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Bishop William H. Love: the Once and Future Bishop

Bishop William H. Love: the Once and Future Bishop
St Mary Sisters Split over decision to stay in TEC

By David W. Virtue, DD
April 19, 2021

He looks relieved. His nightmare is over. Bishop William H. Love is out of the Episcopal Church and is safely ensconced in the Anglican Church in North America under the aegis of Bishop Julian Dobbs and the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word.

The relief must be palpable. No more going to Episcopal General Conventions to get beaten up verbally, alternatively ignored and made to feel like a pariah because he stood up and told the truth. No more shaming by homosexuals like Gene Robinson and Susan Russell because he refused to go along with the sexual zeitgeist. No more coming back to his diocese knowing that a handful of priests are waiting to stab him in the back over a resolution that violates 2,000 years of church history, tradition and, above all, Scripture.

Knowing the bishop, I am sure he still feels the pain of rejection, the pain of not being able to serve the faithful who remain in the diocese, but his decision to resign also got Presiding Bishop Michael Curry off the hook not having to depose him or declare that he "abandoned the communion." Love's resignation was kind to Curry, a kindness he did not deserve, but he got anyway. But Love was and is the soul of kind and he left graciously without upsetting the Episcopal Church's applecart with protracted legal and canonical lawsuits.

Bishop William Love faithfully served Albany for 15 years and only resigned because of his refusal to allow homosexual marriages in his diocese.

Another former Episcopal Church bishop was also received into the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) in the person of retired Bishop Daniel W. Herzog also of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany. He resigned his orders in the Episcopal Church and was received into the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word (ADLW). It came one week after Bishop Love was received into ACNA to serve as an Assisting Bishop for ADLW.

As a final parting gesture that must surely have insulted the Episcopal Church was the abandonment of the Episcopal Church by the St. Mary Sisters who reside on the grounds of the Spiritual Life Center, in Greenwich, NY. St. Mary's is an order that goes back 156 years and is the oldest order of nuns in TEC.

Not surprisingly their southern branch sisters berated them for doing this and said; "Be assured, however, that we, the Sisters of the Community of St. Mary in Sewanee, remains steadfast in our commitment to the Episcopal church. We are proud of and will continue our ministry and witness as the oldest religious community for women in the Episcopal Church."

They went on to say that "the Eastern Province's decision saddens us because our founder rooted our Community in the Episcopal Church. For 156 years the Community has prayed and served within that context. Now, by deciding to join the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word and the Anglican Church in North America, these sisters set aside that tradition and heritage. We will not. We stand with Mother Harriet and the Episcopal Church."

While the Eastern Province may have set aside the "tradition and heritage," they are keeping the faith of its founder Mother Harriet, who would never in a heartbeat have tolerated homosexuality, focusing her ministry on helping the poor, women and children. On learning that TEC now embraced sodomy and homosexual marriage, she and her sisters would have fled to their chapel and prayed earnestly for the souls of the Church's bishops, especially the PB that he returns to the faith once for all delivered.

By any standard of reckoning this has been a major black eye for Curry and the House of Bishops who are watching as TEC steadily erodes from within. Bishops are fleeing and whole dioceses are being shown the legal door, as the courts side with the ACNA in court battles over properties. Presiding Bishop Curry's love talk is clearly not having any impact on Archbishop Foley Beach.

To prop things up, Curry announced this week that he was making $4 million dollars available to any of the Church's 109 dioceses who needed it up to $40,000 "to ease the financial strain", AKA keep their dioceses afloat to pay the bills over the next 18 months.

The Executive Council said it was "in the Way of Love (as embodied by Jesus of Nazareth)." Oddly enough, I don't recall St. Paul suggesting $40k for the churches in Asia Minor to stay afloat. I think he had making more converts in mind.

Of course, the national church hopes the churches will use the money to encourage outreach and justice work, explore and combat systems of oppression and promote beloved community among those who are estranged. Presumably, that means reaching out to "estranged" ACNA folk, or pansexualists TEC hopes will come and fill emptying pews. Oddly enough that has not happened, despite solid advancements by the Church's HOB and HOD promoting their cause. TEC pews just keep emptying.

And so it goes. God is not mocked, and money won't keep the Episcopal Church afloat forever. The Church needs people, and TEC is not making converts or encouraging newcomers to keep them in business indefinitely. The clock is ticking.

Bishop Love made the right move. He is joining a Church that is growing and leaving behind one that is dying.


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