Disciplinary Board says South Carolina bishop has abandoned church

Decision prompts diocese to claim it has ‘disaffiliated’ from the church

Bishop Mark Lawrence. Photo/Diocese of South Carolina

[Episcopal News Service] The Disciplinary Board for Bishops has certified to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori that Diocese of South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence has abandoned the Episcopal Church “by an open renunciation of the discipline of the church.”

The presiding bishop spoke by phone to Lawrence on Oct. 15 to inform him of the Disciplinary Board action and to tell him that, effective noon of that day, the exercise of his ministry was restricted, according to an Oct. 17 press release from the church’s Office of Public Affairs. He is not permitted to perform any acts as an ordained person.

Lawrence has 60 days to respond to the allegations in the certification, the release said.

“These actions make it clear the Episcopal Church no longer desires to be affiliated with the Diocese of South Carolina,” the diocese said in an Oct. 17 statement on its website.

The diocese said that the action “triggered two pre-existing corporate resolutions of the diocese, which simultaneously disaffiliated the diocese from the Episcopal Church and called a special convention.” That convention will be held Nov. 17 at St. Philip’s Church, Charleston.

South Carolina Episcopalians, a group that says its purpose is “to provide news, encouragement, and support to traditional churchmen and women in South Carolina who no longer feel they have a diocesan home,” issued a statement late on Oct. 17 criticizing Lawrence’s recent actions.

“Rather than using the past few days to find some common ground with the presiding bishop, Lawrence and his handlers have been working feverishly to generate some semi-plausible narrative that would cast Lawrence and the diocese as victims,” the group said.

The disciplinary board said Lawrence failed to “guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the church” by not ruling three specific resolutions out of order during a diocesan convention on Oct. 10, 2010, or otherwise dissenting, “but instead speaking in support of them in his formal address to the convention.”

The convention passed six resolutions at that convention in response to General Convention’s 2009 passage of revised Title IV canons on clergy discipline, which Lawrence and the diocesan leadership oppose.

The board said he acted similarly on Feb. 19, 2011, when the convention again passed one of those resolutions, which removed language in the diocesan constitution that adopts the Episcopal Church’s Constitution and Canons. Resolution R-6 added language saying that the diocese will accede only to the Episcopal Church constitution, and only if it is not “inconsistent with, or contradictory to” diocesan constitution and canons. It also changed its requirements for new missions and parishes, requiring them to accede only to the Episcopal Church’s constitution and not its canons. And, the resolution amended an article of the constitution that would result in a rejection of the revised Title IV.

Then on Oct. 19, 2011, the board said in its certification, Lawrence enacted Resolution R-11 to remove the so-called accession language from the purpose statement of the diocese’s corporate charter filed with the South Carolina secretary of state.

Finally, on Nov. 16, 2011, the board said, Lawrence directed Diocesan Chancellor Wade Logan to send a quitclaim deed to every parish in the diocese. A quitclaim deed generally transfers ownership of the property from the party issuing the deed to the recipient. The “Dennis Canon” (Canon 1.7.4) states that a parish holds its property in trust for the diocese and the Episcopal Church.

The 18 member board – composed of 10 bishops, four clergy, and four laity – made the determination under Canon IV.16 (A) following complaints from 12 adult members and two priests of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina, according to the press release.

The board issued its decision in a letter dated Sept.18, the Public Affairs’ release said. Following the assembly of numerous documents, the presiding bishop received the letter via mail in her church center office on Oct. 10.

The diocese said in its statement that Lawrence was scheduled to meet Oct. 22 with the presiding bishop “to find a peaceful alternative to the growing issues between the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of South Carolina.”

“The meetings were to explore ‘creative solutions’ for resolving these issues to avoid further turmoil in the diocese and in the Episcopal Church,” the statement said.

Bishop Andrew Waldo of the Upper Diocese of South Carolina and Lawrence arranged the meeting, according to the diocese’s statement.

“We feel a deep sense of sadness but a renewed sense of God’s providence that the Episcopal Church has chosen to act against this diocese and its bishop during a good faith attempt peacefully to resolve our differences,” the diocesan statement said.

The resolutions cited in the board’s certification also figured in an abandonment complaint that the board rejected late in 2011. In November of that year, the Rt. Rev. Dorsey F. Henderson Jr., disciplinary board president, said in a statement e-mailed to Lawrence and reporters that “based on the information before it, the board was unable to make the conclusions essential to a certification that Bishop Lawrence had abandoned the communion of the church.”

