Bishop Michael Curry, who gave the sermon at last year’s royal wedding, has just issued a Restriction on Ministry to Bishop William Love for banning same-sex weddings in Love’s Albany Diocese.
“In those instances where I find that this church is asking me to go in opposition to what God has spoken through Holy Scripture, God’s word will triumph in terms of my actions, and then this House will have to decide how you will deal with that,” Love said in his testimony before his fellow bishops in July. “But I will remain faithful to God’s word.”
Bishop Curry has indeed decided how to deal with Love and has essentially forbidden him from taking any negative action toward any member of his diocese when it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage. Curry also noted that Love might be subject to discipline for refusing to follow Resolution B012.
Fallout From July
The Episcopal Church passed Resolution B012 in July of 2018, compelling all of the church’s dioceses to perform same-sex marriages. Individual priests who feel that doing so would violate their consciences must find another priest willing to conduct those ceremonies. Before B012 passed, a diocese could refuse to conduct same-sex weddings.
The resolution passed with a significant majority. Only eight bishops, including Love, disagreed with it. Before the resolution went into effect on Dec. 2, 2018, Love announced his refusal to follow the resolution in a statement in which he prohibited same-sex marriages in his diocese. In the statement, he said that the Episcopal Church was being influenced by the culture and deceived by Satan, who was dividing the church. God, Love believes, is going to judge the Episcopal Church and remove His blessing from it.
The Episcopal News Service (ENS) reports that after the resolution passed, Love was the only bishop who categorically refused to follow it. Many of the other originally dissenting bishops have since made compromises to comply with the resolution.
In his testimony in July explaining why he disagreed with Resolution B012, Bishop Love said that when he was ordained, he vowed in good conscience to uphold and preach the Bible as the word of God, interpreting it and faithfully proclaiming it to others. Up to this point, Love said, he’s been able to do that. As he want far past his time limit of two minutes, Love explained to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry that he was gravely concerned about the resolution the bishops were about to pass.
I’m not sure that we have fully studied this issue the way that we should in terms of Scripture… What we have had up to this point is an awful lot of listening, which is a good thing, but it’s listening to people’s personal experiences, it’s listening to people’s feelings, their emotions. What we have not had an honest look at, sir, is what God has said about this issue and how best to help people who find themselves to be in same-sex relationships.
Love went on to say that he loved his LGBT “brothers and sisters in Christ” and that it was important to treat “each of them with respect.” He pointed out that Bishop Curry had even met a lesbian couple who are friends with Love, despite the fact that they disagree with him. Love concluded his testimony by stressing his belief the church was undercutting his authority and that of the other dissenting bishops.
Love has not yet commented on Bishop Curry’s restriction. Speaking to the ENS, diocesan communications officer Meaghan Keegan said, “He will be issuing a statement in the coming days.”