jQuery Slider

You are here

Florida Wannabee Bishop gets Thumbs Down from Ohio; Thumbs Up from Texas

Florida Wannabee Bishop gets Thumbs Down from Ohio; Thumbs Up from Texas

By David W. Virtue, DD
May 17, 2023

In the weird world of Episcopal politics, the election of Charlie Holt to be the next Bishop of Florida must rank among the top-most bizarre stories of the year.

Holt has been nominated and elected twice, and twice challenged to be the bishop on procedural and pseudo-scriptural grounds. And now before the vote has been counted by 105 episcopal bishops and their Standing Committees, two dioceses have weighed in on his election -- one from the Ohio Standing Committee saying he is not fit to be bishop and another from the moderately conservative bishop of Texas, Andrew Doyle giving Holt the thumbs up.

Holt needs 50% plus one to get elected. The jury is still out. The matter will be decided July 20. In nearly all cases, this happens routinely and without publicity, and the church center issues a routine announcement. This could turn out quite differently.

The Diocese of Ohio Standing Committee weighed in saying that it had voted to withhold consent to the election of Charlie Holt as bishop coadjutor of Florida, arguing that the Diocese of Florida has a long history of discrimination and disenfranchisement of LGBTQ+ clergy and laity.

The Standing Committee also took a swing at the outgoing bishop, Samuel Johnson Howard, saying that policies and practices he put into place made it inherently impossible for a truly fair and inclusive election to take place in the diocese.

That's precious, coming from a bishop who deposed 42 orthodox Episcopal bishops at the beginning of his 19-year reign over the Robinson consecration.

They said that the Rev. Charlie Holt's understanding of and commitment to the Episcopal Church's Becoming Beloved Community is not clear. "A bishop who can lead and teach on the issue of racism is critically important. The Rev. Holt's comments do not support his ability to do this hard work of leadership."

REALLY. Never mind that a group of black pastors in the Sanford area publicly supported Holt. The Rev. Lowman J. Oliver of St. Paul Missionary Baptist church wrote saying that Holt's support in the Trayvon Martin murder solidified his friendship with Holt. "Holt demonstrated to me a scholarly man and possessed a love of God and humble spirit...I have no hesitation as a black clergyman to support his consideration for bishop!"

But then the Bishop of Texas, Andrew Doyle weighed in with what has been described as a "ringing endorsement" of Holt, who was the former associate rector of Houston's Church of St. John the Divine.

"He and I have some theological views that differ," said the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, who had authority over Holt for six years before Holt joined the diocesan staff in Florida. "But the Episcopal Church has declared itself to be a church where all people are welcomed, and a church that does not hold to a purity culture enforced by either the right or the left. I am satisfied that Charlie truly intends to promote healing in the Diocese of Florida, and I have seen many bishops grow and change as they have done that healing work in other dioceses."

Holt adheres to the traditional view that marriage is between a man and a woman, and LGBTQ activists and allies have organized campaigns to persuade bishops and standing committees to withhold consent.

Holt has pledged to adhere to the "spirit and intent" of Resolution B012, which mandates that same-sex marriage rites must be available in any diocese where such marriages are legal under civil law.

Doyle's 2,300-word blog post does not mention the Ohio announcement, but it rebuts some of Ohio's major points, reports The Living Church.

It is profoundly ironic that homosexual and lesbian bishops are elected without pushback, even though their hatred of orthodox priests is well documented, and not a single priest with orthodox views on human sexuality would ever be allowed to take a parish in their dioceses.

No other consent decisions have been announced publicly.

The Diocese of Florida has invited Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves, an experienced leader and vice president of the House of Bishops, to help create a listening and mediation process. That process is well underway and making progress. Based on years of observation, "listening" is always one-way -- listening to the aggrieved stories of pansexualists, with any pushback met with the charge of homophobia.

The Episcopal Church's Public Affairs Officer Amanda Skofstad said the Church Center, following its standard practice, would not make any announcement about the consents process until Holt either receives, or fails to receive, the necessary consents.

At the end of the day, we will see just how "welcoming" and "inclusive" the Diocese of Florida and the Episcopal Church really is, and, of course the Ohio Standing Committee.

You can read Bishop Doyle's letter here: http://texasbishop.blogspot.com/2023/05/charlie-holt-florida-and-signal-moment.html


Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top