South Carolina lawsuit parties agree to temporary injunction

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
Posted Feb 1, 2013

[Episcopal News Service] A South Carolina Circuit Court judge Jan. 31 signed a consent order issuing a temporary injunction concerning use of registered diocesan names and marks that are claimed by Bishop Mark Lawrence and other leaders who led some Episcopalians in that state out of the Episcopal Church.

The temporary injunction extends a previous temporary restraining order and will remain in effect until Judge Diane S. Goodstein decides differently or rules on an underlying lawsuit begun by Lawrence against the Episcopal Church. All parties to that suit consented to the temporary injunction. However, any party may request a hearing on having the injunction modified or dissolved. Such a request requires 14 days’ notice.

A temporary injunction is meant to maintain the status quo and prevent damage or change before the legal questions raised in a lawsuit are answered. After the trial on those issues, the court may issue a permanent injunction or cancel the temporary injunction.

Goodstein’s order came a day before a hearing she had scheduled for Feb. 1 to determine if the temporary order should be extended or whether she should impose a temporary injunction.

When she imposed the temporary restraining order on Jan. 23, the judge said only Lawrence and 24 other people associated with him could use the diocesan seal as described in its registration with South Carolina Secretary of State, as well as the names “The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina,” “The Diocese of South Carolina” and “The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.” Those three titles were registered on Nov. 5, 2010, according to the order.

Any other “individual, organization, association or entity” is prevented by both the order and now the injunction from using those marks and seals, Goodstein said.

She issued the temporary restraining order three days before a group of people who want to remain in the Episcopal Church held an organizational meeting at Grace Episcopal Church in Charleston.

Goodstein’s order required the group to change its name and remove the Diocese of South Carolina’s shield from its materials. And its first item of business on Jan. 26 was to make that name change official in order to act with what attorney Thomas Tisdale called “an abundance of caution, and with the desire to comply” with the order.

The group formally agreed to use the name “the Episcopal Church in South Carolina” in place of what Tisdale, elected chancellor later in the meeting, said “we believe is our true and lawful name.”

A Jan. 31 notice on the group’s website said that the temporary injunction “is not an unusual development, and it signifies only that these issues remain to be decided at a future time.”

On the other hand, the group that maintains it still is the Diocese of South Carolina said after the temporary injunction was issued that the Episcopal Church had decided “not put up a fight.”

The temporary injunction is related to the suit that was filed in state circuit court Jan. 4. The action, the original plaintiffs said in a press release at the time, was taken “to protect the diocese’s real and personal property and that of its parishes.”

The suit also asked the court to prevent the Episcopal Church from “infringing on the protected marks of the diocese, including its seal and its historical names, and to prevent the church from assuming the diocese’s identity, which was established long before the Episcopal Church’s creation,” according to the press release.

Goodstein’s Jan. 23 order made clear that it applied only to the names and seal, and not the other matters alleged in the suit. More information about the lawsuit is here.

— The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.


Comments (51)

  1. walter combs says:

    This is going to be going on for years, no doubt. But based on the precedent of the Pawley’s Island case, things look very optimistic in S Carolina for those who have chosen to leave TEC.

    1. David Yarbrough says:

      More appropriately those who have been left behind as TEC becomes increasingly liberal.

    2. Hank Otto says:

      I agree that the case law points toward a win for Bishop Lawrence’s Diocese. I think people are making too much out of the consent order. The only thing that can be deduced from that is that TEC has decided not to fight that battle at that time. They have not thrown in the towel. BUT as you say the case law that will control the end result is quite unfavorable to TECs position. Thank goodness for the SC Supreme Court!

    3. Hugh Magee says:

      It’s interesting to note that South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union in 1860 after the election of Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps there is something of a secessionist element in the blood there?

    4. Peter Antoci says:

      A sad situation indeed. However, after the state process is done this will go to the federal level, and at the federal circuit level it will rule by precedent in the fourth circuit, which has already ruled in favor of TEC in such cases.

