Tuesday, March 13, 2007

An Opportunity Missed

Yesterday was the 'deadline day' for consents to the episcopal consecration of Fr. Mark Lawrence as bishop-elect of South Carolina. Over fifty-six diocesan bishops gave consent, and the consents of fifty-six diocesan Standing Committee consents were needed, fifty-five were given by close of business yesterday. Of course, there is a 'snail mail' delay which allows for consents to be postmarked by 12 March, and received perhaps by the end of the week, to count. With possible contested votes, etc; the outcome is very much in doubt.

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Dakota missed a perfect chance to be seen as 'reconcilers' in this fray, by finally, at the last possible moment, consenting to Fr. Lawrence's' elevation to South Carolina; but did they break from the bishop's grasp? No, no, and no! We even e-mailed all members with e-mail addresses, in a last ditch effort to allow South Dakota to have a 'place in the Son', but they opted to follow +Creighton's revisionist lead, and remain silent (which equates to a 'safe' no vote).

Critics of Fr. Lawrence's election by the Diocese of South Carolina, have repeatedly made the erroneous point that he, Fr. Lawrence, would have worked to split the Church; however, in our own humble opinion, it is the inactions of the lethargic that will have succeeded in splitting the Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion, and splitting the conservative, or reasserting, faction from the liberal, reappraising, faction...the holders of the faith once delivered unto the saints, from the writers of the new faith, the new way of reading and interpreting scripture.

We may never know, but we feel that our former diocese, and others, as well, missed the boat on this one; they could have helped preserve a once proud Church, instead, by doing nothing, they may have helped to kill her.

The South Carolina Standing Committee meets Thursday to consider the consents and their options. Please keep them, Bishop-elect Mark, the Diocese of South Carolina, and the Episcopal Church in your prayers.

Lord, in Your Mercy. Hear our prayer.

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