11/28/2011

Late breaking news re charges against Bishop Lawrence

The Living Church has posted the letter from Bishop Henderson concerning the charges against Bishop Lawrence. The letter is dated November 22nd. Read it HERE.

I am glad the specifics of those charges were not found sufficient.  I too felt they fell short of the abandonment canon. 

They did not include the matter of the quitclaim deeds, as those were issued only on November 15th and were not part of the charges first brought. 


79 comments:

  1. Fr Harris -- is your point to file an intimation that +ML is still to be examined on other charges?

    Thank you.

    Msgr

    WV: guesser

    ReplyDelete
  2. The chains of Christmas Past are rattling loudly from the distant, yet Bishop Lawrence near/dear, diocese of San Joaquin...are they playing the Schofield Shuffle? It´s an olden favorite amongst the schismatic dancers and prancers up Fresno/Bakersfield way.

    ReplyDelete
  3. But I don't understand. Much ink, cyber and physical, has been spilled over the supposed nefarious plot of the Presiding Bishop to go after Mark Lawerence and destroy him and the diocese of SC. This acquital is unpossible!

    Snarkiness aside, I wish all a Blessed Advent season as we prepare ouselves for the coming again of Christ Jesus into our lives and our imperfect world.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Msgr...no. No intimation, just a question.

    ReplyDelete
  5. According to the ENS story, "The quitclaim action was not included in the original material submitted to the board." I think it continues to be a mistake to allege abandonment. This, on the other hand, might constitute violation of the discipline of the Church. Like pursuing tax charges against folks involved in organized crime (and, no, I'm not suggesting Bishop Lawrence is a criminal, organized or otherwise), alleging violation of discipline isn't sexy, but might actually be measurable and testable.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. All I know, is that nothing is settled, and this (mess) will continue.

    {sigh}

    wv, "spare": I know it's Advent not Lent, but "Spare us, Good Lord. Spare Your People!"

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the clarification Fr Harris.

    Even +NJ negotiated with parishes wanting to leave.

    And there are at least 5-7 dioceses with the same polity convictions as SC, so the '(mess) will continue.'

    I firmly believe a neutral observer would conclude that if one were measuring actual canonical infractions, the PB's would be greater in the infamous case in NV than 'abandonment' in SC. And the former is far more dangerous, as witness now Syracuse.

    Thank goodness the Bishops voted to maintain the canons.
    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh please, do enlighten us to your insights to the PB's supposed infractions while the Nevada ordinary. I know of none. You can question whether she used proper judgement in making her decision regarding receiving the former monk into TEC as a priest, but I see nothing to suggest she transgressed any canons regarding the matter.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "If you have a blog point us there. If you don't think of starting one."

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank God for Bishop Lawrence

    ReplyDelete
  12. Once they've finally shaken the Episcopal dust off of their feet, and they've exorcised all the liberal gay demons, and put up barbed wire and posted guards to keep them out, then the Truly Orthodox will turn on each other.

    I expect the marriage of convenience between central Africa and the American right will evaporate quickly. It will end over politics, not religion. American interests and African nationalism will inevitably clash.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Brother David

    Brother Gregory Polan has said clearly that he told the PB Bede Parry had abused a minor.

    You can this an error of judgment and say it was not a canonical infraction. What does this say about canons intended to protect minors?

    Do you somehow feel so beholden to TEC progressivism you allow it to run interference for the most basic of protections for minors in unequal power circumstances?

    I find that very sad indeed.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  14. In consultation with other diocesan leadership and the chancellor, we explored the possibilities and liabilities of receiving him. I wrote to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas and the Diocese of Santa Fe, receiving brief responses from each bishop, who indicated no problematic behavior. I wrote to Conception Abbey, from whom I received only an acknowledgement that he had served there, been sent for treatment to a facility in New Mexico, and had been dismissed for this incident of misconduct. Neither then nor later did I receive a copy of any report of a psychological examination in connection with his service in the Roman Catholic Church. His departure from the Roman Catholic priesthood had to do with his desire to take up secular employment.

