Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of Albany announces his resignation

We reported recently on the disciplinary hearing: Bishop of Albany found guilty of violating ordination vows. The further hearing planned to decide on the consequences of this was scheduled for next Monday.

Today, at the annual convention of the Diocese of Albany, Bishop Love announced his retirement.

Episcopal News Service: Presiding Bishop and Albany Bishop Reach Accord in Disciplinary Matter

Living Church: Bishop Love Ends Lonely Fight on Same-Sex Marriage

Here is an extract from his address to the diocesan convention:

…A second meeting of the Hearing Panel under the leadership of Bishop Knisely, was scheduled for this coming Monday, October 26 , to determine what disciplinary action should be taken against me. After much thought and prayer, recognizing that whatever disciplinary action would be offered would not be anything I could in good conscience agree to, I have made the very difficult, but necessary decision to resign as Bishop of Albany, effective February 1, 2021 – the 14th Anniversary of my becoming the Bishop Diocesan. Given all that has happened, and that which was still to come, I believe that to stay any longer would be more of a detriment to the Diocese than a help.

The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and I, the Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Bishop of Albany voluntarily entered into an Accord which became effective October 21, 2020, with the unanimous approval of the Disciplinary Board of the House of Bishops. The Accord resolves the matter of my case, thus discharging any further action from the Hearing Panel.

The Accord stipulates the following: I will resign as Bishop Diocesan of the Diocese of Albany, effective February 1, 2021; I will begin a one month terminal sabbatical beginning January 1, 2021; I agree to continue to abide by the January 11, 2019 Restrictions placed upon my ministry by the Presiding Bishop until the effective date of my resignation as Bishop; I will work with the Presiding Bishop through the Office of Pastoral Development to help foster a healthy transition from my leadership as Bishop Diocesan, as the Diocese begins a new chapter in its history; and lastly, I acknowledge that upon February 1, 2021, the effective date of my resignation as Bishop Diocesan, my November 10, 2018, Pastoral Directive regarding B012 will lose force. Until then, however, it remains in effect.

In signing the Accord, the Presiding Bishop has agreed to allow me to notify the clergy and people of the Diocese of Albany of my pending resignation, before he sends out an announcement to the wider community. I am very appreciative of his willingness to agree to that pastoral request..

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Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
29 days ago

I congratulate Bishop Love on apparently realizing that continuing in his position would only result in further harm to his own reputation, to the Diocese of Albany and to the wider Episcopal Church. This is the move he should have made years ago when he realized he could not in good conscience follow the directives of General Convention in regard to same-sex marriage.

ACI
ACI
29 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

Factually speaking, the Diocese of Albany was fully behind +Love, with a small pocket of dissent. See their statement. The “harm” done to him is now shared by them as well. That isn’t a bug but a feature. The conservative Bishops wagered they could live with a B012 they judged not to be a BCP revision. The mask has been pulled off of that.

But of course the main concern for TEC is the absolutely dismal numbers. New baptisms in 2019 — down on the order of 80% over a decade. 200,000 ASA (AWA) in a decade?

ACI
ACI
29 days ago

Hello Simon. The Standing Committee of the Diocese wrote in unanimous support of +Love upon receipt of the verdict, when that was delivered. I believe The Living Church and other outlets posted their statement.

Sue Slater
Sue Slater
29 days ago

There is a link at the end of the Living Church article.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
29 days ago
Reply to  ACI

“…the Diocese of Albany was fully behind +Love, with a small pocket of dissent” Unless someone has done a statistically valid survey of the Diocese on the subject, I doubt anyone can really know, one way or the other. OTOH, according to the NY State Board of Elections, party affiliation in Albany County is 99k Democrat vs. 38k Republican (rounded). Unless the Episcopalians of Albany Diocese are radically different from their neighbors, other Democrats and, for that matter, other members of TEC, it is far more likely that what we are dealing with is a very active and vocal conservative… Read more »

ACI
ACI
28 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

I look forward to your statistics re the Diocese. A standing committee is of course an elected representative body.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
28 days ago
Reply to  ACI

But in my experience, the standing committee is not necessarily representative of the entire population of the diocese, but only of those who choose to vote–in most parishes that will be only the most dedicated and active congregants. Most of those “in the pews” have little interest in diocesan affairs.

