The Diocese of South Carolina passed a set of four resolutions at their Diocesan convention yesterday. The resolutions are intended to draw clear lines between the diocese and the authority of the General Convention and other national episcopal structures. The Diocese of South Carolina contends that it is taking these actions to make explicit what has always been implicit in the way dioceses and national church structures have worked together.
Episcopal News Service has extensive coverage here. The report by Mary Frances Schjonberg ends with this statement by Bishop Lawrence:
"Lawrence told the convention that he and Jefferts Schori recently had 'a respectful conversation' about the matter of the Episcopal Church hiring a South Carolina lawyer to make inquiries about the diocese's intentions. During the conversation, Lawrence said, Jefferts Schori 'asserted once again what she has stated publicly on many occasions: that she has responsibility for the whole church, that the property of the Episcopal Church must be protected and this is one of her duties.' Lawrence claimed that the presiding bishop had 'assumed' a duty not stated in the church constitution and canons.
'Unfortunately, after lengthy and respectful conversation, the presiding bishop and I stand looking at one another across a wide, deep and seemingly unbridgeable theological and canonical chasm,' he said. 'At present both of us have signaled a willingness to continue the conversation even if it requires phone conversations from vastly different area codes.'"
The full text of the resolutions and the address by Bishop Lawrence are linked from the diocesan website here.