UK: Church Society Blasts Pro-Gay Bishop of Salisbury Appointment
Election of Rev. Nicholas Holtam is retrograde step
April 12, 2011
The appointment of the Revd Nicholas Holtam as the next Bishop of Salisbury is a regrettable and retrograde step. In his public ministry Mr Holtam has actively promoted erroneous teaching on the issue of human sexuality, which puts him at odds with the declared mind of the House of Bishops, the General Synod of the Church of England and the 1998 Lambeth Conference, makes him unfit for ministry in the Church of England let alone as a Bishop. In particular, like many in the Church, he has been unwilling to accept the clear teaching of Scripture on the proper place of sexual union.
He has likewise supported those in this country and elsewhere seeking to undermine what is collectively recognized as Biblical teaching on sexual morality.
Thus in his own words, reported in The Guardian (24 December 2005), in giving Bishop Gene Robinson the opportunity to speak at St Martin-in-the-Fields, his intention was "to provide a platform" whilst being careful "to keep within the letter of the law." Mr Holtam also criticised the Primates of the Global South Anglican Churches following the issuing of the Kigali Communiqué in 2006 and their rejection of the position of The Episcopal Church, USA, on human sexuality.
Such previous attitudes and actions by Mr Holtam will undoubtedly create great difficulty for those clergy in the Diocese of Salisbury who expect their bishop to uphold the faith and to assist them in their joint calling "to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God's Word". We therefore assure them of our full support at the present time.
The nomination must also call into question the operation of the Crown Nominations Commission, which either has no knowledge of Mr Holtam's record or has chosen to overlook it regarding this appointment.
Denominations and national churches, such as the US Episcopal Church, which have followed the views of the world rather than the revealed will of God in Scripture have caused deep division and seen rapid decline. This is the course the Church of England appears to be intent on following and we call on the Church to repent of its folly, to uphold Biblical teaching and to cry out to the Lord for mercy.
Council of Church Society
Church of England's 'rising star' becomes first bishop married to a divorcee
By Daily Mail Reporter
April 12, 2011
A 'rising star' of the church of England is to become the first clergyman married to a divorcee to be made a bishop, it was announced today.
Reverend Nicholas Holtam, vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, has been approved by the Queen to take up the post of Bishop of Salisbury.
He was strongly tipped for promotion after the General Synod of the Church of England paved the way earlier this year for the first divorced and remarried clergy to be ordained. Sky is the limit: Rev Nicholas Holtam, described as a 'rising star' in the Church of England, is to become the first clergyman married to a divorcee to be made a bishop, it was announced today
Sky is the limit: Rev Nicholas Holtam, described as a 'rising star' in the Church of England, is to become the first clergyman married to a divorcee to be made a bishop, it was announced today
The move also allowed clergy to be made bishops who are married to divorcees with a partner still alive.
The Rev Holtam, 56, has been married for more than 30 years to his Quaker wife Helen, who had a brief first marriage as a teenager. Her former spouse is still alive.
The father of four has been described as an 'inspirational' preacher, who runs the St Martin-in-the-Fields shelter for the homeless and has successfully masterminded the church's £36million renovation appeal.
'I am honoured and delighted to be asked to become Bishop of Salisbury,' the Rev Holtam said in a statement.
'I look forward enormously to becoming part of a great diocese with all the opportunities and challenges ahead, trying to draw people towards God and recognising Him at work in the lives of people in Wiltshire and Dorset."
The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Rev June Osborne, said: 'This is a truly wonderful appointment.
'The Diocese of Salisbury is immensely fortunate to have as its new bishop someone of such breadth and depth in his priestly ministry, and the Church of England will be better for having Nick Holtam in the House of Bishops.
'We are very much looking forward to welcoming Nick and Helen and their family to share with us the life of Wiltshire and Dorset.'
The Bishop of Sherborne, Dr Graham Kings, added: 'Nick's ministry is deeply rooted in prayer. Out of this flow concern for the poor, desire for Church growth, perceptive writing, visionary leadership and long-term friendships, so he will be an excellent colleague to work with.'
Existing bishops within the Church of England have been divorced or have married divorcees.
The former Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Rev Mark Santer, married a divorcee in 1997 three years after his first wife died.
The Bishop of Hull, the Rt Rev Richard Frith, was divorced and remarried after his first wife left him.
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