Andrew Carey: A dangerous move by the Americans
Hell hath no fury like a Church scorned, it would seem. The story is that Bishop Scriven became Assistant Bishop of The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 2002. After the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson in 2003 this diocese became increasingly estranged from the direction and policy of the Episcopal Church. This resulted in the deposition of the diocesan bishop, Robert Duncan, under the charge of ‘abandoning communion’ last year, even though at the time he was continuing to actively serve as a diocesan bishop. The majority of churches in the diocese under the continuing leadership of Bishop Duncan are now under the auspices of the Province of the Southern Cone — thus retaining their link to the Anglican Communion, in a highly unsatisfactory way for all concerned. The planning for the future is to form an alternative province of North America under the initial leadership of Bishop Duncan.
After Bishop Duncan’s deposition, Bishop Scriven ceased to be assistant bishop of Pittsburgh and soon announced his return to England to work for a missionary society and serve as assistant bishop in Oxford. So from September until his move to back to England he was no longer officially a bishop of TEC, but a bishop from another province of the Anglican Communion who happened to be living in the United States.
The Anglican Communion Institute points out that under the rules of the House of Bishops no further action against him was required. He had ceased to be a member of the House of Bishops. “Therefore, no action was required to remove him from the House of Bishops, certainly not the inappropriate action of purporting to remove him from the ordained ministry.” (www.anglicancommunioninstitute.com).
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