Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of Albany refuses to implement same-sex marriage resolution

Updated again Tuesday morning

We reported previously on the Diocese of Albany in September: Diocese of Albany considers same-sex marriages.

Further context for this is contained in another earlier article: Communion Partner bishops issue FAQ on same-sex marriage.

Episcopal Café now reports: Albany bishop draws red line, challenges authority of GC

…Bishop Love has decided to draw a line based on his personal beliefs and understanding of his role on behalf of the entirety of the diocese of Albany; “B012 ignores God’s Word regarding marriage and thus ignores the authority of Holy Scripture.” He lays the blame for General Convention’s actions squarely on Satan and the “Gay Rights Agenda.”

“While I don’t question the sincerity or the well intentions of many in the Episcopal Church who believe the best way to love and minister to our Gay and Lesbian Brothers and Sisters in Christ is to embrace them in their sexuality and make provisions for their same-sex attractions through same-sex marriage rites, I do believe they have been deceived into believing a lie that has been planted in the Church by the “great deceiver” – Satan. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul states: “…stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:11-13).
The Episcopal Church and Western Society have been hijacked by the “Gay Rights Agenda” which is very well organized, very strategic, very well financed, and very powerful. Satan is having a heyday bringing division into the Church over these issues and is trying to use the Church to hurt and destroy the very ones we love and care about by deceiving the leadership of the Church into creating ways for our gay and lesbians brothers and sister to embrace their sexual desires rather than to repent and seek God’s love and healing grace. B012 plays right into this.”

Read the full text of his Pastoral Letter and Pastoral Directive here.

The Albany Times-Union reports this news: Albany Episcopal Bishop outlaws same-sex marriage in his churches.

News & World Report has this: Episcopal Bishop, William Love, Bans Gay Unions on His Turf.

Tuesday Updates

Episcopal News Service Albany bishop rejects General Convention compromise on gay marriage, refuses to allow rites

Presiding Bishop’s statement on Bishop William Love’s pastoral letter and directive

And the bishop of the adjacent diocese ( Central New York) has also issued a statement available here.

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Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

Bishop Love? That’s ironic. And I note he addresses ‘the whole world’ in his letter. A tad ambitious.

CRS
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CRS

One wonders what the next steps of TEC will be. Resolutions of General Convention are of course neither canons nor constitution, but in recent days have been seen by many to possess something like their selfsame character. It is doubtful he will not be punished/constrained given this new state of affairs. What form will the push-back take, and how things will unfold, is not clear. He mentions he discussed the matter with Curry and surely others will not be surprised at his stance. He had made it clear he was parting company with the Communion Partner Bishops in respect of… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

If resolutions of GC have no power, what is the use of them? Are they not the equivalent of legislation passed by an appropriate political body (a legislature or parliament)? Yes, they are not part of the constitution, but they are passed under its rubric. Let me make this analogy: If Bishop Love were the governor of New York, and BO12 were a law passed by Congress, would we all be sanguine with his deciding, for himself and his state, that he would not abide by it?

CRS
Guest
CRS

Dear Mr O’Neill, you should attempt to answer you own question. Through the history of TEC resolutions were just what was said on the tin. Resolutions. For many many years Dioceses which objected to resolutions simply ignored them and went their own way and TEC recognized this was what resolutions amounted to. Canons, by contrast, have legislative force. As such, they require GC to act in good order and conduct two successive conventions for proper voting. You jumped over “canons” from “resolves” to “constitution.” But regardless, your comment shows the present state of affairs in a nutshell. I fully anticipate… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Resolutions represent the collective mind of GC, which in turn represents the collective discernment of the church as a whole. Is the “discernment” of one bishop to be considered above that of the whole church? If resolutions are not considered to have any power, why pass them at all?

Jo B
Guest
Jo B

My recollection of US history does suggest that advocates of “states rights” were keen on the idea that states could nullify acts of congress they didn’t like. Usually ones involving the rights of black Americans. Funnily enough they used similar rhetoric about going against the divine order.

