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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The decisions of the Minneapolis General Convention, focused on human sexuality, have received media attention around the world. A divided church assented to the ordination of the bishop-elect of New Hampshire. The bishops, clergy and laity of Albany spoke with a common voice in upholding the received teaching of the Scriptures and the constant teaching of the church, in opposing this consent.
We believe this action contravenes the Constitution of the Episcopal Church and its stated purpose to propagate the historic faith and order of the church. We have appealed to the Primates and the Archbishop of Canterbury to intervene in this pastoral emergency.
Prior to the Convention, Bishop Bena and I met with Anglican leaders from around the world. They were of the opinion that this would deeply affect the whole Anglican Communion. Decisions of this magnitude should not be undertaken by a single national church.
And, in spite of media spin, no authorization was given for blessing sexual relationships outside marriage. The practices of the Diocese of Albany remain unchanged: there will be no blessing of relationships outside marriage.
The Episcopal Church has a distinguished record of pastoral care for all her members including sexual minorities. This has been done with pastoral sensitivity while remaining faithful to the Christian moral consensus.
Our constant teaching is that upon the Cross, Christ Jesus made a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. No one is excluded from His redeeming love which is received by repentance and faith. None of us can engage in spiritual superiority.
We need to ask the Holy Spirit to continue to form in us the mind of Christ, and to renew our personal willingness to become disciples who make disciples.
The entire deputation from Albany fully concurs in this Pastoral Letter.
In Christ Jesus,
+ Daniel W. Herzog
Bishop of Albany