Adam Parker of the Charleston Post and Courier takes a whack at explaining the peculiar legislation that will be considered by the Diocese of South Carolina this weekend:
One diocese resolution calls on leaders "to begin withdrawing from all bodies of the Episcopal Church that have assented to actions contrary to Holy Scripture, the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this Church has received them, the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference which have expressed the mind of the Communion, the Book of Common Prayer and our Constitutions and Canons, until such bodies show a willingness to repent of such actions."
Another resolution calls for an endorsement of an Anglican Covenant, "expressing our full commitment to mutual submission and accountability in communion, grounded in common faith."
A third resolution states that "this Diocese will not condone prejudice or deny the dignity of any person, including but not limited to, those who believe themselves to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered," but "will speak the truth in love as Holy Scripture commends …"
These statements, and others made in recent months have caused many in the diocese to question its future.
Bishop Mark Lawrence has answered questions in writing for Parker.
He says, in part: Flannery O'Connor once said in explanation of her odd characters and aberrant stories, "To the hard of hearing you must shout; to the near blind you draw large startling figures." That's what I see us called to do. The legislative and governing bodies of The Episcopal Church have grown nearly deaf and purblind -- I'm suggesting we speak in louder ways and draw figures that may actually be seen."
The bishop's rhetoric of conscience would be easier to credit had he not been caught redhanded earlier this year plotting to have a conservative parish in the Diocese of Colorado placed under his authority without informing Colorado's bishop, the Rt. Rev. Rob O'Neill.