T Pott
Guest
T Pott

From a UK Constitutional perspective, which admittedly may not be relevant but seems referenced by the allusion to Parliament,, in no way would a resolution of the House of Commons be equivalent to legislation. Legislation is required to go through all sorts of stages designed to allow fuller consideration and scrutiny. Nor, I surmise, could a resolution of the House of Representatives, be confused with a law passed by Congress, requiring Senate and Presidential endorsement. . I assume TEC has processes and procedures too which could be used to effect a change in the canons., and that a mere resolution… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

You have got it. There is a reason a resolution is not a canon is not constitution.

The reality is I doubt any of that matters in our new TEC. I doubt Love will be able to rely on these basic facts.

Tobias Stanislas Haller
Guest

T Pott, you may not be aware that the General Convention is not simply one portion of the governance of the Episcopal Church. From a UK perspective it is both Lords and Commons, or from the US, Representatives and Senators. The resolution in question was adopted by both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies. Moreover, unlike many policy or issue-oriented resolutions adopted by the convention, B012 is an implementation of a Constitutional and canonical process for the authorization of liturgies. If you are interested in reading the text of the resolution to which Bishop Love takes exception,… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

An implementation of a process is not a canon, and so +Albany disputes its legal force. But I doubt it will really matter. TEC will do what it needs to do put a stop to this, whether there is legislative force or not. With your analogy, GC is the US Congress without need of a US Constitution or need for attention to laws in place. To repeat, whatever it takes, +Albany will likely be stopped. This is not a season of waiting around for canons when it comes to this issue. (Though even the Chancellor of the HOB realised he… Read more »

Tobias Stanislas Haller
Guest

No, CRS, the Constitution and Canons give full authority for the promulgation of liturgies to the General Convention. B012 is fully in accord with this constitutional and canonical assignment. No additional canon, or change in existing canons is required, only the vote by the Bishops and Deputies to authorize the rites, and arrange for their use throughout the church. The canonical rights of parish clergy are well and fully protected.

CRS
Guest
CRS

It sounds like this may be the line that is taken. Thanks for indicating it. As we see, it leads rather breezily to “anything passed by General Convention is canonical.” +Love would have no problem finding contradictions to this idea, and he does so in terms of his vows. But at present, General Convention is Scripture and the BCP and the Ordinal. That is TEC in its present iteration.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Just to be clear, though I thought Tobias was clear, in TEC, General Convention is our governing body. They have the power to change the canons, for example. So when CRS says that GC’s actions aren’t canonical, I don’t know what the heck he is saying. GC can withdraw, amend, or add to the canons. A resolution is legislation, it is the law of the church.

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Thank you, Cynthia and Tobias. That was exactly my point. Anything passed by GC is canonical.

CRS
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CRS

You have now declared it! “Anything passed by General Convention is canonical.” I never thought it would end up so efficient and easy. General Convention is Canon 1.A-Z. End of story. (No need to have actual canons and constitution anymore).

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

“Canonical” is not the same as “being a canon”, just as “constitutional” is not the same as ” being a part of the Constitution “. I would have thought that was obvious.

Tobias Stanislas Haller
Guest

Pat, I would demur slightly from this. GC also passes resolutions which are commendations or recommendations, and are expressly worded as such. (Much as any legislature passes courtesy or policy resolutions that are not statutory.) General Convention is the highest governing body and Council of the Episcopal Church, but it is free to commend and recommend as well as to enact. B012 is an instance of the latter, similar to legislation concerning revision of the liturgy going back almost 60 years, and fully in keeping with Article X of the Constitution — which assigns General Convention the authority to do… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

“Whatever General Convention does is canonical.” When it comes to worship in TEC, Scripture, the Constitution and Canons, we are being told, give full authority to a General Convention to do as it chooses. With assurances, one supposes, that all will get what they want. Liturgies sur mésure. Lex credendi, lex orandi, lex orandi, lex General Convention. God having made us in God’s image, we will return the favor. Let General Convention gather and generate all the liturgies it feels tell us what we want. Be sure to “memorialize” the BCP and then warm up the printer. People have decided… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Hasn’t it always been the case that “doctrine, discipline, worship” has been “whatever GC decides”? GC was established as the governing body of TEC at its founding.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

