As the Special Convention called for the Diocese of South Carolina nears, both the leader of the Diocese and the leader of the national Church have issued pastoral letters. They attempt, on the surface, to calm the waters, but underneath each are stiff messages which show the resolve with which each side of this dispute is facing the coming confrontation.
boilerplate for 815, and comes straight from Chancellor David Booth Beers. The mantra about dioceses needing the "consent" of General Convention to disaffiliate is based on no language in the Church's Constitution or Canons whatsoever. During the Civil War, seven dioceses left the Church without asking or seeking any permission from the national Church to do so. Since then, a proposal to make General Convention the supreme authority in the Church failed to pass General Convention in 1895, and the subject has not been touched upon since.
Bishop Jefferts Schori's letter also takes the occasion to discuss the charges brought against the Fort Worth Seven and the Quincy Three, but again it adds nothing new (except to express the extraordinary opinion that "all involved see [the process] as a positive endeavor"!!). It reiterates that the matter is going through the new procedures under the amended Title IV of the Canons, but it fails to acknowledge her own improper role in that process -- improper, in that she is acting as a judge in her own cause. (The "offense" with which those bishops have been charged is, at bottom, their act of disagreeing with the Presiding Bishop -- and she gets to direct and control the disciplinary process.)
But she also makes a false appeal to parishioners' fear and misunderstanding about what is happening...
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons * South Carolina * Theology
Previous entry (below): AP Article—Clergy and parishes meet; national bishop writes South Carolina Diocese
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