"September 22, 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We announced last month on August 20th that the Standing Committee and I were in agreement on a course of action regarding the future of the Diocese of South Carolina and the challenges many of us face because of decisions by the recent General Convention of the Episcopal Church. However, for many reasons it was then and is now, imprudent to reveal that course of action. Things are progressing—we have not stopped or dropped the ball. 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.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
+Mark J. Lawrence
So, as they say, the fat is in the fire. What are they doing? Well, "for many reasons it was then and is now, imprudent to reveal that course of action. " The bishop and Standing Committee have not "stopped or dropped the ball." They are dealing "wisely and carefully."
Bishop Lawrence is using the language of prudence in order to justify not telling his own diocese just what it is that the Standing Committee and he have agreed on as a "course of action."
Ten to one the prudence has to do with actions that would, if known, be considered either illegal and perhaps criminal, or subversive to the vows under which he exercises leadership in the Church, or both. Of course it could be that the actions contemplated or undertaken are not so drastic. But if not then why the prolonged secrecy?
It is hard not to come to the conclusion that this lack of open communication about a matter already decided upon is in order to announce a fait accompli with the decisions already acted upon. They are, apparently, dealing with the situation as we speak.
I wrote this in an earlier post:
It is time for Bishop Lawrence to speak plainly. We are not as interested in whether or not he believes he is Bishop of South Carolina, was we need to know is if he will maintain the Diocese of South Carolina as a constituent member of The Episcopal Church in union with the General Convention.
He needs to answer that question now. And if he responds that he will maintain the Diocese as a member of the union with General Convention he can then be held accountable to that pledge. If not, then we know. It is sad that we need to ask again, but Bishop Lawrence has apparently acquired a vision of where things are going, a vision so secret that only a chosen few will know for some time to come. So his past answers, some of which appear cleaver rather than transparent, do not suffice.
The question now is, "Bishop Lawrence, will you maintain the Diocese of South Carolina as a member of The Episcopal Church, consisting of those churches in union with the General Convention. Yes or No."
I ask the question again: Yes or No: will you maintain the Diocese of South Carolina as a member Diocese of the Episcopal Church?
This is not a time for prudent non-communication. It is a time for candor.
To put it bluntly, we need to know if Bishop Lawrence is lying and using "prudent" non-communication as a cover up.