From THE CHRISTIAN POST:
An Episcopal advocacy group has requested an investigation of the leadership of the Diocese of South Carolina with regard to the withdrawal of parishes from the denomination. The Episcopal Forum accused leaders in the diocese of "accelerating the process of alienation and disassociation" from The Episcopal Church.
"The Ecclesiastical Authority (the Diocesan Bishop or the Standing Committee) has done nothing to stop other parishes which outwardly appear to be moving in the direction of withdrawal from TEC," the group wrote in a letter sent this week to bishops throughout the national church body.
The group, which supports preserving "unity with diversity" in the denomination, also called The Episcopal Church to look into the lack of disciplinary action against a parish that left the South Carolina diocese earlier this year, and the removal of all "Episcopal" references in the names and websites of dozens of parishes.
"Actions and inactions of the Bishop appear to be tantamount to an abandonment of the polity of The Episcopal Church," the group argued.
South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence has refuted the allegations outlined in the letter, saying he and his staff have spoken with the leadership of every parish in the diocese that was considering disassociation. He also explained that disciplinary or legal action was not taken against St. Andrew's Parish in Mt. Pleasant, which severed ties in March, because litigation has only resulted in the "sour fruit of animosity."
"You cannot make people love you, or bind them to your Church through coercion or fear," he said.
COMMENT: . . . he and his staff have spoken with the leadership of every parish in the diocese that was considering disassociation . . . - well, yes, I think that may be exactly what The Episcopal Forum is worried about.
You cannot make people love you, or bind them to your Church through coercion or fear . . . - ROTFPM. What a bunch of Screwtapes.