Bishop Lawrence charged with "Abandonment"
October 17, 2012

Special Convention to be held at St. Philip’s Church on November 17, 2012.

In This Issue:
Episcopal Church Takes Action Against the Bishop and Diocese of SC
SC Episcopalian Website reports on Bishop Lawrence Abandonment
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Episcopal Church Takes Action Against the Bishop and Diocese of SC
Reported on Diocese of SC Website Today:

On Monday, October 15, 2012, Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina was notified by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, that on September 18, 2012 the Disciplinary Board for Bishops had certified his abandonment of The Episcopal Church. This action by The Episcopal Church triggered two pre-existing corporate resolutions of the Diocese, which simultaneously disaffiliated the Diocese from The Episcopal Church and called a Special Convention. That Convention will be held at St. Philip’s Church, Charleston, on Saturday, November 17, 2012.

Bishop Lawrence was notified of these actions taken by the Episcopal Church between two meetings, one held on October 3 and one to be held on October 22, which Bishop Andrew Waldo of the Upper Diocese of South Carolina and Bishop Lawrence had set up with the Presiding Bishop to find a peaceful alternative to the growing issues between The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of South Carolina. The meetings were to explore “creative solutions” for resolving these issues to avoid further turmoil in the Diocese and in The Episcopal Church. A timeline of these events and their associated documents may be found below.

Two of the three charges had previously been determined by a majority vote of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops in November 2011 not to constitute abandonment. The Diocese has not received a signed copy of the certification and also remains uninformed of the identity of those making these charges.

We feel a deep sense of sadness but a renewed sense of God’s providence that The Episcopal Church has chosen to act against this Diocese and its Bishop during a good faith attempt resolve our differences peacefully. These actions make it clear The Episcopal Church no longer desires to be affiliated with the Diocese of South Carolina.
Read full article on Diocesan Website

SC Episcopalian Website reports on Bishop Lawrence Abandonment
October 17, 2012
Church's Disciplinary Board for Bishops says Lawrence has "Abandoned Communion"; Lawrence Retaliates by Declaring that the Diocese of Out of the Episcopal Church

Board finds that the efforts of the S.C. Bishop to eliminate "accession" to Church Constitution and issuance of quitclaim deeds violated his oath as a Bishop

Lawrence torpedoes efforts by Presiding Bishop to find reasonable solution that might let him stay on

CHARLESTON -South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence was advised on Monday that the Episcopal Church’s Disciplinary Board for Bishops has found that his repudiation of the authority of the Church’s Constitution and his issuance of quitclaim deeds relinquishing the Church’s legal interest in millions of dollars in parish properties has violated his consecration oath as a bishop.

Chaired by Dorsey Henderson, the retired Bishop of Upper South Carolina, the Board found that Lawrence’s actions amount to “abandonment of communion,” a charge which requires the Presiding Bishop to temporarily inhibit him from performing his duties as a bishop. The House of Bishops could make the inhibition permanent when it meets in March.

However, the Board's actions also give the Presiding Bishop authority to depose Lawrence anytime she chooses if she feels he is not committed to resolving the charges and staying on as a bishop.

The Presiding Bishop has set up a meeting with Lawrence and Andrew Waldo, the current bishop of the Upper Diocese of South Carolina, for this coming Monday to explore the possibilities of such a resolution.

However, Lawrence may have torpedoed those talks today claiming that some kind of secret resolutions passed by the Diocese automatically dissolved the ties between the Diocese and the Church should he be found guilty of abandonment. In the past Lawrence has claimed that the Disciplinary Board does not have any authority over him as it does other bishops.

Rather than using the past few days to find some common ground with the Presiding Bishop, Lawrence and his handlers have been working feverishly to generate some semi-plausible narrative that would cast Lawrence and the Diocese as victims.

The problem with the story is that the secret resolution that Lawrence claims allows the Diocese to abandon the Episcopal Church only provides proof of the findings of the DBB that he has “abandoned” the Church.

Bishop Lawrence has not denied any of the allegations.
Link to SC Episcopalians Website

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