South Carolina Supreme Court issues final ruling on disputed churches

“Two of South Carolina’s oldest church buildings will not be returned to the Episcopal Church in the United States, but will stay with the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina, a court has ruled. One other church will be returned to the Episcopal Diocese. …”

– Story from Church Times.

The photo of now-retired Bishop Mark Lawrence from 2010 gives an idea of how long this has been running. (Mostly) related posts.

In 2018 at GAFCON 3 in Jerusalem, Dominic Steele spoke with Dr Kendall Harmon about what was happening in South Carolina at the time. Starts 2:15 into this clip.

South Carolina Supreme Court rebuffs ECUSA again

“On Tuesday, March 31, the South Carolina Supreme Court entered an order that denied without comment the petition filed the previous month by ECUSA and its ersatz diocese in South Carolina seeking a ‘writ of prohibition’ (that is, an order to halt proceedings) directed to the Circuit Court of Dorchester County (Hon. Edgar Dickson, Judge) in an effort to prevent him from interpreting or clarifying the August 2, 2017 splintered decision of that same Supreme Court.

This was the second attempt by ECUSA’s attorneys to derail the proceedings on remand before Judge Dickson, who was assigned to the case by the Court after three of the Justices (one of whom belatedly recognized she was disqualified) voted to reverse the judgment of Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein. …”

– A S Haley (The Anglican Curmudgeon) reports on the latest knockback of the The Episcopal Church (ECUSA) in its attempts to claim property from the Diocese of South Carolina.


Diocese of South Carolina votes to join ACNA

The Diocese of South Carolina voted [on Saturday] to affiliate with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). The vote, which was held during their 226th Convention, was unanimous in both orders (clergy and laity).

“I cast my vote to affiliate with the ACNA with eager and expectant faith,” said the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of South Carolina during his address to the convention. “I believe God has called us to this and I believe we will find a deeper richness in our vocation, fuller fellowship in the Spirit, a more zealous thrust in mission.”

News from GAFCON. And from South Carolina.

‘South Carolina Decision a full vindication for victims of ECUSA’s Oppression’

Bishop Mark Lawrence, South Carolina.“Circuit Judge Diane S. Goodstein’s carefully crafted 46-page decision in the case brought by Bishop Mark Lawrence’s Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina (along with 35 of its parishes, plus St. Andrew’s, Mt. Pleasant) against the Episcopal Church (USA) and its rump group (ECSC, or “Episcopal Church in South Carolina”) is a complete vindication of the positions taken and arguments advanced for so long, by so many, inside and outside the Church. It is a vindication first, for the Right Reverend Mark Lawrence…”

– Christian lawyer A.S. Haley sums up the South Carolina decision.

See also this report from the Diocese of South Carolina. (Photo: Bishop Mark Lawrence.)

Global South oversight of South Carolina

Bishop Mark Lawrence, South Carolina.Archbishop Mouneer Anis (Chairman), and Archbishop Ian Ernest (Hon. General Secretary) have written on behalf of the Global South Primates Steering Committee, to welcome Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina to their pastoral oversight.

“The Global South of the Anglican Communion welcomes the unanimous request of The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, XIV Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, and the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina to ‘accept the offer of the newly created Global South Primatial Oversight Council for pastoral oversight of our ministry as a diocese during the temporary period of our discernment of our final provincial affiliation.’

The decision of the Diocese of South Carolina was made in response to the meeting of the Global South Primates Steering Committee in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014.  A recommendation from that meeting stated that, ‘we decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.’

Recognizing the faithfulness of Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina, and in appreciation for their contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, the Global South welcomes them as an active and faithful member within the Global South of the Anglican Communion, until such time as a permanent primatial affiliation can be found.”

Full text here.

Related: Local Anglicans receive new tie to the global churchPost and Courier.

Diocese of South Carolina ‘joins Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans’

Bishop Mark Lawrence, South Carolina.“The Diocese of South Carolina has been formally recognized as a member in good standing of the Global Anglican Communion.

On Saturday, March 15, the Diocese’s 223rd Annual Convention unanimously accepted an invitation to join the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA) and temporarily enter into a formal ecclesiastical relationship known as provisional primatial oversight from bishops in the Global South.  Read more

Court moves to protect Diocese of South Carolina

“No individual, organization, association or entity, whether incorporated or not, may use, assume, or adopt in any way, directly or indirectly, the registered names and the seal or mark of The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina as are set out below or any names or seal that may be perceived to be those names and seal or mark.”

– A S Haley, ‘the Anglican Curmudgeon’ quotes the Temporary Restraining Order issued to protect the Diocese of South Carolina.

He explains:

“The order goes into effect immediately, so it will essentially force the remnant group meeting this Saturday to adopt a different name for the entity it will form, and by which it will be known. The governing documents which are scheduled for approval (a Constitution and Canons based on the former diocesan version before changes were approved in 2011 and 2012) will need to be changed to remove all references to “the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina” and “the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.” The order will remain in effect until February 1, when a hearing will be held…”

Story here.