    The Presiding Bishop's statement does not report the conversation Gregory Polan claims that he had with her. I choose to believe that the PB has been honest in her report of what occurred.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Seems, at least in Central Africa, that the purpose of the barbed wire and guards may be to keep them IN, Counterlight.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Brother Gregory Polan called her--as was proper and indeed incumbent upon him to do--and told her the things the PB in this note acknowledges. He abused a minor. He was sent to a clinic. He was dismissed. These things the PB acknowledges in a carefully written note.

    (He also says he told her of a psychiatric report -- the PB goes out of her way to deny this).

    Based upon what is known and agreed, one must wonder why a decision to receive a Priest with this record was made at all. Compared with calling TEC 'kudzu' and a 'sidecar', any neutral observer would conclude that hers was the far more egregious action.

    I suspect we are not done with this story yet. The Conception Abbot will know what he has said in fuller terms and where his account disagrees with the one we have seen published.

    Maybe the Intake Officer has already had to review this case. I suspect it is much farther ahead in the queue than a return to SC.

    Msgr

    WV: distrust

    ReplyDelete
  17. Funny, but I had the mistaken notion that this thread was about Mark Lawrence. Seems it's actually about Bede Parry. Silly me! Made the same mistake a couple of weeks ago when another thread I assumed to be about Lawrence was really about TEC's abuse of the Book of Common Prayer.

    Is that a sucking sound I hear?

    ReplyDelete
  18. The thread is about TEC discipline. Brother David has sought to remove attention to its wider implications re: all Bishops of the church.

    Are you also saying 'let's move on, nothing to see here'...?

    Pay attention only to Episcopal Diocese of SC, and not the wider disciplinary frame of reference -- that is not a good model for TEC in its present situation.

    It's like condemning +SC for negotiating with a parish but ignoring +New Jersey when he does the same thing.

    I suspect you want the host to sweep in and make sure we don't look widely on these matters.

    Sad.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have commented elsewhere about my concerns about quitclaim deeds, and would only add here that I see the issuing of those deeds as quite possibly a way to avoid negotiating with a vestry that wants to take a parish out of the Episcopal Church. I am in favor of negotiating about property wherever possible, partly because I know the attachment we get to places where we have worshiped. My concern is not that Bp Lawrence will negotiate over property but that he might not, simply ignoring the canons requirements about alienation of property.

    ReplyDelete
  20. So it is a He said She said at this point. The PB disputes that Gregory Polan placed a telephone call to her. She reports perfunctory written communications regarding the matter from the Roman authorities. And as I understand this as reported, the one situation that Bede Parry and the Roman authorities admitted was with an older teenager, not a minor. I do not think that she went out of her way in the matter of the psychological report. She mentions it because from the first accounts of this matter of Bede Parry and the law suit against Conception Abbey in the press, much has been made of this alleged report.

    When it comes down to at this point of whose word to believe, yes, I fault on the side of TEC's presiding bishop rather than the Roman Church's authorities in the USA, with a known track record of covering their asses and protecting their organization in identical situations all over the nation and for many years.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Whatever, Sammy-Always-Right.

    ReplyDelete
  22. No, the PB does not dispute anything about phone calls, etc. That is filling in the blanks.

    We don't actually have the PB disputing anything. We just have a legal statement offering bare minimums and (to use your lovely English) 'covering her ass.' (A phrase I should not think particularly felicitous in the present instance).

    As many have noted, including progressives, there are huge gaps in the story, worsened by a PB refusing to answer questions.

    Brother Gregory was brought in to Conception, from the looks of it, to clean up a mess of which Bede Parry was but a part. It was not on his watch. Why you would accuse him of 'covering his ass' is beyond me. Why he would invent a story about sending a psychiatric report he did not solicit, related to Parry's application to another monastery, is very strange indeed.

    But I agree, the story here is about +ML. The simple point is that 'kudzu' and 'sidecar' talk is penny-ante stuff compared to receiving someone who had numerous abuse victims -- I don't get the point about a monk abusing a teenager being OK. Even he said it was a terrible act.


