Thursday, March 15, 2007

Consents to Lawrence Ruled Insufficient

The President of the Standing Committee announces on the webpage of the Diocese of South Carolina:

I received a phone call late this afternoon from the Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori giving notification that she was declaring null and void the election of The Very Rev. Mark Lawrence to be bishop of The Diocese of South Carolina. Although more than a majority of dioceses had voted to consent to Fr. Mark’s election, there were canonical deficiencies in the written responses sent to us. Several dioceses, both on and off American soil, thought that electronic permission was sufficient as had been their past accepted practice. The canons which apply are III.11.4(b), pp. 101-102 in the newly published 2006 Constitutions and Canons that require the prescribed testimonial to the consent be signed by a majority of each standing committee.
[Note for clarification: According to the ever-reliable Tobias Haller, the canons cited in the statement have not been changed; they remain as they were since at least 2003.]

Click here to read the full statement from South Carolina.

The Episcopal Majority is preparing a statement in response to this development, which we expect to publish here tonight.


Blogger Allen said...

This is a terrible outcome. I'm against his getting consent, but not this way.

I'd be willing to bet that some of those Standing committees have sent in invalid consents before and didn't know they weren't counted. (Of course that shows an inexcusable sloppiness.)

3/15/2007 9:09 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Personally, Allen, I'm with you 100%. This appears to be a messy end to a very messy process.

Of course, it is the Ides of March, and Mercury is in retrograde.

3/15/2007 9:11 PM  

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