My latest comment was not meant to suggest that anything passed by GC has the authority of legislation, only that the measures GC passes by the appropriate methods are by their very nature “canonical” (that is, in keeping with the canons), even if not a canon in themselves, just as the resolutions passed by Congress are presumed constitutional unless and until challenged in court. Therein lies a question I don’t know the answer to: If a resolution, such as BO12, is thought to be contrary to the canons, what body is given the power to rule on the issue? Or… Read more »

Tobias Stanislas Haller
Guest

Pat, I understood your comment, but was simply seeking to clarify. As to the question you raise, there are two options when such a challenge is raised: a test case via the disciplinary process, or a return to General Convention. There is no separate judicial branch in our polity. However, no one has yet pointed out any canonical inconsistency in B012, as adopted. The one quibble raised during the process — that it might infringe a rector’s control of worship — was addressed and amended; though as I pointed out at the time, it was not necessary to do so,… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Surely, CRS; ACNA is Bishop Love’s next destination?

John Wirenius
Guest
John Wirenius

Not if he’s got any self preservation instinct, it isn’t. New York’s highest court decided ten years ago “that the Dennis Canons clearly establish an express trust in favor of the Rochester Diocese and the National Church.” Episcopal Diocese of Rochester v. Harnish, 11 NY3d 340 (2008). (Text here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/nyctap/I08_0150.htm) As it’s settled law in New York, Bishop Love would expose himself to counterclaims and attorney fees for frivolous litigation.

CRS
Guest
CRS

If he is thrown out of TEC, one could wonder what his future is.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Would ACNA snap him up?

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Bishop Love has placed his personal discernment above that of the whole church as manifested in the decision of General Convention. In my view, this violates his oath of obedience to the presiding bodies of this church and its canons. I wonder how many in the pews of the Diocese of Albany share his view. Yes, I have been told it is a “conservative” diocese, but it is also located in the capital city of one of the most liberal and progressive states in the nation.

John Bunyan
Guest
John Bunyan

Pat, you are begging the question (in the correct meaning of that phrase). The decision – in fact a resolution, not even a Canon, of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention hardly represents the discernment of “the whole church” – an absurd statement, and indeed the majority by far of the “whole church” – at least at the official level – would disagree with that resolution, the larger part of Christendom being Roman Catholic and Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, and one could add the majority of evangelical Christian churches in most of Africa and Asia, and in the Americas – just… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

That’s what really gets me about the various bishops who bleat about tradition and communion with the rest of the global church. These Anglican bishops are all married with 2 or 3 children yet the rest of the church discern, and has as tradition, that bishops should not marry and that contraception is contrary to Scripture. I believe Bishop Love is himself married with two children? Someone could maybe confirm that? So when he claims that the same sex resolution sets upside down over 2000 years of teaching (which, by the way, pushes it back before Christ started his public… Read more »

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

He clearly means the whole of ECUSA, not the whole of the Church Universal (Militant Branch).

And although I think Bishop Love’s statement shows a certain amount of arrogance, our tradition – and the example of our Lord – honour those who follow their individual conscience, as against the verdict of an institution.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

By the “whole church,” I meant the whole of TEC. But I think you knew that. In this context, it is the only church that matters, since no other church would have authority over Bishop Love at all.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

John, you said this: “in fact a resolution, not even a Canon, of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention hardly represents the discernment of “the whole church” – an absurd statement, and indeed the majority by far of the “whole church” I’m reasonably sure that the original writer meant, not the ‘whole of Christendom’ but the majority of members of TEC, which is governed by its General Convention. If Bishop Love stands against the ruling of G.C., then he is surely in danger of impeachment by TEC. This are precedents for this action. Bishop Love cannot commit a whole diocese to… Read more »

Tobias Stanislas Haller
Guest

Thank you, Fr. Ron. All of this “just a resolution” is a red herring and a distraction. Article X of the Constitution specifies that it is by action of the General Convention (in the Houses of Bishops and Deputies) that such liturgies are authorized. Canon II.3.6.a gives to General Convention the authority to specify any conditions under which trial use of a liturgy is to take place: ” Whenever the General Convention, pursuant to Article X of the Constitution, shall authorize for trial use a proposed revision of the Book of Common Prayer, or of a portion or portions thereof,… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

Not that it really matters anymore, but why have a BCP standard; why require multiple readings and voting for new BCP changes; indeed why have canons at all. Whatever GC now makes in the form of a “resolution” is the law of the land, and so says whoever needs to say so.

