S.C. Proposal Rebuffed

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina explains its offer:

Episcopalians who are seeking to end the bitter legal battle over church property in eastern South Carolina have presented a settlement agreement to a breakaway group, offering to let 35 parishes keep their church properties, whether or not they choose to remain part of The Episcopal Church.

In exchange, the proposal would require the breakaway group to return the diocesan property, assets and identity of “The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina” to the diocese that is still affiliated with The Episcopal Church.

“From the beginning of this dispute, we have hoped for reconciliation with people in the churches affected by this sad division,” said the Right Reverend Charles G. vonRosenberg, Bishop of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. “We see this offer as the strongest possible way we can demonstrate that.”

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The Diocese of South Carolina explains its concerns about the offer:

The first and primary intention of all this was to disrupt the preparation of our reply brief for the South Carolina Supreme Court. The timing here is not coincidental. The time and energy devoted to dealing with this non-offer was significant. That cannot be overstated.

Secondly, and of similar importance, this was an attempt to create division between the Diocese, Trustees and the Parishes. By structuring their “offer” in this way it tries to set what is good for one against what is good for the other. Our unity in this case has been, and continues to be, essential to its success. To falter now, when our case is so strong and the end so near, would be foolish. But that is what counsel for TEC would desire.

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