    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  23. The PB's statement says she wrote to them and they responded. The context infers that the responses were also written communication. The recent history of the Roman Church in the US very much makes the act of cleaning up messes an act of protecting the institution and covering asses.

    Just because a relationship with another person is inappropriate does not mean it is illegal. Someone not a minor is an adult and legally free to be sexually involved with whom they choose. Just because a sexual relationship is inappropriate does not mean it is abuse. We know little about the nature of the relationship. It was deemed inappropriate because it involved a man under vow of celibacy and because this was pursued in a student and teacher environment. There is nothing in the released information to determine whether this was a mutually sought relationship.

    ReplyDelete
  24. It is highly pertinent and still within the diocese of South Carolina, to ask why FitzSimons Allison, Mark Lawrence's penultimate predesessor, organizer of and participant in the first schismatic episcopal consecrations (Chuck Murphy & John Rogers, Singapore, 2000) remains a bishop in good standing in either TEC or the Anglican Communion. If ever there was an unanswerable case for degradation from Holy Orders, this is it.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Bede Parry, in his own written statement, indicates several cases of abuse of minors.

    I find defense of this thing appalling.

    Thank goodness the DBB came to its senses and dismissed the charges lodged against +Lawrence.

    I also doubt we have heard the last of the Bede Parry case. Brother Polan will in time need to say more about his actions as the litigation in his church context will ramp up. Will he deny he spoke to the PB? Will he say he mentioned nothing about the report sent to him? We shall see.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  26. Msgr...you write, "Thank goodness the DBB came to its senses and dismissed the charges lodged against +Lawrence. "

    The Disciplinary Board did not have to "come to its senses," it was already in possession of its senses. Your comment makes it appear that somehow the Disciplinary Board had something to do with lodging the charges to begin with. It did not. It received the charges and did what it was asked to do and found as it deemed appropriate. It did its job.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Msgr, you are mixing the timeline and confusing different issues. The comments that you have made are about the PB of TEC with regard to Bede Parry being received into TEC as a priest. The more recent Bede Parry confessions to relationships with minors was not information of which the Diocese of Nevada or its ordinary were aware. At that time, Bede Parry only admitted to the PB one relationship and the person was not a minor.

    I am not defending anything, I am stating the facts as they have been presented, in the order presented. When Bede Parry requested reception into TEC as an ordained priest, he confessed/admitted to only one inappropriate relationship with an older teenager, an individual not a minor. Had he not been a religious under vows and in a teacher student situation, his relationship with this young man may have indeed been disapproved by others, but there was nothing illegal about it.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Fr Harris:

    I disagree. It should never have received the charges as actionable on the grounds of abandonment. It should have handed the charges over to the Intake Officer for review. Why it did not do that is grounds for speculation -- I have my own views.

    So 'it came to its senses' and declared the charges insufficient when it should never have wasted time and money reviewing them to begin with. That is why Title IV has an Intake Officer and panels of review.

    If I were on the committee I would be furious at this expenditure of time. I would also resent the Chair/President using his office as communicator of a verdict to take it upon himself to issue little animadversions that had nothing to do with the Committee's work. What in the world is a 'safe place' in the diocese of SC and how is it being denied? Surely this kind of loose rhetoric will not instill great confidence in a committee charged with serious business. Safe place for what?

    Brother David -- your defense of something on the grounds it is not illegal--we shall indeed see about that--is a tragically low bar to be set for the Priesthood. How very sad.

    As I have said, the case of Bede Parry is far from over.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  29. As I said before, I have not, and am not defending anything. I am stating the facts correctly which you have jumbled.

    Granted, homosexual acts between consenting adults may have been illegal in the jurisdiction where the relationship occurred, when it occurred, but I doubt that applies to any prosecutorial act today since after the TX case homosexuality is no longer illegal in US jurisdictions.

    To the community -
    Does anyone here besides Msgr feel that I have defended Bede Parry's behavior in my posted comments?

