A brief day in court today, and apparently another bad one for the national church and its local rump affiliate.
The Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel, III the Provisional Bishop of Pennsylvania, was the first of two witnesses called by the defense today,(July 18) the ninth day of the trial of the Diocese of South Carolina v. TEC and TECSC.
Bishop Daniel, had been Bishop Coadjutor of East Carolina, was vice-president of the fourth Province (a group of dioceses in the southeast), served on the Presiding Bishop's Counsel of Advice and chaired that group.
He testified regarding the General Convention and the fact it is held every three years, who attends and how voting is handled.
During cross-examination by Diocesan attorney Alan Runyan, Daniel was asked about the duties of a Bishop. Daniel stated that for a Bishop to go into another’s jurisdiction he or she would have to obtain consent (from the Bishop of that Diocese.)
Runyan asked if, in General Convention voting, Daniel could overrule his own delegation, simply because he was the bishop, and Daniel said he could not.
When Runyan asked if the witness would agree that no provincial synod has the power to regulate internal affairs of a Diocese, Daniels replied, “ Yes.” He further testified that a diocese did not need to get permission from TEC to amend its own constitution and canons.
Before asking his final question, Runyan placed the Constitution and Canons of TEC for 2006 and 2009 on the edge of the witness stand and asked Daniel to identify them.
Runyan asked the witness to turn to the page in those documents where it says the diocese cannot withdraw from the Episcopal Church and read it to the court. “Is there a page or a phrase, or a sentence, in either of those that says, quote, a diocese may not leave the Episcopal Church without the consent of the general convention?” asked Runyon. “I don't believe so,” answered Daniel. “But I may be wrong.”
“I'm sure it will be pointed out if you are.“ answered Runyan.
The second and final witness for the day, Patricia Neuman was a former member of Trinity, Edisto, who had been a part of that parish’s vestry, but when they voted to disassociate from the national church she left the church.
Court is adjourned until Monday, July 21 at 9:30 a.m.