An attorney for The Episcopal Church on Monday acknowledged that ”“ despite TEC’s repeated claim that dioceses may not leave the denomination ”“ there is nothing in the group’s constitution that specifically prohibits such a disassociation.
“It’s true it doesn’t say whether a diocese in the U.S. can or cannot [leave],” said Mary Kostel, attorney for TEC. “It’s arguably ambiguous.”
The comment came during the 10th day of trial in suit to prevent TEC from seizing the property of the Diocese of South Carolina and its parishes. Much of the morning was spent in a discussion between attorneys and Judge Diane S. Goodstein about the admissibility of testimony by historian Walter Edgar, a professor at the University of South Carolina.
Though Edgar was not identified as an expert witness, TEC wanted him to testify about his expertise and provide opinions on the hierarchical nature of TEC and to demonstrate that it has authority over its dioceses and parishes. But Judge Goodstein denied that he would be allowed to.