Thursday, July 05, 2007

Follow-up: Just What Are They Thinking?

A few days ago I mentioned the case of the Rev. Dr. Ann Holmes Redding, a priest in The Episcopal Church who had announced that she was both a Christian and a Muslim.

While the Rev. Redding has been serving in the Diocese of Olympia (Washington), it turns out that she is canonically resident in the Diocese of Rhode Island. Which means that, contrary to the reports I used for that blog entry, her bishop is the Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf (and not the Bishop of Olympia, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner). Here is Bishop Wolf's response, as reported in The Living Church, by Stand Firm, and on Canon Kendall Harmon's TitusOneNine blog:
To: Clergy, Members of Diocesan Council and Standing Committee
From: The Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf
Re: The Rev. Dr. Ann Holmes Redding

As many of you know, The Rev. Dr. Ann Holmes Redding is an Episcopal priest who has recently professed her faith in Islam. Dr. Redding is canonically resident in the Diocese of Rhode Island, though she has not served here for over twenty years.

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. 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 am sending this e-mail to you because the continued web-site coverage suggests that I be as clear as possible with those exercising leadership in our diocese.
I do not know much about Bishop Wolf. But she is thinking like, and has acted as, a Christian shepherd in this matter, for both Dr. Redding and the whole Church. That probably happens more often than we know, but it is very good to see a Bishop act this way in public.

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