Friday, October 2, 2020


There is a bit of legal news to report today, October 2, 2020. 

First, background:

---On Sept. 10, 2020, Episcopal Church lawyers filed a petition with U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel to enforce his Injunction of September 19, 2019 against the breakaway side (now calling itself the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina). The paper was entitled "Second Petition to Enforce the Injunction." 

The Sept. 10 petition spelled out in detail 27 examples where the new diocese claimed to be the historic diocese, in violation of the Injunction. In his September 19, 2019 order, Judge Gergel had declared the Episcopal Church to be hierarchical and the Church diocese to be the only legal heir of the historic (pre-schism) Diocese of South Carolina. Moreover, Gergel had issued an Injunction forbidding the new association from claiming to be the historic diocese. On claims of non-compliance, the Church side went back to court and obtained an "Enforcement Order" on December 18, 2019.

---On Sept. 24, 2020, lawyers for the breakaway side filed a response to TEC's petition of Sept. 10. They claimed their side had complied faithfully with the original Injunction but had also removed 25 of the 27 examples listed in the Sept. 10 petition. 

Yesterday, October 1, 2020, Episcopal Church lawyers filed a reply to ADSC's Sept. 24 Response. It was entitled "Plaintiffs' Reply to Defendants' Opposition to Second Petition to Enforce the Injunction." They pointed out that while the breakaways denied they had violated the Injunction, they removed 25 of the 27 examples listed in TEC's complaint. This was tacit recognition of violations. The Church lawyers said the court still needed a new enforcement of the Injunction. 

So, Judge Gergel now has before him 1-TEC's petition for a (second) enforcement order for the Injunction, 2-ADSC's response claiming compliance with the Injunction, and 3-TEC's reply still calling for an enforcement order. Now, apparently, Judge Gergel will have to decide whether to issue a new enforcement order for his Sept. 19, 2019 Injunction, or not. 

It appears to me there is need of a new enforcement order. A few days ago, I pointed out that the breakaway Trinity congregation on Edisto calims to be "Trinity Episcopal Church" on their website. Also, the ADSC website still says Lawrence was consecrated in 2008 as the bishop of the Anglican Diocese of SC (ADSC did not come into being until 2012). So, yes, the judge should enforce his Injunction.