The ecclesiastical trial of the Rt. Rev. William Love, the Bishop of Albany, has been postponed because of the pandemic. A five-member Hearing Panel had been scheduled to hear arguments in a public hearing on April 21 in an Albany hotel. Nancy Davidge, the public affairs officer for the Church, said it is likely that the hearing will be rescheduled as an online event.
Love is the only remaining domestic bishop who has refused to make any accommodation for same-sex marriages within his diocese. He stands accused of “failing to abide by the promises and vows made when he was ordained, specifically the Declaration he signed at his ordination as bishop in which he promised to ‘conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church.’”
The 2018 General Convention eliminated the right of diocesan bishops to veto same-sex marriages, mandating that bishops opposed to the practice must arrange for a bishop from a nearby jurisdiction to exercise episcopal oversight over such marriages.
In January 2019, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry temporarily restricted the ministry of Bishop Love, banning him 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.” The temporary restriction remains in force, but sources have told TLC that no same-sex marriages have yet been conducted in the Diocese of Albany.
Elsewhere, two diocesan bishops have postponed their planned retirements because of disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Bishop Jeffrey Lee of Chicago told his diocese on March 25 that he is delaying his planned August retirement for an indefinite period. The election of a successor was to have taken place at a special convention in June, but is now scheduled as part of the annual diocesan convention on November 20-21.
Lee has been the XII Bishop of Chicago since 2008.
The Rt. Rev. Dorsey W.M. McConnell, the VIII Bishop of Pittsburgh, told his diocese on April 16 that he is postponing his retirement and the election of his successor by five months.
McConnell, who has served as bishop since 2012, had originally planned to hand over the diocese on April 24, 2021, to a successor elected in November 2020. That election is now scheduled for April 24, 2021, with McConnell retiring on Sept. 18, 2021.