Misuse of Diocesan Name and Seal

Posted: November 14, 2012 by boydmonster in Anglican Communion, Thought and Practice in the Diocese of South Carolina

The Diocese of South Carolina has recently notified me that there have been illegitimate claims to diocesan titles and the diocesan seal by those reorganizing under The Episcopal Church.  As I have outlined in our parish town hall meetings (and will outline again this Thursday at 5:30 if you haven’t been able to make it so far), the people who wish to remain in The Episcopal Church and reorganize a diocese in South Carolina that is loyal to TEC have a choice to make.  They can either reconstitute as a diocese under TEC and allow The Diocese of South Carolina under Mark Lawrence to depart peacefully, or they can organize themselves for a legal battle to cause as much damage to the Diocese of South Carolina as possible on its way out.  Actions like this indicate that they are choosing the latter.  By using the diocesan name and seal as their own as well as by calling their own convention on the same date as our diocesan convention, the TEC loyal steering committee seems to be preparing itself for a fight to take away not only  property from the departing diocese, but also the claim to this diocese’ rich heritage.  This battle does not need to take place.  Mark Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina have done all in their power to make sure that those churches wishing to remain Episcopal have the right to do so.  The lawsuits and legal wrangling that promise to be coming down the pipe at this point are coming from one side of this fight only.  It is important to remember, if The Diocese of South Carolina has its way, parishes have the right to choose their affiliation.  If The Episcopal Church has its way, no one can leave without a fight.  Here’s the Diocesan statement:

By now I hope that most are aware that a new TEC steering committee has announced a clergy day that it claims is for the Diocese of South Carolina on Thursday at St. Mark’s, Charleston. So that there is no doubt, this is not a legitimate gathering of the Diocese of South Carolina.

While the steering committee and its associates are certainly free to meet, what they are attempting to do is assume our identity. They are not “the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina,” nor are they “the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina” or “The Diocese of South Carolina.” Those are legal names which belong to us. This group does not have any right to use these names or the Diocesan seal.

For now, I would give you the following advice for your parish:

1. If there is any doubt about the validity of any communication from the Diocese, feel free to contact us to confirm its reliability. The confusion is intentional and for now unavoidable. If you are not sure about the source of anything that presents itself as a diocesan communication, please contact us and ask.

2. As you become aware of misleading communications, you can send a return email asking them to discontinue sending the emails and then mark them as SPAM in your e-mail program for future screening. You can also notify your internet service provider (ISP). They can assist you in blocking future attempts at deceptive communications.

3. Finally, please help us keep your parishioners informed. There is a wealth of information available to you on the Diocesan Website (www.dioceseofsc.org). I would particularly commend several articles today on these recent activities of the steering committee. Their analysis is a valuable tool in helping your members understand these events.




Please keep the Diocese in your prayers as we gather for our Special Diocesan Convention this Saturday (November 17th @ St. Philip’s, Charleston).


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