"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Grave News With Regard To TEC's Future

News has just been published on the Net that Fr. Mark Lawrence, the bishop-elect of South Carolina, has been rejected by the national Episcopal church, having failed to receive a sufficient number of consents from diocesan Standing Committees around the denomination in proper form.

For anyone who still believed that there was a realistic hope some way might be found for the orthodox to stay within TEC, this is terrible news. Father Lawrence's only "offense" was his outspoken criticism of the extreme leftward trend of TEC. In the last few weeks he had made it abundantly clear that he was not going to act precipitously to take the diocese of South Carolina out of TEC, but rather he would support the Primatial Vicar process outlined in the Primates' recent Communique. There was no reason at all for standing committees to vote against his confirmation other than his orthodox theological convictions. Certainly his "manner of life" posed no challenge to the standards of the world-wide Communion!

Following this catastrophe there can be no hope at all that traditional Anglican dioceses, be they predominantly Anglo-Catholic in focus like Fort Worth or Quincy or Evangelical in orientation like Pittsburgh or South Carolina, could possibly seat a faithful successor to their incumbent bishops. The powers that be in TEC will never again allow a solidly orthodox candidate to be consecrated if he has ever even hinted that the orthodox might need to seek "realignment" in the future.

The Episcopal Left has flexed its muscle in a serious way in torpedoing Fr. Lawrence's consecration. I hope the world-wide Anglican Primates are watching closely.

I wonder if Fr. Lawrence would allow himself to be elected by South Carolina again.


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