Wednesday, June 13, 2018

For Whom The South Carolina Church Bells Toll

Historic St Philip's Church Charleston

The Supreme Court of the United States recently declined to hear an appeal of a decision by the Supreme Court of South Carolina which could force 28 parishes in the Diocese of South Carolina (ACNA) to find new homes. It is possible that the Episcopal Sect will be allowed to take many historic buildings and impose their twisted theology upon the citizens of Charleston and its environs. If this happens, the current congregations could move out peacefully, they could stay and act as an underground insurgency against any new clergy, or they might offer to purchase the property since it is unlikely that there are enough Episcopalians to fill the pews and pay the bills. We don't know when or even if that will happen because some vow to fight on. Witness the rector of St. Philip's in Charleston who writes,
"There remain two actions in the Dorchester County Court of Common Pleas, both of which regard the property rights of the Diocese and its parishes. 
In one, the remittitur case, we will seek a specific evidentiary inquiry as to whether or not St. Philip’s and twenty-eight other parishes actually acceded to the terms of the Dennis Canon. The Dennis Canon was found by the S.C. Supreme Court to have created a trust interest over the church properties, with the Episcopal Church as the trust beneficiary. In the other, the Betterments case, we will seek recovery, under a South Carolina statute, of the value of certain improvements on the respective church properties.  
There is also a federal court trademark action, brought by TEC and the Episcopal Church in South Carolina against our Diocese and its parishes, which seeks damages for the alleged improper use of the term 'Episcopal' and other related relief. So, though the Supreme Court of the United States could have ended most or all of this litigation by agreeing to hear our property rights case, its unwillingness to do so will cause us to continue the litigation in the state and federal court systems in South Carolina."
The longer this drags on, fewer Episcopalians will be left to occupy those 28 church buildings because of the continued decline in their numbers as documented by the Episcopal Sect itself in their posted statistics.

At the present time we still don't know for whom the bell tolls in South Carolina.


  1. "For Whom The South Carolina Church Bells Toll" The original phrase was penned by the Anglican Priest and Poet John Donne. Most probably think it was Ernest Hemingway. The DSJ certainly feels your pain. What originally looked like a slam dunk was a rim shot when replayed. It will be difficult indeed for some of the folks to leave historic buildings that their familys attended for generations.

    1. And it will be difficult to leave their ancestors buried in the graveyards.

  2. Let's see if TEC (aka the church of 'love') will be willing to sell the churches back to the original owners.

  3. Alan Haley's analysis is somewhat more hopeful. We'll see where this goes.