Posted: October 24, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Anglican Communion, Thought and Practice in the Diocese of South Carolina

From Iain’s talk Sunday he gave us this handout. Wanted to make sure everyone that wasn’t there gets a chance to see and think of the events over the last six years.


“In their press release, the 14 [accusers] asked for prayers ‘for the bishop and all involved,’ and stressed that ‘there is definitely a place for orthodox and evangelical views within the diocese; that’s the beauty of being under the large tent of the Episcopal Church.’ Episcopal News Service

Timeline of Events:

September 2006: Mark Lawrence overwhelmingly elected as Bishop of South Carolina. He had 120 days to receive the requisite number of consents. Consent was denied and the election was declared “null and void” due to “canonical deficiencies.”

August 4, 2007: Mark Lawrence re-elected as bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina.

January 26, 2008: Mark Lawrence consecrated as bishop of Diocese of South Carolina.

September 18, 2008: Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh deposed despite failure to receive consent from three senior bishops as well as appropriate quorum in House of Bishops.

March 2009: Standing Committee of The Diocese of San Joaquin deposed including members of the standing committee who voted against the Diocese’ departure from TEC.

July 2009: Title IV Canons revised, opening up accusations to be received against clergy from anyone in the Episcopal Church, and allowing for these charges to be kept secret until the clergy or bishop in question has his or her ministry restricted. The process for accused clergy to be removed from diocesan accountability. According to new canons, restrictions placed against clergy can exist indefinitely.

January 2010: Charleston lawyer was hired by ++Katharine Jefferts Schori as local counsel for TEC for the purpose of seeking parish documents, including Trinity.

March 2010: South Carolina Diocesan Convention votes to remove accession clause not to constitution but to canons of The Episcopal Church for the purpose of protecting clergy (especially the Bishop) from an unprecedented intrusion into the life of the diocese. Diocesan Convention also requests a response from the Presiding Bishop about her hiring of legal counsel. To date, no response has been given.

July 2011: Title IV revisions put in place.

October 6, 2011: Mark Lawrence informed that allegations had been filed against him for abandonment of communion.

November 2011: Quit Claim Deeds issued to parishes.

November 1, 2011: Standing Committee passes resolution “Hereby withdraws its accession to the Constitution of the Episcopal Church and disaffiliates with the Episcopal Church by withdrawing its membership from the Episcopal Church. This decision shall be effective immediately upon the taking of
any action of any kind by any representative of the Episcopal Church against The Bishop, The Standing Committee or any of it’s members.”

December 2, 2011: Disciplinary Board dismisses allegations against Mark Lawrence including:
Amendment to the Diocesan Corporate Charter Purpose Statement, Amendments to Diocesan Constitution, and Amendments to Diocesan Canons.

July 2012: General Convention passes blessings for same sex relationships, changes discriminatory canons to include “gender identity or gender expression,” and officially acknowledges the practice of “Open Communion.”

July 25 2012: Bishop Lawrence meets with clergy. Tells clergy “I can no longer in good conscience remain in the Episcopal Church.” Leaves for two weeks of prayer and discernment.

Aug 20th 2012: Bishop Lawrence and Standing Committee announces to Diocese that they have agreed on a course of action. Not revealed at the time that the course of action was to begin talks with The Presiding Bishop to seek a peaceful resolution.

August 27, 2012: Bishop Lawrence, Chancellor Wade Logan, Bishop Waldo and Chancellor Belton Zeigler discuss the desire of both Dioceses to find solutions to the issues between TEC and the Diocese of South Carolina. Bp. Waldo suggests that he ask the PB for a meeting to explore that idea.

September 17-19 2012: Disciplinary Board of Bishops meets.

September 18, 2012: DBB apparently certifies abandonment on three allegations, two of which were previously dismissed on November 22, 2011.

October 3, 2012: Bishop Lawrence meets with Presiding Bishop. Follow up meeting with Chancellors scheduled for October 22nd.

October 10, 2012: Presiding Bishop receives official notification of certification of abandonment charges.

October 15, 2012: Bishop Mark informed of certification of abandonment charges. Standing Committee resolution goes in to effect.

October 19, 2012: Bishop Lawrence informs diocese that “Neither this diocese, its clergy, nor its parishes are any longer affiliated with The Episcopal Church.”

November 17, 2012: Special Convention called. “The business to be transacted at this meeting shall be the nature of an appropriate response to the recent actions taken against Bishop Mark Lawrence by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, to include any relevant constitutional and/or canonical changes.”


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