes in the C and C.  There was also discussion how they had gone to the Executive Council to have them declare the changes “null and void”.  Now, there is almost no discussion on the list serve about these charges, and especially silent are the Executive Council posters.  NOTE: Before anyone from the list serve chastises me, the above discussion re: the list serve is clearly in the public domain, since I am referencing publically known facts and the last item is only stating what is NOT being discussed.

October 6, 1:08 pm | [comment link]
128. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Two further thoughts following on from my #109

1. Given Canon Harmon’s confirmation at #112 that the covering letter from the complainant has not been disclosed to the diocese, then this is rather reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition charges about the process undertaken by Bishop O’Neill in Colorado against the priest at Grace and St Stephen’s.  The accuser and the accusation was kept from the accused and his lawyers notwithstanding the actions Bishop O’Neill undertook.  Whatever the merits of the accusation, and certainly one has to accept the civil proceedings which followed as fair, this bizarre Ecclesial procedure brought a huge, and a remaining question mark over the whole diocesan proceedings to the outside world.  It looks as if in this procedure the same error is being repeated.  In any disciplinary proceedings the complaint and the accuser must be disclosed to the accused.

2. If indeed the accusers are based at St Mark’s Chapel, Port Royal which seems to have been started outside the Diocese of South Carolina, with retired clergy, although it is not clear whether licenced or not, and contains congregants not necessarily Episcopalians, then it gets even more irregular.

Suppose for example, I invited my Baptist and Methodist friends to my sitting room on a Sunday morning, persuaded a retired priest who has moved locally to lead us in worship, hold communion and so on without the approval of my bishop, would it be in order for me to complain to the church of England and seek the removal of my bishop when he did not comply with my demand to set up an alternative parish plant on an existing parish, without reference to the rector, and outside the diocese?  What do you imagine the reaction of the Church of England would be? 

Is that the situation here, in St Mark’s Chapel, Port Royal [isn’t that where the pirates had their capital?] - that some Episcopalians have contacted the national church structures in New York, perhaps been assisted in drawing up a complaint, and are being supported as a church plant of the Presiding Bishop outside the diocese of South Carolina?  What would you call that - border crossing? 

When the complaint is said by Bishop Dorsey Henderson to be by by “communicants”:

Information was presented from communicants within the Diocese of South Carolina

Communicants is an odd term to use, and an odd group to complain - but it seems to match St Mark’s description of themselves, although it is not clear how many members of St Mark’s house church really are Episcopalians, or indeed whether a majority are, and whether they do themselves follow the discipline and doctrine of the Episcopal Church.  Since they have been operating outside of and without the consent of the Episcopal Diocese and its bishop, it prima facae suggests that they do not and indeed are operating in breach of it.  Perhaps Bishop Dorsey Henderson can clarify [to The Lead as his publicity office if he wishes] what if any the legal standing [Locus Standi] of the complainants is when they operate outside the Episcopal Diocese, and there is a question whether they regard themselves as subject to the doctrine and discipline of the Episcopal Church.

No wonder no one wants to accept responsibility and keep it all secret - it is straight out of Alice in Wonderland.

Is this what the PB, Mr Beers, Goodwin Proctor and so on have prepared and handed to Bishop Dorsey Henderson to cook up?  It has the KJS stamp all over it of lawlessness and chutzpah we saw with the lack of transparency and deceit shown over her failure to do due diligence on a serial child abuser who she ordained, and then refused to answer questions on.

Is this what is going on here?

October 6, 1:12 pm | [comment link]
129. Kendall Harmon wrote:

Re: Chad Lawrence:


on page 9 is a picture of Chad and a brief description of what he is up to

October 6, 1:28 pm | [comment link]
130. Don C wrote:

#97 Ralph said: Interestingly, Chad Lawrence doesn’t seem to be listed in the online clergy directory at Church Publishing

I could have sworn Fr Lawrence was listed before but perhaps not. They do, however, still have a listing for one of the folks commenting here that left for ACNA a few years ago.

October 6, 1:29 pm | [comment link]
131. Jackson wrote:

Read through the comments above-I came to Anglicanism 6 years ago so I don’t know how this process works. Could someone take a stab at the most likely steps from here to finish and general timeline? My assumption is that +Lawrence is found guilty (though I think he is not), lawsuits are filed, the diocese leadership and churches join ACNA and then 815 installs a new bishop. Is that how it will probably go?

October 6, 1:42 pm | [comment link]
132. Mark Baddeley wrote:

On reflection, and reading various comments, particularly ones focusing on the ordaining of +Lawrence’s son, Chad, like at #123, and the ones commenting on points 10 and 11 of the first page of the pdf (+Lawrence’s theological criticisms of TEC) like my comment at #4 and those who drew the parallel with +Pike and +Spong, I wonder if we’re missing the substance of the point here.

The accusation is not that +Lawrence has believed the wrong thing by speaking out against the gospel of inclusion.

Nor is it that he has done something that should not/cannot be done - ordain someone as a priest in TEC who is a deacon in another denomination, as though TEC is saying ‘Chad wasn’t a real priest.

No, it is that these are signs of ‘abandoning communion’ with TEC. By saying that TEC is fundamentally wrong in what it is doing, and so differentiating South Carolina from TEC, +Lawrence has abandoned communion with TEC.

By maintaining a friendly and cordial relationship with ACNA - not doing everything in his legal power (and bluffing beyond that when that was lacking) to weaken ACNA: chase departing parishes in the courts despite the certainty of a loss, bullying parishes into not having links on their websites with ACNA, happily ordaining his son who was deaconed in ACNA - he has abandoned communion with TEC. That is, a stance of absolute hostility towards ACNA up to the full extent of ones legal powers (and a bit beyond) is a necessary part of being part of TEC. Ordaining as priest a deacon from ACNA (especially one’s own son), when taken with the rest of the ‘evidence’, shows too much closeness towards ACNA. And that is automatically evidence of not being in communion with TEC.

So, if this is roughly right, TEC is being consistent (infernally so, but consistent). This isn’t about doctrine or about recognizing when someone is truly a deacon in Christ’s church (as opposed to just the Anglican Communion). It’s nothing as substantial as that.

It’s about the fact that you can’t be in communion with TEC if you disagree with what it is doing to the degree that +Lawrence has said. And you can’t be in communion with TEC if you are in communion with ACNA - it has to be one or the other.

If Lawrence had simply said ‘the gospel of inclusion is utterly wrong and heretical’ then (I presume) TEC would (more or less) shrug. But to say, ‘most of TEC is wrong’ is beyond the pale.

What this reminds me of is the reaction to Martin Luther by the Renaissance Church hierarchy. One gets the impression that he would have gone unnoticed or possibly unopposed if he had simply said in the abstract, “salvation is by grace alone through faith alone” or “the Bible is the sole authority in the Church”. It was saying that the Pope was in error, and that the practice of indulgences was fundamentally wrong was what caused the heat.

Something very similar seems to be happening here - a revisionist version of “no salvation outside the church, so have your views, but you must submit the authority of the leaders if you will be ‘saved’ - don’t radically challenge us, and don’t oppose a course of action that we have personally promoted.”

October 6, 1:43 pm | [comment link]
133. okifan18 wrote:

Does anyone even know if Bishop Lawrence ordained Chad Lawrence at the service when he became a priest? I recall him coming in as a deacon and there were a bunch of bishops at that service.

October 6, 1:46 pm | [comment link]
134. LumenChristie wrote:

And the Band played on.


