A.S. Haley Analyzes the Changes Signaled by the Latest Charges against Bishop Mark Lawrence

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The certification of abandonment by ECUSA's new Disciplinary Board for Bishops, communicated to Bishop Mark Lawrence by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on October 15, 2012, raises some very troubling questions. It also evidences a new degree of repression operative in ECUSA that seems designed to curb the free speech and other First Amendment rights of its clergy....

Bishop Lawrence has 60 days in which to answer the charges, but he will not do so, as he could not enter into their rigged game without waiving his position that the new Title IV has no force or effect in South Carolina. Moreover, his diocese is no longer even a member of ECUSA, and so the Church's organs and agents have no jurisdiction whatsoever over him. They will still have to go through the motions of "deposing" him, but that is the Church's fault -- it refuses to allow its bishops or other clergy to leave peacefully, and can get them off its books only by charging "abandonment" or "renunciation."

Indeed, any communication Mark Lawrence makes in public about the charges or his diocese now runs the risk that the Presiding Bishop will treat it as she did in the case of Bishop Iker, and declare that it constitutes a "voluntary renunciation of orders" so that she can shorten the process of his removal, and not have to bother with a meeting of the House of Bishops. And in fact, now that I think about it, mark my words -- watch for that very thing to happen.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons

3 Comments
Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:12 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Emerson Champion wrote:

Bishop Lawrence is accused of [...] (b) not dissenting from their adoption by the convention, [...] And as for “not ruling the motion out of order,” any deputy to the Convention could have asked for such a ruling. Does that mean that every clergy attending the 2010 and 2011 conventions is liable to charges of “abandonment” because they did not make such an objection, or dissent from the resolutions’ passage? (The minutes on the diocesan website—Exhibits C and D to the certification of abandonment—do not record any objections as having been made to the various resolutions; they record only their passage “by majority vote.”)

My question is, were the two clergy who are among those who brought these charges present at the aforementioned convention when these resolutions were discussed and voted on? If they were present, why didn’t they make an objection to, or dissent from, the resolutions’ passage at that time?

October 19, 11:29 am | [comment link]
2. BlueOntario wrote:

I find interesting Haley’s comment on the actions of bishop versus those of a diocese: it appears that the bishop is to be considered as the diocese (or the diocese is the bishop). What a host of questions that raises.
TEc confounds canon and civil law constantly.

October 19, 3:29 pm | [comment link]
3. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Counselor Haley has done it again.  Brilliantly lucid and compelling analysis.  A home run.  As usual, he’s absolutely right.

And yes, he’s right that this latest egregious and scandalous abuse perpetrated by the powers that be in TEC is extremely ominous for the shrinking remnant of biblically faithful clergy left in TEC, as the repression of orthodox voices grows ever worse and more blatant.

Kendall, thanks for highlighting the key sentence that you did.  It’s an apt and vital point that no one should miss.

Thanks be to God for the Curmudgeon and his legendary skill at taking complex matters, discerning the most important and instructive points, and making them as clear as can be.

David Handy+

October 19, 4:53 pm | [comment link]
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