Tobias Stanislas Haller
Guest

If you were more familiar with the Constitution of the Episcopal Church, you would have your answers. Article X is limpid in its clarity concerning how liturgical alterations are made to the Book of Common Prayer, either as a wholesale revision or (in point “b”) in provision of trial alternatives: by the action of General Convention (once to introduce “for trial use throughout this Church,” twice in consecutive sessions for final approval as a new Book of Common Prayer). The Canons are also clear and spell out exactly how this is to be done in terms of implementation: again, by… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

What has happened in my own lifetime is a distinct drift away from the BCP standard, leaving aside the authority of scripture, in the name of western consumerism. Trial Rites began as ways to introduce a wholescale BCP revision in the years preceding 1979. I recall the season well. Now Trial Rites and various looseleaf offerings are simply ways to have rites sur mésure, now no longer under the authority of Bishops but free floating. No wonder one can speak of memorializing the very distinctive that makes Anglicans — who have no Confessions, courts of session, black letter canon law… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

TLC essay by M Olver. He writes: Here is how the SCLM explains the need to address the situation: “On the surface, the work of creating beautiful, meaningful liturgy may seem to be all about the poetic. Liturgists are like poets to the degree that we attempt to give a shape, in language, to all of our inchoate experiences of God. But there are also a lot of nuts and bolts to the work of crafting liturgy, and not just rules around grammar or rhetorical structure. The SCLM has found that, at the bottom of our toolbox, one of the… Read more »

Tobias Stanislas Haller
Guest

This is a point on which we can agree, up to a point. Although the Constitutional rule for trial use, introduced in the early 60s, was observed up through the adoption of the 1979 BCP, with turnover in personnel and loss of historic memory in the 80s and 90s, and the creation of a standing committee without an entirely clear mandate and time on its hands, things did tend to drift a bit from their moorings, and supplemental rites of various sorts were introduced without careful attention to the overriding requirements of the law; though, I hasten to add, still… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

Things used to be a good deal clearer, as this thread manifestly shows. So +Love has “not committted a canonical offense” in your view; yet resolutions of GC now have the force of what used to be called a canon, and must be followed; and supplementary rites proliferated without attention to law for a considerable period and the SCLM which likes being poets and composers of rites had an ah-hah moment and latterly recognised their sloppiness; and Bishops have OK’d things in the HOB yet their authority in a diocese to regulate a non BCP rite is vanishing; Albany has… Read more »

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

If you work on the assumption that any article which uses the words “political correctness” or “politically correct” anything other than ironically is not worth taking seriously, you will be right a great deal more often than you will be wrong. What’s hilarious is that the article starts off written in that arch, faux-academic style beloved of people who didn’t manage to get the education they wished for. “What impacts any one part or member of the Body, ultimately impacts the entire body, either directly or indirectly. That is true not only for individuals, but also for congregations, dioceses, provinces,… Read more »

Evan McWilliams
Guest
Evan McWilliams

Gosh, no matter what one thinks of the content of the letter, I certainly think it refreshing to see a bishop being a bishop and not a jellyfish ‘focus of unity’. It takes a great deal of courage to do what he’s done given what we can all expect to be the response. The liberal left of TEC are known for their viciousness and they’ll be after his blood.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Evan, yes it is good to see a bishop realise that status imparts responsibilities, but are you really comfortable with how he has approached those responsibilities? How do you feel about reverting to an age in which anyone who disagrees with a bishop is accused of following Satan? Today it is marriage but tomorrow it could be being rich eg owning an house or a car.

Evan McWilliams
Guest
Evan McWilliams

I recall a certain someone saying ‘Woe to you who are rich’ so we’ll set that issue aside for now. In regard to Bishop Love’s approach, I suspect it rather depends on one’s expectations. Personally, I prefer leaders who speak their minds clearly and succinctly. Waffle and fudge are for eating and in excess they rot one’s teeth. The metaphor could be extended. I find it much easier to relate to someone when I know that they really think, and much easier to respect them for their convictions even if they differ from my own.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

We’re not vicious and we’re not out for anybody’s blood. You must be thinking of the schismatics who thought it was OK to take the property because they were utterly intolerant of LGBTQI people, and some opposed WO. When the retiring bishop of Colorado first engaged in conversations with pro and anti gay inclusion groups, no one from the liberal side spit on him, cursed at him, or sent him threatening letters or emails. But the conservatives did. So whoever told you TEC liberals were vicious probably define “vicious” as meaning we stopped them from hating on others.