October 6, 1:52 pm | [comment link]
135. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

I am trying to get my head around this.  From the link in Canon Harmon’s comment at #129

Chad Lawrence (MDiv 2009) serves as Curate at The Parish Church of St. Helena in Beaufort, South Carolina, a two-year appointment.
Chad is, in fact, the first curate in recent history at St. Helena. “St.
Helena has experienced a lot of growth and is a vibrant ministry
with a strong vestry and clergy,”
Chad shared. “Their vision is to be like the church in Antioch [Acts
13]: to pray, equip, send, and go. In particular they want to equip and send young clergy,” he continued.
In his curate’s role, Chad has been allowed experience in every aspect of the church’s ministry.
“It’s really like a mentorship,” he explained. “Instead
of being the only clergy in a small church, I have the opportunity to participate in all ministry areas but with the helpful oversight of more experienced clergy. So, I’m invited to preach, teach, celebrate, counsel, deal with budget and membership matters, participate in marriages and funerals – but all without having
everything on my shoulders alone.”

So far from missing, Chad Lawrence is serving as a curate at St Helen’s Beaufort, an Episcopal Church in the diocese.

But there is more - the congregants, some of whom may be communicants of St Mark’s Chapel say:

St. Mark’s celebrated its sixth anniversary in November 2009.  During those six years we have made several attempts to be recognized officially in the Diocese as a mission.  Our first venture was a meeting with clergy and wardens of St. Helena’s Episcopal Church (the only Episcopal Church in northern Beaufort County) to discuss the possibility of becoming a parochial mission of that parish.  By mutual concurrence, vast theological differences precluded such a relationship.

So, St Mark’s house church had planted themselves in the parish of St Helen’s Beaufort.  They then belatedly went to St Helen’s Beaufort and asked to become a mission of the parish they had set up in.  Now it turns out that Bishop Lawrence’s son is serving a curacy in the parish which turned the house church down, and they have attacked him and his father in response.

Is that the story - very local nastiness and rivalry and an attack on a young man starting his ministry in the Episcopal Church as a way of having a go at his father?    What has the PB and her Chancellor stepped into?

October 6, 2:03 pm | [comment link]
136. Karen B. wrote:

Ah such rich, but sad irony.  I’m just now skimming through the 63 pages of attachments found on the DSC website, after not having time for them yesterday.

In one of the attachments, an article by Bp. Lawrence entitled “the axe-swinging isn’t working,” +Mark writes:

My concern here is that as the church’s polity is felled only a few bother to cry “timber.”

I have space to raise three concerns, and these briefly: the presiding bishop’s threat to our polity -litigious and constitutional; the revisions to the Title IV canons; and, finally, a passing word about inhibitions and depositions to solve our theological/spiritual crisis.

And now the axe is being wielded at him even though he was writing to try and help SAVE TEC from destruction…

You can read it all here:

October 6, 3:18 pm | [comment link]
137. Albany+ wrote:

Really, what is it about the liberal mind that it cannot tolerate dissent?

October 6, 4:00 pm | [comment link]
138. c.r.seitz wrote:

#127—and what do you make of this? Don’t I recall a posting—was it AS Haley—saying that the Executive Council had a sub-committee that made a pronouncement on Diocese of SC (perhaps in response to what you cite)? Is there some reason it is important to distance itself from this?
There’s an awful lot of scrambling around. Pageant has noted several key turns of phrase in Henderson’s memo.

October 6, 4:06 pm | [comment link]
139. Militaris Artifex wrote:

137 Albany+,

If you consider my argument at comment 41, above, you might chalk up the phenomenon you observe to them having their overweening opinion of themselves, and of their vaunted intellectual and moral superiority, challenged, thereby threatening the validity of their self-apotheosis.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

October 6, 6:44 pm | [comment link]
140. jamesw wrote:

Given the absolute absurdity of these proceedings against Lawrence, and given the denials by the PB and her proxies of involvement despite everyone’s knowledge that they most certainly WERE involved in everything up to the official complaint, what do people think of the following suggestion?  For the record, I don’t believe that the PB is either intelligent enough, subtle enough, nor sophisticated enough to do this, but it is an intriguing scenario.

Suppose that the PB and her proxies set up the case against Lawrence and then pass it on to a group of low level minions to prosecute.  This gives the cover of plausible deniability to the PB.  The PB makes it (unofficially) clear to Henderson that the charges against Lawrence are to move forward and are to be approved of by all bodies until the charges arrive at her door.  Then she spends some time reviewing the charges, and then makes an announcement that although she is deeply concerned by the charges, and basically agrees that they are warranted, she nevertheless will stop them from proceeding and “save” Lawrence from deposition.

Why would she do such a thing? 
1) By letting the charges proceed up the line to her office, she would establish the centralizing precedent that she makes the call.  Indeed, by declining to depose Lawrence she would be doubling the precedent that she is all powerful.  Remember the the power to show “mercy” demonstrates at the same time, the power to not have shown “mercy.”
2) She would succeed in chilling the atmosphere for all remaining conservative jurisdictions in TEC, because it would be abundantly clear that Lawrence could have been deposed, but wasn’t due to the PB’s whim.  Showing last minute “mercy” would likely do more to bring the remaining conservatives to heel, than would deposition.
3) She would strike an important international PR victory in that the international liberals would be able to argue that the PB is really being unduly tolerant of conservatives, the ABC could spin this as a sign of TEC’s tolerance and moderation, while conservatives would be denied the issue which might rally them.

It is interesting speculation, but, in the end, I don’t think that this is the probably scenario.  Everything I have seen from the PB suggests to me that she is not nearly as bright as her supporters claim her to be, she is brutal and lacks subtlety when prosecuting her pogroms against her ecclesiastical opponents.

October 6, 8:02 pm | [comment link]
141. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Hey All,
The curmudgeon has a great post up about the confusion about what is going on and who is doing what. He agrees with Kendall+ that letter is not available.  We just don’t have it. Now the curmudgeon does state that if these complaints come from within the diocese as +Dorsey Henderson states, then it is likely that the Episcopal Forum of SC is involved whether indirectly or directly. I agree it is nearly certain that they are involved in some manner.

IF these charges come from St. Mark’s Port Royal as a group, then it is NOT from within the diocese as they are not part of the diocese as a mission or a parish. It could be that some members of St. Mark’s who are or have been members of a parish in the diocese have made these complaints.  I think it is highly likely that some members of the Forum were/are involved in either encouraging members of St. Mark’s to make these complaints or individual members of the Forum made the complaints.  There is always the possibility that there are Forum members at St. Mark’s. I think Barbara Mann’s comment to the Charleston Post and Courier is quite telling.

Barbara Mann, chairwoman for the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina, a group that is “working for unity and inclusion within the diocese,” said the recent flurry of correspondence was meant to inform the parties of one another’s position, not instigate legal action.”

Who is the we? The Episcopal Forum of SC. Of course! You can bet that they are involved in some manner whether they admit it or not.

It is intriguing to consider that these charges are from some members of St. Mark’s Port Royal and this is their way at getting back at St.  Helena’s Beaufort and also at Bishop Lawrence for not giving them mission status. If so, then Bishop Lawrence made a sound decision.

October 6, 9:18 pm | [comment link]
142. BabyBlue wrote:

I do think that - like Alice in Wonderland - up is down and down is up. 

In other words, organizations like the Episcopal Forum (which was created by the conglomerate of the Episcopal “community activists” as far back as at least 2005 in what was then called Via Media - see here) are more of the driving force here than the PB, she’s the hired help.  This strategy predates Bishop Jefferts Schori’s election - she inherited the strategy from the gang that created the Episcopal Forum and other Via Media groups in the conservative TEC dioceses (Frank Griswald did not seem so inclined to interfere with diocesan bishops and their dioceses and so he wasn’t much help).  Katharine Jefferts Schori was their candidate for Presiding Bishop (you should have heard the screams in the House of Deputies when her name was announced as the winner - it was so bizarre that a reporter from a national secular media organization standing next to me was shaking her head).  Bishop Jefferts Schori is following what the activists want a - she would not be in office without their earlier support (how else does a bishop with zero experience as a rector and only ordained for ten years become a Presiding Bishop????).  She’s not the one driving this, the activists are. 

