South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence Writes Regarding his Alleged “Renunciation”

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This post remains 'Sticky' at the head of the page.
Quite simply I have not renounced my orders as a deacon, priest or bishop any more than I have abandoned the Church of Jesus Christ—But as I am sure you are aware, the Diocese of South Carolina has canonically and legally disassociated from The Episcopal Church. We took this action long before today's attempt at renunciation of orders, therein making it superfluous.
Read it all.


December 5, 2012

Dear Friends in Christ,

“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” 2 Corinthians 4:5

The Presiding Bishop called me this afternoon to inform me that she and her council of advice have “accepted my renunciation of ordained ministry.” I listened quietly, asked a question or two and then told her it was good to hear her voice. I did not feel any need to argue or rebut. It is the Presiding Bishop’s crossing of the T’s and dotting of the I’s—for their paper work, not my life. I could point out the canonical problems with what they have done contrary to the canons of The Episcopal Church but to what avail? TEC will do what they will do regardless of canonical limitations. Those canonical problems are already well documented by others and hardly need further documentation by me. She and her advisers will say I have said what I have not said in ways that I have not said them even while they cite words from my Bishop’s Address of November 17, 2012.

Quite simply I have not renounced my orders as a deacon, priest or bishop any more than I have abandoned the Church of Jesus Christ. As I am sure you are aware, the Diocese of South Carolina has canonically and legally disassociated from The Episcopal Church. We took this action long before today’s attempt to claim a renunciation of my orders, thereby making it superfluous.

So we move on—onward and upward. As I write these words in the vesper light of this first Wednesday of Advent, the bells of the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul ring in the steeple beside the diocesan office, and I remain the Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina. We shall continue to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ in Word and Deed to a needy world, as well as ourselves. We need to experience afresh its power to set us free from sin, death, guilt, shame and judgment and to transform our lives to be like Christ’s from one degree of glory to another. As the Apostle has written: “The Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

I am heartened by the support of the vast majority of those within this Diocese as well as that of the majority of Anglicans around the world and that of many in North America who have expressed in so many ways that they consider me to be an Anglican Bishop in good standing and that this Diocese of South Carolina is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

My prayers for a wakeful and watchful Advent,

The Right Reverend Mark Joseph Lawrence
XIV Bishop of South Carolina

For background see also:
A.S. Haley—The Presiding Bishop Flouts the Canons Again
Presiding Bishop Says Mark Lawrence Says what he did not Say, right out of George Orwell
South Carolina Links

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

Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:06 pm

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1. sophy0075 wrote:

God bless and protect Bishop Lawrence and his flock.

I would sooner believe that Obama had become a Republican than that the good bishop had renounced his orders.

December 6, 12:57 pm | [comment link]
2. Undergroundpewster wrote:

The actions of the PB are meaningless.

December 6, 2:14 pm | [comment link]
3. Milton Finch wrote:

Yet everything she does is aimed at meaningful litigation.  Hungry evil flailing about because of a soul that is trying to fill an empty hole.

December 6, 2:43 pm | [comment link]
4. Cennydd13 wrote:

+Mark Lawrence IS STILL a bishop of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, while Katharine Jefferts Schori IS NOT, NEVER HAS BEEN, and NEVER WILL BE a bishop of that Church or any other.

December 6, 3:34 pm | [comment link]
5. Paula Loughlin wrote:

I for one see a very timely Advent message in Bishop Lawrence’s response to those who have gathered against him.  The Lord be with him.

December 6, 4:10 pm | [comment link]
6. Dan Crawford wrote:

God bless and protect Bishop Mark. As for the PB, we need to heed some words from the ancient monastic office of Compline (1 Peter 5.8-9)
Sobrii estote et vigilate, quia adversarius vester diabolus circuit quaerens quem devoret. Cui resistite fortes in fide.

December 6, 4:50 pm | [comment link]
7. Katherine wrote:

So, the canon requires that he notify the PB in writing that he is resigning his orders, and she calls him on the phone to tell him she’s accepting the written notification he never sent.  Remaining TEC clergy, take note.  You cannot expect the treatment your constitution and canons call for.

