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Episcopal Jackals surround last remaining Orthodox Episcopal Diocese and Bishop

Episcopal Jackals surround last remaining Orthodox Episcopal Diocese and Bishop
Albany Bishop William Love faces an uncertain future ecclesiastically and the diocese financially

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
July 8, 2019

With the much-vaunted episcopal doctrine of inclusion now in tatters and diversity just another word for nothing left to lose, the Diocese of Albany and its godly Bishop William H. Love face a pack of ecclesiastical jackals with teeth bared, waiting in the wings to tear him limb from limb.

He has been "partially inhibited" for rejecting same sex marriage; he has four parishes who hate him and would like to come permanently under another bishop, but there is no legal way to do that, according to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. All the while he can't excite wannabe priests to come into his diocese because of the crisis and his diocese faces a financial shortfall that could permanently cripple the diocese.

The jackals are circling the diocese.

Meanwhile, the Communion Partner bishops remain steadfastly silent in the face of this clear persecution of one of their own. Former jailed Maryland bishop Heather Cook had more friends in jail, than Bishop Bill Love has on the outside.

VOL wrote to the following CP bishops: Bishop Gregory Brewer; (Central Florida); Bishop John Bauerschmidt (Tennessee); Samuel Johnson Howard (Florida); Daniel Martins (Springfield); Michael Smith (North Dakota); George Sumner (Dallas); Moises Mota (Dominican Republic); Lloyd Allen (Honduras); and Francisco Gómez (Colombia):

"Dear Bishop,

One of your own, Bishop William H. Love of Albany faces a crisis over his decision not to embrace same sex marriage and resolution B012. As a result, he has been partially inhibited by PB Michael Curry, his diocese faces a financial crisis, four parishes would like alternative oversight and because of the crisis, he cannot excite priests to come into his diocese. As Bishop Bill is a Communion Partner bishop, would you be prepared to come out publicly in support of Bishop Bill in his time of trial? I look forward to your response."

David W. Virtue, DD
President
VIRTUEONLINE

VOL never got a single response.

Abandoned by the Communion Partner bishops, Bishop Love must wonder what friends he has left in the House of Bishops. The sad answer, of course, is probably none.

He is alone with a faithful staff and a majority of mostly Anglo Catholic priests in one of the most secular cities in America. According to a TIME magazine report, Albany ranks 99 out of 100 least bible-minded cities in the country.

It is spiritual and ecclesiastical uphill for a diocese under siege.

But Bishop Love is a fighter. Behind the gentle exterior and soft heart there are nerves of steel and fists of determination. In biblical terms, he has put on the whole armor of God and he is waging spiritual battle with the principalities and powers. If he goes down, it won't be without a fight and he is determined to appeal the inhibition and challenge the legitimacy of Resolution B012.

Will he win? In human terms much is arrayed against him. With God all things are possible.

Several possibilities will emerge from the present crisis.

1. He can retire and leave the mess for someone else. That seems unlikely. He is not a quitter and he is fighting now and will continue to do so until he retires. It is highly unlikely that he would abandon his mostly Anglo-Catholic priests.
2. He could ask the diocese if it would consider resigning en masse and align with the ACNA. But this is fraught with legal land mines, resulting in his immediate inhibition, presentment and expulsion, and the real possibility that all the parishes would lose their buildings. The diocese doesn't have the money for a protracted legal battle and probably not the stomach for it either.
3. If he loses the ecclesiastical battle in a trial, and that could happen, that is, General Convention resolutions override diocesan canon laws, then he could face presentment and be tossed out of the church, thus paving the way for a new bishop.
4. You can be sure that if this happens, that no bishop elect with Bishop Love's views would ever get consents from the HOB, thus ensuring a progressive bishop replacing him as it did when Bishop Leidel of Eastern Michigan was replaced by a progressive bishop. No bishop would ever get elected who did not sign onto TEC's full pansexual agenda.
5. This could result in wholesale resignations by priests in the diocese who may feel they have no future with a bishop who does not share their Catholic faith. Furthermore, with some 16 parishes unable now to pay their diocesan dues, it is likely that a wholesale revolt by the remaining parishes would virtually bankrupt the diocese.
6. Anglo Catholicism is in trouble in general and more so in towns still heavily dominated by a sterile Roman Catholicism.
7. Whether the diocese itself has a long-term future remains to be seen. The figures don't look good.
8. In 2000, the number of baptized totaled 20,779; by 2017, that number had dropped to 13,868 a 34% loss. In 2000, ASA was 8,242; by 2017 it was 5,318, a loss of nearly 36%. Baptisms totaled 203 and confirmations were 44. By contrast, burials totaled 302. Some 78% of priests are aged between 55 and 70, with no replacements in sight. Only 48% of parishes now have a full-time paid priest.

The Episcopal Church itself nationwide is in major decline, especially in the Midwest and, despite millions of dollars being poured into new church plants, the copy-the-world, reject Scripture where necessary, obey General Convention resolutions stance, is not a formula for success. There is no indication of a turnaround now or in the foreseeable future.

Caught between the Scylla of a bishop under siege and the Charybdis of a diocese in decline, the future looks bleak for a bishop who is waging spiritual warfare at a time when lawsuits abound and a pansexual agenda is tearing the Anglican Communion apart.

END

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