[Episcopal News Service] The Rt. Rev. Daniel Herzog, retired bishop of the Diocese of Albany, announced on March 15 that he is resigning from the House of Bishops and ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church over unspecified disagreements with the church.
In a brief email to the northern New York diocese, Herzog said he informed Presiding Bishop Michael Curry last week that he will end his ministry in The Episcopal Church, including the seat in the House of Bishops that all active and retired bishops are entitled to, effective the week after Easter. Herzog said he is doing so “because of the direction of the church” but did not elaborate.
“This is without any anger or animosity, only sadness on the parting of friends,” Herzog wrote. “2021 marks fifty years of ordination. I am very grateful to Christ Jesus for the high privilege of serving Him and the Diocese of Albany, whose clergy and people I cherish in my heart.”
Herzog served as diocesan bishop from 1998 until his retirement in 2007, and during that time he expressed disagreement with some church decisions, including the 2003 consecration of the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as bishop of New Hampshire. After retiring as bishop, he renounced his ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church and joined the Roman Catholic Church. However, he sought to rejoin The Episcopal Church in 2010, and then-Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori restored his ordained ministry.
Herzog’s successor in the Diocese of Albany, the Rt. Rev. William Love, also disagreed with the church’s stance on LGBTQ issues. Love resigned, effective Feb. 1, 2021, after a disciplinary panel found that he violated church law by banning same-sex marriages in his diocese.
Reached by email, Herzog did not answer Episcopal News Service’s questions about why he resigned his ministry and whether he plans to rejoin the Roman Catholic Church. He reiterated that he is “relinquishing [his] role in the church and the Diocese of Albany,” including his position as priest-in-charge of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Ilion, New York.
“I am continuing at St. Augustine’s through Lent, Holy Week and Easter,” Herzog told ENS. “Low Sunday will complete this commitment, and my public life within the diocese. The future is in the hands of God.”
The next step in the process is the consideration of Herzog’s request for release and removal by Curry and his Council of Advice, said Nancy Davidge, public affairs officer for The Episcopal Church.
Curry, in a statement provided by Davidge, confirmed that Herzog had requested release from ordained ministry.
“I appreciate Bishop Herzog’s many years of faithful ministry and offer blessings upon him during this time of transition,” Curry said.