The resolutions were among the 12 allegations of abandonment that the board considered at that time.

The diocesan leadership has engaged in a series of moves to distance itself from the Episcopal Church, ultimately stemming from disagreements over human sexuality issues and theological interpretation.

Lawrence and the majority of the diocese’s deputation left the General Convention on July 11, objecting to the passage of resolutions that they said violate the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church.

The resolutions in question were A049, which allows for optional and provisional use of a rite to bless same-gender relationships, and D002 and D019, which affirm the full inclusion of transgender persons in the life of the church (including the ordination process).

However, the Very Rev. John B. Burwell, the sole South Carolina clergy deputy who remained, told Episcopal News Service in an interview after the House of Deputies’ last session on July 11 that “we are not leaving the Episcopal Church.” And Lawrence made it clear the next day, noting that “a deputation to General Convention has no authority to make such a decision.”

Shortly after convention, Lawrence added C029 to the list of resolutions deemed objectionable. The resolution had in its original form called for a “study of the theology underlying access to Holy Baptism and Holy Communion” and was eventually amended to state that “baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion.” Another resolution (C040), which would have allowed unbaptized people to receive communion, did not make it out of committee.

However, Lawrence said that the amended C029 resolution “still moves the church further down the road toward encouraging the communion of the unbaptized which departs from two thousand years of Christian practice” and “puts the undiscerning person in spiritual jeopardy.”

Lawrence said the resolutions about transgendered persons would lead to an abandonment of norms because “gender may be entirely self-defined, self-chosen,” thus “condemning ourselves, our children and grandchildren, as well as future generations to sheer sexual anarchy.”

“So long as I am bishop of this diocese I will not abandon its people to such darkness,” he promised.

At the close of the letter, Lawrence said that “for me to pretend that nothing had changed [in the Episcopal Church is] no longer an option.”

That letter was followed on July 30 by one from the Rev. Canon Jim Lewis, canon to the ordinary, summarizing a meeting Lawrence had with diocesan clergy on July 25. It said in part that Lawrence “asked for a period of grace as he prayerfully seeks the face of the Lord, and asks for God’s direction” while on a vacation to be “spent on mountaintops and in deserts where the bishop will seek refreshment and discernment.”

“Upon his return at the end of August he will meet with the Standing Committee and the clergy of the diocese to share that discernment and his sense of the path forward,” Lewis wrote.

Lawrence then met Aug. 21 with the Standing Committee, “which unanimously approved the course of action he outlined for the Diocese of South Carolina,” according to a one-line announcement in the diocese’s e-newsletter.

No details were released and on Sept. 22, Lawrence told the diocese that it was still “imprudent to reveal that course of action.”

“Things are progressing — we have not stopped or dropped the ball,” he wrote. “Please know that I understand the level of anxiety and concern of many in the diocese. Nevertheless I must ask you all for your continued patience and prayers as we seek to deal wisely and carefully with a fluid situation that requires great discernment and sensitivity on a regular basis. I will communicate to you the details at the very earliest moment such a communication is prudent.”

Lawrence and the diocesan leadership have been distancing themselves from the Episcopal Church for at least three years, including the actions cited by the board

In October 2009 the diocese authorized Lawrence and the Standing Committee to begin withdrawing from church wide bodies that assent to “actions deemed contrary to Holy Scripture, the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this church has received them, the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference which have expressed the mind of the communion, the Book of Common Prayer and our Constitution and Canons, until such bodies show a willingness to repent of such actions.”

That authorization came in response to two 2009 General Convention resolutions passed two months earlier that focused on human sexuality and reaffirmed the Episcopal Church’s commitment to the Anglican Communion. Resolution D025 affirmed “that God has called and may call” gay and lesbian people “to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church.” Resolution C056 calls for the collection and development of theological resources for the blessing of same-gender blessings and allows bishops to provide “a generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church.”

“These resolutions seek to protect the diocese from any attempt at un-constitutional intrusions in our corporate life in South Carolina and were in response to the revisions to the Title IV Canons of the Episcopal Church,” according to a diocesan news report at the time.

