Episcopal Church Holds Hearing for New York Bishop Who Refused to Allow Same-sex Marriages in His Diocese

The Title IV hearing for Episcopal Diocese of Albany Bishop William Love, held via Zoom conference on Friday, June 12, 2020. | Screengrab: Facebook/TItle IV Hearing Panel

The Episcopal Church held a hearing in the case of a bishop who refused to allow for the blessing of same-sex marriages in his diocese.

Bishop William Love of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany was punished last year with a restriction on his ministerial duties after refusing to allow gay marriages in his diocese.

His case was brought before a Title IV Hearing Panel, which focuses on issues of ecclesiastical discipline whenever a clergyman is accused of misconduct.

Originally scheduled for April 21 before the shutdowns over coronavirus concerns, the hearing was held via Zoom teleconference on June 12 and posted on social media.

The teleconference hearing did not address the theological validity of Love’s views, but rather focused on whether the bishop’s actions violated Episcopal Church law.

Paul Cooney, who represented The Episcopal Church, told the hearing panel that Love was obligated to a new resolution that mandated all dioceses to bless same-sex weddings.

“Canon 118 provides that wherever permitted by secular law and the dioceses of The Episcopal Church, opposite sex and same-sex marriage both may be solemnized by Episcopal clergy,” explained Cooney.

“We contend that the Albany marriage canons’ limitation of access to holy matrimony to couples who are a man and a woman is in conflict with the standard of access in Canon 118.”

The Rev. Chip Strickland, representing Love, said that The Episcopal Church carries “the burden of proof” and that he believes they have “failed to prove any offense by Bishop Love.”

Strickland argued that Love was adhering to the doctrines of the denomination, which includes the Book of Common Prayer, where marriage is defined as being between one man and one woman.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski