The latest ruling by Judge Diane Goodstein on Feb. 23 has prompted responses from both sides of the dispute.
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina simply notes the ruling and mentions its next option:
Judge Diane Goodstein today denied the motion for reconsideration filed by The Episcopal Church in South Carolina in the Dorchester County case. TECSC now has 30 days to file a notice of appeal with the South Carolina Court of Appeals. The order can be viewed here.
The Diocese of South Carolina says, in part:
“In many places, the motion still contained the language of the ‘proposed order’ from which it was lifted verbatim,” Jim Lewis, Canon to Bishop Lawrence, said. As counsel for the Diocese of South Carolina stated in the response: “The law is intended to be, and in fact is, a highway for litigants to travel … it is not a carousel on which litigants are to ride in never-ending circular journeying.”
While TEC Bishop Charles vonRosenberg has repeatedly made public pronouncements insisting that he wants to reconcile with the Diocese, his attorneys have continually filed a stream of appeals and other legal actions designed to delay court decisions. The delaying tactics succeeded in postponing the South Carolina trial by many months — and driving the cost of litigation into the millions of dollars. TEC has a history of using legal action to punish congregations and dioceses that leave the denomination. It has spent up to $40 million in these legal actions during the last decade.