When Lawrence was first elected bishop in September 2006, he faced numerous questions about whether he would attempt to convince Episcopalians there to leave the church. In a Nov. 6, 2006, letter to the wider church he wrote that he would “work at least as hard at keeping the Diocese of South Carolina in the Episcopal Church as my sister and brother bishops work at keeping the Episcopal Church in covenanted relationship with the worldwide Anglican Communion.”

Lawrence did not receive the required consents to his consecration in 2007 because some standing committee consent forms were canonically improper. He was subsequently re-elected, received the consents required for all bishops-elect and was consecrated January 26, 2008.

– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.

Comments

  1. Our denomination needs to quit going around crowing about how we are down with “the young people” who don’t want “legalistic, judgmental religion.” We spend millions of dollars, given for God’s work, on these lawsuits over titles, position and physical property. Or maybe just on petty grudges.

  2. Nice! Show ‘em who’s boss!

  3. Maxine Schell says:

    TEC now reminds me of the German LUtherans aquiesing to Hitler, while Bp. Lawrence reminds me of Bonhoeffer resisting him.

  4. I don’t know what the Episcopal Church thinks it can achieve insofar as the South Carolina Supreme Court unanimously declared the Dennis Canon to be a dead letter in that state three years ago:

    http://accurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2009/09/dennis-canon-loses-in-south-carolina.html

  5. Ian Chamberlin says:

    Wow, equating the dispute in the Episcopal Church to German Christians’ acquiescence to Hitler and the sin of National Socialism and equating Bishop Lawrence with Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s powerful and peaceful resistance to the anti-semitism and racism of the National Socialists are both equally wrong. This comparison brings no real discussion, only a jab that is meant to be hurtful and to stop the conversation. It’s like uttering that curse word at the end of an argument just to get the last word.

    The Barmen Declaration that Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and many other leading theological figures of his day signed was specifically intended to fight “German Christianity” which was promulgating doctrines of extreme nationalism and anti-semitism . The Barmen declaration rejects that the mission and work of the Church can be subjugated to that of an authoritarian government that demands absolute obedience and complicity from it. Actually, I see more parallels in the American society today to the sins of National Socialism than I do in a church that is seeking to fulfill the Church’s commission by, as the Barmen Declaration itself puts it: “delivering the message of th free grace of God to all people in Christ’s stead, and therefore in the ministry of his own Word and work through sermon and sacrament.” (Barmen Declaration 8.26).

    • Bishop Michael Joe Thannisch says:

      Actually it is an excellent comparison. According to the New Testament, those who are involved in homoerotic relationships are not part of the kingdom of God. It is the duty of the church and of every Christian in the church to call them out of such relationships and to bring them into right relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. In the old Testament, we are told that when someone is in sin, and we don’t warn them, that we will be held accountable for the sinners death.

      • Reverend Denis C. Gray says:

        Amen to that. It should be all too plain by now that the Episcopal Church’s top leadership no longer believes or acts on the basis that the Holy Scriptures are decisive for faith and life; nor that the tradition of the undivided church expresses the consensus of the Catholic Church re faith and morals; nor that right reason informed by the truths of faith, is “captive to the Word of God.

      • Harry Coverston says:

        Scriptures don’t speak, teach, dictate. Those are all human activities. We may engage them with the belief that we somehow speak for the divine, but ultimately, all human artifacts remain the product of human production and social construction. That includes the prejudices of the society within which the production occurs. About a century and a half ago, good Christians gathered in Charleston to secede from another national body. They, too, were convinced that G-d shared their prejudices and commanded them to withdraw from those who didn’t. That xenophobia attributed to the divine remained a product of social construction even as it was tested in a civil war. I pray that this round will not produce the same.

  6. Tim Warner says:

    Thank you Lord that there are some in the Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Church who uphold scripture as the inspired word of God. I pray that Your will is always upheld and that You will be glorified in the actions of men and women who understand the nature of the truth of scripture and remain true to the centrality of the gospel and not allow the changing perceptions of the current Western World view to pollute that of the Church.

  7. Fr. Michael Neal says:

    Hey Kathy, get a grip. Mark disagrees and you and a select few, who feel threatend, throw him out. The whole Christian world watches and sees how silly this all is, and un-Christian. I love the “church” but this is overboard…………………….

  8. Ossen Hosenfifer says:

    TEC should make public the complaints filed (by 14 of the 29,000 members) and how they relate to the Canons and abandonment. I really don’t see where Lawrence said he wants to leave TEC. Parishioners deserve transparency from TEC.