ACI
ACI
28 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

Fine. Why not solicit statistics about the demographic in Albany rather than suppose that Episcopalians, in Albany, in the pew, are actually not properly represented by votes for a Standing Committee, but are a significant bloc all the same.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
27 days ago
Reply to  ACI

Because I do not have the power to do so, obviously. Neither do you, it seems, or you would do so in an attempt to refute my position. OTOH, I, at least, at one time lived in the Albany Diocese (in Amsterdam, NY)…though it was nearly 40 years ago.

ACI
ACI
26 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

It isn’t a ‘position.’ It is an idea you have.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
26 days ago
Reply to  ACI

And yours is simply an idea you have..without a statistically significant survey–and the election of the standing committee doesn’t fit, being a self-selecting survey (in that participants choose to vote, rather than being asked at random)–neither of us really knows what is the majority opinion (assuming there even is one) of the parishioners of Albany Diocese on the matter at hand.

Jim Pratt
Jim Pratt
28 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

Pat, even though the Albany/Schenectady metro area is quite liberal, the diocese also includes most of the Adirondack region, which is very rural, and conservative, and the Plattsburgh-based 21st Congressional district is solidly Trump country. But more importantly, Love and his predecessors packed the clergy of the diocese with conservatives. There are only 2 or 3 parishes that have openly defied the Bishop, and they are effectively frozen out of diocesan leadership. So it is really no surprise that the Standing Committee is fully behind Love; no one has been elected to it without his imprimatur on their candidacy. I… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
28 days ago
Reply to  Jim Pratt

This is about what I would expect. As I note in another post, in most parishes, diocesan affairs are simply not on the menu.

ACI
ACI
27 days ago
Reply to  Jim Pratt

Thank you for clarifying that the diocese and the Bishop are aligned, save three parishes and their people. This is the situation in CFL, Dallas, TN as well.

People would speak about all the faithful in the pews, ‘stuck’ in a place like the above, or SC. In SC, when faced with a choice, 2000 went with TEC, and 10000 with SC.

But fear not, this situation will soon be eliminated. There are only a handful of CP dioceses left, and the B012 resolution has now been declared a BCP revision.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
26 days ago
Reply to  ACI

Has it occurred to you that those situations are as they are because a decade or more of conservative doctrinal rule in those dioceses had already driven most of the more liberal parishioners out of the Episcopal Church, to other denominations (Lutheran, Methodist) or, unfortunately, to no church at all?

ACI
ACI
26 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

It hasn’t occurred to me because I do not believe it. Christianity isn’t about keeping up with culture; never has been.

It is odd that you speak about ‘driving people out’ when the thread is about Bishop Love!

You have odd ideas, I will give you that. Episcopalians leaving to become Methodists and Lutherans. That group might be the smallest demographic ever measured.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
26 days ago
Reply to  ACI

As I noted, it is far more likely they simply left organized religion entirely. Actually, the most likely is that they passed away, and were not replaced by their children and grandchildren, as was the case in the past. Ever stop to wonder exactly why those descendants have ceased to be Episcopalians…or even practicing Christians?

ACI
ACI
26 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

If the present TEC is what you want it to be, then the responsibility falls to you to insure its future. I believe the present TEC is responsible for its present dismal numbers.

Yes, ‘they passed away’ and have no one to replace them because TEC has nothing to offer. That is the plain fact of the matter. Decline is due to lack of interest in TEC’s presentation of itself.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
25 days ago
Reply to  ACI

I think it far more likely that it is part of the general decline of organized religion in the US (and Western culture at large). What is it you think TEC could offer to the younger, more liberal, more diverse, more secular generation that it presently does not? Happy-clappy services? There are other churches that do it better and always will. A more Biblically fundamentalist doctrine? That is what is pushing young people away from church in general. The problem, as I see it, is that the Episcopal Church simply isn’t very good at publicizing itself as a liberal, progressive,… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
25 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

Many thanks for these remarks, and for the shrewd observations made by ACI and others. Although TEC and other ‘mainline’ denominations have been in decline both in relative and absolute terms for at least five decades, many on this side of the Atlantic have noted the enduring piety of the US, in contrast to the remorseless collapse of the faith in Europe and Australasia. The decline of these mainline denominations was off-set by the rise of the televised and often homogenised Religious Right, at least until now. Yet, what has been striking of late has been the collapse of Christianity… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
25 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

I think it is important to pay attention to the way the internet has exacerbated all the trends you note. It has created bubbles and echo-chambers in which we hear and see only the things we agree with–or only distorted versions of those we do not agree with.

