Monday, May 29, 2017


In my history of the schism, I worked to put as much of the text in the original words of the actors as possible. There were hundreds of memorable quotes that revealed the thoughts and feelings of the people involved in the schism of 2012. These will resound through the ages. Here are some of the outstanding ones.

The unity of the Church is not the work of human hands nor of human minds, but the work of the Holy Spirit accomplished through the sacraments. The mother church is the flesh that bore us, brought us into this world as Christians. I have diligently searched Scriptures and prayer book and have found no ceremony where one can divorce one's mother.
---the Rev. Daniel Hank, of Barnwell, Nov. 17, 2012, on occasion of the special convention DSC.

We dare not break our Christian fellowship by any attitude or act in the House of God which makes our brethren of other races as unequal or inferior.
---TEC General Convention, 1943.

This new movement is wrong because it is schismatic and divides the Body. Anyone who joins this movement is leaving The Church and starting a new one, whatever language is used to define the action. I cannot believe this is the will of God, who wills unity not division,; love not separation; obedience and not self-gratification.
---Bishop Gray Temple, 1977 DSC convention, on the schismatic movement following women's ordination.

[It] lit my fuse.
---Bishop Allison, 1987, on "Sexuality: A Divine Gift, A Sacramental Approach to Human Sexuality and Family Life."

That's a lie.
---Rev. Charles Murphy to Bishop Salmon, 1997 DSC convention, according to Nick Zeigler: "Suddenly there was a commotion on the floor of the convention, and I saw the Reverend Murphy striding down the center aisle shouting at Bishop Salmon (...) At one point the Rev. Murphy said in a loud voice that reverberated throughout the church, 'That's a lie.' The acrimonious exchange went on for several minutes before three hundred startled delegates."

The General Convention has endorsed a new religion.
---Bishop Salmon, Oct. 2, 2003, in aftermath of the Bishop Robinson affair.

We have a theology in practice [Prayer Book of 1979] which moves straight from creation to redemption, a nearly universalistic worldview in which the fall and sin have in essence disappeared! It is a gospel of affirmation rather than the gospel of salvation. We have moved from sinners in the hands of an angry God to clients in the palms of a satisfied therapist.
---Rev. Kendall Harmon, Plano TX conference, Oct. 7-9, 2003, on how the new prayer book had led the church astray.

It's not about me; it's about so many other people who find themselves at the margins.
---Bishop Gene Robinson, Nov. 2, 2003, at his consecration.

Our ultimate goal is the realignment of Anglicanism on North American soil (...) We believe in the end this should be a 'replacement' jurisdiction.
Rev. Geoffrey Chapman, Dec. 28, 2003, "The Chapman Memo."

There has to be a realignment of Anglicanism in North America.
---Rev. Kendall Harmon, Bloomfield Hills, MI, May 21-22, 2004.

This is your (...) moment to make up your mind (...) If you really want Global South to partner with you, you must let us know where you stand. Are you Episcopalian or are you network?
---Most Rev. Peter Akinola, primate of Nigeria, Pittsburgh conference, Nov. 11-12, 2005.

TEC has been weakened in the Diocese of SC by the systematic exclusion of clergy and lay leaders who support TEC, from the leadership of congregations and diocese. We are convinced that the situation is now critical and deserves your immediate attention.
---Lynn Pagliaro, for the Episcopal Forum, letter to TEC, June 2007.

The journey begins. Pack your things. Give your children your blessing. You've been in one place long enough.
---Rev. Mark Lawrence, Mar. 2006, reporting a message he received during a speaking in tongues episode in church, shortly before he was called to candidacy for bishop of SC.

I had a dream the night before the election. And in the dream it was a kind of Narnia type environment (...) Narnia, as in C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (...) And in the dream a queen stood up and said that I, Mark, had a monumental task calling me forward when I was too afraid to go alone (...) Told me that there was more in this than just me. There's a divinity that shapes our ends, as Hamlet put it in Shakespeare.
---Rev. Mark Lawrence, Sept. 15, 2006, eve of election as bishop.

The Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) is dying---a comatose patient on life-support [caused by] the ethos of democracy rather than Anglicanism (...) its fatal allegiance to provincialism (...) strident nationalism.
---Rev. Mark Lawrence, "A Prognosis for the Body Episcopal," (Dec. 2005-Jan. 2006).

I will heartily make the vows conforming 'to the doctrine, discipline, and worship' of the Episcopal Church, as well as the trustworthiness of Holy Scripture. So to put it as clearly as I can, my intention is to remain in The Episcopal Church.
---Rev. Mark Lawrence, Mar. 7, 2007, letter to bishops and standing committees, nearing deadline for consents.

I, Mark Joseph Lawrence, (...) do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church.
Rev. Mark Lawrence, Jan. 26, 2008, consecration as bishop.

I am offended with the assumption there is only one orthodox bishop around here.
Most Rev. Jefferts Schori, Feb. 25, 2008, clergy conference, St. Andrew's, Mt. Pleasant, in response to a clergyman who quipped he was glad there was one orthodox bishop present, meaning Lawrence.

We are not two churches under one roof but two very different religions.
Rev. Al Zadig, Feb. 2008, following the presiding bishop's visit.

I don't know what's going to happen with our Diocese and its relationship with TEC (...) I trust our leadership.
Elizabeth Pennewill, at General Convention 2009.

