Bishop Lawrence comments on the recent deposition of Bishop Duncan

Posted: September 30, 2008 by limabean03 in Current Issues, Rob's Thoughts, Thought and Practice in the Diocese of South Carolina, Trinity Tidings
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I don’t comment publicly or post regularly on the situation in the Episcopal church because it can so easily become an unhealthy obsession for so many people. I encourage myself and encourage my people to focus on Christ and when an action or response becomes necessary for us at Trinity then I will be happy to do whatever is necessary under Christ. Nevertheless, from time to time, important statements are made by people who directly affect our congregational life. Below is one such statement. I encouarge you to read it all.

All of this leads me to believe that the challenges that lie before a predominately conservative diocese like South Carolina have now been enormously increased if only because of the perception of our parishioners and clergy—but, more pertinently from what I fear is a failure of the present House of Bishops to realize just how far from historic Christianity our church has drifted. To many of our minds this, far more than Pittsburgh’s present challenge to TEC’s discipline and polity, is what has led to this current crisis. Beyond this the checks and balances previously given to us in the Constitution & Canons seem profoundly weakened. Phrases long understood as clear apparently can be spoken of as ambiguous. If what appears to be the plain meaning of a canon can be dismissed with apparent ease and with no recourse; if the request from such a monumental gathering as Lambeth 2008 urging greater dialogue and forthright conversation within the body of Christ seems to count for so little here in the first action of the House—even after so many TEC bishops report being profoundly moved by the grace exhibited toward us from those provinces grieved and hindered by our prior actions; and when there seems to be so little recognition that it has been the very actions of our General Convention and HOB in recent years that has so alienated dioceses like San Joaquin, Pittsburgh and others that their laity and clergy vote in such large majorities to remove accession clauses—judicious governance and Christian unity will drain like water from an opened hand. One might have wished for a more generous spirit and greater patience toward our own aggrieved members. Indeed one has to wonder where such tone deafness and purblindness come from.

I hesitate to write such words because I have been treated with respect within the House of Bishop since my first meeting in March 2008, then again at Lambeth, and most recently at this last meeting. But since to hold my words on such a crucial matter will serve no one well, including my own diocese of South Carolina, I try to present these concerns respectfully and for the purpose of more forthright conversations within the House of Bishops and the Church at large.

read it all here

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