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Fr. Charlie Holt Response to the Diocese of Ohio Standing Committee’s Letter


I read the letter from the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Ohio with a profound sense of sorrow. But they are the first participants in the consent process to make their objections to my election public, and I hope it will lead to a wide and probing conversation regarding some of the issues that have arisen as the Diocese of Florida has sought consents to my second election as its bishop. I love this diocese, and I love the Episcopal Church, and in the spirit of love, I offer these three questions for further consideration.

The Diocese of Ohio’s Standing Committee suggests that it could not consent to my election because the composition of the electorate has been corrupted by the diocese’s current bishop. How long must a diocese that finds itself in this situation go without a bishop before the electorate in the diocese is suitably reconstituted? What criteria will be used in judging when it is sufficiently reconstituted? How shall that diocese be governed in the meantime?

The Standing Committee questions my commitment to racial justice based on a video edited and circulated online by opponents to my election but makes no mention of numerous publicly available sources testifying to my extensive effort to bring people together across racial divides in volatile situations to advance the cause of peace and justice. How will the church adjudicate situations in which future bishops-elect are subject to vigorous social media-based opposition based on partial and misleading information?

In my case, the church’s Court of Review was chaired by the co-convener of an advocacy group that was openly campaigning against my election. Is the church comfortable with this standard? Will it remain a possibility going forward? Is the church comfortable using the Title III objection canon to air allegations about a sitting bishop that have never been properly proven with all due process?

Regardless of its outcome, I believe my consent process has raised ethical and procedural questions the church must address, and I hope it will be diligent and transparent in doing so.

Faithfully yours,

Charlie Holt+


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