  2. E. T. Malone, Jr. says:

    I am a little bit puzzled by the tone, in this and other ENS stories, of the phrasing of statements regarding those who decided to leave the Episcopal Church. This story refers to Bishop Lawrence and other leaders who “led some Episcopalians” out of the church, seeming to imply that those who left were a random group of Lawrence followers, when, in fact, the diocesan decision to leave was ratified at a regularly-called convention on Nov. 17 by delegates chosen by the vestries of a majority of parishes, and by a majority of the clergy. It was a very orderly–and completely open–meeting, which I attended working as a journalist. Regardless of what one thinks of their decision, it was an action made at a Diocesan Convention, not a departure by “some people” following Lawrence.

    1. Hank Otto says:

      It is called spin. A majority is “some.” Of course while majority is more accurate, some looks much more favorable to the readers from whom funds will be solicited to fund the battle in SC.

  3. Mike Lawlor says:

    I think that TEC is very wise to let these people simmer away with their pettifogging injunctions when it is obvious to even the most disinterested observer that the new Bishop is the lawfully appointed Bishop of the diocese whose name we dare not speak. It is a farcical situation and tells a clear story to those whose eyes are wide open . TEC should continue to remain at a safe distance until the time is right to step in.
    London England.

    1. Hank Otto says:

      Must be very good eyes to see all the way from London! From my eyes in Charleston, and the eyes of a judge who has no dog in this fight, it pretty much looks like the corporate documents say otherwise.

      1. Mike Lawlor says:

        I have been following the whole farce very closely from London. If you stood outside looking in you would see the reality of someone claiming to be the leader of a diocese in a church which he has left. Either party may call themselves what they like, but there is a new Bishop who has been elected under the auspices of The Episcopal Church, as the former Bishop left the Church whose name it is nonsensical for him to use. As for the injunction – going down the legal route in any argument results in both parties losing out. Conciliation is the only way forward and for Christians to resort to law over who calls whom what ……words fail me so I will remain silent.

    2. David Yarbrough says:

      I am unsure of your basis for saying Charles von Rosenberg was “lawfully appointed”.

      If the canons of the Diocese of South Carolina are observed, this meeting did not have a quorum and the new appointments – yea, the very existence of “The Episcopal Church in South Carolina” – are non-canonical, null, and void.

      The only way the establishment of “The Episcopal Church in South Carolina” ex nihilo is at all canonical is if the Diocese of South Carolina has, in fact, left TEC, and the area is left with no presence of the Episcopal Church. Dr. Schori and the TEC refuse to acknowledge that this is possible.

      1. Zachary Brooks says:

        You realize that no matter what the canons of the Diocese of South Carolina might say, the canons of the Episcopal Church still apply, right? They applied before Lawrence quit, and they applied during his departure, and they apply now, and they are why Lawrence CANNOT be the rightful bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

      2. Marc Kivel says:

        Inasmuch as Mr. Lawrence is only a bishop by virtue of the action of The Episcopal Church of the United States of America in conformance with the constitution and canons, as opposed to the Lawrencian donatists who make things up to their benefit as they go along and complain of being persecuted for their puritanism, decides who and what constitutes a legitimate Diocese and Bishop irrespective of the unchristian behavior of the Lawrencians running to the secular courts and attempting to pull a Jack Iker

  4. Vance Mann says:

    Some of the most violent fights in history have been within the Christian Church. It sounds prudent to find ways to reduce tensions before proceeding to make future decisions, The Church is about grace and not all law and order. Where is God’s grace in the Diocese of South Carolina? The continuing Episcopal Church has an opportunity in its decisions and response to the present situation to be the Church and Love of Jesus Christ. You remail in my prayers.
    Vance Mann
    Asheville, NC

    1. David Yarbrough says:

      My brother, God’s grace in the Diocese of South Carolina exists in the form of speaking the truth in love – which Bishop Lawrence, the clergy, and the laity of the Diocese practice.

      TEC is in denial about truth in a variety of areas – with a heretical Presiding Bishop who openly denies the authority of Holy Scripture and the unique salvific nature of Jesus Christ.

