South Carolina resolutions question Title IV, authority of TEC

Kendall Harmon reports that in the Diocese of South Carolina there is the view that the revised Title IV canons encroach on the authority of dioceses. Whatever the legitimacy of those concerns, the Standing Committee is proposing expansive unilateral changes in the constitution, canons and corporate charter of the diocese. There are a continuation of the diocese’s withdrawal from the councils of the church.

Title IV Ecclesiastical Discipline was amended by General Convention 2009 and that revised Title IV takes effect July 1, 2011. Compare the current Title IV amended 2006 with the one taking effect in July here. General Convention Title IV to address clergy misconduct, especially sexual misconduct.


At the Clergy Conference held at St. Paul’s, Summerville, on September 2, Mr. Alan Runyan, legal counsel for the Diocese, presented a report detailing revisions to the Title IV Canons of the Episcopal Church, which were approved at the 2009 General Convention. These Canons deal directly with issues of clergy discipline, both for priests and bishops. The impact of these changes is profound. It is our assessment that these changes contradict the Constitution of The Episcopal Church and make unacceptable changes in our polity, elevating the role of bishops, particularly the Presiding Bishop, and removing the duly elected Standing Committee of a Diocese from its current role in most of the disciplinary process. The changes also result in the removal of much of the due process and legal safeguards for accused clergy that are provided under the current Canons. …

In response, the Standing Committee is offering five resolutions to address the concerns we have with these changes. View the resolutions. Each represents an essential element of how we protect the diocese from any attempt at un-Constitutional intrusions into our corporate life in South Carolina. In the coming weeks these resolutions, along with an explanation of the Title IV changes, will be discussed in the Deanery Convocations for delegates, as we prepare for Convention to reconvene on October 15th. By these resolutions, we will continue to stand for the Gospel in South Carolina and pursue our vision of “Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age.”

As Harmon, says, view the resolutions. Proposed Resolution 6 would change the language of South Carolina’s constitution so as to nullify any provision of the Constitution and Canons that it deems inconsistent with its constitution. Proposed R-7 and R-9 would allow changes in South Carolina’s constitution in less than a year. Proposed R-8 removes accession to the Canons of The Episcopal Church. Proposed R-10 removes the South Carolina canon which stated that property is held in trust for The Episcopal Church. Proposed R-11 changes the Corporate Charter purpose statement. Current:

The purpose of the said proposed Corporation is to continue the operation of an Episcopal Diocese under the Constitution and Canons of The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.


The purpose of the said proposed Corporation is to continue operation of an Episcopal Diocese under the Constitution and Canons of The Diocese of South Carolina.

Addendum. ENS now has an article, and a very thorough article it is.

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