So it’s just silly to suppose that there are some Episcopal communicants who have leveled charges against Bishop Lawrence as though they are some folks down at the Safeway who got together over the asparagus and tomatoes and said, golly gee, we need to get organized and do something - let’s write some letters!  No, no, no.  This has been the plan all along since at least 2004-2005.  The problem was last time they ran into some blips when the three senior bishops who used to be the “go-to” guys to assess charges against diocesan bishops did not give Bishop Jefferts Schori the thumbs up when Bishop Duncan was targeted for desposition.  So they had to create a new strategy to get around that - and voila, we have new Title IV rules that just obliterates the need for the three senior diocesan bishops to do anything at all (and I am not sure who the three senior diocesan bishops are but I could think they might include Bishop Stanton and Bishop Howe - hah hah hah). 

Now anyone from Episcopal Forum (under whatever front group they want to form) can level charges against a bishop.  How cool is that!  And the activists are betting that nice Episcopalians in the pews are either too stupid to know what’s going on or too lazy to care.  Just keep that cash a coming!

What they don’t seem to grasp is that TEC is facing serious organizational problems itself and that has caused a major dustup (that has been all the rage on the HoB/HoD chat).  The current TEC leadership has until 2015 to get that sorted out before Bishop Jefferts Schori is forced to step down and a new PB takes over.  If that new bishop turns out to be someone like a Bishop Shannon Johnston of Virginia they are all toast.

At the same time we have General Convention coming up next year with another bishop election to be confirmed from the Diocese of New Hampshire (remember them?  It’s not like these folks are original or anything - they seem to play the same game over and over again probably because for a long time it’s worked).  The last thing they need is a for the Diocese of South Carolina to stay home from General Convention and have all the national media see that TEC is not one big happy family after all.  So bye bye Bishop Lawrence.

Well we’ll see.  This is the land of the Swamp Fox.  I lived in Charleston growing up and I know - Charlestonians are very kind, but don’t mess with them.


October 6, 11:41 pm | [comment link]
143. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

“Why won’t anyone take clear responsibility for this?”

Maybe the gremlin did it. 

“Indeed, by declining to depose Lawrence she would be doubling the precedent that she is all powerful”.

Interesting…for a group that enjoys railing against Popes and their authority, it sure is funny what they’re trying to create here. 

Such a “process”—my former officer spouse likes to say, “I never thought I’d see a day where the Uniform Code of Military Justice actually appears ‘enlightened’ by comparison…”


October 7, 12:20 am | [comment link]
144. St. Nikao wrote:

Thanks, BB. 

So, if as usual, your take on this is correct, the outcome may boil down to which side of this SC-Charlestonian battle has the most members in the St. Cecelia Society and/or original settlers, planters and/or founders of the city.

October 7, 8:12 am | [comment link]
145. St. Nikao wrote:

PS - Even as a child, I thilled to the stories of Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox.  I’d sooner mess with TX than SC.

October 7, 8:14 am | [comment link]
146. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

St. Nikao, put TX and SC together and see what you get…


Texas Transplant

October 7, 2:01 pm | [comment link]
147. St. Nikao wrote:

Put SC and TX together, add every Federal Power (fast as it’s morphing and encroaching on the states), and even these don’t come close to the Power of the Word of GOD that made, sustains and governs all Creation. 

All power belongs to God.  Psalm 62:9-11

This is a mind-blowing video that helps us see how great GOD’s creation really is and how small we are.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KqziOKZ4AE&feature=related

October 7, 3:24 pm | [comment link]
148. St. Nikao wrote:

Sorry, here’s the correct link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KqziOKZ4AE

October 7, 3:25 pm | [comment link]
149. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

Pageantmaster is trying to “get his head around this” in #135, but I don’t know that he could without resorting to the use of quaaludes.

October 7, 3:59 pm | [comment link]
150. bettcee wrote:

These seem to be the kind of specious allegations that the Pharisees made against Jesus and yet we know that Jesus did ultimately prevail. 
I hope and pray that Bishop Lawrence and his diocese will stand together in faith and let Christians everywhere know that, with Christ’s help, they can persevere and ultimately overcome the anonymous mob of lobbyists who hope to bring His Episcopal Church down to their level.

October 8, 1:35 am | [comment link]
151. bettcee wrote:

When I click the link to the allegations I get a message that this file has been damaged and cannot be restored but I will make one comment regarding the comments I have read about the allegations:
Gretta, post 16, I believe you posted that it was alleged that the diocese’s “disaffiliation with a TEC organization”, specifically the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (page 5) was offered as proof of disloyalty. It seems to me that it is unreasonable for TEC to construe that Bishop Lawrence and the diocese are in any way disloyal to the Episcopal Church when in fact, the church leaders who tied the Episcopal church to this Godless lobbying group without the consent or knowledge of most of the church’s members are the ones who have abandoned their congregations. 
It should be known that lawyers from the RCRC argued for partial birth abortion before the U.S. Supreme Court, (the court did not agree with their argument). South Carolina should be commended for disaffiliating with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. I wish my diocese would.
In my opinion TEC is abandoning its own congregations by affiliating with so many non-Christian special interest lobbying groups that have little concern for the welfare of the church.

October 8, 4:23 am | [comment link]
152. RalphM wrote:

Do the actions of the Presiding Bishop and her minions look chillingly like those of of any tyrant ever seen by this world?  When any threat to their authority is perceived, do they not cede increasingly oppressive powers to themselves?

Tyrants and their regimes always fall.  Unfortunately, they leave a lot of blood in their wake.

October 8, 10:39 am | [comment link]
153. Militaris Artifex wrote:

151. bettcee,

It find it ironic that RCRC disaffiliation is a charge against Mark Lawrence. The untrumpeted affiliation by TEC’s Executive Committee and my Bishop’s (Olympia) unwillingness to provide a path to avoid contributing to it through my pledge (via diocesan assessment and thence diocesan contribution to TEC) was the weight in the balance that caused me to resign any connection to TEC in October 2008, and to commence the swimming of the Tiber. Lawrence’s actions are those of the only prinipled response from among the principals in this whole sad soap opera.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

October 8, 12:07 pm | [comment link]
154. NCAnglican2 wrote:

I wonder if someone could state somewhat succintly what the goal of the SC Diocese and Bp Lawrence is in this conflict.  It seems that the goal is either to be canonically martyred not unlike the actual martyrdom of Polycarp…willingly going to his death.  Or is it to fight to stay in good standing with the Episcopal leadership. Or is it to disassociate or be disassociated with the Episcopal church in the manner that is most likely to allow the diocese to keep the properties. Or is it to try to keep going along as long as possible without facing protracted legal charges?

October 8, 12:42 pm | [comment link]
155. Saltmarsh Gal wrote:

It would be good to remind folks about something that happened with The Rev. Chad Lawrence in July of this year.  Here is the permanent link to the article that appeared in the Beaufort, SC newspaper Island Packet

October 8, 1:13 pm | [comment link]
156. St. Nikao wrote:

#154, noclue,
You can be assured that the goal, the first priority and purpose of the Diocese of South Carolina is to preach the pure and efficacious Gospel of Jesus Christ without impediment and without the distortions now being mandated by the Episcopal leadership, primarily inspired by the pansexual and feminist movements with a that certain whiff of syncretism always present amongst the unregenerate and spiritually blind who do not understand the meaning and necessity of the Cross and Blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and who have not felt conviction of sin, nor the need for repentance.

The implication of naming the RCRC (pro-abortion group) as one of the signs of disaffiliation from TEC affirms that the Episcopal Church has adopted abortion as one of its essential priorities, primary doctrines, along with homo-bi-transgendered sexuality.

