Presiding Bishop Says Mark Lawrence Says what he did not Say, right out of George Orwell

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[This post is 'Sticky' - new entries below]
Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

Posted December 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Ralph wrote:

Entirely predictable, following her past course. So, it’s easy to guess what comes next.

Let’s get those priests and deacons defrocked. Let’s try to dupe some judge into getting the bank accounts frozen. Let’s get the Potemkin diocese organized. We shall have to see how the secular legal fight plays out in SC.

I know what I’d do with the PB’s letter, but chances are that +Mark is a much better man than I.

December 5, 5:43 pm | [comment link]
2. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Alice in Wonderland had a similar experience before Orwell, but one must admit that the vaunting pride of this PB has taken it to new heights.  And she has her little coterie of sycophants to endorse it.

Watch out, CoE!

December 5, 6:15 pm | [comment link]
3. CSeitz-ACI wrote:

I notice that confirmed progressives Bill Dilworth, Tobias Haller and even Lionel Diemel acknowledge this is canonically unsuitable and wrong.

I think we are seeing a combination of sloppiness, disregard, and spite.

December 5, 7:20 pm | [comment link]
4. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Well let’s see what the latest is from the Wicked Witch of the West:

1.‘Citing Title III, Canon 12, Section 7 of the Constitutions and Canons of The Episcopal Church’ ... Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori
1. ‘has accepted’
2.‘the renunciation of the ordained ministry’ in the Episcopal Church of Mark Lawrence
3. ‘as made in his public address on November 17’’
and ‘she has released him from his orders’ in this Church.

How does that all fit together with what the Canon actually says:

‘Citing Title III, Canon 12, Section 7 of the Constitutions and Canons of The Episcopal Church’
This section says [page 113]:

Sec. 7. Renunciation of the Ordained Ministry

(a) If any Bishop of this Church shall declare, in writing, to the Presiding Bishop a renunciation of the ordained Ministry of this Church, and a desire to be removed therefrom, it shall be the duty of the Presiding Bishop to record the declaration and request so made.

The Presiding Bishop, being satisfied that the person so declaring is acting voluntarily and for causes, assigned or known, which do not affect the person’s moral character, shall lay the matter before the Advisory Council to the Presiding Bishop, and with the advice and consent of a majority of the members of the Advisory Council the Presiding Bishop may pronounce that such renunciation is accepted, and that the Bishop is released from the obligations of all Ministerial offices, and is deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God’s Word and Sacraments conferred in Ordinations. The Presiding Bishop shall also declare in pronouncing and recording such action that it was for causes which do not affect the person’s moral character, and shall, if desired, give a certificate to this effect to the person so removed.

To comply with Section 7. a
a) The bishop has to have acted by himself making a declaration
What is relied on by the Presiding Bishop?  The Address given by Bishop Lawrence to the Diocesan Synod which can be ‘listened to’ here contains no such ‘act’

The Address was an oral address given to the diocesan convention delivered from a pulpit.  A declaration in writing requires a solemn notice, in writing, signed by the declarant.  Bishop Lawrence did not write and sign anything which could be termed a declaration in writing.  The statement that Bishop Lawrence made a declaration in writing is untrue.

c) To the Presiding Bishop
The Address was given by Bishop Lawrence TO the diocese of South Carolina Synod.  It was not addressed TO the Presiding Bishop.  The statement that Bishop Lawrence made a declaration in writing to the Presiding Bishop is untrue.

d) containing a renunciation of the ordained Ministry of this Church
At no stage of the Address did Bishop Lawrence state that he was renouncing Ordained Ministry in the Church.  His speech did not contain such a renunciation.  The statement that Bishop Lawrence made a declaration in writing to the Presiding Bishop containing a renunciation ‘of the Ordained Ministry’ of this Church is untrue

e) ‘together with ‘a desire to be removed therefrom’
Bishop Lawrence in his Address expressed no ‘desire’ to be removed from Ordained Ministry.  The statement that Bishop Lawrence made a written declaration to the Presiding Bishop containing a renunciation ‘of the Ordained Ministry’ of this Church’ together with a desire to be removed therefrom’ is untrue.

