Thursday, October 06, 2011

Another Episode of "As the Anglican World Turns"

Mary Frances Schjonberg has written this really excellent summary and review of the ongoing mess in South Carolina. If you didn't even know there WAS a mess in South Carolina, this is the place to find out all about it.

South Carolina bishop investigated on charges he has abandoned the Episcopal Church
By Mary Frances Schjonberg

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence told his diocese Oct. 5 that "serious charges" have been made that he has abandoned the Episcopal Church.

The allegations are being investigated by the church's Disciplinary Board for Bishops. Communicants in the Diocese of South Carolina filed the information with the board, according to the Rt. Rev. Dorsey Henderson, board president. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the House of Bishops were not involved in making the claims, Henderson said in a fact sheet.

"Therefore, the matter is not being handled by the Presiding Bishop's office or anyone in the employ of the Episcopal Church Center," Henderson said in the fact sheet.
You can read the rest here. And I hope you will. But if you're asking yourself why it's necessary to basically lead with a "disclaimer" that these charges are not coming from the Presiding Bishop it's because the not-even-remotely-loyal-opposition have been positioning themselves to become the victims of +Katharine Jefferts Schori since just about precisely the minute she was elected. (Can't resist adding here my all-time-favorite-+Katharine-photo:)

As noted over at Episcopal Cafe:
Clarity is important in this case because certain groups and bloggers that are critical of the Episcopal Church would like to hold this up as a supreme example of persecution while portraying themselves as victims.

Ironically, one of the complaints against Lawrence is that he and the Diocesan Convention tried to distance themselves from the very disciplinary canon that may give him the fairest possible hearing because the new Title IV is designed to be measured and careful process.

It is as easy to spin this story as laity exercising their last resort to curb the arbitrary actions of a runaway bishop, as to paint it as the liberal national church cracking down on a conservative victim of conscience. Maybe more so, since the bishop's response to having a complaint filed against him by lay people in his diocese is to schedule a closed door meeting with his clergy. But we have seen none of the first kind of spin, and plenty of the latter.
No matter how you "spin" it it is a very sad situation -- and all the sadder because it was so not-surprising if so long-in-coming.

It is a sad fact of the last decade-or-so of the history of the Episcopal Church that the Schismatics have spent half their time insisting that their criterion for being included is being agreed with ... and the other half of their time crying about how they've been excluded from a banquet they've refused to attend because they don't approve of who else in on the guest list.

These folks are a version of what my rector describes as "ouches waiting to happen" ... only they're "victims waiting to happen." And now they're going to turn up the volume on their would-be victimhood in an effort to continue to undermine the Church they've failed to re-create in their own image -- the Church that has refused to throw out the baby of Anglican comprehensiveness with the bathwater of global Anglican politics.

So do pray the mess in South Carolina. Pray for the would-be victims of their own determined insistence that they and they alone have sole possession the Absolute Truth ... and for the actual victims yearning for the Good News of God's inclusive love and unable to hear it over the static of entitled schismatic hysteria.

Pray and stay tuned for the next episode of "As the Anglican World Turns" ... coming soon. (You can count on it!)




At just about literally the same moment I was posting up this blog, a commenter was posting up a comment on the piece I wrote the other day about DADT ... a comment which included:

."...meanwhile in South Carolina the Presiding Bishop attempts to depose Mark Lawrence for that very thing


Check your facts. Pull your head out. And then get back to me. Or not.

IT said...

Didn't we do this already in San Joaquin? Isn't this all of a piece with those who say civil marriage equality infringes on their "religious freedom"? ( denial of my marriage on the basis of YOURfaith infringes on MINE).

They are losing the battle and are getting nastier and nastier.

Plus ça changes...

hank wall said...

If you folks were honest about this you would acknowledge where the persecution is coming from...clearly with the national church...Henderson is not operating in as an ombudsman at large...and website content is far from the biggest problem facing the national church...take a close look at how Bishop Henderson writes his statement in the passive order to protect the liberal end and the liberal least the so-called "schismatics" are honest about what they stand would be so much easier for the PB to just say she does not like Bishop Lawrence's message of orthodoxy...this is the second attempt she's made...I won't say pull your head out, Susan, but I will say lift your eyes up....just got back to you, girl...

JimB said...

There you go again, following the gay agenda by putting truth before spin! Of course the PBp has to be blamed, they have run out of other targets, and besides she has girl cooties.

Yes, they actually are that childish. This really is all about a bunch who want to hang out a "No girls allowed sign," with "or queers" added after "girls." They are that insecure and that petty.


JCF said...

I guess, Susan, that hank's post is just one you allow through for its "Q.E.D." qualities? O_o

uffda51 said...

So sorry you are being persecuted, Hank. It's made you lose your manners.

If I understand you correctly, the reason we should continue centuries of persecution against LGBT persons is . . . orthodoxy?

Middle school kids bully and even murder their LGBT classmates because of orthodoxy?

hank wall said...

geez guys...i thought the conservatives were the ones who were supposed to be judgmental ...this is a tough crowd....but here's the fact check you requested Susan: 1)the diocese of SC spent in excess of 500 k in defending the suit at Pawley's Island to try to keep the church at All Saints, 2) the SC Supreme Court ruled against ECUSA, 3) the national church was a party to that suit, 4) the law of this state from the highest court of this state makes the Dennis canon of little or no effect for historic colonial churches in the diocese of SC (and indeed each state of the union is quite different on these matters compare for example your own state of California with SC) 5) the national church, along with the diocese, elected not to attempt to appeal the SC case to the US Supreme Court, 6) the likelihood of the diocese or the national church winning a court case in this state under similar circumstances is slim to none (check with any lawyer it's called res judicata/collateral estoppel a shorthand way of saying the case has preclusive effect.)7) the PB previously attempted to block Bishop Lawrence's election, 8) Bishop Lawrence and the diocese have wisely and correctly assessed this situation and have determined future litigation is unwise and the probability of success unlikely. He has also determined that there is a scriptural basis for this decision as a matter of conscience...9) he is now being attacked for making peace within the diocese rather than wasting the assets of the diocese on additional and futile litigation as a matter of prudence and a good business decision along with...let's see ...oh yes the word "Episcopal" is not prominent on the website and an assortment of other utterly ridiculous, petty and vindictive accusations...10) Assuming the national church is sane, there is necessarily an ulterior motive for this witch hunt because it makes absolutely no common sense for the national church to require the diocese to mandate the pursuit of litigation in a jurisdiction in which the national church itself previously decided to abandon and has a near zero chance of success. The action is against a man who is working hard for reconciliation in the church catholic who simply has deeply conservative views who is under attack for those views....but if you all think this is a well-intended matter of church discipline, that litigation is the right answer as a matter of policy for the church in SC, that there are no politics here... and that the national church is being decent and fair on this then you are certainly entitled to think those things...time will tell...sorry for thinking independent thoughts which are contrary to you folks...i'll bug on out so you can get back to your own views.... but I agree with you Susan..check the facts....pull your head out ...etc....etc... I am lost on something though JCF, is "QED" code for something? For the record uffda51 I do not feel persecuted at all and I am sorry if I have made any of you feel that way, (I am not even in favor of middle school bullies or hurting children, puppies and kittens for the sake of orthodoxy or anything else) I just have a different view than you do...but you know love always trumps orthodoxy- its right there in the letter to the church to Ephesus from Revelation 2... wishing you folks, in all sincerity, the peace of the Lord and best wishes in your daily walks.