The TEC stance which is actually the promotion of unbiblical and unhealthy behaviors according to Scripture, science research and CDC statistics.  Abortion is correlated with breast cancer as well as high increase of mental health issues.  Sexual promiscuity, especially same-sex (male/male), is correlated with increase of STDs and mental health issues which are shown by research to be only increased, not diminished, with condoms or with approval and acceptance by society. 

Honest science and statistics always reinforce the Commandments and Scriptural morality.

October 8, 3:25 pm | [comment link]
157. NCAnglican2 wrote:

#156 St. Nikao…Thanks for your reply.  I agree with you that the goal you stated is the stated goal of the Diocese of SC, and I agree with your assessment of TEC.  So why fight to stay in TEC if you are in the Dio of SC? Why get stirred up at the threat of being indicted by such a heretical and unbiblical leadership that unfortunately represents the mind of TEC?  Why continue affiliation with such an organization?

That is what I’m asking by the question “What is the goal of the Dio of SC and the Bishop in this process?”

October 8, 4:02 pm | [comment link]
158. c.r.seitz wrote:

#157 You might have a look at the remarks of AS Haley on SF for one explanation.

October 8, 4:07 pm | [comment link]
159. bettcee wrote:

NoClue. post 157, I believe their goal is to “fight to stay in good standing with” a higher power than “the Episcopal leadership”.

October 8, 4:35 pm | [comment link]
160. NCAnglican2 wrote:

#158 Thanks
#159 I appreciate that and believe it; however, that answer avoids my question.  There have been previous efforts to stay in good standing with TEC…is that the continued end of current efforts or is the desired end a dissociation prompted by unjust prosecution of these charges? or other potential ends?

October 8, 4:58 pm | [comment link]
161. c.r.seitz wrote:

I don’t think the issue is to ‘stay in good standing.’ It is to manifest good standing by testifying against the present direction of TEC and indicating where departures from TEC’s Constitution, or in this instance, Title IV, are in clear evidence.
Only God knows where standing on principle will lead in struggles in this life.
Title IV is regarded by some dioceses as unconstitutional and so has not been adopted. That will be another area of future principle-struggle.
One question is whether the Bishops of this Church will continue to countenance this kind of confusing implementation of discipline—stating it generously. It is hardly the case that TEC is in a strong financial position. That fact is not lost on Executive Council and perhaps as many as 30 Diocesans, whose long-term sustainability is not obvious.
I think AS Haley covers much of this in his remarks.

October 8, 6:00 pm | [comment link]
162. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

noclue said:

It seems that the goal is:
1) either to be canonically martyred not unlike the actual martyrdom of Polycarp…willingly going to his death. 
2) Or is it to fight to stay in good standing with the Episcopal leadership.
3) Or is it to disassociate or be disassociated with the Episcopal church in the manner that is most likely to allow the diocese to keep the properties.
4) Or is it to try to keep going along as long as possible without facing protracted legal charges?

Either, or?  Or?  Or? 
Did you start with only two possibilities and then just started thinking and adding others as you went along?  Because you didn’t add enough “or"s.  Until you are sure of what you are asking it will be very difficult to accept any answer that is proffered.

However, three things for you to consider, and then perhaps ask your question again.
a)  One possibility, which I happen to think is the answer for which you are looking, is the one that says there has been a divine calling.  If then, there will be a moral decision to fight for that calling against those who would seemingly wish that calling to come to an end.  There would be none of this faulderal if there was no divine calling to be who they are in The Episcopal Church by someone or some others in leadership.  Certainly institutionally motivated leadership would question the dangers of intrusion being set up by Title IV, etc., but even then doctrine suddenly appears as a key lever.
This possibility, which is also mine, so I know whereof I am speaking, leads to a second consideration for you,
b)  None of your own posits have anything to do with God living presence and the fight for that presence as they see it in the diocese.  As much as I hate to say it, this places the validity of your own concern and of your consternation for no successful response in question as just not having any clue whatsoever as to the mission of the Kingdom—perhaps your pseudonym is more profound than you imagined.  Really, noclue, those are the only things you could think of?
and finally c)  your curiosity is one-sided, and suggests a loitering spirit, unless, of course, you can say you are just as interested in the same responses of those both inside and outside of the diocese of South Carolina who would not be displeased to see the bishop deposed, the Standing Committee removed, and actions of diocesan convention ruled ultra vires.

October 9, 1:09 am | [comment link]
163. The_Elves wrote:

We remind commenters that seeking to influence other readers to leave or join a particular church is against the comment policy of T19.  Please also remain on the thread topic - thanks - Elf

October 9, 6:35 am | [comment link]
164. tjmcmahon wrote:

One assumes that at least 6 more bishops will find themselves charged as well, since the following is now a “serious charge” and evidence of abandonment of Communion.  So serious, in fact, that it rates its own tab (Tab 10, to be precise, of the 63 page document of charges)-

The report of the meeting of the Bishops of Albany, Dallas, North Dakota, Northern Indiana, West Texas and Western Louisiana with the Archbishop of Canterbury on September 1, 2009.](my bold)
That is correct folks, according to the Episcopal Church’s disciplinary board, meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury is a “serious offense.”  Since the other Bishops named in the report are obviously equally “guilty” of meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, we can also expect charges to be filed against them soon.  One assumes they are being given the opportunity to “repent” of their actions.

October 9, 11:39 am | [comment link]
165. tjmcmahon wrote:

Oops, sorry folks, messed up the html on that last one.

October 9, 11:40 am | [comment link]
166. tjmcmahon wrote:

Another oops (I don’t get as much coffee on Sunday mornings as usual).  The blockquote should read:

  The report of the meeting of the Bishops of Albany, Dallas, North Dakota, Northern Indiana, South Carolina, West Texas and Western Louisiana with the Archbishop of Canterbury on September 1, 2009.

(my bold)
I can’t seem to copy and paste out of the “charges” pdf, and messed up the transcription the first time around.  My apologies.

October 9, 11:59 am | [comment link]
167. Londoner wrote:

it is good that some felt able to go the extra mile inside TEC…..but the reality is what it is….revisionists have,by very clever and forceful street politics, taken it over….....an inch at a time….. the good news is that no person is reliant on TEC for their salvation….....and those who have left and those who will leave TEC will always be in fellowship with millions and millions of faithful Christians around the world…...don’t worry about institutional unity or buildings…. they are not why Christ did what he did .....TEC revisionists getting heavy is a good thing if it frees up people for more gospel ministry by giving them less instituional stuff to do with revisionists.  In 20 yrs, TEC will have hardly anyone going along on a Sunday….... but the gospel will be drawing in millions every week…. and former TEC people will be part of that….are part of that

October 9, 12:28 pm | [comment link]
168. Dan Ennis wrote:

I am a South Carolinian, and have disagreed with many of the statements my Bishop has made since he came to our Diocese.  But this statement, made in response to questions but to him during his election, rings true:

“We in TEC, conservatives and liberals, orthodox and progressives, reasserters and reappraisers, (or whatever monikers you prefer to use…most of us know the players), are like a married couple living in the same house, sleeping in separate rooms, having harsh words too frequently, making cryptic comments to one another as we pass in the hallways. We have lived like this for years, sharing a common history that we have interpreted in such vastly different ways, and teaching increasingly different values to our children.”

Some reappraisers in South Carolina didn’t know what to make of Bishop Lawrence’s 2006 statement:  “I shall commit myself to work at least as hard at keeping the Diocese of South Carolina in The Episcopal Church, as my sister and brother bishops work at keeping The Episcopal Church in covenanted relationship with the worldwide Anglican Communion.”  Some thought it was a cop-out, since the party line among the orthodox was that the relationship had been irreparably broken in 2003.  Others (few, naive), took it as a sign of hope—that as long as Rowan Williams continued to recognize ECUSA /TEC then Bishop Lawrence would refrain from leading the Diocese out, en masse, San Joaquin-style.