f) It must be a declaration voluntarily made in addition to fulfilling the above requirements.  Thus the declaration in writing has to be the voluntary act of Bishop Lawrence.  It cannot be an act done by anyone else, including the Presiding Bishop, and it has to be a specific act contained in a written declaration complying in full with each and every detail of Section 7a.  Neither the written declaration, nor any of the details which Section 7a requires can be imputed, or ‘read into’ the Declaration in Writing.  They must be set out in words which request and fulfil each and every part of the requirements of Section 7.

The statement that Bishop Lawrence made a written declaration to the Presiding Bishop containing a renunciation ‘of the Ordained Ministry’ of this Church together with a desire to be removed therefrom’ and that it was a ‘voluntary’ act is untrue.

If that is not enough, consider that there are already disciplinary proceedings on foot of which the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church is seized.  The proceedings have now been transferred to the House of Bishops following the finding of the Disciplinary Board, and certification by the Presiding Bishop.  These proceedings are no longer in the hands of the Presiding Bishop and her Council of Advice, however many of her chum bishops sit on it.  The authority to take action has vested in the House of Bishops under the 2009 Disciplinary Canons.

Consider then, Section 7. b

(b)If a Bishop making the aforesaid declaration of the
renunciation of the ordained Ministry be under Presentment for any
canonical Offense, or shall have been placed on Trial for the same,
the Presiding Bishop shall not consider or act upon such declaration
until after the Presentment shall have been dismissed or the said
Trial shall have been concluded and the Bishop judged not to have
committed an Offense.

So, if a Bishop is is alleged to have committed a canonical offense [as the Disciplinary Board certified he has], and is on Trial or Presentment for it then the Presiding Bishop should not have ‘considered’ the alleged Declaration in Writing.  In any event she should not have ‘acted’ on it.
So what did the Presiding Bishop Do?  Well of course, she not only considered the Declaration but also acted on it, purporting to remove Bishop Lawrence from Ordained Ministry.  She did so in defiance of Section 7 b.

The Presiding Bishop lied about receiving a voluntary declation in writing from Bishop Lawrence.  She lied about it being a request to be removed from Ordained Ministy.  She lied about it expressing a desire to be removed from Ordained Ministry.  She lied about all the other requirements set out in Section 7 a being complied with.  She then not only considered but acted on the alleged Declaration in writing sent to her and which she claims to have received from Bishop Lawrence in defiance of Section 7 b.  She has ignored the matter before the House of Bishops for alleged canonical offense.

In short, even having ‘fixed’ the Disciplinary Canons of the Episcopal Church to suit her needs, she yet shows them nothing but contempt by ignoring them.  She once again shows herself to be a vicious and vindictive liar with no regard for the Canons she claims to be using, no regard for the House of Bishops, no regard for due process, for the rule of law.  She remains a lawless renegade - the Bandit Bishop who continues to think she can turn the Episcopal Church into Zimbabwe.

December 5, 7:21 pm | [comment link]
5. driver8 wrote:

Who is on the Council of Advice?

December 5, 7:48 pm | [comment link]
6. CSeitz-ACI wrote:

The renunciation was consented to by the members of the Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice, who are the presidents or vice presidents of the nine Provinces of the Episcopal Church:  Bishops Stephen Lane of Maine (Province I), Lawrence Provenzano of Long Island (Province II), Neff Powell of Southwestern Virginia (Province III), Dabney Smith of Southwest Florida (Province IV); Wayne Smith of Missouri (Province V), Rob O’Neill of Colorado (Province VI), Larry Benfield of Arkansas (Province VII), James Mathes of San Diego (Province VIII) and Francisco Duque of Colombia (Province IX).  Also members of the Council of Advice are Bishop Dean Wolfe of Kansas, vice president of the House of Bishops and Bishop Clay Matthews of the Office of Pastoral Development. Note: Bishop Dabney Smith was not present at the meeting because of illness.