Fr. Stephen Morrison
Guest
Fr. Stephen Morrison

Thank God! Finally, a voice of truth from TEC, and the glib, sarcastic and shrill comments indicate his position is spot on. We who have watched the disintegration of TEC can only wonder at the blindness we see. Tell us how TEC has been strengthened over the course of the last 30 years. How we are so reflective of God’s love when there are so many draconian actions taken, (the closing of churches by diocese’ and then their sale to anyone but those who actually paid for them; even to non-Christian faiths)? The prattle of those who insist they are… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

Stephen, I’m sorry that you sound so hurt and angry about this. It’s not about preaching the Kama Sutra though is it? Let’s have a little bit of truthfulness here because, after all, we are Christians. It’s about commitment, and fidelity, and tender given love. It’s about faithfulness and kindness and sacrifice. We all know there are different views on gay sexuality. People’s consciences on the matter need to be acknowledged. They can hold conflicting views with integrity. I don’t have a problem with that. I have a problem with people telling me my lesbian relationship is sin. They have… Read more »

FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

Wonderfully expressed.

Fr. Stephen Morrison
Guest
Fr. Stephen Morrison

Susannah, I appreciate your concern for my feelings but I assure you they are not hurt nor am I angry at anyone except the, “Great Deceiver”. I lay this at his feet not yours and of course you have a problem with people telling you your lesbian relationship is sin but to do otherwise, I.e. tell you it is a loving relationship and therefore somehow not a sin would be false doctrine as so adequately expressed in Bishop Love’s pastoral letter. He as I could do nothing else if we are to be faithful to scripture. (see Matthew 17:3). It… Read more »

Cassandra
Guest
Cassandra

Just wondering why people today are still using these agape/eros distinctions of the past as if they’re the final word? Trying to put everything we can feel and do into these boxes strikes me as having nothing to do with the real world, and opens up all those silly ‘is this sex or isn’t it?’ questions again.

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

“of course you have a problem with people telling you your lesbian relationship is sin but to do otherwise, I.e. tell you it is a loving relationship and therefore somehow not a sin would be false doctrine”

Fifty two years ago you would have been telling mixed-race couples the same. Then Loving v Virginia was passed. People like you would have been protesting about that, too.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Stephen, Matthew 17:3 is the Transfiguration. I think you mean Matthew 19, when Jesus addresses divorce (which endangered the lives and well-being of women). That passage has nothing to do with loving, committed, and faithful same-sex couples. Jesus was single, talk about an aberration for a rabbi at that time. And men could have up to 5 wives…

What an excuse for hurtful words. Words that have inflicted indescribable harm, suicidal teens, hate crimes, etc. By the fruits you shall know them.

Flora Alexander
Guest
Flora Alexander

Why the reference to Matthew 17:3? That’s about the Transfiguration.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Well said, Susannah. Indeed, Stephen has stooped to portraying my faith journey as worshiping the Kama Sutra and my marriage to my partner of 27 years like something from the Twilight Zone. Demeaning indeed. Insulting. Pretty run of the mill yet hurtful. Calls for Christ’s Love, God’s justice, and the movement of the Holy Spirit are “glib, sarcastic and shrill.” Acknowledging justice and love are “draconian” actions. Draconian. Who is hurt, exactly? Draconian applies to crimes against humanity, it applies to policies and actions that are devasting to the poor, the vulnerable, the marginal. “Draconian” is a very strange word… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Guest

‘We in the First World are crushing the poor with our consumption. When I think about Salvation, I think about that.’

Well said, Cynthia. Or, as Paul put it, ‘All they asked was that we should keep in mind the poor, the very thing I have always made it my business to do.’ (Galatians 2.10).

