Support the Café

Search our Site

More legal news from South Carolina

More legal news from South Carolina

From the Episcopal Church in South Carolina

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel has lifted a stay in a lawsuit over false-advertising and related claims against the bishop of a breakaway group that left The Episcopal Church in 2012, issuing a scheduling order for the trial to begin on or after September 1.

The case, known as vonRosenberg v. Lawrence, had been set for trial in March, but the judge issued a stay in August 2017, putting the proceedings on hold while the parties entered a mediation process.  Bishop vonRosenberg retired in 2016, and his successor, Bishop Skip Adams, was added as a plaintiff in the case in 2017. The Episcopal Church joined the case as a plaintiff in August 2017.

Thomas S. Tisdale Jr., Chancellor of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, said TECSC and The Episcopal Church remain hopeful that mediation efforts will be productive.

The lawsuit was filed in March 2013, a few months after Mark Lawrence and a breakaway group announced they were leaving The Episcopal Church. The suit involves a claim of false advertising under the federal Lanham Act. At that time, Bishop Charles vonRosenberg was the only bishop recognized by The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina. By continuing to represent himself as bishop of the diocese, Mark Lawrence was committing false advertising, the lawsuit says.

The federal case is key to resolving trademark issues that were not addressed by the state courts in the lawsuit that the breakaway group, calling itself the “Diocese of South Carolina,” filed against The Episcopal Church and its local diocese in 2013. That case went to the South Carolina Supreme Court, which ruled August 2 in favor of The Episcopal Church and its diocese, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

On February 9, the breakaway group petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a review of the state Supreme Court’s decision. TECSC and The Episcopal Church have received the petition and are reviewing it, said the Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III, Bishop of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

“At the same time, we continue to work and pray in the hope of unity and reconciliation,” Bishop Adams said.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café