Bishop Resigns After Church Panel Rules Against Him For Not Allowing Same-sex Marriages in His Diocese

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A bishop of The Episcopal Church has announced his resignation after the denomination’s disciplinary panel ruled that he violated canon law by refusing to allow same-sex marriages in his diocese.

Addressing the Diocesan Convention on Saturday, October 24, Bishop William Love of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany said he will resign as bishop on Feb. 1, 2021, according to Anglican Ink.

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On Oct. 5, the disciplinary panel of The Episcopal Church found Bishop Love guilty “by clear and convincing evidence” of violating Resolution B012, a measure passed in 2018 requiring that all Episcopal dioceses allow for the blessing of same-sex unions.

In November 2018, Love sent out an official letter stating that same-sex weddings were not going to be allowed in his diocese in spite of Resolution B012.

“Jesus is calling the Church to follow His example. He is calling the Church to have the courage to speak His Truth in love about homosexual behavior — even though it isn’t politically correct,” Love wrote at the time. “Sexual relations between two men or two women was never part of God’s plan and is a distortion of His design in creation and as such is to be avoided.”

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Bishop Love was punished with a restriction on his ministerial duties after he refused to allow same-sex marriages in his diocese.

Bishop William Love of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany
Bishop William Love of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany

Bishop Love stands accused of believing what most Christians – Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal, Evangelical, and indeed Anglican – believe, and have always believed, about sex and marriage. His crime, if one can call it that, is not to permit same-sex marriages in his diocese.

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The panel stated: “Depriving same-sex couples of access to matrimony materially and substantially impacts their spiritual, emotional and physical well-being as people of God. The expression of love changes dramatically when it is recognized, welcomed and witnessed. The loss of a public ceremony impacts the couple, the family and friends and the community.”

“I am very disappointed and strongly disagree with the Decision of the Hearing Panel, particularly their belief that I violated my ordination vows and their argument that B012 was passed as an authorized revision to the Book of Common Prayer,” Bishop Love wrote in an op-ed published by Anglican Ink.

While the bishop is resigning, he has questioned the interpretation of the nature of B012. “Was it properly constituted and passed as an authorized revision to the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) or not?” he asked.

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“It is my belief and that of my legal team that B012 was presented as an alternative resolution to one which would have changed the BCP. It was intended to ensure that same-sex marriages would be allowed in every Diocese, regardless of the Diocesan Bishop’s theological views regarding marriage, while at the same time not changing the 1979 Prayer Book,” he explained.

However, the bishop added, “given the nature of this case, and the Episcopal Church’s demonstrated intent to ensure all dioceses (where civil law permits) allow for same-sex marriages, I have no reason to believe that appealing the Hearing Panel’s Decision would result in any different outcome.”

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The B012 resolution impacted not only the Diocese of Albany but also the dioceses of Dallas, Texas; North Dakota; Springfield, Illinois; Tennessee; the U.S. Virgin Islands; the Diocese of Florida, and the Diocese of Central Florida.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. In reference to those agreeing with/wanting same sex marriage, and referring to them “As people of GOD” does not apply to those that DO NOT OBEY GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT BREATHED AND INSPIRED WORD OF GOD—THEY ARE OF THEIR FATHER SATAN/LUCIFER/THE DEVIL/LIAR. Cannot be “of GOD, ELOHIM, YHVH, YHWH”, and live in and practice sin, which is all in direct REBELLION TO GOD. Please REPENT and TURN from YOUR SIN, and to THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. “ It is not THE FATHER’S WILL for you to perish, but for you to come in repentance to and believe upon and in HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THE LORD JESUS, THE CHRIST, THE ANOINTED ONE, IN REPENTANCE.

  2. We thank God for the stand the Bishop has taken on this matter. The truth is that an issue cannot be made right just because everyone supports it. The bible is the standard of life and any departure from it is sin.

    The Lord will definitely reward you for your stand on this issue. It is just a matter of time.

  3. “We are in cultural freefall, tragically aided and abetted by a growing number of Christian denominations like the Episcopal Church who are bent on embracing the culture instead of the Bible.
    The Episcopal General Conventions produce countless resolutions which are quickly forgotten, except for the small handful where culture seriously interacts with the church and scripture, and to which the Episcopal Church quickly caves into the cultural imperative.” (David Virtue, 2019)

    I think there is one very important reason why the Episcopal Church was so susceptible to secular infiltration and decadence— no one was knowledgeable about the scriptures except for a very few, and these few were not committed to their authority as the Word of God. As a “cradle Episcopalian” I recall well that members were not encouraged to study the scriptures. There was very little discipleship going on and no discipline of heretics among the bishops. Consequently, we were defenseless and weaponless when under secular attack. The Episcopal Church simply rolled over and surrendered to the world, the flesh, and the devil. And I had to leave.

    BTW, I have been quite happy as a member of ACNA. – BA

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