Former Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany William Love announced on March 30 that he has officially left the Episcopal Church for the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), followed by statements from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and ACNA. These announcements follow a several-year series of events stemming from Love’s vocal opposition to gay marriage and his directives to his former diocese, as described in a 2019 statement from the Presiding Bishop, which also placed a partial restriction on Love’s ministry as bishop. An excerpt from that 2019 statement follows:
…Bishop Love articulates his belief that same-sex marriage is contrary to Scripture and the “official teaching” of this Church and as a consequence directs that same-sex marriages may not be performed by any canonically resident or licensed clergy of his Diocese, and requires full compliance with the Diocese of Albany’s Canon XVI, which forbids the same clergy from “officiat[ing] at,” “facilitat[ing],” or “participat[ing] in” such marriages; forbids the recognition of such marriages in that Diocese; and forbids the use of church property as the site of such marriages.
The Episcopal Church issued a statement from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on March 30, the day Love made his announcement:
Bishop William Love, resigned Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, has asked to be “released and removed from the ordained Ministry” of The Episcopal Church, pursuant to Episcopal Church Canon III.12.7. Yesterday, I met with my Council of Advice and, with their advice and consent, granted Bishop Love’s request.
Deep in my heart I believe that as a church we are called, as Jesus once said, to be “a house of prayer for all people,” where, as my slave ancestors used to sing, “there is plenty good room for all of God’s children.”
That conviction is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture. Rather, it is born of my belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are the ultimate sign of the very love of God reaching out to embrace and welcome us all.
To believe that is to commit to God’s work of creating what some have called the beloved community. It is to pray not only with our lips but with our lives, as Jesus taught when he said, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
But the way is not easy. The road can be rough. This path is not painless. The work of love is hard, but it is both the hard work of healing and the harbinger of hope.
This is the way of the cross, and this week called Holy is a solemn reminder that the way of the cross is the way of life, the very road to resurrection.
Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen. The Book of Common Prayer, p. 101
Dated: March 30, 2021
(The Most Rev.) Michael Bruce Curry
XXVII Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church
ACNA Archbisbop Foley Beach announced Love’s joining of ACNA in an April 3 statement, linked here.
Previous Episcopal Cafe coverage:
Bishop Love warns of “major schism” over marriage equality, September 4, 2018
Presiding Bishop restricts the ministry of Bishop William Love, January 11, 2019
Bishop Love responds to the restrictions placed on him, January 12, 2019
Albany Bishop Love to resign early 2021, October 24, 2020
Welby answers question about Bishop Love resignation, November 22, 2020