December 5, 7:55 pm | [comment link]
7. wildfire wrote:

The so-called “renunciation” canon was amended at the last General Convention.  It no longer refers to “renunciation” and is not applicable when a bishop is a respondent to a proceeding under Title IV, defined as including a bishop “whose ministry has been restricted.” It does not purport to remove the gifts conferred in ordination, but only the right to exercise those gifts in TEC.

The current language reads as follows:

If any Bishop of The Episcopal Church shall express, in writing, to the Presiding Bishop, an intention to be released and removed from the ordained Ministry of this Church and from the obligations attendant thereto, including those promises made at Ordination in the Declaration required by Article VIII of the Constitution of the General Convention, it shall be the duty of the Presiding Bishop to record the matter. The Presiding Bishop, being satisfied that the person so declaring is acting voluntarily and for causes, which do not affect the person’s moral character, and is neither the subject of information concerning an Offense that has been referred to an Intake Officer nor a Respondent in a pending disciplinary matter as defined in Title IV of these Canons, shall lay the matter before the Advisory Council to the Presiding Bishop, and with the advice and consent of a majority of the members of the Advisory Council the Presiding Bishop may pronounce that person is released and removed from the ordained Ministry of this Church and from the obligations attendant thereto, and is deprived of the right to exercise in The Episcopal Church the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God’s Word and Sacraments conferred in Ordinations.

The certification sent to Bishop lawrence today uses the language of the former canon and thus does not comply with the amended canon.  You can read the amended language here by going to Resolution A030.

December 5, 8:08 pm | [comment link]
8. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#7 Wildfire
So South Carolina not recognising the new disciplinary canons, the indications are that the Presiding Bishop unilaterally decided to use the 2009 unamended ones instead?

The amended wording makes it even more clear that the Presiding Bishop should have satisfied herself that ‘the person so declaring is acting voluntarily and ... is [not] a Respondent in a pending disciplinary matter as defined in Title IV of these Canons,.’

So whichever version of the canons were proceeded under, there being a ‘pending disciplinary matter’, there is no way the Presiding Bishop should have consided or acted using this canon.

December 5, 8:31 pm | [comment link]
9. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Katherine Jefferts Schori, the Norbert Kunonga of the Episcopal Church.

December 5, 8:36 pm | [comment link]
10. wildfire wrote:

The canon in question is in Title III (III.12.7), not Title IV.  This has nothing to do with South Carolina’s position on Title IV.  They simply used obsolete language from a canon that has been amended—it no longer says what was recited today in the certification sent to Bp. Lawrence.

December 5, 8:44 pm | [comment link]
11. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#10 Wildfire
Thank you, that is most illuminating.  So in fact, the Action taken by the PB and the Certification is ineffective?

December 5, 8:56 pm | [comment link]
12. wildfire wrote:

# 11,

I think that is the best analysis of what happened.  The PB purported today to accept Bishop Lawrence’s “renunciation” and to deprive him of the rights to exercise the gifts conferred in ordination.  The current canon does not authorize this, and its new language provides that it is not applicable to a bishop whose ministry has been restricted.

December 5, 9:01 pm | [comment link]
13. Milton Finch wrote:

Pageantmaster, the woman the is presiding be shadow boxing.  She is striking out, insanely i might add, at people that are not there.  All in the hope of money and property.  Nothing from the Holy Spirit at all in what she is doing.  She is looking through the mask of hate.  It has encompassed her face and clings tighter with each passing day.

December 5, 9:05 pm | [comment link]
14. BMR+ wrote:

I believe the amended version of III.12 takes effect at the beginning of the triennium, January 1,2013. So the 2009 canon would still be the operative text. In either case it is clear that the Presiding Bishop’s actions are in contradiction to the plain meaning of the text.

