In a letter released in the evening of Jan. 11, Bishop William H. Love responds to the partial restriction placed on his ministry by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:
Earlier today, I received official notification from the Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, that effective immediately, he has placed the following partial restriction on my ministry as Bishop of Albany, as a result of my recent Pastoral Letter regarding General Convention Resolution B012.
I hereby place the following partial restriction on the exercise of Bishop Love’s ministry:
During the period of this restriction, Bishop Love, acting individually, or as Bishop Diocesan, or in any other capacity, is 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. This restriction is effective immediately and shall continue until any Title IV matter pending against Bishop Love is resolved.
In accordance with Canon IV.7.10 of the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, I do plan to appeal the above disciplinary action taken against me by the Presiding Bishop and in so doing, I will also be challenging the authority and legality of Resolution B012 passed at the 79th General Convention. I have already verbally informed the Presiding Bishop’s Office of my plans. This will soon be followed by an official written appeal as required by the Canons.
While I obviously would rather not have had disciplinary actions taken against me, and hope to see it overturned in the near future, I will abide by the restrictions placed on me by the Presiding Bishop during the appeals process.
With that said, as your Bishop, it is important that you understand I have not changed my understanding or teaching regarding the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. The official teaching of this Church as outlined in the rubrics of the Marriage Service in the Book of Common Prayer is that: “Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God” (BCP 422.) Canon 16 of the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of Albany upholds this teaching and remains in effect until it is either changed by the Diocesan Convention, or is legally proven to be over-ridden by the legitimate actions of General Convention; none of which has yet taken place.
Recognizing how difficult and painful all the issues regarding B012 have been, please know that each of you remain in my prayers as we proceed through the appeal process. May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, guide and lead us as we attempt to discern and carry out His will in each of the issues at hand.