Wednesday, December 5, 2012
I am limited these days by my involvement with family matters following the sudden death of my sister, so I do not have time to put up a detailed post reacting to the news so carefully crafted by ECUSA's Public Affairs Office, announcing that the Presiding Bishop has "accepted" the "voluntary renunciation"
by Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina of his orders in the Episcopal Church (USA).
Note that on October 18, I wrote this paragraph in a post on the coming fiasco in South Carolina
Indeed, any communication Mark Lawrence makes in public about the charges or his diocese now runs the risk that the Presiding Bishop will treat it as she did in the case of Bishop Iker, and declare that it constitutes a "voluntary renunciation of orders" so that she can shorten the process of his removal, and not have to bother with a meeting of the House of Bishops. And in fact, now that I think about it, mark my words -- watch for that very thing to happen.
And Bishop Lawrence indeed did give a spoken address to his diocesan Special Convention held last November 17. The Presiding Bishop, exactly as predicted, took this address as satisfying the requirements of Canon III.12.7, which (through the end of this year -- it was changed at GC2012,
effective January 1) provides (with my emphasis added):
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.
Bishop Lawrence (a) did not address any writing to the Presiding Bishop; (b) did not renounce his ordained Ministry; and (c) did not request to be removed from that Ministry. The elaborately crafted press release from the Public Affairs Office is simply a poor attempt to cover over a huge, public lie.
That huge, public lie has been told simply for the sake of the Presiding Bishop's and ECUSA's own convenience. It is convenient
for them to be rid of Bishop Lawrence now, rather than wait until next March's meeting of the House of Bishops -- that way, they avoid the necessity of taking another illegal vote of "deposition" by less than the full majority of bishops that the Abandonment Canon requires; and they are now free to reorganize those in South Carolina wishing to remain with ECUSA into a pseudo-diocese with a puppet bishop whose immediate and most important mission will not
be the welfare of his parishioners, but instead the filing of a lawsuit against Bishop Lawrence and the real Diocese's corporate trustees, in an attempt to force them to turn over all of the Diocese's property and assets. the rest
[Raymond and I send our deepest condolences and fervent prayers for comfort and peace for the Haley family in their loss. -PD]
Anglican Ink: South Carolina's sorrow and pity for Katharine Jefferts Schori
Bishop Lawrence Writes Regarding Renunciation
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 and doting of the I—for their paper work, not my life. I could bring up the canonical problems with what they have done contrary to the canons of The Episcopal Church but to what avail? They will do what they will do regardless of canonical limitations. That is already well documented by others
and hardly needs 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—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.
So we move on—onward and upward. 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, 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 and of course to ourselves who also 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 for 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 the majority of Anglicans around the world as well as many in North America who have expressed in so many ways that they consider me an Anglican Bishop in good standing and consider this Diocese of South Carolina to be 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
Titusonenine Comments at Stand Firm
Other Anglican news:
WAYNE, PA: Christ Church Anglican on the Mainline Draws 100 to Inaugural Service
Christ Church Anglican on the Mainline drew 100 men, women and children to its inaugural service on Sunday at Wayne United Methodist. The occasion also saw one baptism and two confirmations. "We had prayed for 100 persons to come," said a jubilant Dr. James Ferguson, senior warden.
The new Anglican congregation is affiliated with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) under Bishop Julian Dobbs. CANA is a missionary outreach of the Anglican Province of Nigeria and a member of the missionary province of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) under Archbishop Robert Duncan.
Bishop Dobbs took as his sermon theme the centrality of Jesus Christ His person and work drawing his sermon from Col. 1:15-22. The church needs to focus on Jesus as the central figure of the universe of history and of our lives, he said.
"People are longing for a Savior that will save them from loneliness, and despair uncertainty and doubt in a world grown weary with wars, economic uncertainty and hopelessness. Above all they want peace with God, forgiveness of their sins and hope," said Dobbs...
Rev. Canon Phil Ashey: Thoughts on ++Williams Advent Letter
...It continues to be a sad commentary on the leadership of the current Archbishop of Canterbury that he seems unwilling even to acknowledge the doctrinal issues, much less the crisis, that has consumed so much of his tenure-especially with fellow bishops whose office is to guard the faith and order of our beloved Communion, and among whom are many from the largest Anglican provinces in the Global South who, in the face of this crisis of Gospel truth, found it necessary to provide refuge and oversight for faithful Anglicans in North America. "Some challenges" indeed...
Episcopal Church Receiving Hate Mail For Agreeing To Host Muslim Conference
All Saints Episcopal Church has received hate mail after agreeing to host the national convention of the Muslim Public Affairs Council next weekend...
Episcopal churches may opt for same-sex blessings
Episcopal churches across East Tennessee will be able to bless same-sex unions for couples in their congregations early next year, a decision the diocese outlined in a letter sent to members this week.
Bishop George Young said it will be up to leadership at individual churches to have a dialogue with their congregations and decide whether to offer the liturgy, which he said is still different from a marriage ceremony...