    ReplyDelete
  30. "Msgr" is working, as he did with an earlier, recent Mark Lawrence thread, to reframe the issue, deflecting the spotlight from Bishop Lawrence and attempting to divert attention to perceived or imagined shortcomings of TEC.

    No, David, you have not defended anything relating to Bede Parry's reception into TEC. And, FWIW, several regular posters at this site other than msgr are uneasy about it, among them Grandmère Mimi, who has several times posted on the topic at her own blog, and me (which, BTW, makes two of the threesome recently, charitable termed by "msgr" "a pathetic, sad little threesome" who are disturbed by the whole business).

    So let's quit baying at the moon, msgr, and get back to the topic in hand, which is Mark Lawrence. I would also, re my post above about Bishop Allison, be curious to know the extent to which he is still central to the whole ongoing business in Charleston. And, to repeat myself, why he has not been deposed from orders. Ample cause for that.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Two observations, one of which I made earlier.

    Complaints from lay people about their Bishop's actions need to be taken seriously for their to be any confidence in the disciplinary procedures of this church. If that means a more complete investigation than some partisans like, that's too bad.

    The mention if Bishop Allison reminds me of a rather public and unfounded comment he made several years ago about the Society of Saint John the Evangelist. I will not repeat the comment, but I went some lengths to convince the Bishop that his accusation was wrong, even sending him printed material to show that he had misunderstood a comment made by another Bishop. I do not recall his ever apologizing for the damage his comment might have done.

    ReplyDelete
  32. That's a relief.

    The reception of Bede Parry into TEC is indefensible.

    Glad to know that is so.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  33. The reception of Bede Parry into TEC is indefensible.

    Now you have changed the subject. I will defend the PB in her reception of Bede Parry. I believe that she and the diocese did what was possible to vet Bede Parry and that there was nothing known to them to impede his reception. Msgr, you are free to disagree.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I think Msgr, or Franklin, or whatever the hell he calls himself this week, attempting to divert and exploit this comment thread, and every comment thread, is indefensible.

    I suggest he go over to Grandmere Mimi's blog "Wounded Bird" where she has discussed the Bed Parry issue at length and with great candor.

    http://www.thewoundedbird.blogspot.com/2011/11/bede-parry-confession-released.html

    ReplyDelete
  35. What in the world does +Henderson mean when he refers to a 'safe place' in SC? And why is he meant to insert confusing private views into a formal procedure?

    Is this just posturing to please the pro SSBs crowd given the verdict? If so, very poor judgment.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  36. Still that slightly unhealthy fixation on SSBs?

    ReplyDelete
  37. On whose part?

    Or, is that your answer to the question posed?

    If so, it gives the lie to Fr Weir's longstanding claim that everyone's 'priestly rights' will be respected. No, people like +Henderson use the code language 'safe place' for the demand that SC adopt a position on SSBs that the BCP and the canons prohibit...

    Or, does he mean 'safe place' for the practice of Open Communion?

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  38. Appreciate your confirming my comment.

    ReplyDelete
  39. So let me get this straight. You believe that Bishop Henderson referred to 'safe place' in the sense of, able to conduct SSBs? Call Gay clergy, etc?

    Why would he be in a position to state such a view? The Bishop of the Diocese of SC is not going to permit such a thing. So is this a threat? Or is it posturing? And why are either acceptable views for the allegedly impartial President of a Disciplinary Board to hold and publically state?

    He should have done his job and left off this kind of shooting from the hip. It looks unprofessional and is.

    Glad +ML took the high road and ignored it.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  40. I notice that Msgr/ Franklin/ Sammy/ whatever never gives us straight answers especially when we try to pin him down as to who he is, who he represents, and what stake does he have in all of this. He just tries to divert the conversation again.

    Just watch. He'll do it again.

    I'm willing to bet that he is not, and never was, Episcopalian or Anglican.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Sorry Counterlight. All of the above.

    And thankful SC is one of several dioceses maintaining the faith and practice of TEC and Anglicanism...before the great meltdown to come in the new american denomination of about 1M. Coming soon to your locale, if not already in place!