Jo B
Guest
Jo B

When you insist that your terms ARE the terms of God, as conservatives are wont to do, you’ve not so much stepped into the twilight zone as danced gaily (if you’ll pardon the pun) straight across it and into the Pharasitical darkness.

peterpi - Peter Gross
Guest
peterpi - Peter Gross

I agree whole-heartedly, except, …, I think the Pharisees have gotten a bum rap by the writers of the Gospels and some of the Epistles. Judaism and Christianity suffered a nasty divorce in the latter half of the First Century CE, and I would argue that early Christian writings after the breakup treat the Jews less kindly. After the destruction of the Second Temple, the Sadducees lost their very reason for existence and the Essenes disappeared. That left the Pharisees, who believed that one could worship God anywhere, and despite their later reputation, created a system whereby Judaism could adapt… Read more »

Jo B
Guest
Jo B

That’s fair – I should perhaps take more care to make clear that I am referring to the popular and indeed Biblical stereotype of the Pharisees, which is not necessarily the historical reality.

FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

If I may paraphrase Bishop Love “it is not out of mean-spiritedness, hatred, bigotry, judgmentalism, but rather out of love” – that I think this man is guilty of mean-spiritedness, hatred, bigotry and judgementalism and, in citing Satan, has taken leave of his senses.

Kate
Guest
Kate

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” If Jesus simply gave us a fish, then the Bible, particularly the Gospels, contains everything we need to know and then, at face value, Bishop Love is right. But if Jesus (attempted to) teach us how to fish, then we are expected to study how Jesus approached difficult questions and apply the same approach ourselves. And Jesus never upheld the Law… Read more »

Fr Andrew
Guest
Fr Andrew

Kate, brilliant use of the ‘fish/teach to fish’ proverb in the context of teaching and the gospel.

peterpi - Peter Gross
Guest
peterpi - Peter Gross

I believe it is standard Episcopal theology that when the priests and laity of a diocesan convention agree on a candidate for bishop, they have discerned the Holy Spirit. So, perhaps Bishop Love is justified on that account for thinking he speaks for God. But, I do not see the God of love, justice, and humility in the Bishop’s comments. I see no loving of mercy and walking humbly with Bishop Love’s God. I see yet another US leader, this time of the spiritual realm, not political, who is willing to use sanctimony, division, bigotry, and fear of “the other”… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I find Bishop Love’s theological take on same-sex relationship more like what the Australians call ‘Devil-dodging’ than Christlike. His obvious lack of sympathy with TEC’s eirenic attitude towards S/S Marriage/Blessings and Gospel inclusion, marks him out – sadly – as both homophobic and sola scriptura (not classically Anglican). TEC will not be cutting him off from their fellowship. He is automatically excommunicating himself.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Amen. Bishop Love has a way to live into his view and stay in TEC. He could resign as bishop and take a post in a conservative parish. Priests are not required to marry anyone. But bishops need to uphold the canons and resolutions of the church. In TEC, General Convention Resolutions are legislation. There aren’t binding and nonbinding resolutions. They are binding. I don’t know what we will do with this rather bizarre man. This is a very hurtful situation for LGBTQI people, allies, and liberal parishes in the Diocese of Albany. So I hope that larger oversight will… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

I misspoke about resolutions. If they are written to be binding, they are binding. There are resolutions that support an idea or issue that don’t have a legislative quality. General Convention solely has the power to make resolutions that change the canons or liturgy of the church.

John Bunyan
Guest
John Bunyan

One can consider “same sex marriage” a contradiction in terms, as I do (while unlike this bishop, approving e.g. of legal same sex unions, able to be blessed by God), without being in any way “homophobic”. As an Australian I have never heard the term “Devil-dodging” but then again mine is a big country and of course I do not believe in the nonsensical idea of a personal Devil since personality involves relationships with others, absent in the case of “Satan” – including those who disagree with us and those whom we think are mistaken. We are all called to… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Actually, John, there are plenty of us who would see your view as homophobic. I’m gay and because my partner and I are faithful Christians, we felt called to the sacrament of marriage, not just legal marriage. A 40-year discernment in our church has concluded that we will have “all the sacraments for all the baptized.” To separate us from our calling and from the sacrament, on the basis of who God created us to be, is some people’s definition of homophobic. And you’re not the one who gets to define that. If LGBTQI people see your view as alienating,… Read more »