Bruce Robison

December 5, 9:27 pm | [comment link]
15. wildfire wrote:

# 14,

Thank you.  I agree with your correction and the remainder of your comment completely.

December 5, 9:36 pm | [comment link]
16. tjmcmahon wrote:

Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius

And until today, I would have thought violating canons in the past, present and future simultaneously would have required a tardis.

If I were +Welby in the CoE, I would be worried.  The only reason I can see for such haste on KJS part would be that she intends to overthrow the ABoC in 2015 and take over Lambeth (by voice vote of the standing committee), instead of succeeding herself as PB.  Which you might scoff at, but would be every bit as legal as her “renouncing” of +Lawrence.

December 5, 9:38 pm | [comment link]
17. tjmcmahon wrote:

Canons aside, the PB broke 3 Commandments (VIII, IX, X plus maybe also III, depending on your view of God’s personal involvement in ordination, or I, if you hold that she has raised the property ownership of TEC or her personal interpretation of her own station to the status of idol).
While archaic, I still use Roman numerals occasionally, because, like the Authorized Version and Anglo Catholicism, revisionists think they are really scary.

December 5, 10:02 pm | [comment link]
18. CSeitz-ACI wrote:

#14—Does it follow that the timetable you invoke means a concern for those in charge to beat the January deadline?

One wonders how carefully this is all being choreographed,; or is it simple expedience.

One uses a renunciation logic determined to be inappropriate (‘Scriven renounced his orders’) and so subject to alteration in 2013, by GC action;

but seeks to apply it in December 2013;

so as to avoid a HOB vote requiring supermajority;

and get the job done.

Is any of this truly in question?

December 5, 10:13 pm | [comment link]
19. Katherine wrote:

I wonder if the PB and her clique understand how this looks from the outside.  Possibly not.

December 5, 10:32 pm | [comment link]
20. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

And what was the advice of the the Presiding Bishop’s fly-by-night lawyers from Goodwin Proctor, one wonders, who appear to have been wallowing in and gorging themselves on the Episcopal Church’s money like pigs in a trough?

December 5, 10:55 pm | [comment link]
21. Cranmerian wrote:

#16, I wondered about KJS wanting to take another ride on the PB train for 9 more years too.

In August, Bp. Behase removed me as a priest using Title III.9.8 (2009 version) when I asked for letters dimissory into ACNA.  Of course I got the standard line that ACNA wouldn’t accept letters from TEC (which they would have), and so they had no choice but to say that I had renounced my orders - which I didn’t do.  As others have said above, they have at least made the distinction between renouncing orders just in TEC, versus a complete renunciation and thus being laicized.

In any case, the lawlessness within TEC continues unabated.

December 6, 12:22 am | [comment link]
22. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Well done! I agree one of the best analyses about this.  I like your words “Bandit Bishop”. Perfect!  +Lawrence has responded to this which can be read here at T19 or at the diocese’s website.  Bishop Lawrence remains our bishop- Thanks be to God!

December 6, 11:06 am | [comment link]
23. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#22 SC blu cat lady
Well, I am very sorry to hear what you and the diocese are going through.  From over here some of us are just spectators, although we keep you and your bishop in our prayers.

This has been a useful discussion for what has come out of it:

1. It looks as if the Presiding Bishop did purport to proceed under the unamended 2009 canons, even though they only have a month to go before the new ones General Convention made its Act in July [and which Mark McCall helpfully precis] in #11 come into effect.

2. The analysis based on the 2009 canon which I made at #4 and which Allan Haley dealt with in detail is still current so not only were the canonical requirements not fulfilled, but the canon should not have been used by the Presiding Bishop, something which she and her lawyers from Goodwin Proctor including Goodwin Proctor partner Mr Beers must have known.  It looks as if she just deliberately flouted them and is now arrogantly facing down anyone minded to challenge her outrageous over-reach.