    Advent Blessings,

    Msgr

    PS--Rabbit, are you OK? What a strange posting.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Sorry Counterlight. All of the above.

    And thankful SC is one of several dioceses maintaining the faith and practice of TEC and Anglicanism...before the great meltdown to come in the new american denomination of about 1M. Coming soon to your locale, if not already in place!

    Advent Blessings,

    Msgr

    PS--Rabbit, are you OK? What a strange posting.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I recall a certain Soviet leader who used to regularly declare, "We will bury you!"

    Whatever happened to him?

    ReplyDelete
  44. They buried him Counterlight. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  45. As I posted on a thread above in response to "Allen's" description of Mark Lawrence as "....a bishop who leads a diocese that is actually growing", the Diocese of South Carolina has consistently lost members since Bishop Lawrence's election and currently tops the table of dioceses with declining membership, having lost a full seven percent of its membership during 2009/2010. Seems to me things may not be looking all that promising for "the new [A]merican denomination of about 1M".

    ReplyDelete
  46. Very few dioceses any longer have churches the size of St Andrews Mt Pleasant (or Christ Church Plano). If they decide to leave, yes, it will obviously affect the 'church growth' figures. So describing SC as leading the declining dioceses is like saying the Diocese of Dallas is unhealthy because Christ Church left it. No, both dioceses are healthy and growing and would do even better if the TEC denomin ation weren't in deep decline on all fronts. It has lost the equivalent of about twenty average size dioceses in a decade alone.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  47. But Msgr, that attrition is not limited to TEC. Every major denomination in North America is suffering a similar loss in membership, across the spectrum of belief, liberal to conservative. And the folks who research such topics are even beginning to question the survival of the mega-congregation, both affiliated and independent.

    The only reason that the Roman church statistically has not suffered the same losses in numbers is because of the great numbers of my latino brothers & sisters immigrating, legally and illegally, to the US. But racially, there has been a great change in the colors of the faces participating in Mass.

    The populations of first world nations are not the church going folks of the past. They report that they are spiritual, but not religious in greater numbers. They believe in God/Higher Power, but do not feel the need to be members of religious organizations.

    These facts established on the ground have nothing to do with whether TEC feels led to express new charisma. These facts represent a paradigm shift in the beliefs of modern humans.

    ReplyDelete
  48. The Southern Baptist Convention has seen a decline in members for 20 years.

    http://www.thebigdaddyweave.com/2011/06/southern-baptist-convention-stats-reveal-20-year-decline.html

    Most right wing, and especially fundamentalist churches, have a serious problem retaining members, especially the young. It is much more common than not for the children of fundamentalist churches to leave their parents' church, sometimes for more liberal or friendly churches, sometimes for other religions. Frequently, they leave religion entirely. It is no accident that the region of the country with the highest number of atheists is not the Northwest or California or New York, but the Bible Belt; the South and the southern Midwest.

    ReplyDelete
  49. "All is well." Just keep repeating that. "All is well."

    The SBC convention can sustain a decline. TEC will likely lose 35% of the dioceses to need for conflation.

    My point had chiefly to do with SC, and I note it has been ignored...

    ReplyDelete
  50. The secession of St Andrews' Mt Pleasant occurred on Mark Lawrence's watch & with his full acquiescence. Furthermore, the diocese has been in decline since 2007.

    ReplyDelete
  51. My point exactly. Create a TEC that goes into steep decline because of innovations and St Andrews leaves. And THAT accounts for the decline you refer to in SC.

    Or did you want +ML to suggest the Supreme Court ruling was just make believe and he could 'win' against St Andrews (thank God he avoided that fool's errand).

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  52. "The diocese has been on the decline since 2007" --

    Do you just make this stuff up?

    The declines in Province 4 over the past decade are over 20% for 5 or so neighboring dioceses. SC has a decline of 5% -- due to St Andrews Mt Pleasant.

    The figures for 2007 and 2009 are almost identical -- 13861 and 13885. In 2010 St Andrews departed.

    You need to remember that these figures are publically available and not just up for your manipulation. How has U-SC fared?