Evan McWilliams
Guest
Evan McWilliams

I see where you’re coming from, Cynthia, but I’m troubled by a couple of things: first, the implication that experience defines reality rather than reality being something that we experience and second, the principle that definitions are to be made by the marginalised. I suspect I wouldn’t get anywhere arguing the first with most people, but the flaw in the second is more obvious. If it is the marginalised who define, who defines marginalised? Is that about reality or perception (the first problem rears its head). How marginalised does one have to be in order to make a valid definition?… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Evan, you bring up interesting points. To the first point, experience and reality, I would say that it is a quintessential post-modern question! I see these as holistic and not dual. The second point is the most productive one, discerning what marginalization is and degrees of marginalization and who defines it, etc. In my view, the clarifying lens here is power and privilege. As a white, female, lesbian, upper-middle-class American, I move in and out of varying levels of power and privilege. [By the way, I’m upper-middle-class only because of my education, not because of my bank account, according to… Read more »

Fr Andrew
Guest
Fr Andrew

“the implication that experience defines reality rather than reality being something that we experience and second” If we’re talking homophobia here, I would argue that it is a reality of the social sphere and thus is something that is brought into reality by experience (I hope that makes sense). As a social object there is no existence outside of experience, therefore it would be fair in this instance to suggest that experience here defines reality, in the way that our experience of a chair cannot be held to wholly encompass its reality. Cynthia’s response earlier regarding power to oppress is… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Evan, another thought came to me regarding reality vs. experience. Humans create reality and the biases of the majority and/or powerful/privileged can create the reality. There was a case where the president of Harvard, Larry Summers, suggested that the reason there were fewer women in STEM majors was perhaps lack of aptitude. The social science shows that statements like these contribute to a self-fulfilling reality, as girls internalize these messages and then don’t go into STEM, even though their grades often surpass those of boys in the younger ages. The social science also shows that women who go into STEM… Read more »

RPNewark
Guest
RPNewark

Sorry, Cynthia, you lost me when in the middle of your last two posts above you referred to “STEM majors” and “going into STEM”. I realise that they are American expressions and probably well understood by Americans but would you translate them for me, an English senior citizen (which expression should be understood to refer only to my age) to whom they are entirely unfamiliar, please?

Jo B
Guest
Jo B

They’re well understood this side of the pond too, I’m afraid: Science, Technology, Engineering [and] Mathematics.

RPNewark
Guest
RPNewark

Well understood by some, maybe – it’s the first time in more than seven decades that I have come across the acronym. Well, my mother used to say that one should learn something every day. Today I have achieved that much. Thank you.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Sorry about the acronym, I should have clarified it. Jo B has done so. But it wouldn’t have taken much effort to clarify it. Inside terminology and acronyms can be very excluding. My apologies.

In the US, there has been an effort to change STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to STEAM, with the “A” being for the Arts. So that could come up too!

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Evan. Have you never heard of the Marriage-Feast of the Lamb? Here, gender has no bearing on the relationship.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

John if you’ve never heard the term ‘devil dodger’, you have never been to the Northern Territory of Australia. That’s where I first heard of the term. It was meant, usually for Hellfire Preachers, of whom, by his remarks about the devil, Bishop Love seems to be a member. Perhaps he’s too hot, even, for ACNA?

Jim Pratt
Guest
Jim Pratt

Bishop Love says, “the Bible does not forbid two people of the same sex from loving one another in the sense of caring deeply or having a strong sense of affection for one another”. That’s the whole point of marriage. To quote from the American BCP: [marriage] “is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’swill, for the procreation of children…” Somehow Love twists this to be all about sex. As, much as he protests that he is not homophobic, it is as plain… Read more »

Angusian
Guest
Angusian

Interesting problem for +Justin as invitations for Lambeth 2020 are under consideration ! Remember +Rowan’s dilemma in 2008!

CRS
Guest
CRS

Is the idea that the ABC, who robustly affirmed the Communion Partner Bishops when in Dallas last month, would not invite a CP Bishop like +Albany to Lambeth 2020?

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Yes, that is the idea. But at this rate I do not think the problem will arise. PB Curry is going to draw a line here–and if the ABC violates TEC’s polity, then watch out.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

If the ABC bases his invitations to Lambeth on the Church of England’s official attitude towards intrinsically LGBT+ people in the Church, then he might at least take pause on inviting a bishop our of kilter with his own Church body (TEC) on such matters.