But in the years following, both sides of the failing marriage continued to make cryptic comments, continued to hedge their bets.  To follow the Lawrencian marriage analogy, the husband started quietly taking over the bank accounts.  The wife retained a divorce lawyer “just in case.”  The actions of recent SC Conventions—“distancing”—just confirmed that the marriage was over.  After all, what marriage could survive if the husband came home and said, “Here, wife, is a list of things I’ve done to distance myself from you.  We will not be seen together in public.  I will not acknowledge many of your requests.  We’re still technically spouses, but I won’t be participating fully in this marriage until you straighten up your act.” 

And some revisionists feared that the divorce had already occurred, that one day they’d get served their waking papers, and find themselves kicked out of the house, easily done since they had been struck from the deed.  And having perceived a de facto divorce, “distanced” into isolation, they played the only card left in their deck.

When you work with families, especially kids whose parents are splitting up, sometimes you root for the divorce to be quick, clean, cheap and over.  This family is finished.  Plenty of blame for all.

Let’s go.

October 9, 1:13 pm | [comment link]
169. Milton Finch wrote:

By your analogy, from what I can see, the adultrous wife has invited her adulterous lover, be it a another man or, God forbid, another woman, to live with her among her small children, and the two have begun writing checks in the meantime and telling the bank that they are the new couple…legally!  Naive, indeed.  I am a South Carolinian, also.

October 9, 2:34 pm | [comment link]
170. The_Elves wrote:

These analogies are becoming a bit of a stretch. Please return to the original thread topic.


October 9, 2:37 pm | [comment link]
171. Sarah wrote:

Well there’s no question that when two parties in a relationship hold antithetical and mutually opposing foundational worldviews about most important issues, “intimacy” and connection will not be maintained.

All of us who are honest recognize that fact.  I am, for instance, a happy Episcopalian—but obviously I’m not going to have connection or intimacy with the current Episcopal leaders.

That loss of connection in a relationship, however, is rather different from leaving the relationship.  There is a clear distinction.  I’m never going to be in a healthy whole relationship with the current Episcopal leaders.  That’s just not going to happen.  But I’m most happy to be in the Episcopal Church, which is a rather different entity from our current leaders, though both are obviously flawed.

Sounds as if Dan Ennis is unhappy with the natural consequences of two parties who believe mutually opposing things about very important things being deeply disconnected.

But then—that’s what we all knew would be reality anyway.  So I’m not sure how what is currently in 2011 is any different from what was post General Convention 2003, except that some people now have a whole lot less denial than they once did about those consequences of relationships which have antithetical values.

October 9, 3:09 pm | [comment link]
172. Sarah wrote:

To sum up—it sounds as if many revisionists are now aware of the massive distance and relational destruction that has taken place, the same thing that conservatives were aware of back in 2003.

Back in 2003, and 2004, and 2005, and 2006, we were all breezily told by the revisionists in TEC that “schism is worse than heresy” and we should all just get along and particularly be quiet.  We were told that we were demonstrating how rigid and uninclusive we were not to just accept the changes and go about our business.  We were told that we were exaggerating how bad it was and that things were really all peace and joy and light.  We were told that we were being very “small box” like and that we needed to learn to “live in to the tension.”

Now that some of the revisionists—8 years later—have recognized the extent of the devastation to the relationships, we’re going to get to learn just how flexible, easygoing, and disinterested in schism *they* are.

I think we already know.  But it will be interesting to see it confirmed publicly.

Come on, guys . . . schism is worse than heresy!  Just sit down and be quiet!!  Live into the tension!!!  It’s okay—we can all just do our own thing in the same organization—all together, but you know . . not.

October 9, 3:15 pm | [comment link]
173. Milton Finch wrote:

Well said, Sarah.

October 9, 3:20 pm | [comment link]
174. bettcee wrote:

NoClue, Post 160: When I referred to a higher power I was referring to God, the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, it is His church and although I know that I fall short of His expectations, I do want to stay in good standing with Him.

Katherine Jeffords Schori has a temporary position as Presiding Bishop of His church, she is not the head of the church. 

It seems to me that your question should be: why does PB Schori want to stay in the Episcopal church when her beliefs and actions are so much at odds with His word and with Christianity as it has been handed down to us and as it was taught in this church before she became Presiding Bishop

As for Bishop Lawrence, I believe that he fights to stay in the Episcopal church because he wants to do God‘s will.

NoClue my question for you is:
The Pendulum often swings the other way and if the excesses of this church administration should cause the church to become more conservative would you have trouble understanding why all of the liberals do not leave?

October 9, 10:05 pm | [comment link]
175. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Although I may have already contributed more than my fair share of comments on this thread, starting way back with #10 & 17, I’d like to offer a few more thoughts as grist for the mill here.

First, a personal aside to jamesw (#140),

Where have you been lately?  It’s great to see you chiming in here, james.  But as usual, you strike me as so smart and politically savvy (in the best sense) that it’s scary.  I’m sure glad that brilliant guys like you and the curmudgeonly Counselor Haley, not to mention the ACI gang, are on our side (the orthodox side).

Secondly, as I’ve already said on the parallel thread about the astute ACI analysis of this gross abuse of the horrible new Title IV, I think those bright guys hit the nail on the head with their succinct conclusion, “Title IV is a bad canon being implemented badly.”  Only, personally, I think that’s actually a pretty mild understatement.

More stimulating fodder for discussion is still to come…

David Handy+

October 10, 2:11 pm | [comment link]
176. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Dan Ennis (#168),

Thanks for a thoughtful and irenic contribution to this thread.  I may not be a South Caroilinian, but I have lived in Virginia for about 20 years, most of it in Richmond.  So rather than using a family analogy (separation and divorce), I’m prone to use a Civil War analogy.

Just as Abraham Lincoln was right in applying the dictum of our Master to the strife between the states, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” I’m afraid that familiar but unpleasant principle sadly applies also in this case.  People on both sides of the Mason-Dixie Line knew for years beforehand that war was virtually ineivtable, and so it proved to be.  And the same is true with regard to the increasingly bitter Anglican Civil War.

The PB and her cronies and “progressive” allies vainly imagine that the worst is now over, and only mopping up (post D-Day) operations are necessary to secure total and unconditional victory.  Well, that may be true as far as TEC is concerned.  But it is manifestly NOT the case if you expand the horizons of this conflict to global proportions.  The fate of TEC is indeed sadly sealed; its demise is certain.  Like the Titanic, the supposedly unsinkable luxuary ship is headed for the bottom of the sea.  And that’s entirely due to the inexcusable incompetence and bad judgment of the captian at the helm and the reckless steamship line owners.

But the destiny of Anglicanism as a whole remains very much an open question.  And that’s one of the key reasons why I admire +Mark Lawrence so much.  He has kept a cool head (as has Kendall, BTW) and his eye on the ball, realizing that the real fight is for the soul of worldwide Anglicanism, in which TEC plays only a small and increasingly insignficant part.  I love his slogan for the DSC, “Making Biblical Christians for a Global Age.”  Right on target.

So the real questions is this:  Is Anglicanism as a whole also such a fatally flawed “house divided against itself, ” so that it too is doomed to collapse and implode, as TEC is doing?

