Bishop Lawrence, Diocese Of South Carolina

Discussion in 'The Commons' started by mark1, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. mark1

    mark1 Active Member

    Posts:
    164
    Likes Received:
    113
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Bishop Lawrence is on retreat. I presume that he will get advice from many, including our visiting Bishop Nazr Ali. At the end of the month, he will tell us the results of his discernment. I suspect that he will retire as TEC Bishop. As he has said, TEC has crossed a line he cannot cross as Bishop.

    Any transition in SC will be much different than elsewhere. In South Carolina, our Supreme Court has ruled that the members of the parish own our churches rather than TEC. Transition may be difficult, but very unlike other diocese. I would think that after any transition, TEC would find that it needs only one South Carolina diocese, rather than two.

    I pray that I am wrong.
     
    Toma likes this.
  2. Sean611

    Sean611 Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    219
    Likes Received:
    242
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican Catholic
    I was watching the most recent episode of Anglican Unscripted the other day and they said that no matter what Bishop Lawrence does he is going to face chaos. Basically, the majority of the parishes and clergy have told Bishop Lawrence that they are leaving, with or without him. If he decides to leave with the diocese, he will face TEC legal juggernaut and canonical charges. If he stays, he will a lose a majority of his parishes.

    I'm with you mark1, I think that Bishop Lawrence will retire. He already stated that he is strongly against the idea of 5-6 bishops claiming the same geographical area. Leaving TEC for the continuing movement is just trading headaches, in my estimation.

    I pray that this situation works itself out peacefully.
     
  3. Robert

    Robert Active Member

    Posts:
    93
    Likes Received:
    61
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (Anglo-Catholic)
    If these parishes leave will they join ACNA?
     
  4. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    536
    Likes Received:
    385
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    The Episcopal Church
    I hope orthodox people in SC consider what their actions will mean for the rest of us in PEC. I think +Lawrence realizes this, which is why he is taking this retreat. If SC is to leave as a diocese, that will be a death blow to orthodoxy in PEC, I think. For one, it will encourage a lot of like-minded people in Dallas, Central Florida, maybe Albany to leave as well. Two, there will be a lack of visionary leadership. Let's face it, I don't think any other Communion Partner bishop can really fill +Lawrence's shoes right now. Bishop Love is a godly and holy man but he can't lead this movement and Albany doesn't have the numbers the lead. +Stanton and Dallas could take the charge but I don't really think +Stanton has that calling. Perhaps +Brewer would step up and lead the charge.
     
    Toma likes this.
  5. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    1,128
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Reading the first post in this thread, I was hoping Bishop Lawrence would stay in this bloated monster and try to reform it - but not anymore, now that I see the laity are intent on leaving... it seems impossible...
     
  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    2,723
    Likes Received:
    2,558
    Country:
    America
    Religion:
    Anglican
    That massive a consensus in the whole diocese? wow.

    Can you explain? Say he joins ACNA, and the secular court in SC already deemed his parishes to own all their property... what can TEC do?
     
  7. Sean611

    Sean611 Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    219
    Likes Received:
    242
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican Catholic
    Seems so Stalwart, although, the information came from the most recent episode of Anglican Unscripted and was reported by Rev. George Conger (who has always been pretty accurate). Of course, like the other dioceses that left, i'm sure there will be some sort of remnant left that stays in TEC. Like Hackney said, though, the diocese of SC is perhaps the biggest bulwark of orthodoxy left. I doubt whoever decides to stay will amount to much.

    TEC will trump up something to get Bishop Lawrence on, they've already tried it once. I believe Rev. Conger said something along the lines of "leaving the communion of the Church" or something to that effect. Afterall, it's not like TEC leadership follows the bylaws, cannons, or the BCP. ;)

    All this is speculation, though, as Bishop Lawrence has not left TEC at this time.
     
  8. Sean611

    Sean611 Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    219
    Likes Received:
    242
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican Catholic
    I agree with your sentiments. If TEC looses SC, then orthodoxy will have lost its strongest and most ardent defender. However, perhaps the quicker the revisionists crash this thing into the ground, the quicker we can get to fixing this mess.

    Sarah Hey, Episcopalian and contributer on Stand Firm, wrote a wonderful article about this very thing.

    http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/29222
     
  9. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    2,723
    Likes Received:
    2,558
    Country:
    America
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Well I guess my point regarding TEC bylaws is this: what can that do to him? There's a difference between ecclesial and civil law, so as long as the civil law is on his side (which it seems to be, the Supreme Court ruling in the diocese' favor), then what harm can be done to him?
     
  10. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    688
    Likes Received:
    512
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Franciscan - Anglican
    I didn't realize just how bad it is for you poor souls in North America, here in Australia the people who are members of the own the assets the church only provides the licensed clergy.
     
