Deck stacked against Bishop Love in disciplinary hearing

Jun 14, 2020 by

By Mary Ann Mueller, VirtueOnline:

For more than three hours, Bishop William Love (IX Albany) sat relatively mute while his diocesan chancellor, the Rev. Chip Strickland, and The Episcopal Church Attorney, Paul Cooney, haggled over the wording and phraseology and nuances of Episcopal Church canons, the church’s constitutional articles, General Convention resolutions, and Book of Common Prayer rubrics.

In the end it was Bishop Nicholas Knisely’s (XIII Rhode Island) final question that really defined the church’s hoped for outcome that Bishop Love would find a way to capitulate and compromise what he holds dear and open up his diocese to unbridled same-sex marriage.

“What would Bishop Love like to see General Convention do that would rise to the level where he (Bishop Love) would then say: ‘Yes, General Convention has acted properly and I will follow what General Convention is asking.’?” Bishop Knisely asked Fr. Strickland.

“The short answer is: there is not going to be anything along the lines of changing his mind or satisfy him or putting him in a (compromising) position. He is doctrinally opposed to same-sex marriage that will not change. At the same time, he is sworn to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the (Episcopal) Church; if those things change, then he’ll have to make his decisions.”

There was such a finality in Fr. Strickland’s answer on behalf of Bishop Love, that the three hours’ meeting ended in fewer than 90 seconds. However, it will take several weeks for the hearing panel for the Disciplinary Board of Bishops to render its written decision.

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