Article from The State Newspaper on the New TEC Diocese in South Carolina and its First Bishop

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Saturday, the delegates representing Lowcountry congregants conducted business under the name “Episcopal Church in South Carolina.” Lawrence and his diocesan followers have also filed a lawsuit seeking to retain about $500 million worth of church properties. Lawrence has not affiliated with any organization, although he said he considers the breakaway congregations part of the Anglican Communion. Von Rosenberg said the Communion has not acknowledged the congregations as part of the Communion.

Von Rosenberg, like Jefferts Schori, chose not to focus on the unspoken uncertainty that ripples beneath the surface, instead reminding congregants that the coming rebuilding effort should be based on a foundation of humility and love, realizing that those who have left the U.S. church also believe they are following Christ.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

4 Comments
Posted January 27, 2013 at 11:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Kendall Harmon wrote:

As the article rightly says, “New bishop, new start,” and of course a new name.

It is a new diocese.

January 27, 5:38 pm | [comment link]
2. Blue Cat Man wrote:

Exactly right, Kendall+. Although the author seems to be confused about the identity of our diocese. It is not the Independent diocese nor the former Diocese of South Carolina. Doesn’t the author read their own paper? The author should have known the correct name. Again just another way to confuse people. This time a deliberate misidentification by someone who should have known better. I expect better reporting than this from The State.

January 28, 9:33 am | [comment link]
3. Ross wrote:

The TEC diocese is, so far as I can tell, acting consistently with its position that it is the original and continuing Diocese of South Carolina, and is holding a special convention to deal with the fact that the previous bishop and diocesan staff abruptly vacated their positions.  Hence the need for a “new bishop.”  And because of the court order, they have to re-organize, at least temporarily, under a new name.  Which, so far as they are concerned, does not change their poition that it is the same diocese as it always was.

+Lawrence’s diocese is, of course, acting consistently with its position that it is the original and continuing Diocese of South Carolina.

This dispute is a matter of canon law and assumptions about the nature of a Church, particularly an Anglican Church, and there are authorities on both sides asserting contrary things.  In such a situation, ideally a journalist would report on the nature and background of that dispute, but would not take a position.  It is not a journalist’s job to take a position in disputes of interpretation.

Ultimately the secular courts will rule on the purely secular issues—ownership of legally incorporated entities, property, accounts, marks, and so on—and that will settle that aspect of things.  +Lawrence’s diocese has had positive early signs of eventually winning the secular argument in court; but whichever way that decision goes, it will have nothing to do with the canonical dispute.

And the canonical dispute need not be resolved, because the one thing that both sides agree on is that the diocese currently organized around +Lawrence is no longer part of TEC.  Both sides can and no doubt will continue to claim the identity of the original and continuing Diocese of South Carolina (although one of them will be compelled to do so under a different legal name) and neither diocese will be harmed one iota by the other’s assertion.

January 28, 1:32 pm | [comment link]
4. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Ross,
Canon law is immaterial in this case as the case is that the TEC group have misused/stolen the name and seal of the Diocese of South Carolina. What is applicable is SC state law and which diocese has been clearly using the name and seal for many decades. That is pretty clear.

The TEc group could have just walked away as they are so eager to assert for the conservatives to do but no they continue to hold to a position contrary to easily checked facts at the SC Secretary of State’s office.

January 28, 11:11 pm | [comment link]
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