Will South Carolina fire another “shot heard round the world” on this one?
The Very Rev. Mark Lawrence needed at least 56 “yes” votes to be elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. He got 57. But because some of those votes were electronically submitted, Presiding Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on Thursday invalidated the election. Canon law doesn’t allow e-mail votes.
“I’m not sure it’s over,” he said. “The ball is in the court of the diocese. If they desire that I stand for election once again, then we would look at that.”
In recent months, Lawrence had indicated a willingness to leave the Episcopal Church if it failed to repudiate its endorsement of gay marriage and ordination and embrace a more orthodox view of Scripture. He also wrote that Jefferts Schori would not be welcome at his consecration. These comments caused many in the church to express concern over the election, a concern that lingers and is reflected in the close results of the consent vote.
The write-up I read in The State this morning indicated that electronic voting had been allowed in the past and they’re now deciding it’s against their canon because a conservative bishop was elected. The whole things sounds (liberal) agenda driven.