  9. Mary Frances Schjonberg says:

    Reminding folks that our comment policy (link below) says “To comment on a specific entry, you must provide your full name and e-mail address. Your full name will appear with your comments.”

  10. Fr. Miguel Rosada says:

    Wow, how sad and what a terrible witness about Christian charity!!! Whatever happened to that Anglican comprehensiveness and the big tent our church is supposed to be for people of all convictions? Maybe the church should be redesigned to get rid of central control agencies, lawyers in positions of power, let dioceses be accountable to the parishioners who fund it and focus on mission and ministry! This can do nothing but further divide and destroy our church ! Lord have mercy

  11. Fr. Will McQueen says:

    This is pure evil being instigated by TEC, Ms. Schori, Mr. Beers, et. al. This is Satan’s bidding, and I’m sure he is all too happy about all of this. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: fr so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

    This is a clear sign that all of the talk about inclusivity, everyone is welcome at the table, the big tent of Episcopal comprehensiveness and diversity is a joke. TEC isn’t inclusive unless you happen to agree with their stance on human sexuality, abortion, Jesus being “one way among many,” and all other manner of heresy and apostasy. Dissenters are certainly welcome to stay as long as you keep your mouth shut and your checkbook open. A once proud Church, that I was a part of, is now dying a painful death for all of the world to see.

    May God have mercy on us all. My prayers still remain with those who continue to valiantly fight for the Truth of the Gospel from within. May Blessed Michael surround them with his angelic host.

    Fr. Will McQueen
    St. Mark’s Anglican, Moultrie, GA

  12. I try to make it a policy not to get involved in comment threads after the Nazis have been invoked but I have been sitting with an incredible feeling of sadness and disappointment today and I wonder if others are too, regardless of the direction this comment thread has taken.

    I regret that the church has not, at a time of great division in our society, figured out a way to be a counter-cultural witness to society and, instead, is merely a mirror of the world’s divisions. http://jessezink.com/2012/10/18/so-that-the-world-may-believe/

    -Jesse Zink

    • The Ven.Canon Juan A Quevedo-Bosch says:

      Thank you! I was thinking just the same, how immensely poor we become by their leaving and our witness how much is weaken. How can we speak to the world, if we basically cant show them in own corporate living what difference the Gospel has made in our lives. A sad day.

  13. Chris Kauffman says:

    I am sad, too, Jesse, but also grateful. I am sad that the leadership of TEC is ruthlessly pushing away courageous believers, but I am grateful for the courage of the faithful who stand for God’s saving truth. I am sad that the leadership of TEC rejects the authority of the scripture, but I am grateful for the piercing word of God that divides truth from lies, sheep from the wolves. I am sad that we are not better witnesses to the world, but I am grateful that false witnesses are being exposed only because some might be freed from their destructive deceits. I am sad that the wolves are unrepentant, but I am grateful that the Good Shepherd protects his little sheep. I am sad that our church is under judgment, but I am grateful that God cares enough to send us prophets who will not compromise his word even if seems foolishness to the perishing. I am saddened by sin, by grateful for those who dare to steadfastly proclaim the only hope of salvation.

  14. I am not a theologian, just a lay Episcopalian~~but I do know what I feel, and that is a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach at the arrogance and hypocrisy of our leadership here in South Carolina.

    I left the Baptist church at age 21 in 1968 when I saw the deacons of the church with their feet braced against the doorjambs as they held closed the entrance to our church~~they were trying to prevent access to the church by the black people outside. My incredulous question to myself was, “Would Jesus hold closed the doors of his church to these people, no matter what their reason for entering?” And my answer to myself was an unambiguous “NO!”

    That same summer, I waddled down the aisle at Grace Episcopal Church here in Charleston, seven months pregnant, to be confirmed. I was all alone~~my Marine officer husband was serving in Vietnam, and to my Baptist family, I might as well have been converting to Judaism. I have never regretted that decision!

    And now, that choice has been verified as correct as Grace chooses to remain out of this debacle and to reaffirm its commitment to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Grace will also remain with the National Church, and I’m so proud of that choice.