South Carolina moves to protect property from TEC ‘land grab’

“The Diocese of South Carolina, the Trustees of the Diocese and congregations representing the vast majority of its baptized members today filed suit in South Carolina Circuit Court against The Episcopal Church to protect the Diocese’s real and personal property and that of its parishes. …”

from the Diocese of South Carolina.
(Image: Anglican TV.)

South Carolina — time to turn the page

The Special Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina has just concluded. Bishop Mark Lawrence summed it up:

“We have spent far too many hours and days and years in a dubious and fruitless resistance to the relentless path of TEC.”

Confusion or clarity in South Carolina?

From a ‘pastoral letter’ to South Carolina from TEC Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori:

“Katharine, a servant of Christ, to the saints in South Carolina.

May the grace, mercy, and peace of Christ Jesus our Savior be with you all. …

As the confusion increases, I would like to clarify a number of issues which I understand are being discussed…”

A S Haley, The Anglican Curmudgeon, offers some commentary on the Presiding Bishop’s letter:

“mimicking the style of one of St. Paul’s epistles… This is boilerplate for 815… The mantra about dioceses needing the ‘consent’ of General Convention to disaffiliate is based on no language in the Church’s Constitution or Canons whatsoever.”

And in his own ‘Message to the the People of South Carolina‘, Bishop Mark Lawrence writes:

“As I have stated at various deanery and parish forums in the diocese this present crisis was brought about through the convergence of three dimensions of our diocesan life and the national church’s leadership—theology, morality and polity. All three have undergone and continue to undergo revision within The Episcopal Church (TEC). This Diocese of South Carolina for well over a quarter of a century has steadfastly resisted these revisions as it has sought to remain faithful to the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this Church has received them.

…you need to know that the national leadership of TEC is taking steps to undermine this diocese. What we are faced with is an intentional effort by the ill-advised TEC organization to assume our identity, one that we have had since 1785. …

My reason in mentioning this last point, just days before our Convention, is to protect our parishioners and parishes from deception and confusion.”


Presiding Bishop backs ecclesiastical coup in South Carolina

“Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has declared the ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese of South Carolina vacant and has backed a faction within the diocese that is seeking to fill the ‘vacuum’ created by the suspension of Bishop Mark Lawrence.

The loyalist ‘Transitional Committee’ has also declared the South Carolina Standing Committee to be vacant and has formed a ‘steering committee’ to act in its place.

On 11 Nov 2012, the steering committee announced that it had taken charge of the diocese…”

George Conger at Anglican Ink has the latest.

And from lawyer A S Haley, The Anglican Curmudgeon:

“…the Diocese of South Carolina is organized as a corporation under South Carolina law. That fact guarantees its own independent, legal identity in the State’s courts and before all of its executive and legislative bodies, officers and agencies. For the Bandit Bishop and her minions to try to appropriate that identity for their own nefarious purposes is fully akin to what would be called ‘identity theft’ in any other context.”

(Photo: TEC Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams last week in Auckland. ACNS, via ENS.)

Fake e-mail sent to South Carolina clergy

“The Diocese of South Carolina reports that an email fraudulently bearing the name and seal of the diocese was sent to its clergy inviting them to attend a clergy conference. … Sources in the diocese also report that members of the clergy are being pressured not to attend the diocese’s 17 November 2012 special convention…” – Report from Anglican Ink.

Read the Diocese of South Carolina’s statement here.

“The sender intentionally impersonated the diocese with an unauthorized use of our Diocesan seal and by stating that the sender was the Diocese of South Carolina…”

FAQs on South Carolina and TEC

The Diocese of South Carolina has posted an FAQ to get you up to speed on what’s happening – with a timeline of events.

Global South to South Carolina: We’re praying for you

Letter from the Global South Primates Steering Committee to Bishop Mark Lawrence

“We thank God for your stand for the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! We are proud that you are willing to suffer for the faith once delivered to the saints.”

Dear Bishop Mark Lawrence,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Several of the Global South Primates met recently as we gathered in Singapore for the Installation of Rt. Rev. Rennis Ponniah as the new Bishop of Singapore.

We were saddened, but not surprised, by the news of your inhibition and possible deposition by the TEC. We all want to assure you and the Diocese of South Carolina of our continuing prayers and support. We thank God for your stand for the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! We are proud that you are willing to suffer for the faith once delivered to the saints.

Please be assured that we are with you, and that our Lord is also proud of you and our brothers and sisters in the Diocese of South Carolina.

May the Lord bless you!
Yours in Christ,
+ Mouneer Egypt

The Most Revd Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Primate of Jerusalem & the Middle East
Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee

+ Ian Mauritius
The Most Revd Ian Ernest
Primate of the Indian Ocean
Bishop of Mauritius
Hon. General Secretary, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Read more

TEC moves against Bishop and Diocese of South Carolina

“On Monday, October 15, 2012, Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina was notified by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, that on September 18, 2012 the Disciplinary Board for Bishops had certified his abandonment of The Episcopal Church.

This action by The Episcopal Church 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 … on Saturday, November 17, 2012. …

The Diocese has not received a signed copy of the certification and also remains uninformed of the identity of those making these charges.”

– It only took a month to let the good Bishop know.
Details from the Diocese of South Carolina
including relevant documents.

Related, from last week:
Report: Glasgow Presbytery to ‘recover all property and assets’ from St George’s Tron.

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