    Robert likes this.
  11. Sean611

    Sean611 Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    219
    Likes Received:
    242
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican Catholic

    I hope and pray that they are unable to do anything to him, however, this is TEC we are talking about. The leadership takes great pleasure in suing and fighting their fellow Christian brothers and sisters. If he takes the diocese out of TEC, then it won't really make much difference, like you said, civil law is on his side and he will no longer be a TEC bishop anyway. If he stays or retires, I think they will try to trump up some sort of charges on him. Either way, being brought up on charges by the Church you've dedicated your very heart and soul to cannot be a very pleasant feeling.


    The most interesting thing in all of this is the fact that Bishop Lawrence doesn't think 5-6 bishops claiming the same geographical area is "Anglican" and I agree 100% with him. He's in a very tough spot and he needs our prayers.
     
    The Hackney Hub likes this.
  12. mark1

    mark1 Active Member

    Posts:
    164
    Likes Received:
    113
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican
    The Supreme Court of South Carolina agrees.

     
    Sean611 likes this.
  13. mark1

    mark1 Active Member

    Posts:
    164
    Likes Received:
    113
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican
    There are two somewhat separate issues. What would happen if Bishop Lawrence retires and what would happen if several large parishes leave TEC?

    BISHOP LAWRENCE
    He is on retreat and may decide to retire. I don't see what action TEC would take against him. Surely, they may try something as they have tried before. However, if he does not believe that he can function as a bishop of TEC, they may be glad to see him retire as bishop. He needn't GO anywhere.

    Bishop Lawrence next decision would then be whether he would personally leave TEC for ACNA. That is a very different decision. Also, I don't think that he would publicly recommend that anyone else leave, just that they pray over such decisions and understand the consequences of their individual and parish decisions.

    It is indeed POSSIBLE that Bishop Lawrence will try to lead the diocese to ACNA. I just don't think that this is likely. I think the timing is wrong, although that may be the result after a few months of transition. Parishes would need to vote. In the end, they will need no public push if he retires.

    PARISHES WITHIN THE DIOCESE
    Obviously some are already gone. The loss of even a couple of the larger parishes would mean severe financial problems for the diocese. It would then make sense for TEC to merge South Carolina with Upper Carolina. Bishop Lawrence has kept the diocese functional until now. It is not clear that he can succeed for much longer.

    The likelihood is that several parishes will indeed leave. They have been waiting for the proper time. The Convention and the statement that TEC had crossed a line that Bishop Lawrence personally could not cross makes this the right time for many in the diocese.

    In South Carolina, the members own the assets, so this should be a settled issue. Yes, TEC could try to take over property yet again. However I don't see any success, except perhaps with diocesan property. The parish assets belong to its members. Besides, the parishes have already taken many legal steps to make it even more difficult for TEC should they attempt to take over property. After all, the parishes have good lawyers and a Supreme Court on the side of parishioners.

    While the result may seem like chaos to outsiders, perhaps the result will be "just" two Anglican bishops in SC after a year or so (TEC and ACNA). Of course, as I have indicated before, I do not see ACNA as a friendly home for Anglo-Catholics, although this could change if ACNA is to truly to be the Communion province they want to be, rather than a protest against same sex marriage and ordination..

    BOTTOM LINE
    We'll know a lot more in a couple of months, some more within a a couple of weeks. The appointment of visible strong Anglo-Catholics in ACNA leadership would help them a lot, along with a clear theological opinion on female clergy. If ACNA is not the long-term option which I have always suspected that it is NOT, then the answer is what we have discussed on other threads. As with other social trends, this too shall pass. However, one must understand that female ordination and the acceptance of homosexuality in not going to change for decades within TEC, of ever. Those lines have been crossed.

    As far as the Communion worldwide is concerned, the situation is somewhat different. We await leadership from our new ABC. If GAFCON does not welcome the new ABC with open arms, the Communion is done for. The GAFCON primates just would contineu to boycott meetings. However, this situation can be an opportunity for the CoE and the Communion.

    As Bishop Nazr Ali has shared so many times, the issue is about MORE than the definition of the marriage for GAFCON. The issue is about evangelization. His position is that is it extremely difficult to be successful in evangelizing in Asia and Africa if the Anglican Church is perceived as the Church that accepts homosexuality and ordains homosexual priests. Of course, we probably said the same think a century ago when opposing slavery was an issue, or we say the same when we discuss women's ordination. Perhaps the answer is that primates can make such pastoral decisions/rules for their provinces.

     
  14. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    536
    Likes Received:
    385
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    The Episcopal Church
    I'm curious as to why you think ACNA is not a good option for Anglo-Catholics, mark1? I've perceived it as a very Anglo-Catholic friendly place.