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  53. U-SC -- steady decline since 2002. And to the best of my knowledge, no parishes leaving.

    But if you want double-digit decline (20-30%) in the 2000-2010 period, you've got plenty of dioceses to choose from.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  54. "Four legs good ............."

    ReplyDelete
  55. Nothing further to say about your false reporting, Rabbit?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Actually, msgr, it's been a downhill trend since 2004. Appreciate a retraction on the spurious "false reporting" libel, but honourable amends is not the sort of thing your type does, is it?

    ReplyDelete
  57. Now let's see, Rabbit.

    You claimed that 2007-2010 SC declined.

    It didn't decline in the years 2007-2009.

    My point was that the decline in 2010 was to do with St Andrews.

    So your claim of decline in the years 2007-2009 was false.

    Anyone is welcome to see the statistics. They are there for viewing. The idea that SC has declined and leads the decline (I believe that was your claim) is false. It lost a major parish. In 2010.

    The honourable thing would be for you to admit that you misreported.

    Msgr

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  58. As I said, Msgr Sammy, "not the sort of thing your type does".

    ReplyDelete
  59. Dear Mr Rabbit

    Thank you for the link to the public statistics. It should prove a good way for people to see your misrepresentation.

    It shows that SC gained 1200 members over the 2000-2009 period.

    What other dioceses did this?

    Then, due to TEC heading in the direction that it did, St Andrews Mt Pleasant left.

    So in the single year 2010 there was an obvious decline -- St Andrews was the equivalent of Christ Church Plano. The largest parish in the diocese by a long way.

    Best regards

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  60. To put it differently:

    Every single diocese in Province 4 lost membership between 2000 and 2009 -- some by quite sizeable percentages.

    Except for SC.

    For you to describe SC as leading decline categories is not only misreporting, it is prevarication.

    An honourable thing to do would be to apologise.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  61. Here's something to ponder, the drop out rate from Christianity, all of it from fundamentalist to liberal, among people aged 15 to 29 is 60%.

    http://www.tavissmileyradio.com/120211/david_kinnaman.html

    That should give us all pause.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Makes the growth in places like Diocese of SC all the more remarkable during a difficult decade, given the cultural challenge.

    There are some remarkable growth examples out there, INSIDE Tec.

    Why not ask how they are doing this?

    Answer: classical liturgy, effective preaching, historical Christianity with intellectual seriousness, and a lot of hard work. I could name

    St George's Nashville
    Church of the Incarnation Dallas
    The Cathedral in Birmingham AL
    St Martin's Houston

    Not one of these churches grows because of, but rather in spite of, TEC inclinations to become a new progressive american denomination.

    They grow because of the anglican tradition brought alive.

    Msgr

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  63. Msgr...time to get a life, preferably somewhere else. You regularly take any thread and push it over to a thread about how awful TEC is mostly, and how the faithful remnant is doing a great job and everyone else is failing.

    You have had several important things to say but they have been lost in your need to rant on.

    BTW I am going to try to take on one of your "issues" tomorrow. But now, I am going to dinner with friends. Beats reading your comments.

    Direct us to your blog, but don't take up more space on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Fr Harris

    Your comments sadden me. I thought you were of better stuff.

    Thank you for not allowing misrepresentation of SC go unchallenged. One has hope.

    When you call out someone like Rabbit for his prodigal account of facts/reality, we will know we are in a church and not a fan club or echo chamber,


    yrs in Christ Jesus

    Messenger

    ReplyDelete
  65. Msgr, it seems to me with your multiple identities, your insistence on anonymity, your evasiveness, your refusal to stand publicly by your strong opinions, you are in no position to impugn anyone's integrity.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Msgr...yes...it saddened me too. Lapinbizarre may read the figures differently from you, but he early on said what I said, "If you have a blog point us there. If you don't think of starting one."

    ReplyDelete
  67. It is a very simple thing to do, Fr Harris. Just go to where the misreporting began, and see the thread from there.

