The Rt. Rev. William Love, IX Bishop of Albany, announced during his address at the Diocesan Convention on October 24 that he will resign as bishop on February 1, and support a transition to new leadership for the diocese. Under the terms of an accord settled on October 21 between Love and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, he will have a one-month terminal sabbatical, beginning on January 1. The hearing panel which found him guilty of violating his ordination vows also agreed to discharge all further action against the bishop.

Bishop Love’s pastoral directive of November 2018, which bans the use of liturgies for same-sex marriage in the diocese will remain in force until his resignation takes effect, he said. The presiding bishop’s restriction on his ability to enforce the directive also will stand.

Below are excerpts of Bishop Love’s announcement of his resignation, which came at the end of his address to the 152nd Diocesan Convention.

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. …

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

During these past 14 years, I have tried as best I could by God’s grace and the empowering and leading of the Holy Spirit to be faithful and obedient to the Lord’s call on my life as a Bishop in Christ’s one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I have tried to be faithful and obedient to God’s Holy Word as best I understand it, as revealed through the Holy Scriptures, recognizing its authority over my life and the ministry entrusted to me. …

I have tried by God’s grace and the guidance and empowering of the Holy Spirit to faithfully uphold my ordination vows, despite the recent ruling of the Hearing Panel, and to carry out the unique ministry of bishops, as “one with the apostles in proclaiming Christ’s resurrection and interpreting the Gospel,” testifying to “Christ’s sovereignty as Lord of Lords and King of Kings.”

I have worked hard to “guard the faith, unity and discipline of the Church… celebrating and providing for the administration of the sacraments of the Church… and sharing with my fellow bishops in the leadership of the Church throughout the world.” …

It has been my goal these past 14 years to help the Diocese of Albany remain Christ-centered, focusing on the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, working together as one church, faithfully proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of the world. To the degree that I have succeeded in these things, I give praise and thanks to God. To the degree that I have failed in these things, I ask your forgiveness.

I deeply love and care for the Diocese of Albany, and each of you, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Serving you and our Lord these past 14 years as Bishop of Albany as been one of the greatest privileges and blessings of my life.