3. The First Question which then arises is what has led her to what on the face of it is a remarkably incompetant performance from her and Goodwin Proctor.  What possessed her to attack Bishop Lawrence by pushing for the latest Title IV disciplinary action based on facts which the board had previously dismissed and to attack the diocese thus triggering the automatic dissociation provision passed by the diocese for just this eventuality.  Was it just incompetence from Schori and Goodwin Proctor, or malice to drive out all remaining conservatives in TEC.

4. The Second Question is, what caused her to ignore the abandonment action which now has under Title IV several months for Bishop Lawrence to reply, although under restriction, and which the House of Bishops was due to hear and make a decision to depose on, with as far as I understand the need for a supermajority, that is if the canons were followed?

5. The Third Question is what caused the Presiding Bishop and Goodwin Proctor to take the huge risk, not only canonically, but also to their own reputation, by trying to claim under Title III that Bishop Lawrence had volunarily declared in writing his wish to be removed from Holy Orders, when he had so obviously had done nothing of the sort and where the Presiding Bishop is prohibited from using this Section when the Title IV proceedings?

6. The Fourth Question arising out of the above questions, is the one raised by Professor Seitz, what caused the Presiding Bishop and Goodwin Proctor to decide to use a canonical provision in spite of the decision of General Convention having considered that the provisions were flawed and had amended it, but with the amendments not coming into force for a few weeks?  It looks like wilful defiance of the spirit if not the letter of the decision of General Convention.  What caused her and Goodwin Proctor to take this risk?

7.  Perhaps a partial answer to these four questions is that:
- The Title IV abandonment action and restriction on Bishop Lawrence leaves him with the time allowed by him under that canon to answer the charges and for the House of Bishops to make a decision.
- The Presiding Bishop presumably is unsure of success in the Title IV proceedings, particularly given her role in pushing for Title IV abandonment proceedings in her latest attack on South Carolina while she was in bad faith claiming to negotiate with Bishop Lawrence, and unsure given the fact that she directly and incompetently caused the disociation of the Diocese of South Carolina from TEC, that she would actually get the votes of the House of Bishops to depose Bishop Lawrence, or that she would be able to get them without the fiction of claiming that the majority of the bishops entitled to vote for deposition was just the majority of those bishop who bothered to turn up [i.e a simple majority rather than the supermajority the canons require as I understand it]
- Under Title IV the action the Presiding Bishop took to restrict Bishop Lawrence was ineffective, because she and Goodwin Proctor incompetently omitted to serve him with a signed certificate in the correct form [as ACI pointed out.  Thus canonicaly Bishop Lawrence is still under TEC canons the Bishop of South Carolina, and the incursions by Mr Tisdale and the retired Tennessee bishop are uncanonical.
- Under the same Title IV proceedings the action to steal the Diocesan Seal of South Carolina and use it through her attorney, Thomas Tisdale’s meeting was illegal.
- the only sensible conclusion is that the Presiding Bishop and Goodwin Proctor, given a list of goofs the Marx brothers would have found embarrassing, have panicked.    The Schori/Booth Beers/Goodwin Proctor reaction has been to take a huge risk by:  disobeying the House of Bishops authority to decide on the Title IV action; disobeying the restriction on Title III being used while Title IV proceedings are ongoing; disobeying the clear intent of General Convention by using a provision which Convention had decided should be replaced a few weeks before its redundancy; and instead to take a breathtaking chance by trying to use Title III to claim that Bishop Lawrence has written to the Presiding Bishop to ask her to remove him from Ordained Ministry.  Not only did Schori and Goodwin Proctor do this, but were prepared to misrepresent that they were permitted to use Title III to do this, but that the very specific other terms of Title III had been fulfilled when Schori and her lawyers from Goodwin Proctor knew this to be untrue.

Schori and Goodwin Proctor panicked, and decided to replace a flawed Title IV process which the had messed up, with a totally fictitious and uncanonical use of Title III, not caring what anybody in the Episcopal Church or the many people from the wider church watching all this think.

