Title IV hearing panel issues decision in disciplinary matter involving the Rt. Rev. William H. Love

Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs
Posted Oct 5, 2020

On the evening of October 2, the Title IV Hearing Panel handling the disciplinary matter involving the Right Reverend William H. Love, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, notified Bishop Love that it had reached a decision in the matter.

At issue in the case is Bishop’s Love’s issuance in November 2018 of a Pastoral Direction requiring his clergy to refrain from performing same-sex marriages.  The Hearing Panel concluded that Bishop Love’s actions violated the Discipline and Worship of the Church, which Bishop Love promised to uphold in his ordination vows.  Bishop Love’s violation of the vows he made when ordained constitute a breach of Canon IV.4.1(c), the Hearing Panel concluded.

The matter was before the Hearing Panel on cross-motions for summary judgment filed by the Church Attorney on behalf The Episcopal Church and by Bishop Love’s counsel.   Using the summary judgment mechanism familiar in secular law, the parties agreed that no material facts were in dispute, and asked the Hearing Panel to resolve the matter without the need for a fact-finding hearing.  The Hearing Panel heard arguments from the parties on the merits of the case at a virtual hearing on June 12, 2020.

The Decision of the Hearing Panel on Cross-Motions for Judgment is available here. The non-disputed material facts pertinent to this matter were set out in a Joint Stipulation of Non-Disputed Material Facts dated February 20, 2020 agreed to by counsel for Bishop Love and the Church attorney.

The Panel will now proceed to schedule an opportunity to hear from both parties on proposed terms for an Order pursuant to Canons IV.13.14 and IV.14.