More Episcopalian Perplexities

An item from the Christianity Today website, with interesting links:


Bishop corrects priest who announced, "I am both Muslim and Christian"

The June 2007 newspaper for the Seattle-area Episcopal Diocese of Olympia had an article on Ann Holmes Redding, proclaiming her "both a practicing Muslim and an Episcopal priest." The Seattle Times followed up, and paraphrased Diocese of Olympia Bishop Vincent Warner (identified as Redding's bishop) as saying "he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting."
Now it turns out that Redding is actually a priest under the Diocese of Rhode Island. Bishop Geralyn Wolf doesn't find the interfaith possibilities so exciting, and announced Thursday that Redding is undergoing church discipline.
"After meeting with her I issued a Pastoral Direction giving her the opportunity to reflect on the doctrines of the Christian faith, her vocation as a priest, and what I see as the conflicts inherent in professing both Christianity and Islam," Wolf wrote in an e-mail message to clergy and diocesan leaders. "During the next year she is not to exercise any of the responsibilities and privileges of an Episcopal priest or deacon. Other aspects of the Pastoral Direction will remain private."
"I'm deeply saddened, but I've always said I would abide by the rulings of my bishop," Redding told The Seattle Times today. "I understand that one of my options would be to voluntarily leave the priesthood The church is going to have to divorce me if it comes to that. I'm not going to go willingly."
Warner tells the paper that he still accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, but says Wolf's pastoral direction is "a good way to have a timeout and provide an opportunity for Ann to continue to teach and at the same time take a look at her relationship both with the Episcopal Church and the Christian faith and Islam."
What will she continue to teach? Turns out that she'll be teaching theology at Seattle University, a Jesuit school.

Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is Associate Professor of Theology Emeritus at Boston College.

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