TEC Bishop directs his clergy not to use General Convention trial Marriage Rites

Bishop William H. Love, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany in eastern New York state, has directed his clergy not to use the trial same-sex marriage rites authorised by the recent TEC General Convention.

In doing so, he writes not only to Christian believers in his own diocese, and to the worldwide church –

“To the People of God in the Diocese of Albany and throughout the World,

I speak to you today both as your Brother in Christ, and as the Bishop, Chief Pastor and Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of Albany. As Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Jesus commands us to love God first and foremost with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and secondly, to love one another (Mark 12: 28-31), remembering as Paul points out in (I Corinthians 12:13), we are all part of the One Body of Christ.

What impacts any one part or member of the Body, ultimately impacts the entire body, either directly or indirectly. That is true not only for individuals, but also for congregations, dioceses, provinces, the world wide Anglican Communion and the wider catholic or universal Church. Resolution B012 recently passed at the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church is one of those things that will impact all of us either directly or indirectly. …”

He goes on to explain why he is compelled to act as he does –

“On three separate occasions (my ordinations as deacon, priest, and bishop) I have solemnly declared ‘that I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to Contain all things necessary to salvation’ (BCP 513). Upon my consecration as Bishop, I was given a Bible and was issued the following charge by the Presiding Bishop: Receive the Holy Scriptures. Feed the flock of Christ committed to your charge, guard and defend them in His truth, and be a faithful steward of his holy Word and Sacraments’ (BCP 521). I take this charge very seriously.

I share all of this with you in an effort to help you understand the charge and responsibilities that Christ has given to me as I attempt to carry out the ministry entrusted to me as the Bishop of Albany and deal with the various issues such as B012 confronting the Church, particularly as they pertain to this Diocese. By God’s grace and the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, I have tried throughout my 12 years as Bishop of Albany, to be faithful and obedient to the Great Commandment, to God’s Holy Word, and to my ordination vows and the responsibilities entrusted to me as outlined above.

With the passage of B012, the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church in effect is attempting to order me as a Bishop in God’s holy Church, to compromise ‘the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3 ESV), and to turn my back on the vows I have made to God and His People, in order to accommodate The Episcopal Church’s ‘new’ understanding of Christian marriage as no longer being ‘a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God’ as proclaimed in the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP 422), but now allowing for the marriage of same-sex couples. …”

– Do read Bishop Love’s full Pastoral Letter and Pastoral Directive (PDF file).

See also:

+Love’s Last StandThe Anglican Curmudgeon.

Albany Episcopal Bishop outlaws same-sex marriage in his churches – The Albany Times Union:

“Love’s eight-page statement that accompanied his new pastoral directive comes three weeks before a resolution goes into effect that will allow same-sex marriages to be performed in Episcopal churches nationwide. …

Some local Episcopalians strongly disagreed with the Bishop’s letter.

While the letter was being read at St. Andrew’s in Albany Sunday, some parishioners gathered on the church steps to ceremonially burn the letter …”

Photo: Diocese of Albany.

Real freedoms will end the broken chain of exemptions

“Bad legislation is made in a rush. But when it comes to religious freedom we already have bad legislation and there seems to be no urgency to fix it properly – just a rush to create more. …

Let’s be very clear, before you read any further. Anglican schools in Sydney do not expel students for being gay and do not sack teachers for being gay. It is an absurd proposition and it strikes at the very heart of our faith, that all people are created in God’s image and valued in his sight and in our schools.”

– SydneyAnglicans.net has published the full text of Archbishop Glenn Davies’ open letter in The Australian of 6th November 2018.

Do take the time to read it – and share it widely.

Schools’ letter misinterpreted as homophobic, Anglican Archbishop says

“The Archbishop of Sydney says Anglican schools did not ask for and do not want exemptions from the Sex Discrimination Act but are seeking ‘a positive right to religious freedom’.

Anglican Archbishop Glenn Davies said that a letter to federal MPs asking for exemptions for religious schools under the Sex Discrimination Act to be maintained until alternative forms of legal protection are brought in has been misinterpreted as being homophobic. …”

– Story from The Sydney Morning Herald.

See also:

Real freedoms will end chaos – Archbishop Davies opinion piece in The Australian. (Subscription)

“Bad legislation is made in a rush. But when it comes to religious freedom we already have bad legislation and there seems to be no urgency to fix it properly — just a rush to create more. …”

Faith school freedoms ‘broken’ – The Australian. (Subscription)

“The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney has warned that existing legal protections for faith-based schools are ‘broken’ and urged the ­government to fundamentally reframe them in its response to the Ruddock review into ­religious freedoms. …”

And the Letter from the Heads of Schools. (PDF file)

What will be the cost of discipleship for confessing Anglicans in Oxford Diocese?

