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Background to the resignation of Dean Collum

13 November 2015


From Zachary Guiliano

Sir, — You reported (News, 6 November) on the resignation of the Very Revd David Collum, Dean of All Saints’ Cathedral, Albany, in the United States, putatively over differences of opinion between the Dean and the Bishop of Albany, the Rt Revd William Love.

Your report stated that “Bishop Love is one of seven out of more than 100 Episcopalian bishops who have opposed same-sex marriage publicly.” This statement mirrors language that first appeared in the Albany Times-Union (23 October 2015), but it is inaccurate.

As I reported for The Living Church on 29 June (“Bishops Redefine Marriage”), one of the significant votes on the change of the Episcopal Church’s canons, in order to clear the way for same-sex marriage in the Episcopal Church, broke down as follows: 129 votes for, 26 against, and 5 abstentions. Clearly, Bishop Love was not merely one of seven in that vote, even if he stood in the minority.

Bishop Love is one of seven current diocesan bishops who are formally part of the Communion Partners (www.communionpartners.org); the group also includes retired bishops and assistant bishops. This organisation has been among the most vocal recent opponents of same-sex marriage in the Episcopal Church. But even the Communion Partners’ Salt Lake City statement, which registered “dissent” from the 78th General Convention’s actions, was signed by 28 bishops with voice and vote.

This number included most of the Episcopal Church’s bishops of overseas dioceses, such as the bishops of the Dominican Republic, Honduras, the Virgin Islands, Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti, and Ecuador Litoral. Again, Bishop Love was not merely one of seven “who have opposed same-sex marriage publicly”.

St John’s College
Cambridge CB2 1TP

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