    SC is the only Diocese in Province 4 that gained membership over the period 2000-2009.

    In 2010 it lost a parish and a very big one. Due to the conviction that TEC was moving away from classical anglicanism.

    To say that SC leads the decline is misrepresentation ("currently tops the table of dioceses with declining membership").

    So you want your blog to hold up such misrepresentations and for me to start my own and leave?

    Yes, this is truly sad.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  68. And is likely to continue to decline because its bishop, in his eagerness to shake off the bondage of the hierearchical model, has painted himself into the corner of congregationalism - every parish a free agent.

    Re Bishop Henderson's personal statement that "I presently take the Bishop at his word, and hope that the safety he seeks for the apparent majority in his diocese within the larger Church will become the model for safety—a “safe place”—for those under his episcopal care who do not agree with the actions of South Carolina’s convention and/or his position on some of the issues of the Church", I post, verbatim & in full, the post from the webpage of South Carolina Episcopalians concerning Mark Lawrence's refusal to confirm new members of St Mark's Chapel, Beaufort.

    "PORT ROYAL -- Bishop Lawrence abruptly canceled a scheduled Confirmation at St. Mark's Chapel near Beaufort this Sunday. SC Episcopalians has no idea why this has happened. Learn about St. Mark's

    "St. Mark's is a group of former parishioners from St. Helena’s Episcopal Church in Beaufort who have attempted to establish a traditional Episcopal Church congregation in Port Royal near Beaufort. Critics of Bishop Lawrence have complained that he will not recognize them because of their loyalty to the Episcopal Church.

    "The Bishop's surprising decision was relayed to members of St. Mark's by way of an electronic communication from their clergy Friday. This is the relevant text from their message.

    "Dear members and friends of St. Mark's Chapel,

    "For reasons that go beyond the capabilities of email and to make a long story short, Confirmation of St. Mark's' confirmands is being postponed.

    "The Bishop will be with us for the 4 pm service which will include an opportunity for us to 'reaffirm our baptismal vows,' but no confirmations will take place. He says that there are canonical, pastoral and political dimensions to his decision and that we need to respect his thoughts on the subject. We look forward to seeing you at St. Mark's on Sunday."

    ReplyDelete
  69. So 'safe place' refers to this development? Failure to conduct a confirmation service due to the reasons given?

    Yes, that will take a huge chunk out of the total membership of the diocese.

    How big is the parish in question? 15 or so? Including those who did not give their names but filed charges against the Bishop?

    Yes, we need to be very careful that a 'safe space' is maintained for this group. I was concerned that +Henderson was referring to some other group and some other concern. All very hush hush, of course. But it's instead a confirmation service that is not happening this evening in Port Royal in the swamps of SC.

    That will really plunge the diocese into serious membership decline.

    Mountain meet molehill.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  70. I hope that every diocese will be a safe place for Episcopalians who disagree with their Bishop. We do have and have always had honest disagreements in the Episcopal Church about important matters of faith and practice and there has never been a good reason to demonize those with whom we disagree. I have, sadly, witness vicious verbal attacks on my Bishop by people who disagreed with one of his votes at General Convention. We are all made poorer by such actions.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I am sorry to hear about vicious attacks on your Bishop. Sounds like they were public, rather than sent in secret in the form of 87 pages of charges. ('I heard him say that TEC was like kudzu once.')

    Sad.

    As even Jim Naughton said, 'glad this sideshow is over.'

    Not our finest hour.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  72. Fr Weir

    You have not responded to the issue raised earlier.

    If GC somehow goes around the constitutionality of the BCP and approves same-sex 'marriage' rites (after all, we already have this happening in MA, and Open Communion is also widely practiced, publically, though it is against the canons), what about Dioceses that will judge this not only unacceptable but also unconstitutional?

    Will they be forced to comply? How?

    That individuals and a parish or two in SC, e.g., might object to this, what about the constitution of both TEC and the Dioceses themselves. Rude comments about ones Bishop we will, like the poor, have always with us.

    The fact is that specific Dioceses will not allow this.