      TEC does not proclaim even its own version of truth in a loving manner, but with vitriolic demeaning of those who in good faith hold other opinions – as exemplified by Dr. Schori’s speech in Charleston equating her opponents to mass murderers.

      I fear that those who join The Episcopal Church in South Carolina will be at least tarred with the same brush as Dr. Schori, even if they don’t hold to the same heresies.

      1. Vance Mann says:

        My dear brothers in Christ, Hank Yarbrough and Hank Otto, are still talking about Law, not Paul’s New Testament idea of GRACE. Grace is not about winning nor is it about seeking to be right nor is it about creating wonderful arguments. Grace is more concerned about staying in relationship than being right. Can we trust that together in our relationship with Christ and one another, there will be a new day, a glorious future? Let’s hang together.
        Vance Mann

      2. Marc Kivel says:

        Mr. Yarborough, you are a poster boy for precisely why Christianity is a swear word in the mouths of a great many folks who live Christian lives outside your church building. One can accept the authority of the Holy Scriptures while acknowledging there are multiple ways of understanding the text and its message…ask your pseudo-bishop about it. As for the unique salvific nature of Jesus Christ? Has it occurred to you that perhaps the Kingdom of God is here now and that recognizing God Saves, which is what Jesus name means, while a given for Christians is less important than walking the Way irrespective of your relationship with God or “religious” affiliation? As for being vitriolic? LOL That you can make that statement with a straight face suggests you haven’t listened to yourself lately…thoughts?

    2. Hank Otto says:

      That sounds good but it is a two way street. Ignoring all of the churches and orthodox congregants that TEC has sued over the past years; and ignoring the fact that when they took their property put it up for sale to any purchaser except the people who they just took the property from, ignoring all of that you are correct. TEC can step forward in a very Christian manor and leave orthodox congregations alone. That may not be the legal approach but you did not reference legality but Christian charity.

      Where is the Grace in SC. The answer is in the very fact that TEC met in Grace Church. TEC has repeatedly pushed orthodox majority parishes out of their properties across the country. Bishop Lawrence told each church they could align themselves as they please. Grace and a few others stayed with TEC without any interference from the Diocese of SC. That is the Grace of it.

      You are right though. Now is the time if ever to reduce tensions and hammer out a solution. There is a shred of a possibility that the consent order was entered so the parties could do so behind the scenes. I would not wager on it but it is possible.

      1. Zcachary Brooks says:

        It’s not “their” property. It was held in trust for TEC, and maintained by the members as a gift. The schismatics and their leader knew it all along, and if they had a drop of integrity they would admit it and simply leave the property of TEC behind. TEC owes the schismatic prayers and good wishes, but it does not owe them free churches.

        Just ONCE I would love to see this sort leave with integrity. Instead everyone single one has to try to run off with the silver.

        1. Joseph F Foster says:

          A problem with this in ordinary neutral property and trust law is that you can’t establish or assert a trust in something you don’t own.

          1. Marc Kivel says:

            Ah so since they don’t own the Episcopal Church or DFMS the Lawrencian Schismatics by their own admission under neutral property and trust law cannot establish or assert a trust in regards to the name, title or properties of the Episcopal Church or DFMS, or does the law only apply when South Carolinians decide that their donatism justifies their decamping with what is not theirs? Isn’t it wonderful how these very bibliolatrous folks seem to have forgotten the apostle’s teaching about keeping out of secular courts…

  5. walter combs says:

    Many presbyteries in PCUSA have established plans that would allow congregations to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) with their buildings if they first engage in an open discernment process and negotiate a settlement with the presbytery. Wouldn’t it be better if TEC were to put forth a similar plan instead of the tremendous expense of prolonged lawsuites and the probable loss in court?

    1. Marc Kivel says:

      It would be better if the Episcopal Church simply excommunicated the Lawrencians and broke off relations with any Anglican church which recognized them given Mr. Lawrence’s lying to obtain the episcopate…

      1. Joseph F Foster says:

        It would seem that they have already excommunicated The Episcopal Church.