Please note that I did NOT frame that question in terms of the Anglican Communion, but rather in terms of Anglicanism, as an ism, as a distinctive religious system.  Here is one of the places where I diverge significantly from the bright guys at ACI.  If I were to found a similar organization, with a couple other scholars and a website, I would name it the ANGLICANISM Institute.  Because for me, the Anglican Communion per se is just the husk, not the kernel.  The AC as we have known it is dispensable, IMHO.  As ++Bob Duncan has rightly and prophetically said, the old polity structures that we have known, or as he put it, the “Elizabethan Settlement” has run its historical course and is now finished, kaput.  Or perhaps I should say that it is expiring before our still unbelieving eyes (the Titanic was supposed to be unsinkable!).

But the bottom line, Dan Ennis and fellow readers, is that there are indeed two mutually exclusive theological paradigms, philosophical worldviews, and cultural systems contending for mastery in this bitter fight, both in TEC and in the larger AC (Communikon).  And the grim reality is that there is only room for one.

As I like to sum it up, “Oil and water simply don’t mix.”  They never have.  They never will.  That is the bottom line.

Just as a nation can’t go on forever half-slave and half-free.

David Handy+
A Yankee writing rom the capital of the doomed Confederacy

October 10, 2:38 pm | [comment link]
177. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Continuing my #176,

Going back to ++Duncan’s way of framing the issues, I wholeheartedly agree with that far-sighted leader that the old Elizabethan (or Colonial) Settlement is at the point of death, and the current polity structures at the macro-, above diocesan, level, and especially at the international, supra-provincial level, are now hopelessly obsolete and counter-productive.  What will replace them is not yet clear, but to his terminology of a “Global (Post-Colonial) Settlement,” I would add a crucial further element.  I believe that this whole fight is ultimately about the relationship of Church and Culture in a post-Christendom era.  So I would amend the vision of ++Bob Duncan the Lionhearted this way: what is needed (and urgently) is nothing less than a Global, Post-Colonial, and most importantly, a completely new Post-Christendom Settlement.

By that I mean that our historic heritage of being a thoroughly Erastian (state church) sort of Church is now hopelessly obsolete, and a completely new kind of relationship with the surrounding culture will now have to be forged on the anvils of the Culture War.  By that I mean that everywhere in the Global North, even in the USA, which is in a less advanced stage of cultural de-Christianization than Canada, much less the UK, yes, everywhere in the formerly Christian societies of the Global North, we are faced with the extremely difficult and wrenching challenge of developing a truly counter-cultural style of Anglicanism. 

Alas, in our day, four of the five familiar Niebuhrian models of how Christ (or the Christian Church) relates to Culture are no longer even real options for us in the secularized, pluralistic, relativistic, and even increasingly neo-pagan West.  We Christians, at least serious, biblical Christians (who are the only kind worthy of the name) are everywhere in the North a marginalized minority group, and an ever more suspect, harassed, and beleagured minority group at that.  That is the great fundamental new reality of our time, culturally speaking.

I don’t think most of us have even begun to think through all the vast and far-reaching implications of that momentous sea change in western civilization.  But I believe it literally changes everything.

Today, the ONLY legitimate option for any serious Christian is the model that Richard Nieburh, in 1951, viewed most negatively, namely, the “Christ-against-Culture” model.  The attractive model we have so long favored and taken for granted as superior, the “Christ the Transformer of Culture” model (which Niebuhr associated especially with Calvin and F. D. Maurice), is no longer a viable option, because our culture is increasingly so hostile (or at best indifferent) to Christianity as to rule out any realistic hopes of transforming our mainstream culture.  If you doubt that pessimistic assessment, just look at how completely our elite, Ivy League universities and the mass media are dominated by strongly and aggressively anti-Christian values.

The bright guys at ACI have been valiantly trying to save the old wineskins of the Anglican Communion.  Fine, that was an honorable enterprise, and I commend them for it, however futile I think it has been proven to be (as I suspected all along).  Let’s face it, the Anglican Communion as we have known it heretofore (and that is the all-important proviso, only as we’ve known it up until now) is indeed, IMHO, another “house divided against itself” and its doom is also inevitable.

But NOT so with Anglicanism, as an ism, as a distinctive system of Christian Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship with unique English roots and its own characteristic ethos that is both Protestant and Catholic (and in important ways is different from both camps, since it is rather a whole third type of Christianity altogether).

Paul Avis, a renowned Anglican theologian in England, the founder and editor of the journal Ecclesiology, and the author of the profoundly insightful and stimulating book Anglicanism and the Christian Church (T & T Clark/Fortress Press, 1989) has helped many of us to see the challenges before us in terms of fashioning a whole new kind of Anglican ecclesiology fit for our times.  Instead of the old, discredited and defunct Erastian/Constantinian model [the state church paradigm], or the anti-Erastian, Tractarian model [what Avis calls the “Apostolic” paradigm], Avis calls for a radically new paradigm that he likes to call “baptismal.”

Well, as someone writing a big tome on the theology and practice of Christian Initiation {that I’m tentatively calling Christians Are Made, Not Born: Restoring the Integrity of Christian Initiation in a Post-Christendom Society}, I’m certainly all for embracing a “baptismal ecclesiology” as foundational for Anglicanism in our scary new minority position in a post-Christendom world, AS LONG AS, and only so long as, it’s an explicitly and openly GATHERED CHURCH baptismal ecclesiology.  That is, what is most crucial is that any such baptismal ecclesiology be an unabasedly sectarian (in the best sense), anti-Erastian, anti-state church, Christ-against-Culture baptismal ecclesiology, similar to that of the ancient Catholic Church before Constantine (or at least before things hardened even more into the Imperial Church of Theodosius and Justinian, or Charlemagne.  That is the all-important point.

And that is what will make the “current unpleasantness” just the first round in the New Reformation.  A drastic reshaping of the whole western/northern Church such as will make the Evaangelical Revival of the 18th century, or the Catholic Revivla of the 19th, as valuable and beneficial as they both were, seem quite tame and mild in comparison.  This is the beginning of the birth pangs of what can only be called the Second Reformation.

Personally, I have no doubts whatsoever that should I be proven right by how things develop over the next generation or two (should Christ tarry), I’m serenely confident that while this New Reformation will surely prove to be as bitterly divisive and ugly in many ways as the 16th century Reformation, it will also prove just as life-giving and fruitful for the Church in the end.

But there may have to be some martyrs along the way.  And I fear that +Lawrence is soon to become one of them.  As was ++Bob Duncan.

Of course, the real martyrs in this global fight aren’t anywhere in the Global North.  They are really in places like Jos, Nigeria, or the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, or the streets of Cairo, or perhaps in the case of Pastor Nardakhani, in Iran.

David Handy+

October 10, 3:27 pm | [comment link]
178. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

P.S. Lest the end of my #177 be misunderstood, let me clarify what I mean, and perhaps more importantly, what I don’t mean. 

One of the symptoms of our plight is that despite the near demise of the old Christendom marriage of Christian faith and European civilization, there are certain lingering traces of the old Christendom mindset that remain behind and are with us still, rather like the smile of the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland (or Through the Looking Glass, whichever it was).  One of the most revealing of those symptoms is our instinctive Anglican tendency to view ALL sectarianism as a horrible, awful no good, very bad thing (to quote another children’s classic).  Given our state church heritage, with its virulent rejection of anything that smacked in the least of Anabaptist fanaticism, or Nonconformist Separatism, that is understandable enough.  But it’s also profoundly out of date and desperately needs critical re-examination.

There is all the difference in the world between the good sectarianism of the anicent Catholic Church before Nicea, a godly and biblical sectarianism that pitted the WHOLE Church as a minority group against a rabidly hostile and uncomprehending pagan social world, and the bad sectarianism of the Protestant sort that followed the Reformation, that pitted little purist groups against all forms of Established Christianity, whether Catholic or “magisterial” (territorial) Protestant state churches.  The two kinds of sectarianism are totally different and must not be conflated, or hopeless confusion results.  (Aside, as a 56 year old man who now has to watch his cholesterol levels, I’ve learned that not all cholesterol is bad; there is such a thing as good cholesterol).

