Second Group Calls for "Caution" in consent to South Carolina Bishop Candidate
Episcopal Forum of South Carolina Joins Via Media in Calling for Close Look at Bishop-elect Lawrence
A second group of Episcopalians has called on bishops and standing committees to consider seriously South Carolina Bishop-elect Mark Lawrence's stance toward the diocese's continued affiliation with the Episcopal Church, as they decide whether or not to consent to his ordination.
The Episcopal News Service reports that the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina's October 31 letter to diocesan bishops and members of diocesan standing committees stopped short of calling for rejection of Lawrence's September 16 election, as did letters sent to the same groups earlier in October by Via Media USA, of which the South Carolina group is an affiliate.
Calling itself "an assembly of Episcopalians in the Diocese of South Carolina who are working together to retain and strengthen ties with The Episcopal Church," Episcopal Forum wrote, "It is important that you know, as you consider our concern, that the Diocese of South Carolina is not unified in its support of the Anglican Communion Network and its positions, nor is it unified in a desire to disassociate from The Episcopal Church."
The group's letter said that "only candidates who had declared themselves ready to sever their ties to The Episcopal Church were on the ballot" even though "several more moderate candidates were proposed by both nomination and petition."
The full story by ENS may be read here.
The Episcopal Forum is online here.
The Episcopal Forum and gatherings like it in other dioceses controlled by Network bishops, are often the only avenues for faithful Episcopalians to gather for fellowship and worship that is consistent with the wider Episcopal Church. For their prayers and meetings in support of the Episcopal Church and the historic via media of Anglicans and the Anglican Communion, they are met with active hostility by diocesan leadership and exclusion from dicoesan governance. The leaders of our Church must be keen to remember, that the secessionist attitudes and divisive actions of certain bishops, by proclaiming their dioceses hostile to the Episcopal Church and its leadership, have divided these faithful Episcopalians from their own church. The national Church must take more and greater steps to ensure that these faithful Episcopalians are not further alienated.