    Didn’t Jesus bring us a New Covenant~~to love God, and to love others as ourselves? I can find nowhere Jesus speaking against LGBT people. Aren’t we to not judge others but to leave that to God? Didn’t he speak strongly against hypocrisy? I think of the change that lets priests serve who have been divorced and remarried (which used to be verboten) but man changed the rules and now think nothing of it! Black people used to be uninvited to worship with white~~now that practice is looked on with shame. Those in authority in the church at that time thought they were in the right~~but the church changed and adjusted its thinking over time~~as it will with this latest issue. How sad that those with blinders on are making these important decisions.

    • Fr. Michael Neal says:

      Hi sister Nancy,
      I too left the SBC, but for other reasons, and I still love the SBC. But if you read Romans 1:18-32 you’ll see why alot of others are leaving the TEC. The bible is “absolute truth” and those who twist it are preaching a different gospel, no matter who they are. Truth sometimes hurts, but Jesus himself said, “if they have hated me, they will hate you also.” A social gospel does’nt compel others to salvation, our mandate as Christians is to lead others to a personal relationship with Christ, not to conform to what the world sees as right and just. Peace to you.

    • Thomas Shafer says:

      Amen, Nancy! Well spoken!

  15. Hi Fr. Neal~~

    As you know, the Bible (which we former Baptists studied and MEMORIZED at length~~especially if you were a GA or RA!) is full of contradictions~~do any of us adhere to the dietary laws of Leviticus, for example? Do we refuse to wear garments “mingled of linen and woolen” as commanded in that book? So~~I guess we all pick and choose OUR “absolute truths”~~I choose to follow the Truth of Jesus.

    NJ

    • Jennings Rountree says:

      There is much “Cafeteria Christianity” out there with people just choosing what they like.

      • Harry Coverston says:

        Actually, that is true of all of us. The question is never whether we emphasize certain aspects and portions of scripture and church teaching while ignoring others. Rather, the question is simply *which* portions we emphasize and ignore, why and what that reveals about us.

  16. Robert Zacher says:

    How many of you commenters have actually taken the time to read the the charges against Bishop Mark Lawrence that have been certified by the disciplinary board before shooting off your mouths here? Let me suggest that everyone here take the time to read up on the background material to this story before commenting in a misinformed way. It might also spare us the need to read through a lot of ill advised emotional rhetoric.

  17. Julian Malakar says:

    It is sad that TEC failed the test of tolerance in “Principle of Inclusion” for diversified environment by kicking out Bishop Lawrence and his diocese for the sake of keeping traditional value on which TEC had been built centuries ago.

    It proves the biblical truth that a person could not stand on two boats. That is why Bishop Lawrence has to go. But again it is irony that the same TEC who sacked those believers who are not in their boat, wishes to stay in Anglican platform where majority believers are in the traditional Christian value having full faith on words of the Bible. It reminds me the biblical story where a king forgives his debtor not paying his/her debt in time and but again the same debtor could not forgive his/her debtor when s/he is in charge. Matt. 18: 21 – 35

  18. Susan Thomas says:

    It seems simplistic to me, as someone who came to TEC looking for the Spirit, that if the Spirit does not speak to you in the name of TEC, move to the Anglican Church. Why create such turmoil for many of God’s people who do want to stay within the Episcopal Church?

  19. No one is kicking anyone out of the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina is still in the Episcopal Church. You might say Bishop Lawrence’s license to practice has been suspended because he’s been accused of violating the laws of the Church he vowed to uphold. If found guilty he will loose his license. Even then he will still be an Episcopalian. Of course if he wants to surrender his license and join some other denomination that’s his choice, but no one is kicking him or anyone else out of the Episcopal Church. These are simple facts. Justifying disobedience and violations of the law (even by quotes from the Bible) won’t change these facts.

    • Fr. Will McQueen says:

      Too bad the majority of the HoB doesn’t bother to uphold the Christian faith and guard the unity of the Church that they too vowed to uphold when they were consecrated bishops. And yes, he has been forced out for upholding and propagating the faith delivered once for all to the saints. It is KJS, her minions, and those who have been hard at work to achieve these godless ends for the last 40 years who are to blame for every bit of this. God will not be mocked.

      • We’d like to point folks here to the portion of our Comment Policy (link at end of comments section) that says:
        “We want these conversations to be safe, open and respectful, and so we moderate comments. We reserve the right to remove any comment that we consider to be inappropriate for any reason. Comments that are critical of ENS or the Episcopal Church are approved, unless they use vulgar language, hate speech or personal attacks of any sort. We delete such comments immediately and may block those commenters from participating in the future.”