My assessment has always been that Schori is a chancer, and like all chancers, one day she and Goodwin Proctor will take a chance too many, but until that time she will not be bound by canons, the truth, or any form of accountability, and she will be supported by the well paid secular lawyers Goodwin Proctor to do that, for presumably they know that they are safe from having the accounts they have delivered and the actions they have advised audited by the Church, their client while Bishop Schori is unchallenged and in place.  Afterwards, however???

December 7, 10:10 pm | [comment link]
24. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

There is one other point of interest arising in the discussions, looking forwards and that is the whole strategy which David Booth Beers and the other Goodwin Proctor lawyers have advised, and whether it is about to come seriously unstuck.

Today came news that in Oregon, the Supreme Court decided the state would be the 38th to apply neutral principles to church disputes over land; that is in the absence of the normal principles that a trust has to be in writing, signed by the settlor, an implied trust asserted by the beneficiary [such as the Dennis Cannon is] does not apply.

In Texas, in the cases there as far as I understand what I have read, the courts have been less than accommodating of the line put forward originally by Booth Beers and Goodwin Proctor, and locally applied, that the diocese cannot leave.  In several key cases in Fort Worth and others, decisions are awaited, and if the cases are found against TEC’s lawyers’ advice, then Goodwin Proctor and the Presiding Bishop’s policy will be in tatters.  Can that be the reason for the reckless dishonesty and piracy we have seen in the last few days?  An attempt to try to create facts on the ground however dishonestly and uncanonically, before judgements are released which could cause the Episcopal Church to ask wider questions of the Presiding Bishop and her advisors from Goodwin Proctor, and the enormous sums of the church’s assets that have been ‘earned’ as lawyers fees?

Curiously, the freedom Bishop Lawrence has allowed and the refusal to be a litigator is almost certainly the reason that the Diocese of South Carolina has stayed together and now, thanks to the Presiding Bishop’s foolish actions, moved together.  Perhaps the wisdom of Bishop Lawrence’s gentle Christian leadership is becoming apparent, when contrasted with the fear driven scorched earth reign of terror devised by the Presiding Bishop and her lawyers from Goodwin Proctor.

December 7, 10:24 pm | [comment link]
25. tjmcmahon wrote:

I think the point here is that KJS is
1)Working with the advice of her lawyers- that is, this is a specific plan of action that they believe will give them the maximum advantage in court.  In several prior proceedings (Virginia for example) KJS legal team has proven very adept at using minor clauses hidden in the law to overthrow what seem, at first glance, obvious victories for their opponents (I am referring here to the Virginia statute that seemed to give parishes substantial protection from seizure by the diocese or national church).
2) The “renunciation” strategy is one used several times in the last 5 years, and successfully, so she has precedent.  Since she can openly lie about bishops renouncing their orders, and has, and these removals are recognized as legitimate by the “official” Anglican bodies, and CoE, and ABoC (and they are so recognized, as are the replacement faux bishops and dioceses), she has gotten away with it.  She doesn’t care what the majority of Anglicans or provinces think, so long as she can continue to rule over Canterbury and the standing committee, she will remove whoever she wants, whenever she wants.  The ABoC set up the Communion Partners, then promptly abandoned them to their own fate (by his own words, he was required to issue a statement of full communion with +Lawrence on the day KJS announced the “renunciation”). The milquetoast statement by the CoE at Synod was a defacto support for KJS doing whatever she wanted to do. Until such time as an ABoC officially reverses this policy, re-establishes full communion with removed bishops, and removes her from the standing committee (publicly breaks communion with her and demands her resignation), she will continue to do what she is doing, and there is no indication that +Welby will do any more to maintain episcopal integrity than +Williams.

