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Bp. Love: Canons Surpass B012

In an eight-page letter dated Nov. 10, the Bishop of Albany announced that “the trial rites authorized by Resolution B012 of the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church shall not be used anywhere in the Diocese of Albany by diocesan clergy (canonically resident or licensed), and Diocesan Canon 16 [Marriage] shall be fully complied with by all diocesan clergy and parishes.”

“I have agonized over this letter and how best to address B012 in the Diocese of Albany and the wider Church,” Bishop William H. Love wrote. “There has not been a single day since General Convention that I have not thought and prayed about B012.”

Because General Convention has not changed the prayer book’s teaching on marriage, the bishop said, that teaching stands: marriage is intended for a man and a woman. “The marriage canon of the Diocese of Albany recognizes and upholds this traditional understanding of marriage, and as a result prohibits its clergy from officiating at or allowing any marriage to take place on any church property other than that between a man and woman. Thus, to carry out the dictates of B012 would be a direct violation of our own diocesan canons.”

Bishop Love also cites the church’s Canon III.9.6 (“Rectors and Priests-in-Charge and Their Duties,” pp. 91-96, Constitution and Canons, 2015) and Canon IV.7 (“Of Pastoral Direction, Restricted Ministry and Administrative Leave,” pp. 141-43) as informing his letter, and links to a teaching on sexuality by Bishop Grant LeMarquand.

“I know I have said several things in this Pastoral Letter that some of the clergy and people of the Diocese of Albany and many in the wider Episcopal Church do not agree with,” Bishop Love wrote. “It has not been my intent to create conflict or divisions amongst us, but rather to share the message that I believe in all my heart God has given me share at this time in the life of the Church.”

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