Law suit filed in South Carolina

According to Episcopal News Service, Mark Lawrence, former bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, and others have filed suit against The Episcopal Church:

Mark Lawrence, who led some members of the Diocese of South Carolina out of the Episcopal Church, on Jan. 4 joined with a group of those people to file suit in South Carolina Circuit Court against the Episcopal Church.

The action, the group said, was taken “to protect the diocese’s real and personal property and that of its parishes.”

The suit also asks the court to prevent the Episcopal Church from “infringing on the protected marks of the diocese, including its seal and its historical names, and to prevent the church from assuming the diocese’s identity, which was established long before the Episcopal Church’s creation,” according to the press release.

Neva Rae Fox, public affairs officer for the Episcopal Church, said via e-mail that church officials had “not received the legal papers in any such lawsuit in South Carolina and therefore cannot comment at this time.”

A fact sheet on the Episcopal Church’s website notes: “Dioceses cannot leave the Episcopal Church. While some clergy and individuals may choose to leave, congregations and property remain in the diocese to be used for the mission of the Episcopal Church.”

The documents for the case are here

The Charlotte Observer covers the story here.

Mark Lawrence and his followers left the Episcopal Church rather than face charges of abandonment in front of his fellow bishops.

Other reports on the Episcopal Café are here (Bishop James Mathes on Lawrence) and here (what those who stayed are doing) and here (the vote to leave)

Comments (4)

They left the church. I don't see why they insist on stealing from it causing insult to injury. Leave and build your own churches and structures and God bless you. I think the real issue is as stated
"Mark Lawrence and his followers left the Episcopal Church rather than face charges of abandonment in front of his fellow bishops."

Best explanation of this is at

Wow! I have never seen more slanted, biased reporting ever at this site. What a disappointment.

Alvah Whealton

They sue, and then they'll complain about how "litigious" TEC is. Classic Murder-Parents/"But Your Honor, pity the orphan!" behavior.

JC Fisher

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