        1. Marc Kivel says:

          Ah then why do they insist on keeping the name, title and properties of those who they have excommunicated? Perhaps Lawrence the Pseudo-bishop would care to explain?

  6. Ronald J. Caldwell says:

    As a devoted supporter of the ongoing diocese, I must say I am bewildered at and disappointed in Tisdale’s decision here. Of course I am only an outsider and non-lawyer, but from my present perspective, I just cannot see the wisdom in not challenging this issue at this time. Perhaps someone with ties to the leadership could enlighten us on why TEC did not fight the restraining order.
    Unfortunately, I see this as a public relations disaster for the ongoing diocese. PECDSC has gone to court three times within one month. On Jan. 4 they filed a law suit asserting itself as the legitimate Episcopal diocese with the right to the property. It is curious to me that they chose a particular court in another county. 32 parishes have now signed on to this suit, more than half the parishes of the old diocese. On Jan. 23, they collected a Temporary Restraining Order from Judge Goodstein who issued it ex parte, that is, without the defendants being invited to appear. This was just three days before the ongoing diocesan convention. It was a clever, if mean-spirited, ambush. On Jan. 31, they got the restraining order extended indefinitely. All of these are “victories” in one way or another for PECDSC. Meanwhile TEC has taken no legal action at all, not even to challenge the restraining order. This gives the appearance of PECDSC as strong, resolute, and legally credible. On the other hand, TEC appears weak, hesitant, and uncertain. There are eleven local churches in the old diocese now in discernment, that is, on the fence and trying to decide which bishop to follow. These legal moves may well strengthen the hand of the Lawrence side and weaken the TEC side in these parishes and missions.
    Those people who think the PECDSC has a good chance of winning in the South Carolina courts may well be right, I reluctantly say. The All Saints Waccamaw case certainly strengthened the position of a local church against a denomination in South Carolina. Local courts tend to stay out of religious disputes. However, if this case goes to federal court, things could be very different. On the whole, federal courts around the country have tended to side with TEC and its dioceses as hierarchical institutions entitled to manage their own structures. TEC ‘s best hope may be to get this case into federal court. The All Saints Waccamaw case was not appealed to the US Supreme Court.
    The broader issue at hand is fundamental to the continuation of the Episcopal Church under its present Constitution and Canons. If PECDSC, or one of the three earlier disputed dioceses finally prevails and is recognized by the courts as the legitimate Episcopal diocese of South Carolina, TEC as we know it will collapse. There are eleven other dioceses in TEC that are solidly and consistently conservative (orthodox as they say). Central Florida is the other one in the southeast. These dioceses may well follow SC’s pattern of independence from TEC.
    An out-of-court settlement is always possible. But in any settlement TEC must prevail on the issue of legitimacy in order to maintain itself. PECDSC must relinquish the titles, seals and any other official functions of the Diocese of South Carolina. It seems to me this is not negotiable. The property issue is not so important. It could be worked out by compromise. TEC will survive without the Dennis Canon. It cannot survive if it loses its sovereignty. So South Carolina many well be a turning point one way or another for TEC. If it wins, it will validate the TEC constitution and strengthen its sovereignty. If it loses, it will disintegrate.
    The issue of sovereignty was the same one in the Civil War. If the Confederacy had prevailed, the principle of states’ rights would have been firmly established in the South. Then, in time, this principle would have worked to disintegrate the Confederacy itself and possibly the individual states. The South would now be like the Balkans or Central America, many independent small states and city-states no doubt locked in poverty. Thank God the Union prevailed. That meant sovereignty remained in the national government. We are all better off for it whether you want to believe it or not.
    James Lewis Pettigru was the most famous Lawyer in Charleston on the eve of the Civil War and head of the bar. He was also a Unionist. When he heard that the SC convention had voted to secede, he said “South Carolina is too small to be a republic and too large to be an insane asylum.” He knew the catastrophe to come and he was right.