    And if they were forced, the Bishops would be in an impossible position. They would be defying their own canons and constitution, and for now, also the Constitution of TEC. And their people -- not a rude individual or several -- en masse would revolt. This is precisely where +ML is, but he is not alone.

    To say he is not 'friendly to TEC' only begs the question: what TEC are we speaking about? One with a Constitutionality, or one being created latterly in various times and places?

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  73. I take the permission that General Convention granted for Bishops in states that have civil marriage equality to be a bit like the liturgical materials that have been authorized along side the BCP. It is, like the situation in the CofE, a bit messy to have both the BCP and other authorized liturgical material. It is a reflection of where we are in our understanding of marriage to have both the BCP's definition and the emerging new understanding. That new understanding, like some of the approved liturgical material, may in time be found wanting, but I take that to be part of our process of discernment.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Thank you for your response in seeking to clarify how a Diocese like MA can create a rite that is manifestly a departure from the BCP. It was of course said at the time that a GC intimation like the one that emerged was against the constitution of TEC.

    Messy indeed.

    But what of the scenario that will likely be the breaking point? Demanding conformity in dioceses in the name of 'justice' and the chaos this will wreak. +Henderson spoke of 'safe places' in SC I suspect precisely to file this away for future reference.

    Can you help us imagine how this is going to play out so that Dioceses can maintain the historic faith and order (constitutionality) of this Church?

    Do you envision a time when dioceses will have to be forced to comply with a new TEC teaching?

    It is only a matter of time. I'd be curious to hear how TEC will accommodate dioceses like SC, CFL, Dallas, W-TX and others, short of creating a new polity altogether (perhaps Sauls himself sees this is necessary).

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  75. It is sad Msgr, our host has asked you kindly, more than once, to stop posting and to create a blog of your own where you may continue to erect your straw men. And here you are, still posting.

    TEC is a hierarchical and synodical church. The ultimate voice in a syndical church is its highest synod. General Convention spoke when it authorized the pastoral response of bishops with jurisdiction, whose jurisdiction included states where legal same gender marriage existed. At the point in the future when the time has arrived the GC will authorize that the C&C be altered to facilitate the final decisions regarding marriage in TEC. Until then, you are just here to stir things up, against the wishes of the blog master.

    You raise a point that has never been an issue in TEC in the past. No ordained clergy of TEC has ever been conically required to administer sacraments, rites or rituals that violated their conscience. It shall not happen in the case of same gender marriage. Period. The most GC has mandated as the final synodical voice is to require that bishops of jurisdiction provide access to certain sacraments, rites and rituals, such as in the case of women's ordination.

    Please do not bother to get in the last word. Please honor the request of Father Mark and move on.

    ReplyDelete
  76. You are an amusing man, Brother David. You tell me to go away, raise the topic again, and then tell me not to have the last word! 'Heads I win, tails you lose'.

    You want the last word? Then simply tell us all how a Diocese will fare if it does not agree to allow liturgical rites that are not agreed to by the BCP? Or, if the polity of TEC is altered, they do not go along with this?

    You believe this or that about TEC. Fine. You are entitled to an opinion, but not to facts. I don't know how the Church in your Province is structured, but clearly you do not know how TEC is structured. Dioceses have constitutions and canons. TEC has a constitution. GC intimations cannot premit what the Constitution disallows.

    By the way, Fr Weir was responding to questions I had raised. I did not realize he was breaking the rules of you and others by speaking of a topic I was enjoined silence around!

    God bless you! You are welcome to speak to the topic at hand as you have, and by doing so, to invite response. You are not the sargeant at arms!

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete
  77. The last time that Father Harris invited someone to refrain from posting on his blog he had to start deleting the comments this person made in order for his wishes to be honored. I am in hope that he does not have to do that again.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Thank you Brother David.

    God bless you.

    Msgr

    ReplyDelete

OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.
Rule: PLEASE DO NOT SIGN OFF AS ANONYMOUS: BEGIN OR END THE MESSAGE WITH A NAME - ANY NAME. ANONYMOUS commentary will be cut.