September 23, 2010

More on the Goings On in South Carolina

Dr. Joan Gundersen has posted the first part of an essay titled “What the Diocese of South Carolina May Get Wrong.” The essay deals with the resolutions about to be passed—assuredly they will be passed—by the convention of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

Gundersen points out that all Episcopal Church dioceses have had ample warning of the Title IV changes that take effect in less than a year. No one seems to have raised questions about the validity of those changes until the Anglican Communion Institute posted its recent essay on the subject. (Would I be considered paranoid to suggest that Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Anglican Communion Institute are in cahoots with one another on this matter? See my essay on the South Carolina situation here.)

Gundersen is well qualified to write about what South Carolina is about to do. Not only was she a General Convention deputy from the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh who had to vote on the Title IV revisions, but she and chancellor Andy Roman took the lead in rewriting the Pittsburgh canons that deal with the new disciplinary rules of The Episcopal Church. As she mentions in her essay, Gundersen is a member of the diocese’s Committee on Canons.

Gundersen concludes her essay with the following paragraph:
So why is there such a fuss now? Is it really the changes that worry South Carolina, or is it that some are looking for a wedge issue to drive South Carolina further from the rest of the Church and isolate it more? Were some of South Carolina’s leaders following a strategy based on evading one set of disciplinary canons only to find that the loopholes they had counted on were about to be closed? Were South Carolina leaders so asleep at the switch that for five years they didn’t notice a major revision of the canons until the deadline for implementation of the canons drew near? Whatever explanation you pick, it would seem the problem lies more within the Diocese of South Carolina than in Title IV.
In her next installment, Dr. Gundersen plans to deal directly with constitutional questions related to the new Title IV.

1 comment:

  1. A major part of the problem, it seems to me, is that folks who are disciplinarians (or autocrats) at heart project the same kind of attitude on other. (Sometimes they are right, to be fair.) I think of Bishop Iker's "The PB can't 'command' me," as if that was what was happening. But it seems to me that much of the fear concerning Title IV would only be proven true as a result of an abuse of Title IV. Perhaps a legitimate concern, but I await further word as to what precisely is wrong with the law as written (as opposed to how it might perhaps be employed.)

    Onward, Dr. G.

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