New Episcopal Church Diocese, Original SC Diocese steer ahead into complex legal waters

Because after so much legal wrangling, many still wonder: What does it all mean?

For one, the Diocese of South Carolina clearly can operate on its own with Lawrence, who led its departure from the national church, at the helm. Second, his diocese can keep the name and symbols, along with the parishes that left with it and the more than $500 million in church properties they inhabit, including historic colonial buildings.

“It is a judicial finding that we are who we say we are ”” the Diocese of South Carolina ”” and our names and symbols are ours alone to use,” said the Rev. Jim Lewis, its canon to the ordinary.

Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein’s long-awaited ruling last week also could play a key role in similar disputes nationwide and impact other hierarchical churches that face discord in South Carolina. It comes at a time of increasing legal complexity as judges across the country decide similar cases using two very different legal principles, experts said.

And that could push the South Carolina case to the U.S. Supreme Court’s doorstep. Or at least some hope it will.

Read it all from the front page of the local paper.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

2 comments on “New Episcopal Church Diocese, Original SC Diocese steer ahead into complex legal waters

  1. MichaelA says:

    [blockquote] “It’s just sort of chaos, which is why I think the Supreme Court should intervene,” said Ronald Caldwell, a retired history professor who studies The Episcopal Church, particularly in South Carolina. “It is costing so much money and so many hard feelings. It should stop and be somehow resolved”. [/blockquote]
    That is hilarious. This would be the same Ron Caldwell who in April last year described Dio SC as “reactionary” and “counter-revolutionary”? And now he poses to the media as an independent academic?

    This is another of his little gems from 2012:

    “DSC declared “states rights” and nullification (and now of course secession) excatly [sic] as SC had done 150+ years ago. … Then the real battle begins over property and we can expect years of very expensive litigation. In the long run, I would bet on TEC to prevail.”


    [blockquote] “For instance, Goodstein described The Episcopal Church much like a congregational church, as Baptist churches operate, for instance. “Authority flows from the bottom, the parish churches, up,” her order says. … “Her ruling is very controversial,” Caldwell said.”[/blockquote]
    Her judgment doesn’t describe Dio SC as any more “congregational” than other Anglican churches. What Li’l Ron doesn’t like is that her judgment sets out in sober detail the history of Dio SC, how it came into existence and how it joined with other independent dioceses to form TEC in the first place. And she also describes the sober facts about the “Dennis Canon”, i.e. the lack of accountability and consultation that went into making it, and what it actually says.

    It is beyond doubt that her judgment will be read by any other court dealing with similar issues, and the history she sets out is likely to be more damaging to TEC’s cause than her decision on particular facts.

  2. Blue Cat Man says:

    Yes, this is the same Ron Caldwell. He describes himself as a history professor ( emeritus! ). Hie also is researching the history of the schism in SC . Based upon his blog posts, it will be totally revisionist and not very objective. Some of his statements are preposterous.