OTOH, the internet has also permitted communal services to continue in some form throughout the pandemic…and will likely continue to be of use afterwards.

ACI
ACI
25 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Thanks Froghole. I have lived about half of my adult life outside the USA, in Britain and on the Continent; I teach in Toronto, a multi-cultural metropolis. I think the most striking thing about the US is its supermarket of Christian entities. Thousands upon thousands of denominated realities. Fifth Baptist, Methodist-Episcopalian, Wisconsin Synod Lutheran, Brethren, Disciples, Christian Church, Wesley Methodist, etc etc. People try to compare a diversity inside the CofE but this is not an analogy. It makes for restlessness and consumer choice and, at times, the pursuit of alliances due to common enemies, etc. Don’t like Utah, move… Read more »

Richard
Richard
25 days ago
Reply to  ACI

“Alliances due to common enemies”: ACNA.

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
29 days ago
Reply to  ACI

Mr. Seitz, Of course the main concern, as you put it, of falling numbers applies to every single denomination in America, left, right or center. You injecting that here as somehow representing the failure of the mainstream of the Episcopal Church is a bit of a non-sequitur.

If moderate Episcopalians are losing numbers because of a policy of tolerance for marriage equality then one must presume that conservative denominations are losing numbers because of their opposition. Or does it only work one way?

Perhaps those falling numbers have nothing whatsoever to do with where they stand on marriage.

ACI
ACI
28 days ago
Reply to  Dennis Roberts

I am talking about TEC’s basic survival and how one might stop the decline. I do not see the attention paid to that but instead to people like Bishop Love.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
28 days ago
Reply to  ACI

And is it your opinion that two concerns–TEC’s survival and “people like Bishop Love”–are diametrically opposed? Is it not at all possible that it is people like Bishop Love in positions of authority and power that is making TEC unpalatable to the United States population at large?

ACI
ACI
28 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

Certainly not in the Diocese of Albany.

The decline in TEC is a worthwhile topic all its own. My grandfather, father, two uncles, two brothers have all been active in clergy service in TEC. We remember a vibrant Anglican body. A significant national presence, a dozen seminaries, active domestic and foreign mission, good church school movement, baptisms keeping pace with funerals, and more. Now a very different entity. One can but hope that ASA/baptisms will not continue to drop, or a small body to begin with will disappear in this coming generation.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
27 days ago
Reply to  ACI

The same things you complain about in TEC are equally true of every mainstream Protestant denomination in the US–even the Southern Baptists. And the Roman Catholics only maintain their numbers through immigration…most second or third generation immigrants are no more attached to that church than the similarly aged children of native-born Catholics.

It’s not TEC that is in trouble in the US…or, for that matter, the CofE in the UK…it’s organized religion.

ACI
ACI
27 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

That’s reassuring! Everyone is declining and just because TEC is closer to the bottom, we can take encouragement in that…in the meantime, we’ll play resolutions/canons games and be sure GC rules the roost.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
26 days ago
Reply to  ACI

I take no encouragement from it. I merely state it as a fact. And I believe the others are not declining as much because their clergy have not had a vocal opposition within its ranks.

Oh, and by my understanding of the canons, GC is supposed to “rule the roost,” as the governing body of TEC.

ACI
ACI
26 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

Odd polity. TEC is governed by a constitution and canons. That you have forgotten that says everything we need to know. The General Convention Church of America (aka, ‘closet-presbyterian’).

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
26 days ago
Reply to  ACI

And those constitutions and canons say that GC is the decision-making body of the Church.

ACI
ACI
26 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

Kindly show where that is indicated in the Constitution and Canons. I look forward to your citations.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
25 days ago
Reply to  ACI

Then who or what does make decisions for the church as a national body? If it’s not GC, why in heaven’s name does it even bother to meet every three years?

ACI
ACI
25 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

You have asked a very good question. Why indeed? With covid cancelling the last jamboree, did anyone care? Resolution making has always been a ridiculous sideshow, increasingly irrelevant. A tiny religious entity making pronouncements on the Green New Deal. And now, resolving = full-on canonical force (for +Love), and genuine canons regarding communion without baptism totally irrelevant and widely ignored. A church body is governed by C and C but increasingly that is just irrelevant. At least a genuine presbyterian polity has a Book of Order that must be obeyed or amended.

ACI
ACI
27 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

Baptisms in TEC.

