Retired Episcopal bishop joins Catholic Church, third such move in history
ALBANY, N.Y. (Catholic Online) – A recently retired bishop of the Episcopal Church has joined the Roman Catholic Church, in what may be a result of disagreements with the direction of his former faith community.
Daniel W. Herzog, the retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, N.Y., and his wife, Carol, have become Roman Catholics, according to a March 29 letter received by Catholic Online that was sent from U.S. Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to the faith community’s House of Bishops.
In taking this action, Herzog, who was ordained in 1971 and became Albany's bishop in June 1998, becomes only the third bishop in the history of the Episcopal Church to become a Roman Catholic and the first in almost 90 years, according to the Episcopal News Service.
Bishop Jefferts Schori noted that she had received a letter from Herzog “telling me that he has been received into the full communion of the Roman Catholic Church and that he desires to be removed from the ordained ministry of this church.” She said Herzog resigned from the House of bishops and church committees of which he was a member and that she would begin canonical procedures to remove him from ordained ministry in the church.
Herzog resigned in January.
In a March 28 letter to Herzog, Bishop Jefferts Schori said she knows the couple’s decision was "made after careful prayer and consideration,” wished them “well as you enter another room in Christ's church."
"You were certainly a dynamic member of the House of Bishops and one who had a forceful and strong ministry," she wrote. "Your commitment to evangelism was notable. You will be missed."
"I know that prayers of many go with you and Carol as you journey on toward the final kingdom," the letter concluded.
The Episcopal News Service reported that Herzog had expressed disagreement with some decisions of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, including its 2003 affirmation of an opening gay bishop elected in the Diocese of New Hampshire.
Other bishops who left the Episcopal Church for the Catholic Church were Levi S. Ives, bishop of North Carolina, in 1853, and Bishop Frederick Kinsman of Delaware in 1919.