SOUTH CAROLINA: TEC Episcopal Bishop Inhibits Former SC Bishop Suffragan

David Virtue david at
Thu Dec 18 18:08:34 EST 2014

SOUTH CAROLINA: TEC Episcopal Bishop Inhibits Former SC Bishop Suffragan
Bishop Charles vonRosenberg says Bishop William Skilton can no longer
function as a bishop in the diocese

By David W. Virtue DD
December 13, 2015

[Bishop William Skilton] The Provisional Bishop in the Episcopal led
Diocese in South Carolina, Charles G. vonRosenberg, has written a letter
to the former Bishop Suffragan of South Carolina, William J. Skilton,
telling him in no uncertain terms that because of the "confusion" and
ecclesiastical breakdown of the diocese, he can no longer function
sacramentally as a bishop in the diocese.

VOL obtained the correspondence between Charles vonRosenberg, the
Provisional Bishop in South Carolina, and retired Suffragan Bishop
William Skilton.

Bishop vonRosenberg told Bishop Skilton that his sense of call "across
the divide" conflicts with his desire to promote clarity and that
Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori has concurred.

"The court case in Dorchester County...has emphasized the need for
greater clarity. In my judgment is it not in the best interests of
anyone on either or both sides of the controversy for ordained people to
encourage or promote confusion -- except where it is in the best
interests of those who benefit from such confusion," he told Skilton.

"You do not have my permission or that of the Episcopal Church in South
Carolina to represent The Episcopal Church or this diocese in any
official way."

Bishop Skilton has never been inhibited or deposed by the Presiding
Bishop nor has he joined with Bishop Mark Lawrence or the Anglican
Church in North America.

In a letter to vonRosenberg, Skilton expressed surprise at receiving the
letter, "I find it difficult to understand the source and real reason
for such communication. I have neither Confirmed nor Ordained in any
church in South Carolina, nor have I represented the Episcopal Church in
any official capacity."

Skilton said he would abide by the bishop's direction, but indicated he
was still a bishop in good standing as Bishop Assistant of the Dominican
Episcopal Church (resigned) and Bishop Suffragan of South Carolina
(resigned). "This speaks of person and identity...something I claim with
great pride and thanksgiving.

"When I made my presentation to the House of Bishops, I stated that my
calling was to proclaim the Gospel and celebrate Eucharist across the
great divide...realizing that there were risks involved, I would
continue being what I have always been; a missionary."

An Episcopal priest in the Diocese in South Carolina described the
actions of vonRosenberg, as a lot of high toned rhetoric concealing the
fist of intimidation behind polite language.

Bishop Skilton has had a long 44-year history in the Diocese of South
Carolina (15 years in the Dominican Republic) working mainly under the
ecclesiastical authority of Bishop Edward Salmon. When the split
occurred in the Diocese of South Carolina from the Episcopal Church, he
resolved, he wrote, to deal with it "in a more creative manner". The
deep chasm that developed between friends, neighbors and families called
forth his need to minister as a "bridge builder." 2016 marks my 50th
year in the priesthood, he wrote in an open letter to the faithful
Anglicans/Episcopalians in lower South Carolina.

Skilton opined that this inhibition has ended what he called a
"difficult ministry of reconciliation to a part of the body of the
Church that is deeply wounded."

He gave no indication that he would join the Diocese of South Carolina
under Bishop Mark Lawrence. Lawrence was not available for comment.

The rejection of Bishop Skilton by vonRosenberg and Presiding Bishop
Jefferts Schori underscores the phony talk of reconciliation much
bally-hoed by Episcopal Church bishops, and reinforces the image
observed by Global South Primates that The Episcopal Church is engaged
in a scorched earth policy with its orthodox wing.


More information about the VirtueOnline mailing list