[quote="Semper_Zelare, post:4, topic:302305"]
Ok, so I read the first 3 links, and didn't really know what to read on that blog. But, I'm still at a loss. You'd think if a whole diocese was thrown out of a Church, that someone would at least clearly say what the reason was.
So, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina voted down some resolutions or disagreed with some constitutions, which makes them not part of the national Episcopal Church?
I wonder what was in those documents? "Discipline of clergy" was the closest any of those articles got to shedding light on it. Is the Episcopal Bishop of SC against women ordination or something?
Anyways, this just makes me glad to be Catholic. I don't think anything like this will happen to a Catholic Diocese as long as I'm alive. Furthermore, it seems absolutely ridiculous to me, that the Episcopal hierarchy has a woman above a man. It just seems patently ridiculous that Bishop Mark Lawrence has to answer to "Bishop" Katharine Jefferts- forgive my Catholicism :p.
What happened was that over the years the Episcopal Church has been moving to allow the ordination of non-celibate homosexual clergy, the blessing of same-sex unions, and most recently the ordination of transgendered clergy. The Diocese of South Carolina (which only covers the eastern part of the state, the western part forms the Diocese of Upper South Carolina) has tried to distance itself from these actions.
That got harder to do when the Episcopal Church revised its disciplinary canons a couple years ago. The new canons gave the Presiding Bishop unprecedented powers to interfere in diocesan affairs.
The Diocese of South Carolina has always maintained that the actions of the Episcopal Church in regards to human sexuality are wrong, and as the ecclesiastical authority in his diocese, Bishop Lawrence has refused to implement those changes. He and the Diocesan leadership have also always held that the revised disciplinary canons violate the Constitution of the Episcopal Church.
Under those revised canons, Bishop Lawrence was found to have "abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church" because he presided over a diocesan convention made changes to the diocesan constitution and canons that basically said, "The Diocese of South Carolina is going to do what it knows is right, and we're not going to follow the rest of the Episcopal Church into heresy."
To protect individual parishes from being sued by the national church, the Diocese issued quitclaim deeds to all parishes in the diocese. This essentially gave all parish property to the parish, thereby giving up any property claims that the Diocese and the national church might have.
Bishop Lawrence also changed the corporate documents of the diocese removing mention of the national Episcopal Church. It should be noted that the Diocese of South Carolina is older than the Episcopal Church.
However, none of this constituted the diocese leaving the national church. As a precaution, the Diocesan leadership set in place provisions that if Bishop Lawrence's status as Bishop was attacked by the national church, the diocese would automatically disaffiliate from the national church. When Bishop Lawrence was found to have abandoned the communion of the church, then the diocesan leadership voted to withdraw from the national church.
It will be interesting to see how the Episcopal Church handles South Carolina. Usually when a diocese leaves, it sues the Diocese and the individual parishes for all the property and usually wins. However, the South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled the Episcopal Church's Denis Canon (which established a trust in favor of the national church and the diocese on parish property) was not applicable in South Carolina. And in any case, the Diocese had already given quitclaim deeds to its parishes anyway.