A.S. Haley: South Carolina: a Case Study in How to Tear a Church Apart
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
So it has come to this. The Presiding Bishop's Chancellor, David Booth Beers, decided to investigate whether or not there were any grounds on which to certify to the Title IV Review Committee that Bishop Mark Lawrence "has abandoned the Communion of this Church". To that end, he hired a local attorney, who had previously served as the diocesan chancellor under Bishop FitzSimons Allison, to ferret out data and information which could be used against Bishop Lawrence. When this act became public, the Presiding Bishop saw nothing wrong with admitting that she had been contacted by certain "concerned" Episcopalians in South Carolina, and that she was reaching out to address those concerns, because she was afraid that those Episcopalians could not get correct information from their own Diocese.
In response, the Diocese will vote to tell her in no uncertain terms that as Presiding Bishop, she is entirely without any authority to act in the Diocese of South Carolina, unless it be at the request of Bishop Lawrence. There is no separate "Episcopal Church" (USA) inside the borders of the Diocese that is apart from the Diocese itself, and for which an attorney's services could be retained, unless the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese does the hiring. One would think that these propositions are self-evident, but not with this Presiding Bishop, who in the language of the Wild West from whence she hails, was described by Bishop Lee of Virginia, according to testimony in the Virginia litigation, as "the new sheriff in town." Just the fact that a Presiding Bishop could mange to have her role as Chief Pastor of the Church viewed as closer to that of a "sheriff" says all that need be said about what is wrong with the current leadership of the Episcopal Church (USA). the rest