Church Times: ‘Really weird’, but Henry Scriven bears no ill will on orders

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Scriven remained as a bishop in good standing in the Episcopal Church after Pittsburgh diocese realigned with the Southern Cone in November last year. He believed the diocese had democratically made its decision and — in a response to the Church Times which came too late for publication — described the Convention’s vote as conducted “in a very fair and grace-filled way”. He made himself available as a bishop to all congregations who invited him, regardless of how they had voted.

He said at that time: “We still pray sincerely that further lawsuits can be avoided, and I certainly intend to maintain all my close friendships with the vast majority of those who have chosen not to stay with the diocese.”

Bishop Scriven described the letter he received in November releasing him from his orders as “really weird”. He retained it but did not respond to it. The promised certificate releasing Bishop Scriven from his orders did not reach him personally, “though, to be fair, she might have tried as I was wandering round the world,” he said on Wednesday.

The correspondence is now in the public domain. “I had no desire to publish these letters until the thing was announced but was then very happy for them to be released,” Bishop Scriven said. “Hers was a very gracious letter but I was kind of boggled by the language really...."

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: PittsburghTEC Polity & Canons

5 Comments
Posted January 30, 2009 at 12:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Jeremy Bonner wrote:

+Henry showed me the infamous letter just before he left Pittsburgh. The sentiments he expressed in private were pretty much those reported in this article - amused bemusement best describes it. But then that’s Henry.

January 30, 2:52 pm | [comment link]
2. Irenaeus wrote:

Hers was a very gracious letter

Like a courteous hangman who says, “Good bye and good luck!”

January 30, 5:31 pm | [comment link]
3. wvparson wrote:

+Henry is a gracious man with a sense of proportion and a sense of humor. I’m glad he is taking this so well. It seems that like Humpty Dumpty language is to mean whatever meaning seems convenient. If these words mean what they say they say at the least that if a bishop leaves TEC for the Church of England that bishop no longer is deemed to retain the authenticity of Order within the United States. I trust this news has been conveyed to the appropriate Archangel who keeps God informed about who He must recognize and who He must not.

January 30, 6:42 pm | [comment link]
4. RichardKew wrote:

I have known Henry Scriven for a very long time, indeed, I chaired SAMS-USA when he and Catherine went as missionaries to South America in the early 1980s. He has acted with the grace and generosity that is, I believe, one of his most admirable characteristics. I agree that “Humpty Dumpty language” is being used, reflecting perhaps anger rather than gratitude for the work that Henry did in Pittsburgh in a very difficult time for all involved.

January 31, 3:44 am | [comment link]
5. Albany+ wrote:

Let’s face it, the BP doesn’t “get it” on any level whatsoever. We are witnessing the Peter Principle of the new TEC.

January 31, 11:01 am | [comment link]
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