Wednesday, April 19, 2017


It is Wednesday, April 19, 2017. The South Carolina Supreme Court issued four decisions today, none having to do with the Church case. In a few days, we will reach the 19th month mark and begin our 20th month of waiting. I'm beginning to think of the old adage, Justice delayed is justice denied. If the five justices are finding a resolution impossible, perhaps it would be best for them to release some sort of decision so that it can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. I suspect that the issue of the relationship between the Episcopal Church and the dioceses is going to wind up there anyway. The sooner the better.

If it is any consolation, today marks one year since the Texas court of appeals heard the case of the the Fort Worth schism. The Church side appealed the lower court's (141st) ruling that found all in favor of the secessionists. The same judge in the same court directly reversed himself upon direction of the state supreme court. At first he had ruled all in favor of the Church side. Thus, apparently, the judges in Texas are no more keen to rule on the same issue that those in SC.

NOTES on April 19:

I reached a personal milestone today. After four years' (4 years and 1 month to be exact) work, I have submitted my history of the schism in South Carolina to the publisher. A History of the Episcopal Church Schism in South Carolina is being published by Wipf and Stock, of Eugene OR. They are specialists in publishing books on religious themes. 

The manuscript is long and detailed. It has 287,245 words in 918 pages double-spaced. I consulted 2,500 sources and cited 900 of them in 2,226 footnotes.

W & S plans to issue the book in two volumes totaling around 600 pages. I have yet to make the index. I cannot do that until I get the page proofs back from the typesetter. That may take several months. I do not expect to have the book in hand until early next year.

As a historian, I have done the best I can do. I read every publicly available source I could get my hands on. I put as much of the text in the actors' own words as I could. I documented everything. I edited the manuscript countless dozens of times. I cut out 100 pages from the original draft to make it more  manageable. The most important parts of any book are the start and the finish. I rewrote those 25 times by my count. In the end I had to quit and accept the fact that we can strive for perfection but never actually attain it, just as Wile E. Coyote will never catch Road Runner. 

I could have had this book out much sooner if I had not (foolishly) believed that the state supreme court would give us a decision long before now. I was waiting for closure. No one knows when, or at this point even if, it will ever come. If it comes soon, perhaps I can slip in a few sentences about the decision before the book is actually printed.

When I catch my breath, I will share with you some of my understandings from my research and writing. 

I appreciate greatly the prayers and other expressions of concern about my health. I have finished one course of treatment and am awaiting another soon. My doctors say the outlook is good.