Bishop Love responds to the restrictions placed on him

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Bishop Love of Albany has sent a letter to his diocese in response to the restrictions placed on his ministry by the Presiding Bishop. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry restricted Love’s ministry concerning marriage equality while the Title IV disciplinary process unfolds in response to Bishop Love’s avowal to not abide by General Convention Resolution B012.

Here is the letter.  You can also find it at the Diocese of Albany’s website.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Earlier today, I received official notification from the Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, that effective immediately, he has placed the following restriction on my ministry as Bishop of Albany, as a result of my recent Pastoral Letter regarding General Convention Resolution B012.

I hereby place the following partial restriction on the exercise of Bishop Love’s ministry: During the period of this restriction, Bishop Love, acting individually, or as Bishop Diocesan, or in any other capacity, is forbidden from participating in any manner in the Church’s disciplinary process in the Diocese of Albany in any matter regarding any member of the clergy that involves the issue of same-sex marriage. Nor shall he participate in any other matter that has or may have the effect of penalizing in any way any member of the clergy or laity or worshipping congregation of his Diocese for their participation in the arrangements for or participation in a same-sex marriage in his Diocese or elsewhere. This restriction is effective immediately and shall continue until any Title IV matter pending against Bishop Love is resolved. 

In accordance with Canon IV.7.10 of the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, I do plan to appeal the above disciplinary action taken against me by the Presiding Bishop and in so doing I will be challenging the authority and legality of Resolution B012 passed at the 79th General Convention. I have already verbally informed the Presiding Bishop’s Office of my plans. This will soon be followed by an official written appeal as required by Canons.

While I obviously would rather not have had disciplinary actions taken against me, and I hope to see it overturned in the near future, I will abide by the restrictions placed in me by the Presiding Bishop during the appeal process.

With that said, as your bishop, it is important that you understand I have not changed my understanding or teaching regarding the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. The official teaching of this Church as outlined in the rubrics of the Marriage Service in the Book of Common Prayer is that: “Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between a man and woman in the presence of God.” (BCP 422). Canon 16 of the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of Albany upholds this teaching and remains in effect until it is either changed by the Diocesan Convention, or it is legally proven to be over-ridden by the legitimate actions of General Convention; none of which has yet taken place.

Recognizing how difficult and painful all the issues regarding B102 have been, please know that each of you remain in my prayers as we proceed through the appeal process. May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through the power and presence of the Holy spirit, guide and lead us as we attempt to discern and carry out His will in each of the issues at hand.

Faithfully Yours in Christ,
William H. Love
Bishop of Albany

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David Glidden
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David Glidden

Bishop Love’s argument is reminiscent of similar arguments used decades ago to deny women access to ordination. Canonical laws are manufactured and manipulable by mere mortals. God’s Love and Grace extend to all humanity, even though ancient bigotries may take centuries to be erased. When God’s divine light shines on social issues it is clearly manifest that homosexual marriage is no less appropriate than female clergy.

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walter vogt
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walter vogt

With all due respect, concerning the recent letter from presiding Bishop Curry to Bishop Love - what is apparent in contrast to both of the Bishop's letters is the use of Scripture that Bishop Love uses in his Nov. letter and stands behind to confirm his commitment to our Triune God against same sex marriage and the lack of Scripture used by Bishop Curry where instead he uses and stops at the church's hierarchy, using no Scripture, as his final say in "same sex" marriage. The Reformation that began some 500 years ago against the Roman Catholic church does not mean that there cannot be another "Reformation" against the USA Episcopal Church where some in the church seem to stop at "church hierarchy" instead of God's Word.

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Tom Downs
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Tom Downs

It sounds like you think something must be proved through scripture before the church can require us to believe it. Fair enough, though I would add reason and tradition to the mix. However, where Bp Love runs aground is in a matter of discipline. The church has decided (wrongly, in his thinking) to institute a policy that provides for S.S. marriage. The church might decide that no one younger than 16 should be confirmed or that all full-time church employees must receive health insurance. We could, but don't generally think it necessary to shore up these policies with quotes from the Bible. The PB, and Title IV, are calling the Bp to account for his failure to enforce the church's discipline. The Bp could be right about S.S. marriage, but he's wrong when he fails to comply with the church's discipline.

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walter vogt
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walter vogt

Tom D. - When the church contradicts God's Word then it is up to the Christian to bring this contradiction to light just as Bishop Love has done.

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Kurt Hill
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Kurt Hill

Oh please, Walter you sound like a fundamentalist Evangelical Protestant...

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Grace Cangialosi
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Grace Cangialosi

Why not just find a church you can agree with? I’m sure the ACNA, or one of the Anglican churches in Africa would be glad to receive you.

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Charles Freeman
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Charles Freeman

Bishop Love should recognize that the Episcopal organization to which he belongs has determined to follow the broad path that leads to destruction. He would best serve his flock by taking the first life boat off the sinking ship and take as many churches and members as he can. That is his duty as a defender of the faith and the faithful.

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Tom Downs
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Tom Downs

You say decline happens because we change. Perhaps decline happens because we don't change.

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Kurt Hill
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Kurt Hill

Well said, Tom Downs.

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Eric Bonetti
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With all due respect to +Love, there is no Supreme Court in TEC. Polity in TEC is whatever General Convention determines it to be, and we’ve already been down the road apropos whether a diocese is an independent entity—a nonsensical argument if there ever was one. In short, this argument is getting rather long in the tooth, and I believe +Love would act in the best interests of all to focus on positive paths forward.

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Robert T. Dodd, Jr.
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If +Bill Love could "focus on positive paths forward," we would not be having this conversation. I have seen no evidence that he can.

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