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

At this point the next step needed is for some Episcopalians (perhaps best if they are in the diocese) to file a presentment. That would start the ball rolling, I believe.
Here are the relevant canons:
https://www.episcopalchurch.org/files/documents/candc_2012pp127-171.pdf

PaulWaddington
Guest
PaulWaddington

There are bishops in the C of E who think along the lines of Bishop Love. I wonder how many of them have the courage to speak out! In any event, we can expect a lively debate in the C of E in the years to come.
I predict that the matter of sexuality will prove more divisive than the one over the ordination of women or women bishops. Probably the main beneficiaries will be the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, or the Free Church of England.

Jo B
Guest
Jo B

I think the main beneficiaries of conservative legalism and lack of love will be secular humanism. Many will be lost to the church because of homophobia. I doubt the three men and a dog in either of the conservative sects you mention will see any long term benefit.

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

Precisely. Christianity will risk looking like a small bunch of weird homophobes, because all the general public will see is a small bunch of weird homophobes. That old “you’re going to look stupid in fifty years’ time” meme about civil rights is absolutely true: if people want to turn their end of Christianity into the Dutch Reformed Church circa 1978, fine, but they can hardly complain when over the next generation or two they are treated as bigoted pariahs, because it will be entirely self-inflicted.

Chip Chillington
Guest
Chip Chillington
Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

Great statement from the Presiding Bishop which looks innocuous until you reach the end. “In all matters, those of us who have taken vows to obey the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church must act in ways that reflect and uphold the discernment and decisions of the General Convention of the Church.” Ouch!

CRS
Guest
CRS

It will be interesting to see how the charges against him arise, how they are worded, and the “canonical” logic employed. “The General Convention” in this case refers to a resolution at a single convention. One thing is however clear. B012 is only to be viewed by the power in TEC as a holding action. It cannot be tolerated long term. This is likely why +Albany never joined thoe who agreed it.

Ian Montgomery
Guest
Ian Montgomery

I agree and the other seven of the CP bishops who have agreed to this will find that out at the next GC. TEC does not tolerate dissent. I am proud to serve under Bishop Love, who I know agonized about taking this stand cogently and prayerfully.

CRS
Guest
CRS

Correct. I suspect there is a term for this, but note how ENS and others are now contrasting the “obedient” CP Bishops with the “renegade, blinkered” outlier +Love — though they all hold the same view on same-sex marriage. The former are reasonable and cooperative; the latter is not going along with the plan. Yet the former were unreasonable and obdurant and bigoted only days ago. It’s like the old cartoon where people are asked to step forward, and all but one take a step back.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

On an Episcopal (TEC) LGBTQI blog, a member from Albany shared that Bishop Love’s sermons often mention concern for the 5 and 1/2 billion people who are going to hell… So that is the mindset here. Salvation by checking the right boxes and Bishop Love is certain that he knows exactly which boxes must be ticked to achieve Salvation. I know that my Redeemer Liveth and I am a true believer in much of our revelation. But I find it hard to believe that our loving God gave us an exclusive on Salvation. This is the 21st Century issue. Love,… Read more »

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Cynthia, this is the attitude I had in mind when I blogged on Shibboleths (http://survivingchurch.org/2018/11/01/shibboleths-and-the-love-of-god/). It reminds me of the ‘clubs’ we formed in our neighbourhood when I was about 7 – the rules were only for the pleasure of keeping some kids out. We got tired of the exercise in a few months. Sadly, some people never do – they still need to keep some people ‘out’ in order to feel ‘in’ themselves.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Thank you! You make a lot of sense. What a gift, that story of the shibboleths! Thank you for gifting me with your article. I get that there’s a human need to belong. I guess it’s part of our brokenness to only feel belonging when others are kept out.

dr.primrose
Guest
dr.primrose

“TEC does not tolerate dissent. I am proud to serve under Bishop Love, who I know agonized about taking this stand cogently and prayerfully.”

Perhaps there’s a stronger case to be made that the Diocese of Albany and Bishop Love do not tolerate dissent.