Monday, November 12, 2012

Presiding Bishop backs ecclesiastical coup in South Carolina

Transitional Committee formed to take control of the diocese
November 12, 2012
By George Conger

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has declared the ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese of South Carolina vacant and has backed a faction within the diocese that is seeking to fill the “vacuum” created by the suspension of Bishop Mark Lawrence.

The loyalist “Transitional Committee” has also declared the South Carolina Standing Committee to be vacant and has formed a “steering committee” to act in its place.

On 11 Nov 2012, the steering committee announced that it had taken charge of the diocese. “We write to assure you that The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina is continuing,” they said, noting they had formed a “steering committee of faithful Episcopalians” to “reorganize our continuing Diocese over the next few months. This committee will serve as the broad-based group in the Diocese that communicates with the Presiding Bishop during this period when the Diocese has no functioning ecclesiastical authority.”

The loyalist faction, writing in the name of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and acting under its seal, said at the diocesan convention scheduled for 8 March 2013 they would “begin the work of selecting a bishop, a new standing committee, and forging ahead with our missions and ministry.” the rest

A.S. Haley: Bandit Bishop Running Outlaw Gang in South Carolina
Bandit Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, known far and wide in ECUSA for her lawlessness and contempt of the canons, has organized a new gang of outlaws in South Carolina. Together they are riding roughshod over the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, violating South Carolina law, and laying plans to steal the good name and corporate seal of the Diocese of South Carolina.

Or is that too plainspoken for some Episcopalians? Perhaps they would prefer an opening paragraph like this:

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (USA), the Most Reverend Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, has again taken steps without any canonical authority that will ensure future litigation with the Diocese of South Carolina and its Bishop, the Right Reverend Mark Lawrence. The steps involve a refusal to recognize the authority of either Bishop Lawrence or in his stead the Standing Committee of the Diocese, the calling of an unauthorized and unconstitutional "Special Convention" for next March, the misappropriation of the diocesan name and corporate seal, and the recognition and full support of a wholly uncanonical and ad hoc "Steering Committee" to exercise unspecified and unstructured authority pending the gathering of the illegal "Special Convention."...

 ACI: Consumed By Litigation: TEC In South Carolina
It is becoming increasingly apparent as we witness developments unfolding in The Episcopal Church that secular litigation objectives are paramount, trumping other principles such as the fundamental norms of Christian conduct, the canonical integrity of the church, ancient standards of catholic ecclesiology and even the pastoral care of TEC’s own people. Proof of this startling proposition abounds, including the inexplicable disciplinary charges brought against nine bishops for joining ACI in filing an amicus brief asking the Texas courts to refrain from deciding complex questions of TEC polity and in submitting truthful affidavit testimony in Illinois. But nowhere is the ascendancy of litigation imperatives more apparent than in the actions TEC has taken concerning the Diocese of South Carolina.
This is the first of two articles in which we will address issues arising in South Carolina. We consider below issues of good faith and canonical integrity. In particular:
  • TEC’s actions in South Carolina raise troubling questions about the good faith of many church leaders in their dealing with Bishop Lawrence, including the Presiding Bishop, the Disciplinary Board, other TEC bishops and some diocesan clergy.
  • TEC’s position is canonically incoherent; either its actions in South Carolina are in open contempt of its own canons or it has undermined the basis on which it has spent millions of dollars on lawsuits.
In a second post later this week we will consider issues of ecclesiology and pastoral care. We are concerned that: TEC is acting contrary to basic principles of Anglican ecclesiology and ancient norms of the universal church; and it is subordinating the genuine pastoral needs of its members to further doubtful litigation goals.
But we begin with a detailed summary of facts that are not widely known outside South Carolina. It is important that these be placed in the record for the maintenance of public trust. This is neither light nor pleasant reading. Please bear with us....



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