In today’s post-Christendom social world in the Global North, ALL Christian groups, including even the largest such as Roman Catholicism or Anglicanism, are doomed to minority status in a culture that now seems to prefer “Anything But Christianity.”  And that literally changes everything in terms of how we must now do church.

That calls for a total paradigm shift for all former state church traditions, including Anglicanism.  And paradigm shifts aren’t made gradually, in minor, incremental steps.  Or at least they aren’t best made that way.  The kind of severe, fatal, system flaws in the old inherited Elizabethan (Colonial, Constantinian) Settlement calls for drastic, rapid, sweeping, system changes.  Not evolutionary change, but revolutionary change.  Not mere church renewal, but outright Reformation, in the strong 16th century sense.  With all the turmoil, confusion, bitter struggles, and inevitable sacrifices that go with such Reformations.

They only come along about every 500 years.  Sort of like the mythical Phoenix was reborn from the ashes every 500 years (in the main Latin form of the classic legend).  And Clement of Rome, in his first Letter to the Corinthians, about AD 95 or so) provides a papal imprematur for Christians t5o make use of that old Roman legend of the firebird.

To restate what I’m been trying to say with this latest series of comments, the real question isn’t a matter of tactics, assessing what this reckless and despicable TEC move against +Lawrence and the DSC means or how to best counteract it tactically.  No, the real questions are strategic.  And I’d put the ultimate question this way.

Are we watching another early stage in the fiery demise of the whole Anglican Communion here?  Or will Anglicanism, again as an ism and as separatble from the husk of the Anglican Communion polity structures as we have known them heretofore, survive this conflagration and emerge reborn, like the Phoenix.  Or rather, will Anglicanism arise from the ashes, like the risen Christ from the tomb?

That, my friends, is the real issue.

And only the Lord of the Church really knows the answer to that million dollar question.

But personally, I’m quite hopeful.  I sincerely beieve that the greatest days for orthodox Anglicanism are still to come.  Everything up until now has been just the Prologue.  Now the real story begins.

In a post-Christendom age.  Rather like the pre-Christendom age of the pre-Nicene Church, when the Church was truly at its best.

So be it.  Amen.

David Handy+
Eternal Optimist (because of the Resurrection)

October 10, 4:03 pm | [comment link]
179. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Wow, formidable comments Rev. Handy - it is great when you draw together the strands of your arguments from 400 years of history.  Not sure I agree with every conclusion, but certainly in the drift, which is to see the renewal of the church.

But personally, I’m quite hopeful.  I sincerely beieve that the greatest days for orthodox Anglicanism are still to come.  Everything up until now has been just the Prologue.  Now the real story begins.

Nothing like persecution for building up the people of God.  I believe you are exactly right.  Handy contra mundum.

October 10, 5:56 pm | [comment link]
180. Blue Cat Man wrote:

David Handy+ wrote:

If I were to found a similar organization, with a couple other scholars and a website, I would name it the ANGLICANISM Institute.

You mean like the event happening in Charleston, SC every January? Mere ANGLICANISM ! ; - )

David+, Kudos and many thanks for your many insightful and learned comments here. I am about commented out on this subject. The only thing left to do is to pray. Especially the prayer that never fails- Thy will be done.

All, Keep all our diocesan clergy in your prayers from 10-12 Noon tomorrow, October 11. I plan on doing the same.

October 10, 8:09 pm | [comment link]
181. Jill Woodliff wrote:

Luke 12:32
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

October 10, 11:54 pm | [comment link]
182. old grumpy wrote:

Oil and water can be beaten so harshly that a blend is obtained which has the properties of neither and is utterly pointless.
Chris Baker - Durham UK

October 11, 7:50 am | [comment link]
183. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Pageantmaster (#179),
Thanks for the kind words.  Don’t worry, I don’t expect anyone to agree with me 100%; even my wife doesn’t do that.

Blue Cat Man (#180),
Nice catch about the Mere Anglicanism Conference.  Yeah, that’s the kind of thing I had in mind.

Well, I think I’ve about shot my wad and said all that I can say here.  And perhaps more than I should’ve said.  Thanks to all readers (and not least to Kendall) for their patience with my repeated, often verbose comments.

David Handy+
Signing off

October 11, 9:56 am | [comment link]
184. jamesw wrote:

David:  Thanks for the hello.  I still visit and read regularly, even though I don’t comment as much.  I suppose that what TEC (and the ABC) is doing is just leaving me rather speechless.  I am left somewhat numb at the self-righteous fervor that is gripping the highest TEC leadership into committing absurd acts of idiocy.  If you really think about it - the incredible destruction that has hit TEC over the past 6 years.  Since 2003 for sure, but under KJS especially with her actions that drive people out of and away from TEC.  Just mind-numbing destruction.  I am sure that history will not be kind to her and her cabal nor to Rowan Williams and his group of lackies.

So the way I see it, we are like the remnants of the broken Russian army, scattered and defeated by Napoleon’s mighty army that is marching towards Moscow.  We know that is is only September and we have an idea what the next several months will bring for the French army, but the only thing we can do right now is wait and see to it that there is some measure of order and grace in our small corner of Russia.

October 11, 1:41 pm | [comment link]
185. tjmcmahon wrote:

184- Perhaps we could arrange for a TEC executive council meeting in January in the diocese of N Michigan.  If the heat failed at St Paul’s, the parallel outcomes would be remarkable.

October 11, 2:43 pm | [comment link]
186. Douglas LeBlanc wrote:

This statement by Bishop Dorsey Henderson is not a TLC exclusive, but we are the first to publish it, and in its entirety: http://bit.ly/qDQAqr.

October 11, 2:50 pm | [comment link]
187. Cennydd13 wrote:

I find it increasingly incongruous that by taking action against +Lawrence, TEC is cutting off its own nose to spite its face.  Just plain stupid!

October 11, 4:31 pm | [comment link]
188. billqs wrote:

#186- So, it appears that the complaintants (cough…erm… Episcopal Forum…cough) made the complaint directly to the Disciplinary Board?  Either that or the Disciplinary Board initiated the action on its own, although the link states that such initiation on it’s own had never occurred in the past.

They seem to be going to extraordinary lengths to represent this action as occurring without a push from the PB’s office or 815.  What can we infer from this?

One answer may be that these charges against a sitting bishop who has made no move to have his diocese leave the Episcopal Church, and in fact, has faced criticism from his natural allies for remaining a “stayer” is mighty unpopular beyond the expected usual suspects.

It’s not just conservative to moderate bishops who wish to run their dioceses using their own judgement without undue interference from the PB’s office.  While many of these bishops would not publicly criticize 815- indeed some are probably friends and are completely onboard with the new theology, they nonetheless can see the severe loss of a local bishop’s autonomy as it has occurred during ++Katherine’s tenure.

October 11, 4:51 pm | [comment link]
189. Ralph wrote:

They seem to be going to extraordinary lengths to represent this action as occurring without a push from the PB’s office or 815.  What can we infer from this?

I would think that 815 has been in damage control mode since Bp. Lawrence announced the filing of charges. In addition to making them all look like apostate fools, it makes a farce (as many predicted) of the new Title IV process. I don’t see a winning scenario. The alternative that makes the best sense to me is to dismiss the charges, and go back to the old Title IV.

October 11, 6:03 pm | [comment link]
190. Milton Finch wrote:

Curmudgeon has a new one up at his site.

