You couldn’t make it up: a bishop whose name is ‘Will Love’, who upholds the gospel message as almost all Christians believe it, is being put on trial at the behest of a presiding bishop who preached on the importance of ‘treating each other like family’.
Remember that lovely, smiley American bishop who spoke at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a couple of years ago?
And do you recall how he spoke so inspiringly, in the opinion of many, about love? Yes, how the words of Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the US Episcopal Church, soared with poetry in the chapel at Windsor Castle as he declared: ‘When love is the way, there’s plenty good room – plenty good room – for all of God’s children.’
His voice rang with passion and hearts were melted as he continued: ‘Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other, well… like we are actually family. When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all, and we are brothers and sisters, children of God.’ Even now I am weeping with emotion as I type these words today.
Turns out, however, that Bishop Curry seems to have forgotten his own sermon – at least if his treatment of a fellow bishop in the US is anything to go by. For in a few weeks’ time the Bishop of Albany, William Love, will go on trial, after Michael Curry restricted his ministry just over a year ago.
You might rightly wonder about Bishop Love’s crime. Was he siphoning off diocesan money, for example? Has he had a series of secret affairs?….
But no. Bishop Love has done none of those things. Bishop Love stands accused of believing what most Christians – Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal, Evangelical, and indeed Anglican – believe, and have always believed, about sex and marriage. His crime, if one can call it that, is not to permit same-sex marriages in his diocese.