William H. Love

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William Howard Love
Jefforts Schori and Love 1 (cropped 2).JPG
Bishop Love in 2011
ChurchEpiscopal Church
ElectedMarch 25, 2006
In office2007–2021
PredecessorDaniel W. Herzog
Successorsede vacante
ConsecrationSeptember 16, 2006
by Frank Griswold
LaicizedMarch 29, 2021
Personal details
Born (1957-08-14) August 14, 1957 (age 63)
Dallas, Texas, United States
SpouseColonel Karen Love (m. 1983)
Previous postCoadjutor Bishop of Albany (2006-2007)

William Howard Love (born August 14, 1957, in Dallas, Texas) was the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany. He served as Bishop of Albany from 2007 until January 31, 2021. Love is known for his support for a traditional definition of marriage and for his opposition to the blessing of same-sex unions. In October 2020, Love was found to have violated Episcopal Church doctrine and rules due to his unwillingness to permit same-sex unions to be blessed by clergy within the Albany diocese. In response to that finding, Love resigned from his position as bishop on February 1, 2021. On March 29 of that year, Love was released and removed from the ordained ministry by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry at his own request.[1]

The Anglican Diocese of the Living Word, a diocese within the Anglican Church of North America, announced the appointment of Love as Assistant Bishop on 3 April 2021[2]

Early education, career, and marriage[edit]

According to the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, Love is a Texas native; he earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Southwest Texas State in 1980, a Master of Science degree in education from the State University of New York-Plattsburgh in 1988,[3][better source needed] and a Master's degree in Divinity in 1991 from Nashotah House.[4][better source needed] Prior to becoming a priest, he served as an intelligence officer in the Air Force.[4][better source needed] Love was ordained a deacon in 1991 and a priest in 1992.[4] He served as rector of St. Mary's Church in Lake Luzerne, New York for 14 years.[4] Love has been married to retired Air Force Colonel Karen Love since 1983; the Loves have two children and several grandchildren.[4]

Bishop of Albany[edit]

Location of the Diocese of Albany

Love was elected bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany on March 25, 2006;[3] he received the consent of the General Convention that summer in Columbus, Ohio.[5] Love was consecrated as bishop coadjutor by Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold on September 16, 2006 at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.[3] On February 4, 2007, Love was installed as the ninth bishop of Albany.[4]

Love has consistently stood for an orthodox view of the Bible and for the stance of the Anglican Communion on matters of human sexuality.[6] He asserts that "'the Bible is, in fact, the word of God. It’s not just some historic document that was written some 2,000-plus years ago, but [is] God’s revealed word.'"[6] Regarding marriage, Love adheres to an orthodox interpretation of Scripture, affirming that sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage and that marriage is an opposite-sex union. Love takes the view that homosexually-oriented persons should remain celibate.[6]

On January 19, 2008, Love celebrated the Eucharist at St. Andrew's Church in Albany while hosting a visit by Bonnie Anderson, president of the Episcopal Church's House of Deputies. A dialogue followed between progressives from Via Media and the more conservative representatives of the church, and "stressed unity and communication". Both liberals and conservatives in the diocese praised Love for attending the event.[7][8][9] The national church's web site posted a story about the event, quoting Bishop Love and several of the 300 attendees at the event.[10]

In June 2008, under Love's leadership, the Episcopal Diocese of Albany passed a resolution stating that only heterosexual marriages would be celebrated within the diocese. After the resolution was passed, Bishop Love was quoted as stating that "the important thing ... is that God loves all people, regardless of where they might be in their life. That doesn't necessarily mean he approves of all of our behaviors."[11]

Love gained national attention at the Episcopal Church's July 2009 convention in Anaheim, California. At that convention, the Church passed a resolution allowing the blessing of same-sex unions.[12] At a news conference organized by a conservative Anglican group, Love said, "It is breaking my heart to see the church destroy itself"; however, he vowed to remain within the Episcopal Church nonetheless.[12] Love continued to be in the news in October 2009, when he commented on the state of the church after the Vatican, in the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, announced a canonical framework to integrate groups of disaffected Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church.[13][dead link] Love was quoted as saying, "What state we are in when we get through this, only God knows ..." He also acknowledged that two parishes in the Diocese of Albany were attempting to leave the Episcopal Church.[13][dead link] Love has granted Delegated Ecclesiastical Parish Oversight (DEPO)--a status where certain parishes remain a part of a diocese, but receive certain pastoral functions from a bishop outside that diocese—to three parishes. As of 2012, the parishes receiving DEPO were St. Luke's, Saranac Lake; St. George's, Schenectady; and St. John's, Essex.[14][15]

Love opposed the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in New York.[16][17][better source needed] He was the only Episcopal bishop in New York to do so.[16][better source needed]

In 2015, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church "sanctioned gay marriage across the American church but [allowed] the bishops of eight dioceses [including Albany] to opt out." In July 2018, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church passed a resolution allowing same-sex weddings to be performed in the eight dissenting dioceses.[6] Love strongly opposed the resolution.[6] In November 2018, he issued a pastoral directive banning same-sex weddings from being held by clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Albany;[18] in an accompanying letter, Love wrote: "Recent statistics show that The Episcopal Church is spiraling downward... I can’t help but believe that God has removed His blessing from this Church. Unless something changes, The Episcopal Church is going to die."[19]

