Friday, November 25, 2011

Depose +Lawrence and the problem of South Carolina will not go away

A brief update on the situation in the Diocese of South Carolina as +Mark Lawrence remains with a discipline case hanging over his head while moving adroitly to permit parishes to freely engage, or not with continuing life in TEC by issuing 'quitclaims' re titles belonging to parishes, this article makes the point clearly that, in the end, the issue is not +Mark's leadership, but the mood and mind of the diocese itself. Take +Mark out of his office and TEC faces the fact that it has a diocese on its books which may not accede to any style of episcopal leadership other than that which +Mark is giving. What is TEC going to do? Discipline a whole diocese? Sue parish after parish for the titles to return to its keeping?


Father Ron Smith said...

Maybe TEC just has to keep on doing the task of the Gospel in the many remaining dioceses. If South Carolina is bent on going it's own way, then maybe it has to - but not with the Family Silver - that remains the property of TEC.

Maybe a change of Bishop, after Bp. Mark's transfer to ACNA, will bring a new sense of Mission to the vilified and disenfranchised into the area. After all, it took two goes for the disaffected to manage Mark's election in S.C.

Fr. J said...

What is TEC going to do? Discipline a whole diocese? Sue parish after parish for the titles to return to its keeping?

Wouldn't be the first time...

Andrew Reid said...

Fr Ron, the diocese of South Carolina discovered via a very expensive law suit that the title to parishes in their diocese belongs to neither the diocese nor the national church, but the individual parishes. See here for details (admittedly the Curmudgeon is anti-TEC but he gives the result of the case):
As I understand it, this new move by the diocese is to stop further lawsuits between the diocese and parishes, by clarifying that the diocese renounces any other claims to parish property.

Whether you think it is the Diocese of SC or TEC that is doing the task of gospel ministry, there is a legal precedent that will stop TEC being able to claim ownership of property the way they have in other states. This is why they are going after Bishop Lawrence personally - they can't claim the property, so they want to make sure they have a TEC friendly bishop in charge.

As for Bishop Lawrence's election, the issue was consents from other dioceses not being properly endorsed in full accord with the Canon Law - a standard which TEC did not apply as stringently to other dioceses.