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.
“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