SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – The issue of gay marriage is at the heart of a disagreement in the Episcopal Church in upstate New York. An Albany Bishop has banned same-sex marriage in his diocese, going so far as to say in a letter to the Albany Diocese that the church has been ‘hijacked by the ‘gay rights agenda,'” with Satan at the source of this division in the church.
But the Bishop of the Central New York Diocese strongly disagrees.
Bishop DeDe Duncan Probe said she was aware that Bishop William Love and others have struggled with the concept of gay marriage in the Episcopal Church, but was surprised at the severity in tone of Love’s letter.
“Even if we disagree about what morality might be, we must love one another,” Probe said. “So I too was troubled when he invoked the term Satan, because I think it was more damaging than he realizes.”
A new directive about gay marriage in Episcopal churches nationwide goes into effect in December, allowing same sex marriages even in iocese where leadership is opposed.
Probe said the Episcopal Church has resolved that the rite of marriage is open to all, regardless of sexuality or gender expression. But she doesn’t think this difference of opinion will tear the church apart.
“I think the church is always resilient, because God is at work in Albany, and God is at work in central New York,” she said. “And so we continue to discern this together. How to love each other and how to love God.”
Probe emphasizes that there have been several same-sex marriages in Episcopal churches in the central New York Diocese that stretches from Canada to the Pennsylvania border, and that won’t change.
“In the Episcopal Church in central New York, they can come and be affirmed and honored in those loving relationships,” Probe said.