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By David W. Virtue, DD
May 31, 2022

THE Diocese of Connecticut elected a new bishop this week, the Rev. Jeffrey Mello, an activist homosexual living with his partner. He was elected on the 6th ballot. This seems to be a case of identity politics that will go unchallenged, precisely because no one would dare challenge a practicing sodomite in The Episcopal Church.

Furthermore, there aren't enough orthodox clergy and laity left in the diocese to challenge the prevailing zeitgeist as most have fled to the ACNA and other more orthodox theological pastures. His election is assured and in due course, "holy" hands will be laid on him. He is the seventh homosexual and lesbian bishop now in the Episcopal Church, a church known for standing on shaky moral ground, hoping and praying it will still be around beyond 2040.

For the record, The Diocese of Connecticut had the steepest rate of membership decline in Province 1 from 2011-2020 (24.3% drop vs 20.6% overall) and second worst rate of attendance decline there (37.9% drop vs 34.7% overall) under the twelve-year reign of Bishop Ian Douglas. There is not a shred of evidence that the new bishop will turn it around. Odds are he will be the last bishop.

The other election was an orthodox candidate in the Diocese of Florida, a priest by the name of Charlie Holt, a convert from atheism.

His resume reads as genuinely orthodox on faith and morals, having imbibed ALPHA, and been a founding member of the American Anglican Council. He preached the gospel at the church of St. John the Divine in Houston from where he came. He is broadly evangelical and therein lies the problem.

Holt got elected on the third ballot and all should have gone well. But then a couple of red flags were raised. Suddenly, some 10 percent of the voters complained, saying the election had violated the rules and canons of the church and they want a do over.

In their objection letter, dated May 23, the 37 delegates claimed that the required clergy quorum for the election was not met, the agenda was not followed and there were "procedural and technical flaws" that interfered with remote voting.

But those in charge of the election pushed back and said it was all done by the book. The reigning bishop, Samuel Johnson Howard announced that Holt had received 64 votes from clergy and 80 from the laity and asked an auditor to confirm the results; one rose to the podium and said the election "had no irregularities in any of the votes or counts." You can read here: https://virtueonline.org/new-diocese-florida-bishop-attempts-thread-needle-over-homosexual-marriage

According to an ENS report, the objection invokes a canonical process that has only been used twice before: in the 2018 bishop coadjutor election in the Diocese of Haiti and in the 2021 diocesan bishop election in the Diocese of Ecuador Central. Under Title III.11.8 in the Canons of The Episcopal Church, an objection may be filed within 10 days of a bishop election by a group of at least 10% of the voting delegates. The objection must be filed with the secretary of the diocesan convention, "setting forth in detail all alleged irregularities." The canons do not specify what constitutes an "irregularity." This had never happened on US soil.

That should have been an end to it.

The protestors continued to protest, however.

Then came the real purpose for the objection to Holt. It really wasn't about absentee ballots or Covid write-in votes, it was really about the Rev. Holt's less than affirmative, gushing views on homosexuality that got him into trouble. His twitter feed was examined for sexual "heresy" by the sodomites.

"I will seek a harmonious relationship with the diocese, granting authority for marriages to parish rectors in keeping with the letter and spirit of Resolution B012-2018 and the canons of General Convention," said Holt.

Not good enough said the LGBTQ community who pulled stuff from his twitter account and fired up, accused him of being (wait for it) homophobic. Toss in the standard hate meme when you won't accept "good disagreement" and so the whole election objection will land on Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's desk who will give it top priority and arrange to transmit it to the Court of Review.

Ultra-liberal Episcopal theologian Diana Butler Bass weighed in and objected to Holt's Q&A responses on Twitter and suggested that they were grounds for withholding consent to his election.

Now it should be noted that Bass's theological views and "smart theology" includes the notion that you can stay Christian without becoming "dogmatic, narrow, or pietistic." Bass considers the doctrines of the church without being doctrinaire. God forbid. "When I describe myself as a liberal who loves Jesus, it usually gets people's attention," she is on record as saying. Based on the current direction of The Episcopal Church, her views on Jesus will disappear about the time the last red doors on the last parish in Newark, NJ close.

The Court of Review will do ecclesiastical contortions to figure out how to appease the sodomites on the one hand, with an election that was not rigged, clearly giving Holt the miter, without, on the other hand, appearing nasty and uninclusive. A tall order. Judging by how the Episcopal Church treated former Albany Bishop William Love, Holt will be ecclesiastically neutered, with a paycheck to ease the pain.

Holt is probably history. A new election will be held and the mostly theologically weak pathetic diocesan parishioners and "outraged" clergy who predominate in the diocese, will be duly penitent, regret their decision with much groveling before the LGBTQ community and vote in a new more inclusive candidate, all the while apologizing for their homophobia.

If the court finds in Holt's favor, he will stay, but his life will be a living hell even when he allows Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO), because sodomites don't like being treated as second class citizens and they will fight him all the way. Holt's life will be unbearable. He can't win either way. Just ask Bishop Love and the torture he was put through by the pansexualists in his former diocese.

If Holt has any brains, now would be the time to make the call to Archbishop Foley Beach as Bishop Bill Love and Bishop John W. Howe did and find a true spiritual home in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), where he would be made welcome and where he would feel more theologically comfortable. He has no future in the Diocese of Florida or The Episcopal Church. Now is the time to leave with his head held high before he is publicly humiliated by Florida's episcopal sodomite community, Michael Curry and the Court of Review.


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