Skip to comments.Ex-Episcopal bishop returns to flock
Posted on 05/04/2010 8:38:01 AM PDT by NYer
Daniel W. Herzog became an outspoken national opponent of ordaining gay clergy after he retired from the ministry in 2007. He made news that year when he and two other diocesan bishops left the Episcopal Church to join the Roman Catholic Church.
The Episcopal Church, the American wing of the worldwide Anglican Communion, had been in turmoil following the consecration in 2003 of V. Gene Robinson as its first openly gay bishop.
Herzog's return was announced this week by Albany Bishop William Love. Both Herzog and his wife, Carol, left the church. Herzog was one of only a handful of Episcopal bishops ever to join another church.
"Carol and I are grateful for the continuing opportunity to serve our Lord and His church in the Diocese of Albany," Herzog said in a statement. "My only plan is to assist in any way Bishop Bill directs. We are honored to resume a fuller place among the clergy and laity of the diocese."
The Albany diocese has joined with the conservative branch of the church in opposing same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay clergy, said Robert Dodd, president of Albany Via Media, an Anglican laity group that opposed Herzog's steering of the diocese into a more conservative position.
Dodd said Herzog was right to leave the church because the bishop opposed some of its central beliefs.
He said Herzog's return has been well-received in the diocese.
"There seems to be general jubilation in the diocese," Dodd said. "At the moment, there are fences that need mending."
Herzog could not be reached for comment on Sunday. Albany diocese spokesman Ken Goldfarb said Herzog's conversion was handled by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.
Herzog's former assistant bishop, David Bena, also protested the ordination of gay clergy. He transferred from the U.S. Episcopal Church to the Church of Nigeria, an anti-gay splinter group.
Herzog's transfer was extremely rare, though he was a Roman Catholic until about 40 years ago. Herzog graduated from St. Bonaventure University, a Catholic school, in 1964. He assumed the office as the diocese's eighth bishop in 1998.
Under Herzog, the 19-county Albany diocese of about 20,000 baptized members began a controversial process of selling church real estate worth millions of dollars to raise money for a Washington County spiritual retreat called Christ the King Spiritual Life Center.
That center is where Herzog's return to the church was announced Friday by Love, who was his successor.
Love welcomed Herzog's return and said Herzog and his wife have always been active in an unofficial capacity after their departure.
"During the past three years, they have continued to support the work of the diocese and to participate in a non-ordained capacity," Love said in a statement. "His restored role will be of help in carrying out the work of the church, and I will be asking him to assist in this diocese under my direction, as is true of any retired bishop."
If you ever wonder at how bad things are here in the RC Diocese of Albany, then perhaps this article will convince you. Herzog is more traditionalist. It is very challenging to find anything remotely traditional in this diocese. Last year, Bishop Hubbard closed the only church where the Latin Mass was said on Sunday. That group scrambled to find another church that would accomodate them.
Now, we're even losing our converts! ;-)
Praying that the converts won’t leave. I think that Herzog may return. He would be a great Catholic Bishop.
this article is confusing....the Ex Episcopal bishop LEFT his church, joined the RC church and is he now back to being Episcopal?
Sounds like the next rats-nest to be cleaned up. Do the Pope/ folks in Rome know?
It takes years of intense study at J-school to come up with an article that confusing.
I’m confused too.
Actually, he left the RC church to join the Anglican Church 40 years ago (he wanted to get married). Two years ago, he left the Anglican Church to return to the RC Church. Now he is returning to the Anglican Church.
He left the Latin Church 40 years ago and joined the Anglican Church (he wanted to get married). He was elevated to bishop. Then, 2 years ago, he re-converted to the Latin Church. Now, apparently, he is returning to the Anglican Church.
See the two previous comments for the explanation.
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Thanks for the PING
Maybe he should just become a Unitarian.
Thanks for the scorecard. The story was a bit confusing.
May we all pray that he serve the Lord as he is led by the Spirit.