December 8, 11:04 am | [comment link]
26. CSeitz-ACI wrote:

#25 Could you clarify? The ‘renunciation’ of +Scriven, e.g., was regarded as empty of effect by the CofE. He is a Bishop there. I suspect the CofE concluded it was a nutty use of the wrong canon. Which it was.

December 8, 11:57 am | [comment link]
27. Cennydd13 wrote:

23.  “Afterwards, however?”  Afterwards, Hell will boil over, and she and her cohorts from Goodwin Proctor will find themselves out on a limb…...or getting the short end of the stick…..whichever you prefer.  Sooner or later, this cabal is going to get what’s coming to them.

December 8, 12:37 pm | [comment link]
28. tjmcmahon wrote:

#26- You are, of course, correct that the CoE did not recognize the “renunciation” of Bishop Scriven. So I no doubt should have said “8 of the 9 supposed “renuciations.”  But let us note that (or perhaps I should say, as far as I have been able to determine in my own reading and research on the matter at the time, and since, but I am open to correction) at no point was there any public announcement on behalf of the CoE to that effect, or any official acknowledgment that TEC or the PB had overstepped their bounds (which is not to say that individual bishops and others did not express an opinion publicly).  In fact, the official silence on the matter seemed to be an acceptance of the TEC fiction that the words “deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God’s Word and Sacraments conferred on him in Ordinations” only meant he could no longer minister in TEC.  However that may be, the CoE do not view themselves as in full communion with any of the deposed or renounced bishops in the US, Canada, or Brazil, and have been “studying” the matter of re-establishing full communion, and what hoops ACNA and other Anglicans will have to jump through, for the last several years- with the implication from the ABoC that there will be no action until the TEC-controlled Standing Committee allows it (and we can guess when that will be) and “Anglican” status is ratified by the ACC.  One can make a case that by continuing to recognize +Scriven, there is a de facto impairment of communion with TEC, however the CoE and the 2 Archbishops seem content avoid talking about it.
There are also bishops with the CoE who have made clear that they individually do remain in communion with individual bishops who have been deposed by TEC (and I am not aware of any FiF bishop on the planet who views the TEC actions as having had any impact).  But then, my point I was hoping to make was that KJS couldn’t care less what individual bishops, or FiF, or Reform, or the GS Provinces think about what she is doing, so long as she is the official primate of the officially recognized Anglican Communion franchise in the USA, sits on the Standing Committee, and rules over the ACC.

The most recent (non commital) statement from CoE regarding communion with South Carolina, came during the recent Synod, prior to the “renunciation” announcement from 815, so it is still in the realm of possibility that CoE leadership could decide the time has come to actually do something, and issue a statement recognizing the bishop of South Carolina as the bishop of South Carolina.

I would reiterate my first point from #25.  While in the future, KJS “renunciation” action against +Lawrence may prove to be an error (like the German’s taking Stalingrad), it is part of an intentional strategy, planned by the TEC legal team, and we should not discount it as foolish, or some sort of error due to poor coordination at 815.  The legal team sees some advantage to be gained by “accepting the renunciation” a) prior to the new canon coming into effect in January, and b) in preference to deposition by the HoB.  The obvious original plan had to do with using the Abandonment canon (which averted a lengthy canonical trial process), but for some reason, although they were well along on that (unconstitutional and canonically questionable) course , they switched gears.  I think the best course for the good guys is to look at that as purpose driven, and figure out the purpose.

December 8, 1:41 pm | [comment link]
29. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#25 TJ
While I agree that the PB is acting with the advice of Goodwin Proctor ‘lawyers’, and I agree that in the past she has indeed used the fiction of not receiving involuntary unwritten non-requests for removal from orders, I don’t agree that we have this week seen the PB and Goodwin Proctor working to plan.