December 6, 6:41 pm | [comment link]
8. Cennydd13 wrote:

Well, Katherine, they can’t say they weren’t warned, can they?

December 6, 7:03 pm | [comment link]
9. Peter dH wrote:

I’m confused. Whatever your position on the hot topics of the day, shouldn’t such flagrant flouting of the Canons make any Episcopalian wince! Is law only law when you like it? Is injustice only injustice when it happens to someone you approve of? Where are the bishops? Where are the reappraisers raising their voice in protest?

This is a serious question from across the pond. Surely there must be enough perfectly decent people left in TEC. Are they crying foul? If not, what is going on?

December 6, 8:34 pm | [comment link]
10. Already left wrote:

They are not crying “foul” because that puts an arrow on their head!!

December 6, 8:50 pm | [comment link]
11. Already left wrote:

Ok, I meant a bullseye!!!

December 6, 8:50 pm | [comment link]
12. MichaelA wrote:

This letter could have been written by St Athanasius.

“I could point out the canonical problems with what they have done contrary to the canons of The Episcopal Church but to what avail?  TEC will do what they will do regardless of canonical limitations.”

Right on, +Lawrence.

December 6, 11:19 pm | [comment link]
13. Cennydd13 wrote:

9.  Peter, it’s a thing called complacency.  The majority of those remaining in TEC’s pews either just don’t care enough about their Church to raise their voices in protest, or they’re content to leave matters as they are.  In other words, they just can’t be bothered to do anything.  Others, however, do care, but they’ve been hounded out of the Church, as Bishop Lawrence has been hounded out.

December 7, 1:04 am | [comment link]
14. flaanglican wrote:

I would love to see Archbishops of other provinces call Kate to inform of her of her renouncing of her orders because of the unbibilical actions of TEC. She’ll complain she didn’t write anything.  “Well, we voted to change our Canons yesterday.” Turn it around on her.

December 7, 4:07 pm | [comment link]
15. Cennydd13 wrote:

It won’t make the slightest bit of difference to her, flaanglican.  She’s a narcissist, which means she’d rather gaze at her navel while muttering platitudes about the damage she’s done to a once-proud and distinguished Church.

December 7, 4:55 pm | [comment link]
16. Luke wrote:

9. Peter - a valid query from avcross the pond. There is far too much background to go into here; few who post answers here will provide the detail and clarity you can find at The Anglican Curmudgeon’s site -  I urge you to visit it.
Here, you may dig and delve to your heart’s content, and learn what has been going on well in excess of five decades in ECUSA.
In simplest terms, ECUSA has abandoned the Gospel given us by the saints via the Bible; changing every ECUSA rule, usually by “illegal” methods, that gets in the way of their goal, usually ignoring all tradition and precedent, even to the point of making up new and false things out of whole cloth.
Consider this analogy: Labor tells the Archbishop of Canterbury, “Neither you, nor Her Majesty, have any righteous role whatsoever in the Church of England; you’ve had it wrong since Elizabeth I, so now we are excommunicating you both. Goodbye.”

December 8, 3:36 pm | [comment link]
17. SC blu cat lady wrote:

#9, Luke#16 has written an excellent reply to which I heartily agree. I will only add that the reappraisers have left because they have been driven out of the church. There are a few orthodox clergy left but they also will have their orders renounced at the will of +KJS. I don’t like what has happened over the last few decades but there is no denying it. The events of the last decade have happened even faster than many thought possible. Now it is just a matter of time until TEC is no longer viable. What a sad tale…..

December 8, 6:46 pm | [comment link]
18. Luke wrote:

9. Peter deH - Take a look here to see how the ECUSA leadership operates extra-legally:

December 8, 10:55 pm | [comment link]
19. Cennydd13 wrote:

“Reappraisers…...raise their voices in protest?”  You’ve gotta be kidding!  They’re just as bad as Schori is!

December 12, 11:52 pm | [comment link]

© 2017 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.

For original material from Titusonenine (such as articles and commentary by Dr. Harmon) permission to copy and distribute free of charge is granted, provided this notice, the logo, and the web site address are visible on all copies. For permission for use in for-profit publications, please email KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com

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