(Living Church) Mark McCall on South Carolina—Dumbing Abandonment Down

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This points to the most troubling question of all concerning the disciplinary board’s decision. Among the new Title IV provisions is IV.4.1(f), which requires all clergy to “report to the Intake Officer all matters which may constitute an Offense.” This comes immediately after subparagraph IV.4.1(e) pertaining to property. It appears members of the disciplinary board scrutinized these matters for more than a year and concluded that Bishop Lawrence had violated certain canonical provisions, yet not one thought to comply with the canon requiring them to report this to the Intake Officer so that the normal canonical process could be used.

This is not a technical issue. Had they proceeded as required by canon — there is no exception for matters that might also constitute abandonment — they might have spared the church the havoc we are now witnessing. Title IV after all is said to be a more pastoral way of dealing with possible canonical violations. If Bishop Lawrence is alleged to have violated subparts (c), (e), and (g) of Canon IV.4.1, why did the disciplinary board not comply with subpart (f)? Why did it not comply with mandatory disciplinary procedures that might have permitted a pastoral response instead of pursuing a process designed solely to remove a bishop summarily from the rolls of the church? Having first concluded that the disputed actions were those of the diocese, not the bishop, the board must have known the consequences “abandonment” would entail.

How have Bishop Lawrence’s theological opponents reacted to these developments? One prominent assertion has been that the automatic response of the diocese triggered by the disciplinary board’s action proves that Bishop Lawrence “lied” and intended to leave all along. But this claim fails both the tests of logic and simple chronology.

Read it all.

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

Posted October 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Milton Finch wrote:

Now, if only those with any power (would that be money at this point?) from within TEo will realize the folly of their leaders ways…maybe so this time when the liberal attack was so obvious.

October 31, 4:11 pm | [comment link]
2. Jill Woodliff wrote:


October 31, 6:49 pm | [comment link]
3. Cennydd13 wrote:

Dream on, Milton…...dream on.

October 31, 8:19 pm | [comment link]
4. Br. Michael wrote:

The abandonment Canon is used precisely because it is summary and affords the victim not due process.  It was originally intend to be used against Bishops who joined other churches and its purpose was to clean up the rolls so to speak.  because the had left the Church and didn’t care the lack of due process was not a problem.  It was never designed to be applied to these circumstances where the clergy and laity are affiliating with bodies that are in communion with TEC.  It’s kind of like using a nuclear bomb to remove unwanted guests from a house.

November 1, 6:24 am | [comment link]
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