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FOUR BISHOPS WHO HAVE NOW LEFT THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

FOUR BISHOPS WHO HAVE NOW LEFT THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
March 22, 2021

Four Episcopal bishops have now left TEC in recent months, indicating that the prevailing sin of homosexual behavior still doggedly pursues the consciences of orthodox bishops.

The most recent is Daniel W. Herzog, Albany VIII. He gave no indication as to his future plans.

Herzog was raised in the Roman Catholic Church but joined the Episcopal Church in the late 1960s. He studied at Nashotah House, graduated in 1970, and was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. In 1997, he was elected Coadjutor-Bishop of Albany and the following year he succeeded as 8th Bishop of Albany when Bishop David Standish Ball retired. In 2003, he issued a pastoral letter opposing the election of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, and opposing the blessing of sexual relationships outside marriage.

Herzog retired as Bishop of Albany on January 31, 2007. He was succeeded by Bishop William Love, who had been elected coadjutor bishop on March 25, 2006.

In March 2007, Herzog and his wife Carol joined the Roman Catholic Church. In an act of generosity, Bishop Love stated that Herzog and his wife would continue to be welcome at diocesan events.

In April 2010, presiding bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori restored Herzog to the ministry of the Episcopal Church. His return to ECUSA was page one news at the time.

In announcing his resignation from the House of Bishops and the Episcopal Church, Herzog told Presiding Bishop Michael Curry that it was "because of the direction of the church and I affirmed it was."

Herzog said his action was without any anger or animosity, only sadness on the parting of friends. He said 2021 marked fifty years of ordination.

The recent departure of the Rt. Rev. William Love Bishop of Albany IX over his refusal to embrace General Convention Resolution B012 mandating homosexual marriage, resulted in his resignation from the Episcopal Church.

Love's agreement to resign, to avoid further disciplinary action, was a point of conscience for the bishop because he refused to offer marriage rites to same sex couples.

Love was one of the church's most orthodox bishops on that issue, and the only one to refuse to implement the resolution passed by General Convention in 2018. A disciplinary panel determined on Oct. 2 that Love's refusal violated church canon law and his ordination vows.

He is in discussions with bishops of the Anglican Church in North America.

A third bishop, John W. Howe, former Bishop of Central Florida, an evangelical, announced on July 16, 2020 that he had left the Episcopal Church and would be received into the Anglican church in North America.

"This has been a long time coming, but said the tipping point was the "hearing" (read: trial) of Albany Bishop William Love. TEC has now clearly redefined not only marriage, but what it is to be a Bishop, and what it is to be a Diocese."

"The scriptures and the whole catholic and Anglican tradition have understood Christian marriage to be a union of a man and a woman in Christ. The Episcopal Church has always said that The Book of Common Prayer is the authority for our doctrine, discipline and worship," said Howe.

A fourth bishop has left the Episcopal Church. He is the Rt. Rev. William Jones Skilton.

He was ordained the first suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, and resigned his orders after he was barred from visiting churches that still remain with The Episcopal Church.

"For a number of years, I have said that TEC seeks reconciliation totally on their terms and a biblical conservative has no place there anymore. The call to conversation is only to have you "come over" to their position and we are invited to stay in TEC and "exist" but not allowed to flourish."

"I tried to minister across the great abyss of differences in South Carolina only to be told by TEC that I could not do this and [they] barred me from visiting churches that remained with the Episcopal Church or even being invited by these churches."

"I can now join the long list of those who have left this Church that they love."

ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach has licensed Skilton to preach and serve in the Diocese of South Carolina.

The continued drip of bishops leaving TEC over homosexual marriage cannot be underestimated. While there seems little to believe that the present Bishop of Central Florida, Greg Brewer, or the evangelical Bishop of Dallas, George R. Sumner will leave TEC before they retire, clearly this remains an issue of conscience for some bishops. Theologically cohabiting with bishops and clergy who risk not "entering the kingdom" (1 Cor. 6:9) hung like a Damoclean sword over the heads of these departing bishops. They left.

FOOTNOTE: The story was revised following my overlooking Bishop Skilton as the fourth bishop to leave TEC. My apologies to Bishop Skilton and all VOL readers.

END

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