Bishop Love is punished for believing what the Bible says about sex and marriage. His crime, if one can call it that, is not to permit same-sex marriages in his diocese.
A disciplinary panel of The Episcopal Church has ruled agains a bishop who refused to allow the blessing of same-sex marriages in his diocese, claiming he violated canon law.
Bishop William Love of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany was punished with a restriction on his ministerial duties after he refused to allow same-sex marriages in his diocese.
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.
Love had refused to allow for the enforcement of Resolution B012, a measure passed in 2018 requiring that all Episcopal dioceses allow for the blessing of same-sex unions.
A Title IV Hearing Panel, which focuses on issues of ecclesiastical discipline when a clergy is accused of misconduct, released a unanimous opinion last Friday finding the bishop guilty.
“Love’s actions in issuing a Pastoral Direction to his clergy that they refrain from performing same-sex marriages violated the Discipline and Worship of the Church as Bishop Love promised in his ordinal vows. His actions, therefore, constitute a breach of Canon IV.3.2(a),” ruled the panel.
The panel added that Resolution B012 allowed for bishops and clergy who oppose same-sex marriage to be exempted from blessing such unions, as long as a replacement could be found, according to Christian Post.
“Importantly, an accommodation is offered to diocesan bishops who oppose same sex-marriage to invite another bishop into the diocese to provide pastoral support for same-sex couples who seek to be able to utilize the rites in their local congregation or worshipping community,” continued the panel.
“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.”
In a letter sent to his diocese on Monday, Love said he was “very disappointed and strongly disagree with the Decision of the Hearing Panel.”