(Living Church) Attorney J.B. Burtch Returns to Bishop Mark Lawrence Case

Posted by Kendall Harmon

J.B. held the equivalent position with the Review Committee under the previous version of Title IV. As “Lay Assessor” to the Review Committee, he did the same work that the “Church Attorney” now does for the Disciplinary Board. While in that position, he did preliminary work on the Bishop Lawrence information, so he is already more than familiar with that information and the task which is now ours.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina

14 Comments
Posted October 17, 2011 at 11:07 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Jill Woodliff wrote:

A prayer for the Episcopal Church is found here.

October 17, 3:19 pm | [comment link]
2. billqs wrote:

So, if the former Review Board under the old canons, of which Mr. Burch was a part, was already working on the Bishop Lawrence “matter”, why did they wait so long to notifiy him?

October 17, 5:34 pm | [comment link]
3. trimom wrote:

The Anglican Curmudgeon is already on the hunt. Check out his latest blog post regarding this letter.
http://accurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2011/10/kangaroo-court-should-resign-in-toto.html

October 17, 5:36 pm | [comment link]
4. billqs wrote:

A “cynical” person might answer my question above by stating that they waited till the new canon was in effect in order to force +Lawrence to either accept the jurisdiction of the new canon against the resolutions of his diocese, or to be left unable to defend himself in order not to submit to the new disputed Title IV canon.

October 17, 5:37 pm | [comment link]
5. c.r.seitz wrote:

#2 and in the light of this, weren’t they duty bound to refer charges to the Intake Officer so soon as he was in place? What is the option of putting the charges off in a freezer until they got reorganised as a new Committee? So they can do a fast-track # 2 for abandonment?

October 17, 5:44 pm | [comment link]
6. Ralph wrote:

It gets worse and worse, or (from a certain point of view) more and more interesting. Who is J. B. Burch?

#4, I don’t think +Mark has any authority or power to accept the new Title IV, without defying the constitution and canons of the Diocese of SC, which of course take precedence over the national C&C, since TEC is not hierarchical at a national level.

I also don’t think he needs to respond to anything, or defend himself - any more than Jesus had to defend himself against the accusations of the chief priests, etc.

To use an image that others have recently used, he could simply take an inhibition or deposition letter into the smallest room of his house, and use it to…well, you know what.

It’s not at all clear that 815 can do a thing to remove him as Bishop of South Carolina, and I’m not aware of an incident in which the PB has used the power of interdict against a diocese. Thus, he has no need to take the diocese out of TEC. Things are much more interesting while the diocese remains part of TEC.

As I understand it, the matter cannot be taken into a civil court. Thus, who could force him to leave?

October 17, 8:58 pm | [comment link]
7. bettcee wrote:

“Because I believe that time is of an essence, I have made a command decision”

Why is time of the essence in this matter?
When I read something like this I am reminded this old truism: “When we act in haste, we will repent at our leisure”.

October 17, 9:52 pm | [comment link]
8. Sherri2 wrote:

Time being “of the essence” is a time-honored excuse for violating all sorts of rules and making all sorts of unilateral decisions. The more Bishop Henderson says, the worse his committee’s actions sound. How about if they take it slow and dot the i’s and cross the t’s and root out bias, conflicts of interest and any hint of the foreordained quality that seems to hover about this “investigation.” Or whatever it is.

October 17, 10:52 pm | [comment link]
9. Cennydd13 wrote:

They’ll dot all of the I’s and cross all of the T’s and make sure they’ve got a fabricated and airtight “case” against +Lawrence…...and they’ll have him hung, drawn, and quartered before they turn him over to PB Jefferts Schori for deposition.  Talk about jackboot justice!

October 18, 1:53 am | [comment link]
10. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Ralph asks (#6) the natural question, “Who is J. B. Burch?”

Well, as a Richmonder I can help answer that.  Burch is a Richmond lawyer and longtime leader in the Diocese of VA.  In all my personal dealings with him (I visited his law office once), I have found him to be a man of integrity and there is no doubt that he is a devout Christian.  However, I must also admit that my personal take on him is that he is a “company man.”  An institutionalist (not unlike the better-known late Chancellor of the diocese, Russell Palmore).  He is not, however, a liberal activist like Josephine Hicks, so that’s a vast improvement.

But I agree with the Curmudgeon that this whole thing stinks to high heaven.  It just keeps getting worse and worse.  So of like the uncovering of Watergate or similar scandals, where the later spin and coverups were arguably worse than the original offense itself.

David Handy+

October 18, 10:40 am | [comment link]
11. pendennis88 wrote:

He has his own law firm, here:
http://www.macbur.com/resumes/j-burtch.php

October 18, 10:53 am | [comment link]
12. Ralph wrote:

Ah - “Burtch” instead of “Burch.”

That’s why I couldn’t Google him! Thanks for the info. Yes, #10, it appears to me that 815 is digging their own pit. Deeper and deeper.

October 18, 11:09 am | [comment link]
14. Grant LeMarquand wrote:

actually, #4, a cynical person might suggest that the new canons were actually written in order to do what is now being done to Bishop Mark and possibly to a few other (unnamed but easily guessed) bishops in the not too distant future.

October 18, 1:36 pm | [comment link]
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