The Rt Revd Nicholas HolthamFrom Cranmer

The new Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam), has already broken episcopal collegiality on sexual ethics. The announcement of the appointment of Jonathan Clark, an ex office Trustee of the so-called ‘Inclusive Church’ pressure group, as Bishop elect of Croydon, threatens to do the same. What has happened already with the Bishop of Salisbury will instruct us on what is likely to be the case for the Bishop elect of Croydon

The Bishop of Salisbury has spoken recently of ‘working together creatively’ on the notion of marriage. This is curious because, frankly, there really is no creativity to discuss. The introduction to the marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer sets out the Anglican understanding of what marriage constitutes and means:

[…]  The Bishop of Salisbury, on his Diocesan website, has stressed that he reaffirms his commitment to:

• Supporting marriage as it is currently understood
• Upholding the current discipline and practice of the Church of England
• Supporting those clergy whose standpoint differs from my own

The Bishop of Salisbury is, of course, utterly unable to do the first two of these things by maintaining his current position of campaigning for same-sex marriage. He cannot commit to supporting marriage as it is currently understood if, with the very next breath, he seeks to change the definition.

The same irrationality applies to the Bishop elect of Croydon, with his membership of both ‘Affirming Catholicism’, which opposes same-sex marriage, and ‘Inclusive Church’, which campaigns for it. This must be a via media too far. The Ugley Vicar blogger John Richardson makes the point:

Read here

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