Bishop Duncan-Probe responds to Bishop Love’s November 10th Pastoral Letter and Directive

Following the recent statement of Bishop Love of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York has issued a statement, available in full below.

Bishop Duncan-Probe is the Vice-President of Province II of The Episcopal Church, which includes the Dioceses of Albany, Central New York, the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, Cuba, Haiti, Long Island, Newark, New Jersey, New York, Rochester, Western New York, and the Virgin Islands. In addition, under an agreement with Bishop Love, Bishop Duncan-Probe exercises Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO) over one congregation in the Diocese of Albany: St. Andrew’s, Albany. DEPO means that Bishop Duncan-Probe includes the congregation in her regular rotation of Sunday visitations, and provides pastoral care and oversight to the parish’s clergy. The parish remains under the authority of Bishop Love. 

A statement on the matter from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of The Episcopal Church may be found here. House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings’ response is here.


 “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7

LGBTQ people are God’s beloved, made in the image of God, and are our beloved neighbors, friends, clergy and lay leaders of The Episcopal Church.

All human love is a reflection of God’s love, and The Episcopal Church has resolved that the rite of marriage is open to all in our Church, regardless of sexuality or gender expression. The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York continues to uphold the policies of The Episcopal Church and is dedicated to Jesus Christ who commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Our dedication to our LBGTQ siblings was exemplified this past summer when priests and laypeople from across our Diocese marched in Pride parades and participated in Pride festivities in Syracuse, Binghamton and elsewhere. As the Diocesan Bishop, I am resolute in my affirmation of equality, dignity, and full inclusion for all people regardless of their political, social, or theological views. We are, first and foremost, people committed to the loving, liberating, life-giving way of Jesus.

I recognize this is a challenging time and that some may have found the recent statement of Bishop Love of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany to be injurious. I want to be clear that God loves you and has created you as a blessing in our world. Each of us is called to be our authentic self, for only then can we truly be the beloved community God intends. I affirm marriage equality and stand as an ally for social justice for all persons. All of us—LGBTQ people, Bishop Love, the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, and the people of this diocese—are beloved children of God.

Please join me in praying for the clergy and people of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, The Episcopal Church, and our LGBTQ siblings everywhere. May we all be defined by what we are for, by the love we share and our dedication to the Good News that God loves us and that we are God’s beloved people. And, as our Presiding Bishop says, may God hold us all in those Almighty hands of love.

May the eternal love of God bless you and keep you.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan Probe
Bishop of Central New York

Showing 14 comments
  • Laurie Sanderson

    ThankYou, well said,

  • Jennifer Collier

    Dearest Bishop DeDe Darling,
    From the other side of the world THANK YOU for your words of love and affirmation for those of us who are queer children of God and who continue to dream of a day when we are as loved and welcome and affirmed and empowered by our faith siblings in the same way that we experience unconditional love and affirmation from our queer siblings.
    In Their love, jennifer, ❤💛💚💙💜🏳️‍🌈

  • J. Kevin Michel

    From one small member of one small congregation in northern Maryland, would you please accept my thanks. You have offered one more affirmation for why I became a member of ECUSA, and why I stay with the wonderful, cranky, iconoclastic, loving members of my congregation. In OUR church, we are always about making room for one more soul to find God’s love, and you are obviously just the right kind of shepherd for such a diverse flock.

    J. Kevin Michel

  • Christian M. Clough

    Dear Bp. DeDe,

    I just saw in the Albany Times-Union that you issued a statement affirming the inherent holiness of all loving relationships, and now I find it here, contrasting with the position recently reasserted by Bp. Love. I know that even in Central NY not everyone will be fully at ease with your position, and I therefore wanted to send a note of thanks and support—all the way from Chicago!—for doing so. Upstate/Central NY feels a lot more like home knowing that my husband and I are safe and welcome there.

    Thank you.

    Christian M. Clough

  • Ryan Davis

    That moment when you accuse someone of twisting scripture yet fail to use any to justify a single claim. I mean forget actual academic exegesis, this couldn’t bother to even misquote a single verse?

    As a matter of curiosity where do you read that God calls us to be our authentic self? I can point you to where he calls us to be Holy as He is holy, to be weary of our hearts as they are deceiving, to take up our cross and deny ourselves, and to flee from the lusts of our sinful selves, but nothing close to being our authentic self…in fact that seems to contradict the call to repentance.

    • Meredith Sanderson

      Mr. Davis:

      There is room for a variety of theological positions in The Episcopal Church, and I expect your interpretation of scripture are shared by some members of our communities. At the same time, I encourage you to review the statement above, which contains no accusations and does in fact quote scripture.

      Bishop Duncan-Probe quotes this verse: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7).

      Similarly, in Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus is asked: “‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’”

      The commandment to love God and love our neighbor is the lens through which many Episcopalians and Christians read the Spirit-inspired scriptures. The question then becomes: what actions by the Church and her members fulfill this commandment?

      If you have not followed Bishop Duncan-Probe up until now, I invite you to browse her other messages available on this website. She speaks frequently of the call to repentance and striving to follow Jesus, especially when the journey is challenging.


      Meredith Sanderson

      • Adam James Gadomski

        I wasn’t aware that “love” meant “have sex with”.

        • Janet O'Flynn

          That WOULD be exhausting, for sure!

  • Richard Whelden

    Dear Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe,

    My wife, Sarah, and I send our greetings to you and your family. Thank you for the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York statement of support for the LGBTQ community. It is a wonderful message of inclusion and welcome to all to worship and participate fully in the Episcopal Church in your diocese. We are members of Trinity Episcopal Church in Potsdam which is in the Diocese of Albany. Sarah and I greatly appreciate your position and commitment on this issue. We can only pray that Presiding Bishop Curry discerns an equally compassionate way forward.

    Take care.

    Sincerely your former parishioner at St. Peter’s in the Woods,


  • Wayne Rowland

    If a person is a thief does he have to repent of his theft to become a christian? Does a liar have to repent of his lying? Can the man who continues to commit adultery with his neighbor’s wife continue to call himself a christian (will God forgive him if he never repents)? Jesus didn’t condemn kidnapping, does that make it ok? Was it love when the prophet of Islam married and had sex with his 9 year old prepubescent wife Aisha? Is beastiality a sin (if so, where’s the verse)? Is it love to deceive others into thinking their sinful behavior won’t land them in hell?

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Presiding Bishop Curry