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South Carolina Bishop Accused of Abandoning Episcopal Church

South Carolina Bishop Accused of Abandoning Episcopal Church

The ongoing saga concerning gay marriage and ordination of gays continues in the Episcopal Church, the Post and Courier reports.

According to the Post, unnamed accusers stated that conservative Bishop Mark Lawrence, of a South Carolina Episcopal Diocese, abandoned the doctrine, worship, and discipline of the Episcopal.  The process supposedly does not allow him to know who his accusers are, until the Disciplinary Board of Bishops looks into the matter and decides if the allegations of abandonment are founded.

“It is at that procedural point that the bishop responds to the certification of abandonment, and it is at that point the bishop certainly deserves to know the identities of those providing the initial information,” Bishop Dorsey Henderson said.

The Disciplinary Board of Bishops contacted Lawrence and told him that church members informed them that he abandoned the church and they are investigating the accusations.  The investigation is procedural and at this point, no charges made against Lawrence.

“Based on what has happened in other dioceses, a deposition of the bishop would be followed by attacks on the diocese and the parishes. The picture painted was an ugly one of expensive litigation, confrontation and acrimony in which all involved significantly lost,” the diocese said Wednesday in a statement.

The South Carolina diocese distanced itself from the Episcopal Church, supposedly because of its stance on gay marriage and ordaining gay clergy.  The diocese made a statement that the Church “is in a constitutional crisis” with no means of resolving differences.

“The question is not whether we can stay; it is whether they will let us stay and follow what we believe,” the Rev. Jeffery Miller, a past president of the diocesan standing committee, said during the meeting. Standing Committees advise bishops and consent to the election of bishops, approve candidates for ordination and handle the fiscal affairs of a diocese.

Lawrence stated he has no intention that the diocese departs from the Episcopal Church, but supposedly, South Carolina diocese passed a resolution that they are a “sovereign diocese”.

About Mriana

Mriana is a humanist and the author of "A Source of Misery", who grew up in the Church of God, Anderson Indiana. After she became an adult, she joined the Episcopal Church, but later left the Church and became a humanist. She has two grown sons and raises cats. Mriana raised her sons in the Episcopal Church, but in their teen years, they left the Church and she soon followed. One of her sons became a "Tao Buddhist" and the other a None, creating his own world view. She enjoys writing, reading, science, philosophy, psychology, and other subjects. Mriana is also an animal lover, who cares for their welfare as living beings, who are part of the earth. She is a huge Star Trek fan in a little body.
  • Alexander

    I after 5 minutes on the www finally got the
    picture that the bishop was anti-gay not pro gay.
    I am a Episcopal Church member of a local church.I have a feeling that Bishop Lawrence may be correct in doctrine.Time will tell.

    • Yes, that is what I got from it too- that he is anti-gay. However, at one time, the Episcopal Church supported slavery and then abolitionists within the Episcopal Church changed that. Later, people in support of Civil Rights changed the rule/doctrine concerning ordaining Black clergy and eventually (around 1989) racism was declared a sin within the Episcopal Church. Later, the rule about women clergy changed. So who is to say the Church doctrine cannot change concerning LGBTs?

      BTW, I am an apostate of the Episcopal Church and know a little about its history. I realize Wiki is not the best source, but this is a start on some research for you, if you are interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episcopal_Church_(United_States)#Social_issues

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