Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued an order for Restoration of Ordained Ministry for retired Bishop of Albany Daniel W. Herzog, who left the Episcopal Church in March 2007 to join the Roman Catholic Church.
"I am delighted at his return to ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church," said Jefferts Schori.
The presiding bishop issued the order after "full consultation and on the recommendation of Diocese of Albany Bishop William H. Love," according to a news release from the church's Office of Public Affairs due to be posted here.
Love announced Herzog's return to the Episcopal Church April 30 at the diocese's priests retreat at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich, New York, where Herzog was invited to celebrate the closing Eucharist.
"Though he has never really been absent from our common life, I want to formally welcome Bishop Dan and Carol back to the full communion of the diocese and the wider church," said Love in a statement included in the news release. "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 that Herzog's "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."
Love, who was consecrated Sept. 16, 2006, succeeded Herzog after the latter's retirement.
Carol Herzog, the bishop's wife, also left the Episcopal Church in March 2007.
"I want to extend my deep appreciation to Bishop Love and to Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori for their kindness and pastoral solicitude," said Herzog in his statement in the news release. "Carol and I are grateful for the continuing opportunity to serve our Lord and His church in the Diocese of Albany. 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."
Herzog became Albany's bishop in June 1998. He was ordained a priest in 1971 after graduating from Nashotah House seminary. Before leaving the church, 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.
Herzog was one of three diocesan bishops to leave the Episcopal Church in 2007 for the Roman Catholic Church. Clarence Pope, former bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth left in August and John B. Lipscomb, retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida, left in November.
The restoration document states: "Upon the retraction of his Renunciation of Ordained Ministry in this Church, which retraction was made to me in writing on April 1, 2010, and his execution of the Declaration of Conformity prescribed by Article VIII of the Constitution of The Episcopal Church, and with the advice and consent of the Council of Advice to the Presiding Bishop, I have rescinded the Declaration of Removal and Release from the Ordained Ministry of this church, executed by me on September 6, 2007."
Herzog, the document continues, is "restored to the Ordained Ministry of the Church."
In addition to Jefferts Schori, Connecticut Bishop Suffragan James Curry and Bishop Herbert Donovan, deputy to the presiding bishop for Anglican Communion Relations, signed the restoration document as witnesses.