  20. I agree with Robert Zacher in that the brisk pace of this so-called diaglogue does not allow for reflection or even dare I say the invocation of the Holy Spirit. Let me preface my viewpoint by disclosing my context; that is as a final year seminarian in the ordination process in the Diocese of Vermont. This year I had the blessing and privilege to learn about and attend the General Convention as a student representative of Episcopal Divinity School.

    Witnessing the incredible diversity across categories of race, gender, theological perspective and so on gave me a sense of God’s liberating action in the world. I can testify to the passion and commitment of those present in any number of official or guest capacities; spanning the spectrum of opinion. It was humbling to sit in on the debates in committees, and houses of bishops and deputies where I followed the resolutions in dispute.

    General Convention is the heart, voice, and authority of The Episcopal Church. In my nascent understanding of Episcopal history, polity, and canon law – it seems that by the actions Bp. Lawrence has taken in endorsing and encouraging diocesan resolutions that basically amount to unilateral activity within the diocese and withdrawal of support/compliance with the Constitutions and Canons as approved at General Convention – then his actions impair relationship with and is renunciation of the discipline of TEC.

    I will also state publicly that I support full inclusion of all people into the church with all rights and privileges regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race, etc. Jesus welcomed all to break bread with him. I pray that the Church living sacramentally and faithfully in the world will proclaim the gospel in thought, word, and deed. There is a wideness in God’s mercy. My theology can be different from another and….. we can still break bread together. And there is always room for love and tolerance and forgivenness.

  21. Susan Russell says:

    Seriously! From “the Chapman Memo” on down this is yet another orchestrated move by a committed cadre of schismatics to continue in their efforts to split the church they have failed to recreate in their own image.

    It is a sad but not surprising thing that it has come to this point with the Diocese of SC. But blaming the Disciplinary Board or the Presiding Bishop — or Stacy Sauls or Gene Robinson or anybody else — is like a man who kills his parents blaming them because he’s an orphan.

    The Diocese of SC has made “being agreed with” the criterion for their inclusion in the Episcopal Church — a profoundly un-Anglican approach at best. The fact that the Episcopal Church has disagreed with them on the full inclusion of all the baptized in the work and witness of the church is not the issue that causes the strain on communion — it is the insistence by the Diocese of SC that their sole possession of The Absolute Truth entitles them to ignore the canons and make up their own rules. I know they believe they “answer to a higher authority.” I also know that they are the ones who have chosen to walk apart — and no amount of spin will change that fact.

    Makes the heart sad.

    • Give it up, Ms. Russell. Anyone who can read knows what’s going on here. 815 wants to finally eliminate its last orthodox stronghold and it’s got a whole new disciplinary regime in place so why not take charges that Bishop Lawrence has faced before, label them “abandonment of communion” and proceed directly to the hanging?

      All the national church has to do now is “legalize” bills of attainder and you’re pretty much set. That Mark Lawrence has never ever said anything about officially leaving the Episcopal Church is completely irrelevant. We want Mark Lawrence gone, we think he’s abandoned communion and therefore he has. End of story, regardless of how dictatorial this makes the Episcopal Church look to disinterested outsiders.

  22. Oscar Price says:

    Bible believing Christians have not “made being agreed with” the criterion for inclusion. To the contrary, Bible believing Christians remain in a church which, in these most recent actions, appears to make renunciation of God’s Truth a requirement for full inclusion. If unwavering commitment to the Truth contained in the Gospels and Paul’s epistles means that Bible believing Christians are, in the mind of Episcopal Church leadership, “ignoring the canons” of the Episcopal Church, then so be it. Here we stand. We can do no other. May God help us.

  23. Stan Freeman says:

    Have mercy on us all and please grant us wisdom Lord.

  24. Tom Downs says:

    Think about what you’re saying, Oscar. How the Bible is interpreted has nothing to do with the canons the Bishop is accused of violating. The canons in question are about how the Episcopal Church structures itself; it’s pretty straight forward. He’s not being accuse of interpreting the Bible wrongly; there are many interpretations present in every congregation; we’re a big tent sort of organization. No, the Bishop is in trouble because he wants to unilaterally change the structure, and he wants to do it in a way that violates the canons he vowed to uphold.

