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Conservative Episcopal Bishop: Out!

Conservative Episcopal Bishop: Out!

Jeffrey Walton
March 30, 2021

Atraditionalist Episcopal Church bishop who resigned as a diocesan in February after being found guilty of failing to uphold the doctrine and discipline of the Episcopal Church is no longer a part of the denomination.

Bishop William H. Love cited biblical teaching and the Book of Common Prayer in his 2018 decision not to permit clergy to solemnize same-sex weddings in his upstate New York diocese.

In a statement released today, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry wrote that Love 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," Curry wrote.

Curry had earlier restricted Love's ministry, preventing him from disciplining any clergy who violated his restriction on the use of same-sex rites. Later brought up on charges before a church Hearing Panel, Love did not contest the facts of the case, but argued that he acted in accordance with his ordination vows.

Love cited his obligation as a bishop "called to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church" among several reasons for his decision against implementing the rites. The bishop characterized the dispute as part of his dioceses' "faithfulness in upholding God's Word."

The Hearing Panel disagreed, finding that Love's refusal to implement same-sex marriage conflicted with a resolution passed by the church's General Convention. Prosecutors argued that the resolution was effectively an authorized revision of the Book of Common Prayer, while Love's defense argued that it was advisory.

Curry and Love negotiated Love's resignation, which discharged the need for any disciplinary action from the panel.

Love released a statement today about his plans for the future.

"It is my hope and plan to be received into the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) in the very near future, at which time all the details of what I will be doing and where I will be serving will be shared in a separate announcement," Love wrote.

The former Bishop of Albany is a participant in the GAFCON movement, a traditionalist grouping within the worldwide Anglican Communion that is largely centered in the growing Global South.

A number of clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Albany have already begun the process of being licensed in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) according to representatives from the Diocese of the Living Word (ADLW). Additional clergy are in conversation with other ACNA jurisdictions, none of which has made public announcement.


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