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Albany Bishop Love to resign early 2021

Albany Bishop Love to resign early 2021

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.

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Cynthia Katsarelis

I’m glad that he will no longer be in a position to inflict awful pain on LGBTQ+ people and sorry that it took this long. He’s always been free to move into another ministry, even as a parish priest where he’s not required to marry anyone. The stubborn resistance was his will to abuse his power over people. That isn’t the Gospel of Jesus.

Thomas Rightmyer

The Church of England outside England – in the colonies – was organized under the Royal Ecclesiastical Prerogative. So, for example, issues of marriage and probate, which in England were the province of the church courts, were in the colonies assigned to the royal governors. Clergy serving in the colonies and as chaplains abroad ministered under a license from the Bishop of London. After the Revolution clergy and lay members of the church organized state conventions and clergy were “canonically resident” in states and as the states divided, in dioceses. In the rest of the Anglican Communion clergy are required to have the permission of the bishop to officiate. The United States is different. Our canons require that clergy who are not canonically resident be licensed, but once accepted as canonically resident – either by being ordained in a diocese or by letter of transfer, no license is required. The authority of General Convention has been historically limited. Bishop Love tested the limits of that authority. While I personally don’t agree with his decision to forbid the marriage of same sex couples, I think that the national church’s decision to try him on the basis that the General Convention resolution was a revision of the Book of Common Prayer was like a woman’s spike heel – a lot of pressure on a small point. Bishop Love is 64 years old and is months short of 30 years service in ordained ministry. I hope that his resignation will not have an adverse effect on his status with the Church Pension Fund. I appreciate his stand for conscience.

Marion Altieri

For too long, the Diocese of Albany has held tight with both fists to conservative political beliefs that affect their spiritual beliefs. Such should not be the case. It was a sin for Bishop Love to forbid priests in the Diocese to marry LGBTQ people. It was not Bishop Love’s place to give the proverbial Finger to the Episcopal Church–the Church Law said YES to Gay marriage. But Bishop Love thought he was above our Church’s Law.

I was a victim of his predecessor’s (Bishop David Ball) own bigotry–against womyn. On July 10, 1986 I had an appointment with him to discuss the Diocese supporting me spiritually when I attended Divinity School. I’d applied at Harvard, Yale and the University of Chicago. My major at Mount Holyoke was Philosophy of Religion, and I had stellar references. I arrived a few minutes early for my appointment, excited to see how the Lord would take me through the process.

I didn’t have to wait long for that answer: the Bishop’s Assistant looked me in the eye, and me sternly that “Bishop Ball won’t see you…because what you’re thinking about doing is a SIN.” She then went on, that, BUT, IF I wanted to go to nursing school–the Diocese would give me $200 a year toward tuition. Yeah, no thanks, I responded–I told her that the sight of blood made me throw up–as did Bishop Ball’s ignorant misogyny.

Mount Holyoke is in Western Massachusetts, so I approached that Diocese–which was known for being VERY liberal. They had a great rep for ordaining womyn. Unfortunately for me, politics played a major role there, too: the Canon of the Cathedral at that time (he who was in charge of Div students)–had been ordained by Ball. AND, since the two Dioceses share a border–the Canon said he wouldn’t do it. Nice. Very Jesus-like.

Connecticut had JUST instituted a moratorium, on ordaining womyn between the ages of 24 and 35–which, of course, were the ages of most females seeking ordinarion. (I graduated in ’88, at 32–and was 30 when the whole mess came down.)

OH, and–at the same time that Ball refused me, he did give the go-ahead for ordination as a Deacon, then a priest if he felt called–to a friend of mine who had NO theological education, whatsoever. He was a computer engineer, had none of the 16 Theology and nine Philosophy courses that I took at Mount Holyoke. He knew CAD, SNOBOL and COBOL. But because he was a MAN–that made him a perfect candidate in Albany for ordination.

The Episcopal Church has not been very kind to me–these scars, and wondering–haunt me, still. I do not understand what it is to be Gay, but I DO know how it feels to love a Church that doesn’t love you back. Bishop Love represented our Episcopal Church to many LGBTQ people for two years–people who loved, and yet were not allowed to be married. That he caused that pain to so many good people–so many people who love Jesus, our brothers and sisters in the Lord–is an abomination. He should be censured by the Church, and held as an example of Christianity Gone Bad. Jesus hates NO ONE–why one Bishop thought he was above the Law of the Church and of Jesus–speaks of a narcissistic personality. His reasons for his actions may have been sincere, but they are no excuse for turning so many hearts away from the Church, and possibly–from God. 🙁

Eric Bonetti

Now if only the church would be willing to address abuse on a consistent basis. I am still dealing with the diocese of Virginia and its outrageous statement, in writing, that it will get involved in clergy misconduct only if criminal charges are filed. And for that reason, I have left the church, with no plans to return.

I admire Marion’s steadfastness, but I for one cannot stomach a church that shows so little respect for its members that it adheres to a “no criminal charges, no foul” standard of clergy conduct.

As for the Title IV intake officer who handled the matter, he is now a delegate to GC, so my belief is that this sort of misconduct and blind clericalism permeates TEC at every level.

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