Presiding Bishop issues Pastoral Letter to the Diocese of South Carolina

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

Posted November 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Milton Finch wrote:

She knows nothing of the grace, mercy or the peace of Jesus Christ as long as she continues the road of litigation.

November 15, 6:08 pm | [comment link]
2. steveatmi5 wrote:

Can a Presiding Bishop issue a pastoral letter to a diocese like this?

She could write a personal letter which she then makes open, but this
pastoral letter from the PB is something Episcopal Church founding members would have been shocked by and would not have supported.
The diocese has a bishop and Katharine Jefferts Schori is not that person.

November 15, 6:23 pm | [comment link]
3. MichaelA wrote:

Unfortunately for whoever spent so much time drafting this letter, Mrs Jeffert Schori’s credibility with the orthodox these days tends to hover around the “NIL” mark, so its not going to make much difference.  Her protestation that people of different opinions to hers are welcome in TEC is particularly amusing!

An interesting point:

“3)  A number of charges have been raised by these apparently departing leaders around actions by the wider Episcopal Church.  They fall into two areas – one having to do with Bishop Mark Lawrence, concerning his actions in South Carolina, and the other having to do with several bishops who filed statements about Episcopal Church polity (governance) in courts in Illinois and Texas.  These are entirely separate matters, governed by independent processes.”

In formal terms, yes they are, but only the terminally naive would believe that they are separate in reality.  TEC has moved against key leaders in orthodox dioceses: South Carolina, Western Louisiana, Albany, Dallas, Central Florida and Springfield..

The motive is obvious:  dissent must be crushed, in such a way as to deter any further dissent by others.

November 15, 6:54 pm | [comment link]
4. Already left wrote:

What I wish she would explain is this: why do the 9 get to go to conciliation and Mark Lawrence gets “put on leave” for 5 months? There’re a lot of other questions, too. But this one has had me scratching my head for a while.

November 15, 7:06 pm | [comment link]
5. tired wrote:

This must be pulled from the old template about how TEC values discussion, TEC supports diverse voices, TEC welcomes all, etc., and the leavers by implication do not.  TEC seems to pull this template out automatically after ejecting some victimized believer.  I would marvel if anyone believes this - it is patently and starkly belied by her other statements and acts.

“... a constituent part of…”

She suffers from the tedious tendency to repeat unsupported conclusions, as if they somehow become more convincing with each saying - twice in this doc alone.  Her harping assertion simply does not make it so.  (If she speaks the same way, she must be tiring in person.) 

“In our tradition decisions about the Church are not made unilaterally….”

Unless - of course - she agrees with the decision.  This was one of my favorites - rich stuff.  Of course, this is another unsupported assertion - but one that might be correct on a different level.  For example, she may want to inform General Convention about the invalidity of their manifold innovations.  But then again, she may desire to savor the hypocrisy alone for a while.

Ah, too much material. 


November 15, 7:20 pm | [comment link]
6. Br. Michael wrote:

“Surrender, Dorothy!”

November 15, 7:31 pm | [comment link]
7. SC blu cat lady wrote:

One thing that has always bothered me is the continual claim that “dioceses cannot leave”. I would like to see the canon that expressly forbids that action. Note the PB has continually said this but has never to my knowledge ever offered a canon as the justification for her statement that “dioceses can not leave”. Inquiring minds want to know.

November 15, 9:13 pm | [comment link]
8. Ad Orientem wrote:

This may be the first pastoral letter I would expect delivered by a sheriff’s deputy or officer of the court.

November 16, 1:34 am | [comment link]
9. APB wrote:

“All she wants is the Sudetenland. Once that simple, reasonable demand is met, then we will have peace.”

Great post over at:

November 16, 9:31 am | [comment link]
10. Mike Watson wrote:

Here are some of my own views on paragraph 1 and the portion of paragraph 3 having to do with South Carolina:

Paragraph 1 has no pastoral content, but consists of hostile legal assertions without identifiable basis in TEC’s constitution, federal constitutional law or other applicable law.

In paragraph 3, the Presiding Bishop maintains that discipline for abandonment can result from making or condoning a repudiation of the polity of TEC, which she then equates with a violation of canons or rules.  She is saying in effect that any violation of canons or rules is a basis for discipline under the abandonment canon, which isn’t correct, even assuming there were a violation.

Second, she says that she is required to limit the Bishop’s “formal ability to function as bishop”.  Yet if restriction on ministry under the canon were required, it would preclude performance of “any Episcopal, ministerial or canonical acts.”  There is no limitation to “formal” matters.

Third, she says that all that is required to resolve the matter is that the Bishop repudiate the charges made against him.  But what the abandonment canon would require if it were applicable is not a repudiation of the charges (which would be easy enough since they appear to be without basis), but a retraction or denial going to the underlying actions.  How, for example, would he retract a parliamentary ruling on the basis of which action has already been taken or quitclaim deeds already filed in courthouses?

November 16, 2:02 pm | [comment link]
11. Cennydd13 wrote:

What Schori’s saying is “Either you do as I say, or I will lower the boom on you.”

November 16, 7:34 pm | [comment link]
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