Firstly, this is the first time that PB and Goodwin Proctor have sought to pre-empt an existing Title IV action and done so in direct defiance of the prohibition of enacting a Title III removal from Ordained Ministry while those proceedings are on foot.  Secondly, there is the rush to get this done under the old redundant canons in the few weeks before they finally go to the grave.  Thirdly, it has been done in a way which is transparently abusive to the extent that it has appalled even the usual supporters of 815 including Tobias Haller, Mark Harris and Lionel Deimel.  Everyone knows it is wrong, dishonest and an abuse of the TEC canons by Schori and Goodwin Proctor.  Schori of course has some defense if she has received and is acting on written advice from Goodwin Proctor, and if Goodwin Proctor have given such written advice [i.e. not in the way that written renunciations are apparently received], I hope they have their indemnity insurers number handy.

The way in which Schori and Goodwin Proctor messed up the Title IV abandonment, and the subsequent exposure by ACI has rightly led to ridicule of Schori and her regime.  I think this latest action has to be seen in that light.  This is not a carefully considered enactment of a long planned strategy; this is a return to short term canonical abuse which is transparent.  Normally Schori and Goodwin Proctor cover their tracks and backs more carefully.

I think we are seeing full scale panic and incompetent lashing about at the White Witch’s Castle, and not a little of the vicious vindictiveness of this Presiding Hick-from-the-sticks.

December 8, 2:07 pm | [comment link]
30. cseitz wrote:

#28 I would not assume that if +Iker, for example, wanted a license to officiate in the CofE for a summer stint, he would be turned down in the light of TEC canonical nuttiness. I am less persuaded that the sui generis handling of things like Holy Orders isn’t viewed as just that, and without any larger Communion reality. That is our season of judgment.

December 8, 3:15 pm | [comment link]
31. Militaris Artifex wrote:

I find it most illuminating that KJS can sign a document that states [emphasis mine]:

Lawrence “is therefore removed from the Ordained Ministry of this Church and released from the obligations of all Ministerial offices, and is deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God’s Word and Sacraments conferred on him in Ordinations.  This action is taken for causes that do not affect his moral character.”

By contrast it seems rather obvious to me that the actions of KJS, in this instance and in the several earlier instances involving Bishops Iker, Duncan, Schofield and the Bishops and clergy who filed amicus briefs in the Texas appellate case, quite unambigously do consist of causes which reflect (in an extremely adverse way) upon her moral character, or to be more accurate, her lack of same. (Lest anyone offer the excuse, I would find it virtually impossible rationally to attribute her actions to a lack of intellectual capacity—the lady did, after all, earn and hold a Ph.D. in a, more or less, scientific discipline.)

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

December 10, 7:35 pm | [comment link]
32. MichaelA wrote:

“And what was the advice of the the Presiding Bishop’s fly-by-night lawyers from Goodwin Proctor, one wonders, who appear to have been wallowing in and gorging themselves on the Episcopal Church’s money like pigs in a trough?”

PM you are so cruel… smile

I hope the parishioners and clergy of TEC appreciate the way their money is being used!

December 11, 7:42 pm | [comment link]
33. MichaelA wrote:

tjmcmahon, good point about the Archbishop of Canterbury failing to discipline KJS (just as his predecessor failed to discipline her incompetent and oppressive predecessor, Frank Griswold).  Whilst ABC has no legal power over TEC and KJS, the symbolic action of declaring that he is in impaired communion with KJS, and in communion with clergy and bishops forced out of TEC, would have been far-reaching and decisive. 

But this reinforces the point that successive ABCs have been mistaken to believe that they can sit on the fence.  To do so amounts to choosing a side (in this case, TEC and the liberals).

Hence ++Williams recent admission and lament that the Anglican Communion has broken down.  To prevent that, he needed to support orthodoxy.  Instead, like his predecessor he chose to support liberalism, and has paid the price in terms of diminution of his own status and authority.

December 11, 7:47 pm | [comment link]
Registered members must log in to comment.

Next entry (above): A.S. Haley—The Presiding Bishop Flouts the Canons Again

Previous entry (below): BBC World Service’s Heart and Soul—Brazil and the Rise of the Evangelical Church

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)