  25. Yes, that is my interpretation also.

  26. Christopher Cleveland says:

    Seriously, why doesn’t TEC seek full communion with the Unitarian Universalist church? Orthodox Christianity is tolerated in TEC as tokenism only. This is about so much more than gay rights. It is about Christian duty, the call to holiness and theological truth. I will be joining the Anglican Church in North America or the Ordinariate.

  27. Fr. Will McQueen says:

    It appears that Ms. Schori was playing both sides of the fence while all of this was going on. Apparently Bps. Waldo and Lawrence was attempting to work out details regarding how to move forward in the midst of such disagreement and that Ms. Schori was busy sharpening the knife to stab in Bp. Lawrence’s back throughout all of these deliberations. Throughout all of this the one virtue that has never been extended is that most excellent gift of charity. TEC never wanted Bp. Lawrence as a bishop and now they’ve achieved their damnable ends to reach this point. This is despicable, and those who have perpetuated all of this have this on their soul. May God have mercy on them.

  28. Milton Finch says:

    Here is your Disciplinary Board for Bishops, if you have the stomach to read through it to its end. Very truthful stuff that should make any reasonable human being gasp at the loaded dice of the situation.

    http://accurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2012/10/once-again-conflicts-galore-on-kangaroo.html

  29. Jim Sheffield says:

    In the Episcopal Church I grew up in,St. James,North Providence,RI, we had many debates,
    but remained friends. Today, it’s like the English Civil War. I hope we have a Glorious Revolution
    soon. The solution is simple let each parish decide which faction they want to belong to,
    as we once were able to choose whether we would be High, Low, or Broad Church in the
    meantime most work for the Lord in our own ways, and don’t talk politics or religion in
    church.

    Pax Christi,

    Jim

  30. TJ McMahon says:

    It is ironic, don’t you think, that Connecticut, bishop Douglas diocese, has not acceded to the Canons of TEC. Where is his deposition? Bishop Hollerith’s diocese of S Virginia has no accession clause at all, not even to the Constitution. Where is his deposition? So these 2 bishops on the DBB are as guilty (or more) of non-accession than the bishop who has been inhibited.

  31. Greg Daniels says:

    About time.

    Bishop Lawrence has been running away from TEC as fast as he could get away with since the day he was ordained.

  32. Jerry P. Schaertel says:

    Could SOMEONE please explain to me why the major issue of our church is human sexuality. Let’s look at some other COMMANDS our Savior gave to us in the Bible. The first is, for the presiding Bishop to wash Bishop Lawrence’s smelly feet- and then for Bishop Lawrence to wash Katharine’s smelly feet, this might readjust their attitudes,(they might even love one another even as Christ loves them) then all the Bishops should wash each others smelly feet until they are all clean all over. This also might enlighten them about incarnational theology. Why doesn’t the church get into arguments about the pecuniary excess of wealth of the church in the midst of want? Why don’t the Bishops knock off their caps and live in the streets of Want in their Diocese? Why don’t they go into the areas where American men and women are daily exposing themselves to the angst of war. Aren’t there enough REAL horrors and immoralities going on in this world to exercise our Christian, righteous, rage against, than who the hell slept with who the other night? I’ve got a good one to split the church over. How about obscene avarice in the American jurisprudence system? Where the poor receive a pittance of “justice” and the wealthy get away with murder and the political powerful can thumb their noses with impunity at the law. C’mon, if you’re going to split the church over what the Bible says, read the rest of the Bible, there is a hell of a lot more to fight over than a couple of verses that excite our lewd and lascivious minds.

    ‘ NUFF SAID

  33. Fr. Jim McNeely says:

    The Episcopal Church can welcome anyone and purge itself of anyone – that’s what an organization exists to do.

    But let’s not kid ourselves about this move. The systematic removal of anything appearing orthodox and traditional has been ongoing for quite some time. This is just the inevitable next phase. The Diocese of Albany is next.

    The Episcopal Church reveals two important things over the past 20 years: (1) they are canonical fundamentalists seeking to use said canons to rid itself of anyone that doesn’t tow the company line, and; (2) lay-people serve and worship and give money to their local franchisee’s with the understanding that “they didn’t build that” either. It all belongs to 815.

    Not exactly a great system to get new people to join, is it?

    -Jim+

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