Friday, January 19, 2007

Bp-elect of South Carolina :: The latest

From a Bakersfield Californian story rather intriguingly titled, "Flap keeps man from assuming bishop's post":
The controversies roiling the Episcopal Church are clouding the future of Rev. Mark Lawrence of Bakersfield, who was elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina in September.
. . .
Lawrence represents the conservative values of the San Joaquin diocese, which are at odds with the U.S. Episcopal Church. Though the South Carolina diocese voted him bishop, a majority of other dioceses are questioning his election.

Bishops and committees have requested more information from and personal interviews with Lawrence to nail down his theological views, said Kendall Harmon, canon theologian of the South Carolina diocese.
. . .
Further hurting Lawrence's chances, Harmon said, is that the reverend supports the highly conservative San Joaquin diocese, which last June requested to be overseen by someone other than Schori. The diocese, which oversees 50 Central Valley churches, including three in Bakersfield, is one of only three in the country that refuses to ordain women.

If a majority of Episcopal dioceses do not consent to Lawrence's election, he will not be consecrated, deepening the schism within the church, analysts say.

Because Lawrence was voted by a landslide of the clergy and laity of the South Carolina diocese, the holdup is a bitter pill to swallow.
According to the Episcopal News Service "The Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop and the President of its House of Deputies both said on December 4 they deplore the action taken two days earlier by the Diocese of San Joaquin, effectively repudiating its membership in the Episcopal Church." (My emphasis.)

Hmmm. The article makes it sound like the diocese has not repudiated its membership. And it makes no mention of the concern that Lawrence would take the Diocese of South Carolina down the same path.

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