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Episcopal Priest Sanctioned for Professing to Be a Muslim

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
Copyright 2008 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

  • pagansister

    Redding sounds like a Unitarian! Since the Epsicopal church believes JC was the son of God, I can understand their conflict as to whether Redding can still represent the church since she now is a Muslim. Guess the first thing the church thinks of doing is defrocking her, if she doesn’t give up her Muslim beliefs. This is an interesting religious situation.

  • Sirajaldin

    Asalam’alaiykum Rev.Redding!

  • nnmns

    What, you mean there can’t be two gods!? The Romans and Greeks were so much more flexible.

  • Nate W

    It’s nice to see that the Episcopal Church hasn’t gone completely insane.

  • Al

    Here we go with the religious intolerance,only I’m surprised that it’s the Episcopal church that’s reacting so adversely and not the Muslims.

  • Nate W

    How is this an example of religious intolerance? Since when does tolerance demand allowing one of your priests to belong to an entirely different religion? I don’t see anyone saying anything bad about Islam, just pointing out the fact that Muslims aren’t Christians and shouldn’t be masquerading as Christian clergy.
    It sounds like Ms. Redding is a nutcase, anyway. Nobody can be a Muslim and a Christian at the same time without redefining at least one of them. Unfortunately, it’s not the job of a priest to single-handedly redefine the faith he or she is supposed to represent.

  • Tom

    For heaven’s sake, what is this loopy woman teaching at a Jesuit seminary? Guess more mainstream Catholics need to pray that the Jesuit order gets all of their quirks ironed out.
    “I do not believe the canons were written with this situation in mind”
    Well, duuuhhh!!!
    “My situation gives the church an opportunity to re-examine what it means to be in communion.”
    I’d be very curious to hear Ms. Redding’s concept of communion and who should be included in it. Perhaps Anglican Shintos, Anglican Taoists, or Anglican Rastafarians (and don’t forget about the Anglican Mormons.)

  • Father Andrew Gentry

    I thought I had heard Everything but even for the Episcopalians this tops the cake. This is so silly and so contradictory on so many levels it is worthy of a sitcom! I pose this question to my Episcopal friends, do you have to believe in Anything to be an Episcopalian? This reminds me of a story I have heard often in the UK. Two Chaps meet and begin to discuss the ever declining numbers of members of the Church of England. One bloke says, “I am sore distressed, my lord bishop says he does not believe in the Resurrection” to which his friend replied “Hold on ole boy that isn’t so bad, my lord bishop says he does not believe in God!”
    IF you try and be everything to everybody you become nothing to everyone.

  • Confessoressa

    I’m not sure you can be a Christian and a Muslim but I am sure that you can be a Neopagan, Buddhist, Agnostic and I’m living Proof!

  • Carol A. E

    Good G-D Almighty – Maybe y’all should read Robin Williams’s treatise on Why it’s good to be an Episcopalian – the first is ‘we don’t handle snakes and the last is you could get 500 Episcopalians in the room and you would get 500 reasons why it is Great to be an Episcopalian. We do believe that Christ is the Son of G-d; that the Holy Spirit is G-d manifested in the world; and that the Father is the creative force and spirit that created the Universe. Personally, many years ago, I attended a fundamentalist church service with a dear friend and the Pastor, talking about the 7 Days of Creation (literal) and I stood up and asked if “Anyone has been able to determine the length of G-d’s Day?” – The Pastor then declared that the class was dismissed! And that was that…How this ‘priest’ can be a Muslim and an Episcopalian is beyond me. There is an old story of the large fish who fell in love with a horse….”The fish (a wise woman) said that they might love each other with all their hears, but where would they live together?” This woman is neither fish, nor horse and until she makes up her mind what she is – she can have no place to “live”…

  • Al

    Hi in answer to Nate’s question,First off I remember a quote on Buffy the Vampire Slayer from a couple on the show that said,”We’re open-minded,we’re Episcopalions!” and really Episcopalions are almost like Unitarians except a little more defined than Unitarian Universalist.The surprize is that technically (for the record I’m a Christian!) is that you can’t be a Muslim and yet belong to another religion at the same time since that would be against the rules of Islam.
    In fact,you can’t even belong to more than one denomination in that relgion let alone another religion altoghether.What surprizes me is that the uproar seems to be coming from the supposed,liberal,open-minded Episcopalions and not the strict,”It’s our way or the highway” Muslims.But it’s still sad and dispointing since I thought the Episcopal Church was better than that,I bet if she had decided to be Episcopal/Buddhist or Episcopal/Hindu or Episcopal/Jewish or Episcopal/Whatever combination you can possibly imagine, would’ve been tolerated by the Episcopal Church but because she chose Islam hence the controversy.

  • nnmns

    Ms. Redding is lucky (probably also wise) that she’s not in any of a small number of Muslim countries where her ability to remain Muslim and Christian would end along with her life.

  • cknuck

    Oh those wacky Episcopalians, one can be so open minded that something drops out.

  • nnmns

    Good one, cknuck.

  • Henrietta22

    Sometimes a person can be so far ahead of the crowd that he or she appears strange to the masses. If we live long enough we may remember and glimpse this past person and say why did we think he or she was strange. Pehaps she is following her souls knowledge, and not a book of rules.

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