The final choice, of course, rests with the Diocese (speaking through its convention).
And that, it turns out, is a very good place in which to start. Just what is the “Diocese of South Carolina”, and what abilities and powers does it have when it speaks through its convention?
Here we must be careful to distinguish the ecclesiastical realities from the legal realities. Dioceses of a Church have dual personalities: they are participants in the Church of which they are a constituent member, and at one and the same time, they are legal entities (“persons”) in the eyes of the State(s) in which they exist, and have their boundaries.
The Episcopal Church (USA), as has been discussed many times on this blog, is a rather unique entity in the eyes of the secular law. It formed itself in 1789, as an “unincorporated association.” But what do those legal terms actually mean?