    1. Marc Kivel says:

      YOu write “If PECDSC, or one of the three earlier disputed dioceses finally prevails and is recognized by the courts as the legitimate Episcopal diocese of South Carolina, TEC as we know it will collapse.” I note that only the insane asylum known as South Carolina has laws which seemingly consistently treat national churches as subsidiary to the local congregations – not surprising as some South Carolinians never learned that being part of a community means sometimes having to not have it your way. But what can you expect from folks who still take enormous pride in starting the Civil War and the resultant death and destruction? To say that I have contempt for mr. lawrence and his followers would be much too mild a sentiment…

  7. Hank Otto says:

    I have enjoyed your posts. They are well thought out and generally well argued. (A tad of unnecessary sarcasm from time to time but I can hardly hold that against you. I actually liked “lawrencite”. Rather may catch on like Franciscan Dominican or Augustinian but I digress). We are on other sides of the argument to be sure. We do not agree on much.

    If I understand your posting I think we are in complete agreement. I do not want to see TEC destroyed. Not out of altruism. It is not my goal to see TEC go down. My goal is to see my Diocese continue under My bishop in the buildings that generations of my family have founded built and maintained for the purpose they founded built and maintained worshiping as we have been given the ministry. If we can do that, MOST of us lawrencites would be glad to give you the name and seal you want and need for the reasons set forth in your argument. That can tip the tide. We are not the sheep being led as many TEC people suggest. In SC in think even von Rosenberg will soon agree that the flock will eventually start hearing the Shepherd.

    A compromise can be worked out and it can be worked out in a win win manner that will set a course for inexpensive resolutions nationwide that will strengthen TECs mission and give it the institutional security tat you correctly note that it needs at he same time affording us he same and if the purple people have their wits to even figure out a way to stay in communion with one another

    Big challenge but it can be done

    1. Rebecca Alford says:

      You said:”My goal is to see my Diocese continue under My bishop in the buildings that generations of my family have founded built and maintained for the purpose they founded built and maintained worshiping as we have been given the ministry. If we can do that, MOST of us lawrencites would be glad to give you the name and seal you want and need for the reasons set forth in your argument. That can tip the tide.” Am I to understand that the goal is to “trade” the name and seal for the property? That hardly seems right. There are many Episcopalians who have attended in their parish from the cradle. Many have generously given of their time, talent and estates to benefit the parish their families attend. Many have donated heavily to maintain these buildings over generations. Are they to just give up these things without any consideration to their own family history because they wish to continue with TEC? The continuing Episcopalians haven’t done anything to deserve that loss. They have continued to follow the leadership of the national church and without any consideration for their historical ties or even the decency of a vote, their churches were taken over by something and someone they disagree with. They are told they are no longer Episcopalian. Without their permission or consent they are now informed they have been disconnected from TEC and they are now another religion. And “Oh, by the way, we are keeping the stuff and you have to go somewhere else if you want to be Episcopalian”. In most cases, it wasn’t that nice. Most have been unceremoniously cast out from their home churches without so much as a “Don’t let the door hit you” and called horrible, ugly names. They have listened to others call the Presiding Bishop a witch, the devil, and disrespected in the most vile and hateful ways. Why? What have these Episcopalians done to deserve such treatment? When did Mark Lawrence become the idol to be worshipped and followed instead of God? Why is property more important than unity? When did the “third leg of the stool” of scripture, tradition and reason get broken off and how will it stand without reason. Being free to have opinions and the ability to think and discuss are hallmarks of being an Episcopalian. Why are parishioners expected now to just sit down and shut up and do as you are told or get out? I was confirmed as a child in my parish. I served my church and pledged and tithed every single week. I have not removed my name from the rolls. I am still a member. But I was asked if I wanted to leave the national church. I was not given a vote. I was not asked how I felt about any of this. I was removed from the email list and parishioners have been told not to talk to me because I wish to remain Episcopalian. I am not over dramatizing. That is really how it has been. Am I supposed to just accept that my church no longer exists? It seems backwards to me that those who want to CONTINUE as Episcopalians in an Episcopalian Parish they have always attended are expected to forfeit their parish to those who want to leave and change everything. “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” doesn’t have an addendum that says (except for those people)