1980                56,167
1990                56,862
2000                46,603
2010                28,990
2019                17,672

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
26 days ago
Reply to  ACI

And the fact that this is precisely the three decades in which ACNA/GAFCON has promoted schism has no bearing on the situation? Or that the generation that has come of age in that period (my sons were born in the 1980s, so I know whereof I speak) is the most liberal on social issues, such as same-sex relationships, in history? Why would they want their children baptized into a church that was still, apparently, not fully accepting of those relationships?

ACI
ACI
26 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

You can’t be serious. 1980-2000 an ‘ACNA Gafcon’ era? You need to do some basic history.

It is also saying a lot to see a decline like 46,603 to 17,672 and blame it on ACNA! As Joe Biden would say, ‘c’mon man.’

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
26 days ago
Reply to  ACI

I blame it on the phenomenon that ACNA represents: a significant vocal minority in the church who have kept it from acknowledging the truth that the Holy Spirit (through social science and psychology) has been trying to convey for 50 years.

ACI
ACI
26 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

This is great. ACNA amounts to nothing. Its growth is anemic (though parallel to TEC’s).

And it is to blame for TEC’s decline, all the same.

Last edited 26 days ago by ACI
Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
25 days ago
Reply to  ACI

As I note above, ACNA and the dioceses and parishes that adhere to it make a lot of noise. It is when they act up and act out that TEC gets in the news, such that the tiny conservative wing of American Anglicanism drowns out the central, liberal mass of Episcopalians.

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
26 days ago
Reply to  ACI

It is odd how much glee you take in those falling numbers. Do you take the same happiness in the falling numbers in every other denomination in America (excepting those that rely on immigration)?
Or is this a special animus directed only at TEC?

ACI
ACI
26 days ago
Reply to  Dennis Roberts

It underscores where our greatest attention ought to be given the seriousness of the problem. I worry it is more ‘interesting’ to change the subject and not deal with the elephant in the basement. Glee? That is a strange evaluation.

Richard
Richard
28 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

Were we not waiting for TEC to announce his fate after finding him guilty? Perhaps Bishop Love and the PB decided that resignation would be the most seemly way to end things. Isn’t this a different situation to what he might have done years ago, without a heavy candlestick held to his head? I don’t agree with Bishop Love on issues of homosexuality and SSM, but I do believe he has been a faithful shepherd to the people of Albany.

Stanley Monkhouse
29 days ago

A bishop who is found “guilty” of upholding what he regards as authentic Christian teaching sees no alternative but to resign. Bishops who minimise or trivialise or turn a blind eye to abuse of the vulnerable and powerless – criminal acts – feel no such obligation. 

Last edited 29 days ago by Stanley Monkhouse
Kate
Kate
28 days ago

It makes sense doesn’t it? Whatever one thinks of his beliefs, nobody doubts that Bishop Love took a principled position. Resignation is entirely consistent with that. It would be good to say that the bishops of the Church of England have taken a principled position in relation to the treatment of survivors and to fellow members of the episcopate who have fallen short of the expected standards, but they haven’t. It’s therefore entirely consistent that none of them feel like need to resign. No doubt they will all try to sit it out until retirement and another 20 years will… Read more »

Paul
Paul
29 days ago

I don’t think that this is the end of the matter. There will be lasting division and bitterness in the diocese of Albany. I really don’t know where it will lead, except to a further erosion of the Episcopal Church in the USA.

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul

And to a strengthening of the ACNA/GAFCON movement.

Dominic Barrington
Dominic Barrington
28 days ago

It is my perception – and I do stress that it is only a perception – that in the years since Gene Robinson, etc, ACNA has diminished and not increased. I came to the USA five years ago, and work in a diocese that ‘re-absorbed’ an adjoining diocese riven by the schism. But from what I understand, the ACNA presence has strongly declined… which is true to the history of almost all schismatic bodies. There are related questions about church decline/growth and how TEC is faring, and its ability to hold conservative and liberal factions in one body which are… Read more »

ACI
ACI
28 days ago

“There are related questions about church decline/growth and how TEC is faring, and its ability to hold conservative and liberal factions in one body which are bigger than a post like this can address.” Well said. TEC’s survival isn’t a matter of measuring a fledgling ACNA, though that might seem attractive/subject changing. There were 12,000 in SC, and in one year that went to 2000 or so for TEC-SC. None of that is a positive development. The number of baptisms in TEC declined by 80% or so in just a short number of years. That must be turned around or… Read more »

ACI
ACI
28 days ago

https://episcopalchurch.org/files/documents/updated_3._average_sunday_attendance_by_province_and_diocese_2008-2018.pdf

It’s about in the middle (28% loss) in its province. CT (for example) right next door in province 1 lost 36%. Western NY, 40% decline (2008-18). After division in SC, a whopping 80% decline.