October 11, 6:08 pm | [comment link]
191. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

My my, so he does

October 11, 6:19 pm | [comment link]
192. NoVA Scout wrote:

re Father Handy’s observations, I see another parallel with the American Civil War:  the geography is evocative and the issue of whether and under what circumstances the national organisation can impose solidarity is similar.  As in the Civil War, both sides maneuvered to make clear that the responsibility for the estrangement lay with the other.  As in the United States, the governing documents were very unclear as to whether the association, once having been entered into, could be undone by the unilateral act of the components.  As in the Civil War, neither side felt it had any latitude to acquiesce in the actions of the other. 

Of course a difference here is that the national organisation felt compelled to commence hostilities, rather than permit a process of unwinding the governing bonds.  Lincoln was in a better position.

October 11, 10:35 pm | [comment link]
193. TheVeryRev wrote:

I ask again…as many of you all have been wondering for days…where is even a passive word of support for Bishop Mark & the Diocese from the likes of Stanton, Howe, and Lillibridge, etc. the Communion Partner Bishops.

My prophecy is that the alleged fair weather and appease the conservative locals will abandon Mark and hide out in waiting for their inflated pensions, hoping Katherine will not open the file TEC has on each on them…having myself been called to inquire about their various personal habits.

October 11, 11:10 pm | [comment link]
194. c.r.seitz wrote:

New ACI piece up at our web site.

October 12, 12:01 am | [comment link]
195. TheVeryRev wrote:

Dr. Seitz,

Your paper suggests nothing new or surprising. It is the same sort of ethnic cleansing of conservatives that has been going for five years straight now.

Charges brought, kangaroo courts held, predetermined sentences rendered, and executions carried out all the while everyone stands by without a whisper of outrage or challenge other than an occasional blog posting by people with no standing, all the while the beatings continue.

When will those like Stanton, Howe and Lillibridge who have some actual standing and authority oppose kJS and bring charges against her, When will they actually say someing much less do something, my point above.

Where are the Communion Partners, where is their express and active defense of their fellow CP bishop, where are the CP rectors when they are most needed. It seems Bishop Mark is left swinging in the breeze by the very people who encouraged him to hang tough.

What is everyone so afraid of?

October 12, 2:04 am | [comment link]
196. Kendall Harmon wrote:

I am going to leave the comments as is, but if this thread from here forward could please remain on the original charges being considered I would be grateful.

The pieces by Dorsey Henderson, ACI and A.S. Haley have now been posted separately (as you no doubt know yesterday we had a clergy day on these matters so I am playing a lot of catch up). If you wish to comment on the explanation of the claimed process by Bishop Henderson, or the responses thereto, please do so on the appropriate threads.

October 12, 6:44 am | [comment link]
197. c.r.seitz wrote:

193—“having myself been called to inquire about their various personal habits.”

October 12, 9:56 am | [comment link]
198. c.r.seitz wrote:

As we are now given to understand, the process being used by +Henderson will end with a vote in the HOB.

Statements of various kinds are not going to change that fact.

The Bishops you refer to have been taking their own counsel about how best to deal with Title IV. The Diocese of Dallas meets next month. The Diocese of CFL has its own strategy, which is in the record. Did any of them have secret knowledge of how the new Title IV process would actually play out in the version we—as of yesterday—now know? That would be remarkable, given the secrecy surrounding the apparent strategy being undertaken, voiding Title IV as they had been considering its darker potential.

One might hope that not just CP Bishops but others would begin to say, ‘is this what we thought Title IV was about’ and vote No. But a lot of cold calculation has gone into this. Indeed Curmudgeon wonders whether this is already something like round 2 or 3 in efforts to vote +ML out or otherwise restrict his ministry.

As for your own version of secret information, you alone will be able to account for that.

October 12, 10:17 am | [comment link]
199. Karen B. wrote:

In light of all the latest articles (i.e. the new posts from the Living Church, Anglican Communion Institute, and the Anglican Curmudgeon), it is clear how central the Title IV disciplinary board is in the process.

New prayers posted at Lent & Beyond:

The names of the Disciplinary Board are here:

October 12, 11:04 am | [comment link]
200. c.r.seitz wrote:

The Bishop of Georgia wrote this to his Diocese earlier:

“Our new Title IV Disciplinary Canons have a specific process. If charges are made, they cannot be ignored or kept quiet. The process requires that the Disciplinary Board convene its Reference Panel, investigate the merits of the charges, and then make a recommendation either to dismiss them or to send the charges onto a Conference Panel comprised of three bishops, one priest or deacon, and one layperson. The Conference Panel’s membership is taken from the ten bishops, four priests or deacons, and four laypersons on the Disciplinary Board for Bishops.
The Conference Panel listens to those who made the charges, the bishop who is responding to the charges (in this case, Bishop Lawrence), and then it can do a number of things: dismiss the charges, work out an Accord between those bringing the charges and the responding bishop, or refer the charges to a Hearing Panel comprised of different members of the Disciplinary Board’s Conference Panel. The Hearing Panel has three bishops, one priest or deacon, and one layperson. It functions much like a traditional ecclesiastical court.”

October 12, 11:06 am | [comment link]
201. c.r.seitz wrote:

Will Bishop Benhase give public indication, as with the earlier statement, that in fact he was wrong about what was happening in this case?

October 12, 1:16 pm | [comment link]
202. Ralph wrote:

Having seen post #200, I asked a friend in that diocese what’s going on. She sent me the full message from which #200 is excerpted. The message begins:

Many of you may have already heard that my brother bishop, Mark Lawrence of our neighboring Diocese of South Carolina, has had Title IV disciplinary charges brought against him.  You can read the actual charges here:

I am personally saddened by this on many levels, but mostly because I have come to know and love him as a friend and brother in Christ. Upon investigation of these charges, I hope the members of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops will dismiss them appropriately.

It ends by saying:

In my experience, no healthy, faithful Christian enjoys conflict or its consequences. Yet, conflict is a part of life and the Church is not immune from it. My hope is that this matter will be handled with justice and compassion for all concerned. The Title IV process, while cumbersome and more public than previous processes, does offer the hope of that. Please keep Bishop Lawrence, our Disciplinary Board, and the people of the Diocese of South Carolina in your prayers.

Perhaps Bp. Benhase is as confused by the current process as everyone else. It also sounds like he is supporting +Mark.

October 12, 1:25 pm | [comment link]
203. c.r.seitz wrote:

#202—everyone in the HOB will apparently have the joy of voting on this, including +Georgia, if the predictable outcome of the Disc Committee (‘DC’—a nice addition to our acronym factory) is a charge of abandonment.

October 12, 1:40 pm | [comment link]
204. jamesw wrote:

Remember that KJS tried to initially block Lawrence from ever becoming bishop in the first place.

If BabyBlue is correct in post #142 (and I think she is)

In other words, organizations like the Episcopal Forum (which was created by the conglomerate of the Episcopal “community activists” as far back as at least 2005 in what was then called Via Media - see here) are more of the driving force here than the PB, she’s the hired help.  This strategy predates Bishop Jefferts Schori’s election - she inherited the strategy from the gang that created the Episcopal Forum and other Via Media groups in the conservative TEC dioceses (Frank Griswald did not seem so inclined to interfere with diocesan bishops and their dioceses and so he wasn’t much help).  Katharine Jefferts Schori was their candidate for Presiding Bishop (you should have heard the screams in the House of Deputies when her name was announced as the winner - it was so bizarre that a reporter from a national secular media organization standing next to me was shaking her head).  Bishop Jefferts Schori is following what the activists want a - she would not be in office without their earlier support (how else does a bishop with zero experience as a rector and only ordained for ten years become a Presiding Bishop????).  She’s not the one driving this, the activists are.

then might this not be the PB’s way of getting what she wanted in the first place?

And if Bp. Benhase and other “moderate” liberals like him are inclined to exonerate Bp. Lawrence and can’t be cowed by the PB, then I wonder what political implications this would have on TEC?

October 12, 6:48 pm | [comment link]
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