Tue. Nov 12th, 2019

Bishop charged to court for not allowing same sex marriage in his diocese

An Episcopal bishop in the US who was
subjected to disciplinary measures for
refusing to allow same-sex marriage
ceremonies in his diocese has welcomed
the opportunity to argue his case before a
hearing panel.
The Bishop of Albany, William Love,
introduced the policy in December last year
after the US Episcopal Church’s General
Convention passed Resolution B012
expanding the right of same-sex couples to
marry in churches even within dioceses
where the bishop objected.
This overturned a 2015 resolution that had
allowed bishops who disagreed with same-
sex marriage to ban such ceremonies
within their diocese.
Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal
Church, Michael Curry, responded to Bishop
Love’s policy by restricting part of his
ministry.
In a written notice sent in November 2018,
Bishop Curry said Bishop Love was
“forbidden from participating in any
manner in the Church’s disciplinary
process in the Diocese of Albany in any
matter regarding any member of the clergy
that involves the issue of same-sex
marriage”.
“Nor shall he participate in any other matter
that has or may have the effect of
penalizing in any way any member of the
clergy or laity or worshipping congregation
of his diocese for their participation in the
arrangements for or participation in a
same-sex marriage in his diocese or
elsewhere,” the notice continued.
At the time, Bishop Love vowed to appeal
against the decision. In a statement this
week, he revealed that Church officials
have now agreed to refer his appeal to a
special hearing panel.
He welcomed the move, saying, “I greatly
appreciate the Reference Panel’s decision
to expedite the process by referring this
matter directly to the hearing panel.
“I will have the opportunity to address the
concerns raised by the issuance of the
November 10, 2018 Pastoral Letter and
Directive which upholds the Church’s
traditional understanding and teaching on
marriage.”
He added: “It is my hope and prayer that
God’s will, will ultimately be accomplished
whatever the outcome of the Title IV
proceedings.”
Title IV is the section of US Episcopal
Church canons addressing the grounds and
processes for ecclesiastical discipline when
a member of the clergy is accused of
misconduct.
The members of the hearing panel will
include the Rt Rev Jennifer Brooke-
Davidson of Episcopal Diocese of West
Texas, the Rt Rev Herman Hollerith IV of
the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia,
the Rt Rev W Nicholas Knisley of the
Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island, Hearing
Panel President the Rev Erik Larsen of the
Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island, and
Melissa Perrin of the Episcopal Diocese of
Chicago.

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