Last edited 28 days ago by ACI
Richard
Richard
28 days ago

ACNA (founded 2009) did not exist prior to the consecration of Gene Robinson (2003). ACNA benefited in terms of numbers from the initial exodus from TEC. The self-styled orthodox websites publish every bit of news about the decline of TEC, never comparing it to the decline experienced by nearly all other denominations. And there is rarely news about numbers in ACNA, growing or otherwise. There is never news about ordinations in ACNA, perhaps because some of the ordinands are women, and it would be bad form to publicize that.

ACI
ACI
28 days ago

Whether the steep decline in TEC over the past decades has an analogy in the recent, dissenting ACNA entity is a worthwhile question one might suppose. But ACNA is not an erstwhile, active, growing denomination as was TEC in the years of my growing up in the church, that is, a ‘mainline’ body. This means its decline is more protracted, more entrenched over time, and in that sense, both more dramatic and more tragic. In the USA, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists were always larger, but TEC avoided splintering as they had. Now splintering is fully in play, and given its size,… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
27 days ago
Reply to  ACI

Wasn’t the fact that TEC was an active growing denomination in the 1950’s part of a more general “return to religion” in America in that decade? I think of a book like “Modern Canterbury Pilgrims “( 1956). It seemed to have attracted because it was a liturgical and sacramental denomination. But it seems to me that in the US as here what religious vitality as there is is now to be found in unliturgical and pretty unsacramental forms of “church”. Indeed the lively parts of the C of E seem to sit fairly light to liturgy and sacraments.

ACI
ACI
27 days ago

Thanks. It may be useful to those outside the USA (and those inside as well).

“Even without Love as its leader, Albany still is known as a conservative diocese. It is based in New York’s capital city and includes more than 100 congregations, most of them in less-populated communities from the Canadian border to the northern Catskill Mountains. Many of the diocese’s priests and deacons were supportive of Love’s stance on same-sex marriage…”.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
26 days ago
Reply to  ACI

True…but now those in the congregations that do support same-sex marriage can do so without fighting their bishop at every step. Time will tell which group of congregations survives.

ACI
ACI
26 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

Good for (all three of) them.

Last edited 26 days ago by ACI
ACI
ACI
26 days ago

In a oner. And one suspects the present CP cohort will also not find replacements if they are not in favor of BCP services for same sex marriage.

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
26 days ago

The latest statistical trends available for TEC are from 2008-2018. They clearly are not good. In light of this discussion, it’s interesting comparing the statistics of the Diocese of Albany with the statistics of its neighboring dioceses (which are available on TEC’s website). TEC is divided into a number of provinces. The Diocese of Albany is part of Province 2, which includes dioceses in the northeast U.S. west of New England, plus Haiti, the Virgin Islands and the Churches in Europe (which is not a diocese but is treated as one for statistical purposes). There are 11 “dioceses” in Province… Read more »

ACI
ACI
26 days ago
Reply to  dr.primrose

Province 1 and 2 are particularly good examples of decline. I provided a link above so one can compare. The NE struggles across the board, no matter what the denomination. The point I was making was not that Albany was immune from decline, but rather that TEC as a whole is facing a very dire situation that needs to be front and center. Froghole has been tireless on this same theme in the CofE. One can get exercised about LGBTQ+ causes, or abuse, or whatever; all of that is understandable. But unless decline is addressed, one will look back on… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
26 days ago
Reply to  ACI

The important question then is why Bishop Love did nothing to prevent decline despite being a Conservative Position bishop. Why was he wasting his time trying to hold back the sea on one particular issue rather than getting more people on the beach? Clearly the conservative position on LGBTQ+ issues, or anti ordination of women issues, or biblical inerrancy issues or whatever conservative cause you like is not a position that is attracting more people to join the Church. And it is important that the C of E notes this trend. A conservative C of E will not be a… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
25 days ago
Reply to  ACI

Indeed ACI Froghole has been unrelenting in his postings about numerical decline and financial catastrophe. Yet on another website a member of the Archbishop’s Council remarked that he had to specifically ask the Council to discuss the statistics. You would have thought it would be top of the agenda.