      1. Ronald J. Caldwell says:

        Rebecca, thank you for this poignant note. No one could have said it better. The comfort that you and many others like you can take is that you are not alone. There are many others like like you, including my daughter in Florence SC, and a larger body in SC and the nation. What happened in Florence is that the Episcopalians had to leave their own church, where some had been members for many, many years. This was through no fault of their own. They were innocent victims, sad but resolute. They have since made a strong church of their own committed to God and to the Episcopal Church.

    2. Marc Kivel says:

      Ah, so you’re holding the name and seal subject to release of any claims on property: how very extortionate…a real Jack Iker kinda move…of course he’s not in the Episcopal Church either anymore so no surprise. Personally I think all Christians should give the lawrencians a big round of applause for convincing more folks that religion is all about being self-righteous, money and property centered, and lacking in the capacity to handle disagreement and leaving covenanted community when you don’t get your way….nice work, folks!

  8. E.S. Roehm says:

    Mr. Malone is correct. This article appears very biased, as the active communicants in the Diocese did not take this decision lightly. More than half of the Diocese’s churches and their communicants have made a stand with their Bishop. We have spent more than three years making every effort to avoid the current situation. Speaking for myself, I made my decision only after an exhaustive study of scripture and hours in prayer. While I believe that everyone is entitled to the same rights under civil law, there are strict limitations to what is allowed under ecclesiastical law. I am not willing to defy the scriptures or to sit silently as those in authority do so and flaunt their actions. While Katharine Jefferts Schori is no longer my Presiding Bishop, I will continue to pray for her and TEC in its open defiance of scripture.

    The slant presented in this article makes it apparent that the Presiding Bishop and her staff of writers appear bent on maintaining their current position regardless of the consequences to themselves and the communicants of TEC. This stand in the South Carolina courts will be exceedingly costly to the TEC and its communicants. The Honorable Diane Goodstein signed the Orders discussed in this skewed report, and her Orders conform to the most recent South Carolina Supreme Court case. The Supreme Court is not inclined to reverse itself simply because someone, regardless of whom that individual is, decides to reverse a theological position that has been church doctrine since the death of our Lord. Choosing to fight for a position that is contrary to scripture in South Carolina is like gargling with sulfuric acid.

    1. Marc Kivel says:

      And may I ask who is the Honorable Diane Goodstein and what are her qualifications to render a decision in an ecclesiastical matter. Oh that’s right – we’re speaking of South Carolinians who desert a union or a church whenever THEIR point of view does not reign supreme…how very, very antebellum…or Southern Baptist….

  9. Lisa Fox says:

    It continues to amuse me — to the point of outrageous guffaws — that Lawrence and his sect are claiming the name of “Episcopal” after long excoriating the Episcopal Church as a bunch of apostates. I’d think they’d want to call themselves Rwandans or Pittsburghians or Nashotians or some such name that more clearly describes them as the anti-Episcopalians in the U.S. LOL!

    1. Marc Kivel says:

      Well said…

  10. John D. Andrews says:

    Where’s Jesus in all of this?

    1. Chris Walchesky says:

      He’s where He promised He’d be. His Word. And His Sacraments. Until those of us who consider outselves “Anglican” ditch the new inventions and revisionism and restore the Faith as this church has received it, we’re going to keep asking this question.

      1. Rebecca Alford says:

        Then go to an Anglican Church. Why do you want to steal the Episcopal Church and change it?

        1. Chris Walchesky says:

          Change? One needs to look WHO has changed. The Scriptures and BCP sure haven’t. Neither does our faith.

