National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

S.C. diocese eases away from Episcopal church

 | 

The Diocese of South Carolina voted on Saturday, Oct. 24, to begin withdrawing from some governing bodies in the Episcopal Church in protest over the denomination's approval of same-sex blessings and gay bishops.

While the diocese did not secede from the Episcopal Church, as four other dioceses have done in recent years, it did take similar steps, including declaring certain churchwide policies "null and void" and reducing participation in church governance.

Bishop Mark Lawrence, whose diocese includes an estimated 30,000 Episcopalians in the southeastern part of South Carolina, said the moves were necessary to fight the "false gospel of indiscriminate inclusivity."

"It is about what the church has the authority to recognize as authentically Christian, and what is appropriate for ordained leadership," Lawrence said in an address to the special convention on Saturday.

At a churchwide convention last summer, the Episcopal Church voted to lift a de facto ban on gay and lesbian bishops and approved a broad local option for same-sex blessings.

The Diocese of Minnesota will consider electing a lesbian as bishop this weekend (Oct. 31).

rectangular-logo.jpgVisit our new website, Global Sisters Report!

The election of an openly gay man as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003 has led four dioceses and dozens of parishes to leave the 2.1 million-member Episcopal Church and caused widespread dissent in the Anglican Communion.

Bonnie Anderson, president of the Episcopal Church's House of Deputies, told the South Carolina delegates in a letter that their resolutions "contain misleading statements" and "are similar to" actions taken by dioceses that have seceded.

"I fervently pray that is not what is intended," Anderson said.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

September 12-25, 2014

09-12-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.