A Seattle Episcopal priest who claims to be both Christian and Muslim has been restricted from public ministry and will be defrocked unless she “reclaims” Christianity by next April, the Episcopal Church announced.
The Rev. Ann Holmes Redding has “abandoned” the Episcopal Church by formally joining a faith “not in communion” with the national church, according to a church committee.
Bishop Geralyn Wolf of Rhode Island, where Redding was ordained in 1984, affirmed the committee’s Sept. 30 decision. Redding will be automatically defrocked if she does not recant her Muslim faith by March 31, 2009, according to the Episcopal Church.
Wolf said she has been in dialogue with Redding since 2007 and is convinced the Seattle scholar did not make a “superficial decision” when she became a Muslim two years ago.
“However, I believe that Islam and Christianity have enough differences to make it impossible to adhere to them both with integrity,” Wolf said. “The church wants to be diverse and inclusive, but we’re decidedly Christian. We’re Christ-followers.”
Muslims do not believe Jesus was the son of God, nor that salvation can be attained through him.
Redding, who teaches at a Jesuit seminary in Seattle, according to Episcopal News Service, told ENS that “I do not believe the canons were written with this situation in mind. … My situation gives the church an opportunity to re-examine what it means to be in communion.”
By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service
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