How, then, could we both be engaged in the joint enterprise of a bishop and his clergy “to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine”?
It is a bit difficult if the exponent of that doctrine is the bishop himself!
Can it be that none of them thought to ask about his views on human sexuality, given their current importance in the Church (just as they presumably asked him about his wife’s divorce)?
And if they did, or if he answered with any clarity, can it be they simply considered that this was not worth worrying about?
Oddly enough, although the Church of England imposes certain restrictions on clerical ordination for those in that situation, there was no clarity about the consecration of bishops.
At the last General Synod, however, such clarification was urgently sought and the suspicions of many people as to why seem now to have been confirmed.
One moment there are rumours, the next there is a name on the Downing Street website and the Congé d’Elire on its way to the relevant Dean and Chapter telling them which way to vote.
Since the nominations process is shrouded in secrecy, one simply cannot raise in advance the difficult questions one subsequently wants to ask.Certainly such doctrine can be found at St Martin-in-the-Fields.Will it now find expression at Salisbury Cathedral?What is perhaps not realized is that the Church’s historical opposition to divorce goes back to the remarkably hard line taken by Jesus himself.Asked whether divorce was possible for any reason, he answered, “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9, NIV).Again, in 2006 Mr Holtam published a 1500-word open letter deeply critical of the Kigali Communiqué, issued by the Anglican ‘Global South’ Primates who had rejected the earlier decisions of The Episcopal Church, USA. In this, of course, he was saying nothing more than was previously said by Dr Jeffrey John, whose proposed appointment as Bishop of Reading caused so much earlier controversy.