With a disciplinary panel in the Episcopal Church convicting one of the denomination's bishops for violating his clerical vows in refusing to allow his priests to perform same-sex unions, a voice for transparency, for renewal, and for Christian orthodoxy says Episcopalians have a decision to make.
OneNewsNow has reported that while the punishment for Bishop William Love will be decided at a later date, the ecclesiastical court has determined that he violated canon law in refusing to follow Episcopal Resolution B012. Jeff Walton, communications manager for The Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD), says that is what mandates the church to bless homosexual unions.
"The question was … was he, the bishop, failing to live up to his ordination promises by not allowing his clergy to do same-sex rites, which the Episcopal General Convention has said should be enacted," Walton relays.
He says this circles back to 1996, when the denomination tried and acquitted Bishop Walter Righter for refusing to follow the biblical mandate that marriage is solely the union of one man and one woman.
"Cut to early 2019, and Bishop William Love, a traditionalist, was charged with basically upholding the church's traditional teaching on marriage," Walton notes.
The Episcopal Church in the US is split over this issue and that of the authority of scripture, and Walton says Bishop Love has been trying to reform the denomination from within for years.
"For some people, they just want to be able to be as faithful for as long as they can," the IRD spokesman submits. "When they're told that's no longer an option, then they'll reach that point; moving forward, they're probably going to have to make a decision, either as a diocese or as individual congregations: Can they do the ministry that they have been called to do by God in the structure of the Episcopal Church?"