You all know we are not gathering to have tea and crumpets. There is no way we as a diocese can function in the way we have before. How to move forward (...) is the issue.
Rev. Kendall Harmon, June 28, 2009, referring to the secret meeting of diocesan leadership to plan further disengagement from TEC.

We elected him to take us out of the Episcopal Church.
---Rev. Jeff Miller, Aug. 2009, referring to Mark Lawrence, according to testimony of the Rev. Dow Sanderson.

This Diocese will not condone prejudice or deny the dignity of any person, including but not limited to, those who believe themselves to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.
---Resolution 5, "The Rubric of Love," DSC convention, Oct. 24, 2009. After tumult broke out, leadership tabled the resolution and killed it in the next convention ending the one and only attempt DSC made actually to deal with the issue of homosexuality.

Things are heating up in South Carolina.
---Most Rev. Jefferts Schori, Feb. 2010, to Executive Council of TEC.

The Presiding Bishop and I stand looking at one another across a wide, deep and seemingly unbridgeable theological and canonical chasm.
Bp. Lawrence, Mar. 26, 2010, to DSC convention.

I thought, I feel like for the first time, I am the bishop of this diocese.
---Bp. Lawrence, Nov. 15, 2011, after issuing the quit claim deeds, the issue that would get him charged with abandonment of TEC.

This is one of those times in life where to announce in advance what you are going to do is foolish (...) bank robbers do not announce their intentions in advance.
---Rev. Paul Feuner, Sept. 2012, in Prince George Winyah newsletter, referring to the leadership's secret plans to make schism. Presumably the poor choice of words was inadvertent. 

I am no longer an Episcopalian.
---Bp. Lawrence, Oct. 28, 2012, St. John's Church, Florence SC, bishop's forum. I was present.

Shepherd, where will you lead us from here?
---a layman, Oct. 28, 2012, St. John's Church, Florence SC, bishop's forum. The shepherd had no coherent response. I was present.

We have withdrawn from that Church (...) we move on (...) We shall move on. Actually let me state it more accurately, We have moved on. With the Standing Committee's resolution on disassociation the fact is accomplished.
---Bp. Lawrence, Nov. 17, 2012, to special convention, announcing the schism had already been made (Oct. 15).

The Diocese of South Carolina has canonically and legally disassociated from The Episcopal Church. We took that action before today's attempt to claim a renunciation of my orders, thereby making it superfluous. (...) So we move on---onward and upward (...) and I remain the Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina.
---Bp. Lawrence, Dec. 5, 2012, in response to the presiding bishop's declaration of the removal and release of Lawrence as bishop of the Episcopal Church diocese of SC.

Somebody decides he knows the law, and oversteps whatever authority he may have to dictate the fate of others who may in fact be obeying the law, and often a law for which this local tyrant is not the judge. Most human communities, from churches to governments to families, function more effectively in response to shared decision-making (...) Power assumed by one authority figure alone is often a recipe for abuse, tyranny, and corruption.
Most Rev. Jefferts Schori, Jan. 26, 2013, sermon at special convention of ECSC. 

I'm the only person in The Episcopal Church elected twice, and then went through two election processes and two deposition processes. Because they couldn't get rid of me on the first try, they had to make another try.
---Bp. Lawrence, Feb. 10, 2013, at Old St. Andrew's, on his victimization theme.

Bishop Lawrence spent years trying to keep us within TEC---only to be found guilty of abandonment while in the very midst of attempting negotiation. We were effectively fired upon under a flag of truce.
---Rev. Jim Lewis, Oct. 2, 2013, "The Real Story behind our Split with The Episcopal Church," in "Charleston Mercury." The terms "Lawrence" and "TEC" were the only truthful parts of this statement.

I am here with you with the consent of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
---Bp. Zavala, May 20, 2015, in Charleston. The Archbishop's office denied this claim.

Our legal suit is a tempestuous battle against 'the spiritual forces of evil.'
---Bp. Lawrence, Fall 2013, in "Jubilate Deo" legal fund-raising issue, characterizing the Episcopal Church side. 

We don't believe we were ever connected to the Episcopal Church.
---spokesperson for St. Bartholomew's Church, Hartsville, in circuit court trial, July 2014. St. B's was established as an Episcopal Church in 1903.

And it has been one of the joys of my life to have spent this time with you, and I look forward to the study and the review that I get to embark upon, and I'll miss you while I do it.
---Judge Diane Goodstein, July 28, 2014. Final remark of the trial.

TEC is not organized in a fashion that in governance controls the Dioceses or the parish churches. Authority flows from the bottom, the parish churches, up.
---Judge Goodstein, "Order," Feb. 3, 2015.

May it please the court Madame Chief Justice, justices, I want to try and focus on what I think, what I have heard that suggests that "All Saints" does not apply here. There really is no legal or factual distinction between "All Saints" and the facts of this case.
---Atty. Alan Runyan, Sept. 23, 2015, SC Supreme Court. Opening remark.

Remember, recall Mr. Runyan that in "All Saints" there wasn't any dispute about the bishop's control (...) Here big question about the bishop's authority (...) so big difference between this case and "All Saints" where they wasn't any question about the bishop's ability to quit claim, would you agree?
---Chief Justice Jean Toal, Sept. 23, 2015, SC Supreme Court.