“A quotation from Dietrich Bonhoeffer would seem apt for Confessing Anglicans in Oxford Diocese after their bishops last week published a letter setting out their expectations for ‘radical LGBTI+ inclusion’ in local churches …”

– At Anglican Mainstream, Julian Mann examines the choice facing Bible-believing Christians in the Church of England’s Diocese of Oxford.

Kings Headmaster Tony George speaks about Religious Freedom

In a Kingscast Special, produced for the Kings School community, Headmaster Tony George answers questions about the Open Letter to All Members of Parliament sent on behalf of Anglican schools.

Watch the ten minute interview  – and do take the time to read the letter – it seems many haven’t. (3.4MB PDF file.)

ACT bill removing religious freedom from religious schools introduced

“As foreshadowed in the press reports noted in my previous post, the ACT Government has now introduced a Bill designed to curtail the current religious freedom enjoyed by religious schools in the Territory to operate in accordance with their beliefs.

The Discrimination Amendment Bill 2018 (ACT) is an unwise proposal and it is likely that it would be invalid as contrary to Commonwealth law. …”

Associate Professor in Law Neil Foster argues that the proposed ACT law should not be adopted.

Where are we headed?

“Unless we can persuade otherwise, the Government is about to remove an exemption for religious schools to make essential practical arrangements integral to the central ethos tenets and beliefs of our faith …”

– in his Moderator’s Comments, the Rev. John P Wilson, Moderator General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, writes about a major change being considered by the Government of Australia.

Anglican Educators write Open Letter to MPs

“The heads of the 34 Sydney Anglican schools have written an Open Letter to MPs, calling on Parliament to continue anti-discrimination exemptions which allow schools to main their Christian ethos and mission.

‘As Principals and Heads of Anglican Schools in Greater Sydney and the Illawarra we write this public letter to all members of the Parliament of Australia.’ the letter begins. ‘There has been quite some discussion recently about the rights of faith-based schools and their current exemptions under federal anti-discrimination legislation. The debate has been polemicised as the right to expel gay students, with little evidence that this occurs, and the right to dismiss gay staff members, again with little evidence that this occurs.’…”

– Story from SydneyAnglicans.net.

John Stott on Same-sex Relationships – review

“Churches have been slow to get thoroughly informed about this whole area until recently, despite the battles raging in the Anglican Communion about it. Give people this book to read; it’s super, and will do them good!”

– Wallace Benn reviews Sean Doherty’s revised and expanded edition of John Stott’s writing on this subject for Churchman.

ACT proposal to remove religious freedom provisions for schools

“Reports in the press note that that the ACT Government has announced its intention to ‘close a loophole’ in discrimination laws by removing the capacity of religious schools to apply their religious beliefs in staffing decisions.

The law being referred to is not a ‘loophole’, it is part of the fundamental architecture of discrimination law around Australia, with rare exceptions, and removing these provisions would not be a good idea. …”

– Neil Foster looks at the latest news – at Law and Religion Australia.

Fellowship with New Zealand Appeal

From The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid:

“In May this year the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia decided to allow diocesan bishops to authorise the blessing of same-sex marriages and civil unions.

Following the decision of the General Synod a number of clergy and their congregations decided to leave the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, while still wishing to remain Anglicans. They felt that they could no longer stay in a Church, which had abandoned the teaching of Jesus and compromised the fundamental principles of their faith.

At the end of September, there were nine clergy and four congregations, representing approximately 1000 members who have or are planning to disaffiliate from the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, in addition to a parish in West Hamilton, which has already disaffiliated in anticipation of these developments. In taking this step, church leaders have forgone their income and possibly church property.

The Archbishop is encouraging Sydney Anglicans [watch video of his Presidential Address, 15 October 2018] to support these faithful brothers and sisters who wish to remain part of the Anglican family as they seek to establish an extra-provincial diocese. Gafcon Australia, with the support of Synod, has launched an appeal through Anglican Aid to assist them as they set up this new structure. Funds will be disbursed through the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand.”

– Read the details, and donate, at Anglican Aid. (Links added above.)

For some background to what’s been happening in New Zealand: Related posts.

‘Anglican bishop defends same-sex marriage ban’

Bishop Michael Stead was interviewed by Linda Mottram for ABC Radio’s PM yesterday.

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