Finally Some Good Episcopalian News

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The Episcopal Church finally managed to get around to defrocking Ann Holmes Redding, who, to me, is more of an embarrassment and a problem than Gene Robinson.

“...Effective April 1, 2009, The Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, Bishop of the Diocese of Rhode Island, deposed Ann Holmes Redding as a priest in the Episcopal Church. Dr. Redding lives in the Diocese of Olympia Washington, but was canonically resident in the Diocese of Rhode Island, where she was under the authority of Bishop Wolf. The determination came after a process lasting nearly twenty-one months.

In June 2007, the Diocese of Rhode Island learned of a public profession of adherence to the Muslim faith by Dr. Redding. Bishop Wolf conferred with Dr. Redding who acknowledged taking her Shahadah to become a Muslim. Bishop Wolf then issued a Pastoral Direction to Dr. Redding, directing her to undertake a period of one year for discernment of her faith commitment.
After the agreed upon period, the status of Dr. Redding was considered by the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Rhode Island.

The Standing Committee determined that Dr. Redding had abandoned the Communion of the Episcopal Church, within the meaning of the Canons of the Church, by her formal admission into a religious body not in Communion with the Episcopal Church. The Bishop affirmed that determination and issued an inhibition prohibiting Dr. Redding from exercising the gifts and spiritual authority conferred on her by Episcopal Ordination, and from public ministry.

The Inhibition continued until March 31, 2009 during which time Dr. Redding had the opportunity to withdraw, or issue a notice of intention to withdraw, from the Muslim faith.  Dr. Redding also had the opportunity to renounce her orders.  Dr. Redding did neither and, under the Canons of the Church, Bishop Wolf was required to consider deposing Dr. Redding.

Bishop Wolf found Dr. Redding to be a woman of utmost integrity and their conversations over the past two years have been open, honest and respectful.  However, Bishop Wolf believes that a priest of the Church cannot be both a Christian and a Muslim. Consequently, as a result of the abandonment of the Communion of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Wolf imposed a sentence of
deposition in accordance with the Canons of the Church. …”

Not only was Redding an ordained Episcopalian priest, but she is also a Muslim. Go figure.

“…The Episcopal Church also rejected Redding’s religious choice.

“The church interprets my being a Muslim as ‘abandoning the church,’ ” she said. “And that [there] comes an understanding that you have to be one or the other, and most people would say that. It simply hasn’t been my experience that I have to make a choice between the two.”

The Diocese of Rhode Island, where Redding was ordained, told her to leave either her new Muslim faith or the ministry. A diocese statement said Bishop Geralyn Wolf found Redding to be “a woman of utmost integrity. However, the Bishop believes that a priest of the Church cannot be both a Christian and a Muslim.”

Even though she has been defrocked, Redding said she is not capable of turning her back on either faith. She said she wants to continue speaking about and teaching religion and perhaps even travel to the Hajj, a journey to Mecca that every Muslim is supposed to make in their lifetime….”

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