MEMBERS of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina have met to
elect a new bishop and give themselves a new name, after a judge
ruled that they could not take over the name or seal of the diocese
of South Carolina.
A temporary restraining order has been placed on the use of the
diocese's name, trademarks, and symbols, after a case was brought
by a group of parishes, and Bishop Mark Lawrence, who left the
Episcopal Church (TEC) last year (News, 23 November).
A full hearing on the order is set for today, and will determine
whether the temporary restraining order should be replaced by an
injunction that could extend the prohibition until the court rules
on a lawsuit filed recently by the diocese of South Carolina. The
lawsuit was filed against TEC, and seeks to protect the diocese's
real, personal, and intellectual property.
More than three-quarters of the parishes and missions in South
Carolina left TEC with their Bishop, but TEC has said that no
diocese can withdraw from its own General Convention without
The diocese feared that a special convention in Charleston last
weekend, organised by the Presiding Bishop, Dr Katharine Jefferts
Schori, represented an attempt by TEC to seize control of diocesan
property and structures. "We seek to be free from the national
Church's unorthodox theology, which separates it from . . . the
fundamental beliefs of the global Anglican Communion," Bishop
The diocese has agreed to use the name "the Episcopal Church in
South Carolina" in place of "what we believe is our true and lawful
Delegates elected the retired Bishop of East Tennessee, the Rt
Revd Charles vonRosenberg, to be their Bishop Provisional.