Blatant Bias on Display in ECUSA’s South Carolina Case

Sep 25, 2015 by

By A S Haley, Stand Firm: Before the oral arguments yesterday in The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina v. Episcopal Church in the Supreme Court of South Carolina, your Curmudgeon had heard mention of the fact that one of the five justices who would be hearing the case was active in one of the parishes affiliated with the defendant Episcopal Church in South Carolina. I did not look into the question further until I watched the oral arguments live, and could see the justices as they put their questions to each of the attorneys for the litigants. I took particular note, as I watched, of the attitude and unspoken assumptions behind the questions asked by Justice Kaye Hearn, the newest person elected to that Court. In many cases, it seemed (to this appellate attorney) that her questions were designed more to provide encouragement to ECUSA’s...

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Chilean archbishop offers support to breakaway diocese

May 24, 2015 by

By George Conger, Anglican Ink: The Presiding Bishop of the Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de América, the Most Rev. Tito Zavala has assured the breakaway Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina that its secession from the national Episcopal Church in 2012 did not end its membership in the Anglican Communion.  “I am here with you with the consent of the Archbishop of Canterbury,” Bishop Zavala said on 20 May 2015 during a meeting with diocesan leaders and the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence at Charleston’s Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul. He told South Carolina Episcopalians that at a meeting in Cairo last year the Global South Primates Steering Committee “decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to some dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.” Bishop Zavala said South Carolina enjoyed his support and archiepiscopal oversight. “Behind me is...

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Fort Worth Pastoral Letter on South Carolina

Feb 11, 2015 by

By Bishop Jack Iker, Anglican Ink: Dear Friends in Christ, We were all greatly encouraged by the court ruling that came out of South Carolina last week, where the historic Diocese prevailed in its lawsuit against The Episcopal Church. Circuit Court Judge Diane S. Goodstein ruled that Bishop Mark Lawrence and his Diocese, under neutral principles of law, had legitimately withdrawn from TEC in 2012 and were entitled to retain all their buildings, assets, and intellectual property (name, identity, seal, etc.) South Carolina’s Supreme Court had previously ruled that the Dennis Canon (that claims all church property is held in trust for TEC) was invalid in that State, and the Texas Supreme Court has made the same determination here in Texas.  Under neutral principles of law governing property, trusts, and corporations in Texas, we believe we should prevail in the hearing before Judge Chupp on Friday, Feb. 20, here in...

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Grateful: Bishop Lawrence Writes the Diocese Following Ruling

Feb 7, 2015 by

From Bishop Lawrence, Anglican Ink: Dear People of God in the Diocese of South Carolina, “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers….”(Ephesians 1:16) My last letter to you was shortly after we finished the three-week trial in St. George in order to protect our parish churches, properties, names, diocesan seal and the historic identity of this Diocese of South Carolina. Now, as many of you have heard, we have prevailed. In a thorough and closely reasoned order, the Honorable Diane S. Goodstein has ruled in our favor. You can read the diocesan statement regarding this ruling, as well as an additional explanation of its significance, at I hardly need to tell you how grateful I am for this order! I am also: •    Grateful for our legal team which has worked tirelessly on this case; •    Grateful for those lay persons and clergy who took the stand...

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South Carolina Decision a Full Vindication for Victims of ECUSA’s Oppression

Feb 5, 2015 by

by A S Haley, Anglican Ink: Circuit Judge Diane S. Goodstein’s carefully crafted 46-page decision in the case brought by Bishop Mark Lawrence’s Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina (along with 35 of its parishes, plus St. Andrew’s, Mt. Pleasant) against the Episcopal Church (USA) and its rump group (ECSC, or “Episcopal Church in South Carolina”) is a complete vindication of the positions taken and arguments advanced for so long, by so many, inside and outside the Church. It is a vindication first, for the Right Reverend Mark Lawrence and his legal team, who conceived the winning strategy, assembled and put on all the evidence, wrote all the briefs, argued all the appeals, fought back in the federal courts, and at last brought ECUSA to its day of reckoning. It is a vindication, as well, of Bishop Lawrence’s pastoral strategies, by which he showed how spiritual leaders can follow and submit themselves to...

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Breakaway South Carolina diocese can keep $500 million of church property, judge says

Feb 4, 2015 by

By Ruth Gledhill, Christian Today: A conservative breakaway Anglican diocese in the US has won a court battle to keep more than $500 million worth of church property. The Episcopal Church (TEC) has no claim on the property of the Diocese of South Carolina or its churches, according to Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein. She wrote in her decision this week that the conservative diocese and its parishes are “the owners of their real, personal and intellectual property” and that the national church has no legal interest in the properties. The diocese and its 36 parishes, headed by Bishop Mark Lawrence, split from TEC in 2012 over theological issues including the long-running controversy over homosexual relationships, ordinations and consecrations. The diocese then went to court in order to safeguard the use of the diocesan name and in an attempt to keep its property and the three-week trial, with testimonies...

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