In response to Love's pastoral directive, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry placed Love on a partial ministry restriction.[20] A June 12, 2020 disciplinary hearing was held to determine whether Love had violated church law by refusing to allow same-sex weddings to be conducted by Episcopal clergy in the Albany Diocese.[21][22] On October 2, 2020, a disciplinary panel ruled that Love had violated Episcopal doctrine and rules.[23] On October 24, 2020, Love announced his resignation as bishop pursuant to a disciplinary agreement with church authorities. His resignation became effective on February 1, 2021.[20]

On March 30, 2021 Love announced that he would be leaving ministry in the Episcopal church to join the Anglican Church in North America. The same day presiding bishop Curry stated that he had approved releasing Love from Episcopal ministry. Earlier the same year, Love's predecessor as Bishop of Albany, Daniel W. Herzog, also announced that he was leaving ministry.[24][25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Office of Public Affairs (30 March 2021). "Presiding Bishop's Statement on the Release and Removal of the Rt. Rev. William Love from the Ordained Ministry of The Episcopal Church". The Episcopal Church. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Bill Love appointed Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of the Living Word". Anglican Ink. 2021-04-03. Retrieved 2021-04-08. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c "ALBANY: William Howard Love consecrated bishop coadjutor". Episcopal Church. September 24, 2006.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Our Bishop – Episcopal Diocese of Albany". albanyepiscopaldiocese.org.
  5. ^ "SUMMARY OF ACTIONS OF THE 75TH GENERAL CONVENTION" (PDF). EpiscopalChurch.org. July 2006. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e Biancolli, Amy (September 1, 2018). "Facing a schism: A bishop, gay marriage and the Episcopal diocese of Albany". Times Union. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  7. ^ Parry, Marc. "A fractured church seeking common faith: Episcopal leaders discuss -- and disagree on -- the role of gays in their communion," Albany Times Union, January 20, 2008, found at "A fractured church seeking common faith" in the Albany Times Union. Accessed January 22, 2008.
  8. ^ Parry, Marc. "Episcopal aide seeks to mend relations: House of Deputies president visits Albany as church faces rift", Albany Times Union, January 18, 2008, found at "Episcopal aide" in the Albany Times Union. Accessed January 22, 2008.
  9. ^ Parry, Marc. "Key U.S. Episcopalian to speak in Albany", Albany Times Union, January 17, 2008, found at "Key U.S. Episcopalian to speak in Albany" in the Albany Times Union. Accessed January 22, 2008.
  10. ^ Schjonberg, Mary Frances. "Bonnie Anderson encourages open conversation in Albany diocese; Communication must remain focused on unity in Christ, Bishop Love says," Episcopal News Service, January 22, 2008, found at Episcopal Church USA Official web site. Accessed January 23, 2008.
  11. ^ Times Union. June 8, 2008 http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=694502&category=REGION&newsdate=6/8/2008. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  12. ^ a b Laurie Dotson, "Pared-Down Episcopal Church Is Looking to Grow Through ‘Inclusivity’", New York Times, July 19, 2009, found at New York Times article of July 19, 2009. Accessed July 22, 2009.
  13. ^ a b New York Times and Albany Times Union staff reports, "Vatican to ease rules on Anglicans", Albany Times Union, October 21, 2009, p. A5, col. 1, found at Albany Times Union website. Accessed October 21, 2009.
  14. ^ Crowe, Kenneth C. III, "Bishop: Episcopal Church Must Change," Albany Times Union, May 4, 2012, found at Albany Times Union website. Accessed October 23, 2012.
  15. ^ Love, The Rt. Rev. William, "Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO) in the Diocese of Albany," The Albany Episcopalian, May 2012, found at 'Episcopal Diocese of Albany' website. Accessed October 23, 2012.
  16. ^ a b Love, William H. (June 30, 2011). "Episcopal Albany Bishop Rejects NY Same-Sex Legislation". VirtueOnline.org. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  17. ^ Foust, Michael (May 4, 2007). "MARRIAGE DIGEST: Conn. high court to hear 'gay marriage' case minus justice; …". Baptist Press. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  18. ^ Stanforth, Lauren; Moench, Mallory (November 11, 2018). "Albany Episcopal Bishop outlaws same-sex marriage in his churches". Times Union.
  19. ^ Walton, Jeffrey (November 16, 2018). "Bishop Bill Love: No to Same-Sex Marriages in Episcopal Diocese of Albany". Juicy Ecumenism. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  20. ^ a b "Albany Episcopal bishop to resign over same-sex marriage stance". syracuse. Associated Press. October 25, 2020.
  21. ^ Millard, Egan (June 12, 2020). "In disciplinary hearing, Albany Bishop William Love defends prohibition of same-sex marriage in his diocese".
  22. ^ Biancolli, Amy (June 12, 2020). "In disciplinary hearing, Albany bishop affirms his opposition to gay marriage". Times Union.
  23. ^ Gavin, Robert (October 5, 2020). "Episcopal Church rules Albany bishop violated rules in stopping same-sex marriages". Times Union.
  24. ^ Millard, Egan (March 30, 2021). "Former Albany Bishop William Love leaves The Episcopal Church to join ACNA". Episcopal News Service. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  25. ^ Goodwin, Mike (March 31, 2021). "Former Bishop William Love leaves Episcopal Church after same-sex marriage rulling". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved April 1, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

See also[edit]

Episcopal Church (USA) titles
Preceded by
Daniel W. Herzog
9th Bishop of Albany
2007 to 2021
Succeeded by