South Carolina clergy deposed: The Church of England Newspaper, August 11, 2013 p 6. August 16, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Property Litigation, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: Charles vonRosenberg. Episcopal Church in South Carolina
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina has announced it will depose over 100 clergy loyal to the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence and the breakaway Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. On 10 July 2013 the faction loyal to the national Episcopal Church published a list of clergy whom it said remained in good standing with the Episcopal Church for having expressed its loyalty to their leadership. Those who had not given their allegiance to the minority faction would be removed from the ordained ministry.
Last month a “Notice of Restriction” was mailed by the Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg, Provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina to the bishops of the national church and the clergy pension fund saying those who had backed Mark Lawrence were “found to have abandoned The Episcopal Church.”
The letter followed a 21 June 2013 vote by the standing committee of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina to depose the clergy. While political considerations will likely give force to the decision in most dioceses, the entity known as the Episcopal Church in South Carolina has no legal meaning under the canon law of the Episcopal Church. Other members of the Anglican Communion, including the Church of England, have not recognized past depositions of clergy by the American Church for abandoning the Episcopal Church, and the move has yet to be tested in the civil courts in conjunction with the church’s pension fund.
The Episcopal Church’s press office, the Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported that Bishop vonRosenberg wrote to the South Carolina clergy in April asking them to declare for him or Bishop Lawrence. A second letter was sent informing the clergy that the Episcopal Church in South Carolina Standing Committee would act on the matter on 21 June and the bishop demanded that he be informed of their decision by 1 June. ENS reported “the majority of those who received the letters have chosen not to reply.”