Living Church Essays on South Carolina (III): Colin Podmore–Beyond Provincialism

Jesse Zink is therefore quite right: the Diocese of South Carolina cannot properly remain independent indefinitely. To be faithful not just to Anglican but more importantly to catholic ecclesiology, its bishops should belong to a province.

Once litigation in the secular courts is concluded, this could be achieved in several ways. There could be reconciliation with the Episcopal Church’s national leadership ”” we should always pray for reconciliation leading to the visible unity of the Church, however remote human sinfulness may make that prospect seem. Or the diocese could join the Anglican Church in North America or (less ideally) a more distant Anglican province.

Alternatively, it could follow the Sudan model, to which Zink points, and become a province by dividing into four dioceses. Half of one U.S. state, with fewer than 80 congregations and 30,000 baptized members, might be thought rather small to form a separate province. However, in 1998 the geographically and numerically much smaller Diocese of Hong Kong and Macao was divided into three dioceses (with only 38 congregations between them) and a “missionary area.” This enabled it to become a freestanding province of the Anglican Communion instead of joining the Church of the Province of South East Asia, which was formed in 1996 by the more conservative extra-provincial dioceses with which it had previously been associated.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Analysis, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

4 comments on “Living Church Essays on South Carolina (III): Colin Podmore–Beyond Provincialism

  1. Blue Cat Man says:

    Whatever the diocese decides to do with regards to affiliation in the Anglican Communion, I think Bishop Lawrence’s wisdom of not jumping from one dysfunctional relationship directly into another relationship will guide what we do as a diocese. No doubt the decision will be considered and prayed about by many. I suspect the final decision – whatever it may be- will be made by our diocesan convention.

  2. Undergroundpewster says:

    [blockquote] “Once litigation in the secular courts is concluded,”[/blockquote]

    Knowing how long litigation can drag on, I don’t think you can wait that long.

  3. Jill Woodliff says:

    Better to wait for God’s direction than to take matters into their own hands (1 Samuel 13:1-14).

  4. wmresearchtrianglenc says:

    The Sudan and Hong Kong and Macao models seem to make a lot of sense especially looking at aspects relating to litigation and, as well, aspects relating to the Communion itself. As many South Carolinans and many in other dioceses know, The Episcopal Church USA (TECUSA) has been decidedly uncharitable and even irrational in its actions resulting in thrusting those who hold conservative views from the fold–including actions involving TECUSA’s bishops. Given that history, it’s clear that there are and will be friends “in high places” in the Communion from other provinces who will welcome a new province regardless of size or geographical aspects, and this will be especially the case where a TECUSA bishop has been “disciplined” with heavy-handed and unwarranted treatment on specious grounds. TECUSA’s actions have been crying out for a long time for some measure of justice to be seen, and, if nothing else, recognition of a new province in the Communion will send a strong message to TECUSA that in the long run there will be a place for justice in the Communion in any case where there has been unjustified measures taken against fellow Anglicans.