Day eleven diocesan report on the South Carolina Trial

TEC Spends Day Making Arguments that Judge Rules Irrelevant to the Case

(ST. GEORGE, SC) – Attorneys for The Episcopal Church and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, spent the eleventh day of a trial to prevent their seizure of local church property attempting to introduce testimony that the Circuit Court has repeatedly dismissed as irrelevant.

The entire morning was spent with TEC’s lead attorney, David Beers, asking Mark Duffy, Canonical Archivist and Director of Archives for the national church to identify documents discussing TEC’s financial contributions to the Diocese, the denomination’s hierarchical structure that does not permit diocese to withdraw and other topics, attracting repeated objections from diocesan attorneys.

Judge Diane S. Goodstein sustained most objections to the TEC documents, repeatedly stating that they bore no relevance to the case.

In the matter of hierarchy, she again explained that South Carolina is not a jurisdiction that recognizes hierarchy in such cases.

For the second day in a row, the witness admitted that he had not been shown any documents on contributions by the Diocese to TEC for the same period that TEC was claiming it had made contribution to the Diocese and its parishes.

The rest of the day was spent reading the deposition of Thomas M. Rickenbaker from Spartanburg, South Carolina, who was interviewed for Bishop of South Carolina but did not make it to the second round of finalists.  Rickenbaker was not present for his testimony.

Rickenbaker, who was baptized by Tom Tisdale, Sr., father of TECSC’s lead attorney, said that when he was interviewed for the job of bishop that the first question he was asked in his interview was “can you lead us out of TEC?”  Richkenbaker had never provided that information to anyone in five years and then only recalled the conversation after being contacted by a representative of TECSC. His statements are in dispute by those who interviewed Mr. Rickenbaker in 2006.

About the Diocese of South Carolina

The Diocese was founded in 1785 by the parishes of the former South Carolina colony.  Based in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, the Diocese is one of the oldest religious districts in the United States and counts among its members several of the oldest, operating churches in the nation.

The Diocese of South Carolina is recognized by Anglican Dioceses and Provinces around the world, many of whom have broken fellowship with The Episcopal Church, and in 2013 the Diocese joined the global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and entered into a formal relationship of Provisional Primatial Oversight with Global South primates.

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