The latest on the Ann Holmes Redding story, in response to yesterday’s news from Bishop Wolf of Rhode Island. Thanks to one of our commenters for the hat tip on this. We hadn’t yet gotten a chance to check the latest news. Trying to work and blog at the same time is hard!
Priest drawn to Islam loses her collar for year
By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times religion reporter
The Rev. Ann Holmes Redding, a local Episcopal priest who announced she is both Muslim and Christian, will not be able to serve as a priest for a year, according to her bishop.
During that year, Redding is expected 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,” the Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, bishop of the Diocese of Rhode Island, wrote in an e-mail to Episcopal Church leaders.
Redding was ordained more than 20 years ago by the then-bishop of Rhode Island, and it is that diocese that has disciplinary authority over her.
During the next year, Redding “is not to exercise any of the responsibilities and privileges of an Episcopal priest or deacon,” Wolf wrote in her e-mail. Wolf could not be reached for immediate comment.
“I’m deeply saddened, but I’ve always said I would abide by the rulings of my bishop,” said Redding, who met with Wolf last week. Redding, who characterized their conversation as amicable, said the two would continue to communicate throughout the year.
During the meeting, Redding said she took off her priest’s collar and accepted Wolf’s invitation to hold it for the year.
“I understand she’s holding it as an indication that we’re both in this together,” Redding said.
At the end of the year, the two will revisit the issue.
“I understand that one of my options would be to voluntarily leave the priesthood,” Redding said.
At this moment, though, she is not willing to do that. “The church is going to have to divorce me if it comes to that,” she said. “I’m not going to go willingly.”
But she also doesn’t completely rule it out, saying: “God will guide me over this year.”
Redding’s bishop in Seattle, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner of the Diocese of Olympia, who accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, said Wolf’s decision is a good compromise.