          1. Marc Kivel says:

            Oh…I forgot…you must be using the 1662 BCP and the KJV, correct? Nothing changes? LOL Boy has Lawrence sold you a story

  11. Milton Finch says:

    If TEc is so consistent in going to the courts, as it has proven that it will in every single case to date, it MUST be recognized that someone will eventually strike back. That striker looks to be the Diocese OF South Carolina that has always been the Diocese OF South Carolina since before TEc existed. It even helped to establish TEc’s existence. The facts on the ground, as we all must observe, is that that Diocese OF South Carolina has left the now defunct denomination of TEc. It is now in court, as TEc has gone to court many times before this one event, irrelevantly I might add to TEc’s detriment, to protect what the Diocese OF South Carolina has always been. The many words of previous posters such as Ronald Caldwell do not and never will negate that reality. The courts will decide. Give it time. It does not look good at all for TEc in this mess.

    They would do much better to drop the attack which started when they tried to remove a sitting godly bishop from a diocese that had not left the group in the first place. Accept those parishes that wanted to be TEc and cut any and all losses. That way, you may not lose more. In other words, what happens if a few orthodox in those parishes that are outnumbered by the liberals decide to go against the numerical liberal numbers and sue the liberals out of their structures because of steadfast South Carolina law? Peace is better.

    1. Milton Finch says:

      It reminds me of the monkey caught by a jar. The monkey saw some tid-bits in the bottom of a large jar and reached in to get them. it clasped it greedy hand onto the tid-bits. When the monkey tried to take its hand out of the jar while holding onto to the morsels, it could not remove its hand through the neck of the jar. A man came out of the swamp area and captured the monkey. Why? The monkey was too greedy and had to hang onto what it thought it had.

      The moral of the story is: TEc might want to let go of it’s “all in” legal strategy on this jar that we call The Diocese OF South Carolina. If it releases, it may survive. If it continues to hold on to what it has always done to get morsels, and loses it’s sovereignty, it may lose it’s freedom to be a national “church” altogether.

      1. Marc Kivel says:

        Sometimes you win by losing…ever hear of a fella named Jesus?

    2. Marc Kivel says:

      The moral is that when you suspect a candidate for the episcopate is a snake, trust your guts and refuse to approve him…

  12. Russ Post says:

    Schism in a Christian Church? Who is surprised? It has happened over and over again throughout history and will continue to happen. Change is inevitable, the old and tired erode and wither away, new and strong takes its place. As human beings learn through experience and scientific advances, we must adapt and move forward. If a mistake is made, we must trust that it will be revealed and corrected in God’s own time. Do not live in fear, love your fellow human beings.

  13. David W. Stowell says:

    I do bilieve the ” PB ” will have learn to swim with a mill stone around her neck. It would seem to follow from a certain caution from Holy Scripture. Alas but true. Thank God time will pass and so will this tragic leadership . It is however the failed House of Bishops who must answer for this time of trial.


    1. Marc Kivel says:

      Out of curiosity, always been an Episcopalian…I mean before you left to join the church of Lawrence?

  14. Marc Kivel says:

    When in the course of time the lawrencians fall out amongst themselves for some not being sufficiently “pure” to be lawrencian schismatics and donatists, I sincerely hope the true Episcopalians in the heartland of the murky minded South will have the good sense to ban those folks from returning to a church they have walked away from in a shameful and disgraceful manner……

    1. Joseph F Foster says:

      Mr Kivel,
      What makes you think they, the traditionalists whom you call “Lawrencites”, would want to return to The Episcopal Church. Some think better no church at all than “TEC”.

      1. Marc Kivel says:

        Well Brother Joseph, what I have heard and observed is that the Lawrencians would not be the first group to leave the TEC in high dudgeon only to find that the via media tends not to survive fundamentalist congregationalism…in more than a few cases folks who left TEC can be found in pews, in classes, and at meals with us “sinners”…kind of where Our Lord would most likely be found, true?

        1. Joseph F Foster says:

          But those are th ones who think what they may regard as a wicked heretical church is better than no church at all. But those who would rather belong to / go to no church whatever than The Episcopal Church aren’t apt to be found among your pewsters.
          And while they may or may not think much of the >i>via media, they are apt to think a lot less of the current VIA MEDIA , and respond “Via Nulla”!

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