BIshop of South Carolina and his followers think highly of themselves

In the days leading up to November 17th Special Diocesan Convention, the Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina was inhibited from exercising any episcopal function, and was himself (not the Diocese) under obligation to obey the inhibition by virtue of being a bishop in The Episcopal Church. He of course said the canons did not apply, being the nasty ol' Title IV canons.  Of course he also contended that there was no reason for the Diocese of South Carolina to be bound by any canon they believed was contrary to what the canons of the Diocese of South Carolina held.  So the fact that he, as bishop, chaired the meeting of Convention, took part in the deliberations and guided and gave direction the the assembled all point to a simple fact:

Bishop Lawrence indeed had abandoned the communion of this church, meaning he has acted specifically and exactly contrary to the restraining order placed upon him by inhibition.  That inhibition did not mean he had abandoned the communion. But his clear and blantent disregard of that inhibition does settle the matter. He is now no longer a bishop in The Episcopal Church and holds license as bishop in no other part of the Anglican Communion.

All this hocus-pocus of declaring that the Diocese of South Carolina is extra-provincial in the Anglican Communion is just a smokescreen.  The bishop and his followers have launched out with out the vaguest sense of how nutty their proposition stands.

There are all sorts of mutterings about how all parties might have worked at this otherwise - how the Disciplinary Board might have made other recommendations, how the Diocese might have done other than craft a doomsday triggering of dissolution actions, how the work between the Presiding Bishop, other bishops and Bishop Lawrence might have been given some space, on and on - but at the end the one clear fact remains

Bishop Lawrence by direct disregard of the inhibitions placed upon him has confirmed that he has abandoned the communion of this Church, which communion requires, particularly for bishops, obedience to the canons...even the canons you don't like.

All the canonical mutterings of the Anglican Communion Institute not withstanding, the matter has proved itself out in ways that do not have to argue to last month or last year.  There is no need to analyze the body of the actions taken by the Bishop or Diocese to prove it. The proof of his abandonment is in his presence in an episcopal capacity at the special called meeting.  There was no surprise in it.

One comment caught my eye, however, that seems to me to sum up the arrogance of it all. If the comment is true, ENS reports that

"Following his address, Lawrence called upon the convention to vote on three resolutions. The first resolution affirmed the actions of the bishop and the Standing Committee and stated “that we are no longer in any relationship with TEC, including union or association with in any capacity.” The resolution also had the convention declare that Lawrence is the diocese’s “rightful bishop.”
By stating this, we declare that as God has sent Bishop Lawrence to be our bishop, only He [God] has the authority to declare otherwise,” the resolution continued."  (italics mine).

Now there's an interesting concept... "God has send Bishop Lawrence to be our bishop, only he (God) has the authority to declare otherwise."  There is not a province in the Anglican Communion who will let this man in as bishop who believes or is believed by his followers to have such a close relation to God that God alone can remove him.  

Its always fine to see arrogance in full sway. 


  1. Good for them and praise The Lord. The whole diocese should join the A.C.N.A.

  2. Amen! Exactly what I thought when I read that statement. He and his followers say that God appointed him and only God can remove him and Lawrence is the one and only messenger and translator for God? That statement in itself is the very definition of a cult leader. They should be concerned. (And not accept anything he offers you to drink)

  3. Bec... The Pristhood of All Believers doesn't play games.

  4. "All this hocus-pocus of declaring that the Diocese of South Carolina is extra-provincial in the Anglican Communion is just a smokescreen. The bishop and his followers have launched out with out the vaguest sense of how nutty their proposition stands."

    Tell that to the Church of England! They had a very rational discussion this morning about the extra-provincial status.


  5. “One should note that we Arminians do not go around acting on God’s behalf.”

    Ahem…you seem to do exactly that, dude! At least on Episcopal websites.

    “There is one Church and that is the Protestant faith,”

    You’ve got to be kidding?!

    “An independent associate of the Anglican Communion,”

    Do you attend any Episcopal church?

    Just asking.

    Kurt Hill
    Brooklyn, NY

  6. Thank God for Bishop Lawrence
    Hooray for standing up for truth
    ron burger

  7. Kurt save that for an e-mail. And yes i do.

  8. When I'm not appalled, I am absolutely fascinated by the logic of arrogance.

    So, let's see: God sent Lawrence to SC to be the bishop in The Episcopal Church, using the Episcopal system of governance, including approvals of Standing Committees and Bishops Diocesan. Twice Lawrence was duly elected (did I mention twice?) and consecrated according to the canons of TEC. But now that they want to leave TEC, only God can remove him as bishop?

    Le sigh. You just can't make this stuff up. I wonder if they ever listen to themselves. Never mind. It's pretty clear that they don't.

  9. What was actually said at the General Synod of the Church of England about South Carolina (not the spin of the schismatics) is here

  10. "A very rational discussion"? No discussion, just a pro-forma response from the bishop of Guildford to two brief questions. "... the legal and indeed theological and ecclesiological position is extremely complicated .... and, in my view, any statement just at this point would be premature." Translated from the English English? - "we ain't doin' nothin'".

  11. Curious, BTW, to know the relevance of the "Pristhood [sic] of All Believers" - not, at least outside the archdiocese of Sydney, a facet of Anglican belief - to this topic.

  12. Here is what was not said in GS:

    "SC is now a diocese like FW and Quincy and SJ -- it is the one TEC has created. We are in communion with these dioceses, not with the one purporting to represent the status quo ante."

    That would be a very simple thing to do. It would be to side with TEC very clearly and publicly. It is clearly what TEC would have wished for.

    But it did not happen. And I suspect it will not happen any time soon. What one heard in the GS, just prior to the vote on Women Bishops, was this clear note:

    We do not want to become like TEC has become.

    And that was a note sounded by liberals and conservatives alike.

    TEC has become, as Ezekiel put it, a 'byword.' That is now a fact on the ground.


  13. "One comment ("concept") caught my eye, that seems to me to sum up the arrogance of it all."
    How is it abandonemnt of the church to not oppose a resolution deleting the accession clause when other dioceses within TEC don't have ANY accession provisions in their organizational documents? Just whose arroagnce are we talking about?

  14. Doesn't matter whether it happens soon or not, SCM. The Church of England is in communion with TEC and is not in communion with any of its schismatic spin-offs.

  15. We are born with so little time and so much we could do and this is how they want to spend it? Not to mention the huge lawyer and court costs.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, 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.