Global South backing for South Carolina: The Church of England Newspaper, November 4, 2012 p 6. November 8, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Global South, South Carolina.
Tags: Mark Lawrence, Mouneer Anis
The leaders of the Global South coalition of Anglican archbishops have written to the Bishop of South Carolina offering their prayers and support in his battle with the head of the American Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.
On 25 Oct 2012, Archbishop Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean, and the Presiding Bishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt wrote to Bishop Mark Lawrence from Singapore, where they were attending the installation of the Rt. Rev. Rennis Ponniah as 9th bishop of the diocese.
“We were saddened, but not surprised, by the news of your inhibition and possible deposition by the TEC. We all want to assure you and the Diocese of South Carolina of our continuing prayers and support. We thank God for your stand for the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! We are proud that you are willing to suffer for the faith once delivered to the saints,” the archbishops wrote.
“Please be assured that we are with you, and that our Lord is also proud of you and our brothers and sisters in the Diocese of South Carolina,” they said, in their letter of support from the primates of Nigeria, South East Asia, Myanmar, Congo, the Southern Cone, Kenya and the Sudan.
On 15 Oct Bishop Lawrence was informed by Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori that the Disciplinary Board for Bishops had recommended he be suspended from the ministry for having abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church. The announcement from New York came amidst negotiations between Bishop Lawrence and representatives of the national church over the diocese’s place within the church in light of the vote by General Convention to implement rites for gay marriages.
Fearful the national church would seek to compel it to conform to its innovation in doctrine and discipline, in recent years South Carolina had amended its constitution and canons – adopting a provision that disaffiliates the diocese from the General Convention of the Episcopal Church should its bishop be subject to theological persecution through an attack via the disciplinary canons.
The effect of the presiding bishop’s announcement was to trigger the disaffiliation canon, such that the Diocese of South Carolina and its 29,000 members withdrew from the church.
On 19 Oct Bishop Lawrence met with the clergy of the diocese to discuss the situation. He told The Church of England Newspaper that he was unable to comment at that time as to what steps would be taken by the diocese. However, a special convention of the diocese has been called for 17 Nov 2012.
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.