A spokesman for the presiding bishop on 18 Jan told Anglican Ink the national church had no comment to make about the litigation. However, Executive Council member, the Rev. Canon Mark Harris noted on his blog the “proposition that people who leave The Episcopal Church have a right to take the property and stuff with them” was false. The Episcopal Church was “hierarchical enough so that when you give something to The Episcopal Church (locally St. SaltyBottom in the Swamp) it stays with The Episcopal Church (on the most local level possible).”
The diocese, however, argues the belief the Episcopal Church is hierarchical body with the dioceses subordinate to the national church was historically false and legally suspect. “In fact, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina helped to create the Episcopal Church in 1789 as a confederation of sovereign dioceses,” the diocesan statement said.
“The Diocese chose to disassociate from The Episcopal Church, but we did not leave behind more than $500 million in intellectual, personal or real property that was paid for by members of the Diocese through the 228 years of our existence,” Canon Lewis said.