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CHARLESTON, SC: Diocese of South Carolina Only Authority to Convene Convention

CHARLESTON, SC: Diocese of South Carolina Only Authority to Convene Convention in the Diocese

From The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis,
Canon to the Ordinary
December 20, 2012

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, publicly released an announcement yesterday (12/19/12) that she will be convening, on her own authority, a special convention of the "Diocese of South Carolina."

According to Bishop Mark Lawrence, Bishop of South Carolina, the Presiding Bishop has no authority to call any convention in the Diocese of South Carolina under its corporate bylaws and canons.

The Diocese of South Carolina is a South Carolina corporation, and accordingly, Bishop Lawrence is its only bishop and the President of its governing Board of Directors.

Under South Carolina law, only Bishop Lawrence and the Standing Committee, acting as the Board of Directors can call a convention of the Diocese. "We have not called any convention for January 2013," explained Bishop Lawrence.

"What the Presiding Bishop is trying to do is to organize a new diocese of the Episcopal Church in this area," he said. "We in the Diocese of South Carolina have nothing to do with that undertaking.

The name "The [Episcopal] Diocese of South Carolina" is the registered property and identity of the Diocese."

Bishop Lawrence explained that the continued use of the Dioceses' corporate name and identity by TEC is causing confusion among the members of the Diocese and the wider South Carolina public.

"This misuse of our name and identity by TEC is a violation of South Carolina law and can subject it to liability for treble damages and attorneys' fees, he explained. "I call upon TEC to cease and desist from the continued misuse of our name and identity."

END

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