The Bishop of Albany, the Rt. Rev. William Love, announced today that he will retire in early 2021. As reported earlier this month, a disciplinary board found Love broke church law by banning equal marriage in his diocese. Love made his announcement in his address to the annual convention of the diocese.
A hearing to decide the consequences was scheduled for Monday.
Presiding Bishop Curry today announced he and Love had entered into an accord on October 16th and that the accord was approved by the disciplinary board on October 21st.
The Episcopal News Services reports,
The disciplinary matter that was resolved by the Accord arose out of a Pastoral Direction issued by Bishop Love on November 10, 2018, prohibiting the clergy in his Diocese from utilizing marriage rites for same-sex couples that had been authorized by the Church’s General Convention in 2018. On January 11, 2019, the Presiding Bishop issued a Restriction on Bishop Love’s Ministry which barred Bishop Love from taking certain actions against Albany clergy while any Title IV matter arising from his Pastoral Direction was proceeding. The Title IV Church Attorney filed charges against Bishop Love, asserting that his issuance of the Pastoral Direction violated Episcopal Church Canon IV.4.1(c), which requires ordained persons to “abide by the promises and vows made when ordained.” A Title IV Hearing Panel heard arguments in the matter by virtual means on June 21, 2020. On October 2, 2020, the Hearing Panel issued a decision on the arguments, concluding that Bishop Love’s actions indeed violated the Canons. The Panel had not yet issued a final Order resolving the case when the Accord was reached by the Presiding Bishop and Bishop Love and approved by the Disciplinary Board on October 21, 2020.
Under the Accord, Bishop Love will resign as Bishop Diocesan of the Diocese of Albany effective February 1, 2021, following a terminal sabbatical to begin on January 1, 2021. The Presiding Bishop’s Restriction on Bishop Love’s Ministry will remain in effect until February 1, 2021, and Bishop Love has acknowledged that his November 10, 2018 Pastoral Direction will lose force no later than that date. Bishop Love has agreed to work with the Presiding Bishop’s Office to foster a healthy transition for the Diocese.