ACI
ACI
25 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

You have put your finger on my concern. When the next decade passes and we observe the decline continuing apace, we will look back and conclude trying to make resolutions into canon law was time-consuming silliness.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
25 days ago
Reply to  ACI

We will also, by your own admission above Christopher, look back and conclude that arguing about equal marriage and the ordination of women and biblical inerrancy was tine-consuming silliness. I think you simply disguise your own concerns.

ACI
ACI
25 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

“You would have thought it would be top of the agenda.” We have the same problem in TEC. But the established character presents a different playing field. TEC is but one of myriads of churches on the US landscape. It was never very large, though its influence may once have been outsized. Of the old mainline, it has fared about the same as Lutheranism and Presbyterianism (both larger). The latter two have split. Methodism is larger by a factor of 3, and it too is dividing. I believe the ASA (AWA) is under 4000 in about half of the dioceses.… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
25 days ago
Reply to  ACI

It’s worth pointing out the Episcopal Church has already had one split, nearly 150 years ago, and over most of the same issues that are facing it now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_Episcopal_Church

ACI
ACI
25 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

The Reformed Episcopal Church — notable for what? Refused to bar African Americans from seminary training or from attending worship.

‘Same issues’ — nonsense.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
24 days ago
Reply to  ACI

Read the link in the post. The primary differences were about the Anglo-Catholic movement, which the REC founders saw as contrary to Protestant beginnings of the Church. Like today’s ACNA movement, they expressed a more confessional, more fundamentalist, more Evangelical mode of Christianity.

ACI
ACI
24 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

I have no particular interest in the REC but do not like unhistorical comparisons. The Tractarian movement had lots of pushback in the Protestant Episcopal Church of the day, and Cummins was by no means alone. His ecumenism was what provoked opposition. He took umbrage. I do find it odd that the reformed episcopal church was where a major bloc of african american congregations found their home, at a time when that was not possible in PECUSA, and was the first seminary to train Black ordinands. To this day it has a far higher percentage of Black members than does… Read more »

Richard
Richard
25 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

One of the developments that sparked the Reformed Episcopal Church was the Oxford Movement, especially the use of vestments and “too Catholic” liturgy. The REC bishops now compete with the ACNA bishops in regard to OTT vestments. (I have nothing against clergy wearing their “best clothes.”) Headgear and yards of silk, pectoral crosses and rings, and very high church ritual abound. What binds them to their brethren is loathing of gays and subordination of women. Sooner or later the issue of women’s ordination will be the cause of another split.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
25 days ago
Reply to  ACI

I wonder what you make of my observation above that part of the problem is that in contemporary society liturgical and sacramental forms of church don’t seem to be attracting. The vitality appears to be in charismatic or undenominational evangelical fellowships. These seem to have taken over from the declining historic Free Churches and in various forms has made significant inroads into the Church of England which now has a very different ethos in many ways from the Church of my youth.

ACI
ACI
24 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

I don’t know. In the US, at least, lots of generic evangelicals are attracted to antiquity, liturgy, historical lineage. Baker publishes ‘Evangelical Ressourcement’, Wheaton is a cottage industry in making converts to Anglicanism, who end up being sacramentalists. The Living Church is a kind of organizing center for this movement. There is a ying and yang dimension to all this, wanting to flee what appears to be the norm (for reformed traditions in the US, lots of conflict, strong personalities, limited sola scriptura concepts, etc). Perhaps in the English context it goes in the other direction. “Lifeless formality” fled for… Read more »

RMF
RMF
24 days ago

We should take note of the respect and generosity with which the Presiding Bishop and Bishop Love have navigated this. We see in the processes and statements many things—Bishop Love’s respect and love for the church; PB Curry’s respect and love for Bishop Love; Bishop Love’s acceptance of Church procedures and desire to assist in the transition to the new Bishop.

All of these things point to this being treated with Christian charity, respect, and care for the people involved and the health of the Diocese.

ACI
ACI
24 days ago
Reply to  RMF

I agree this was handled as well as possible. B012 and General Convention resolution-making are head feints, and Curry is nothing if not kindly in spirit. We are likely at the end of a conservative presence, once the (few) present CP bishops retire. Curry is right not to be heavy handed, and Love saw there was no way forward. As I have said above, the real question now is survival and adaptation/consolidation.

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