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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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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.
Read the rest at the Seattle Times.
The Committee on Appeals of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) ruled July 2 in favor of an appeal by the Rev. Ronald B. Warren, bishop of the ELCA Southeastern Synod, Atlanta, who sought removal of Bradley E. Schmeling, Atlanta, from the official clergy roster of the ELCA. The appeals committee ruled that Schmeling was to be removed immediately from the roster, upholding the determination by a disciplinary hearing committee that Schmeling was in violation of the ELCA policy regarding the sexual conduct of its pastors.
Decisions of the Committee on Appeals are not made public by the ELCA churchwide organization. According to the ELCA Constitution, Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions, summaries of decisions are to be reported to the next ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the church's highest legislative authority, which will be here at Navy Pier Aug. 6-11. In this case, the decision of the Committee on Appeals was released July 5 by Warren and posted on the synod's Web site, and it was released at a July 5 news conference at St. John Lutheran Church, Atlanta, the congregation Schmeling has served since 2000.
In the ELCA policy document "Vision and Expectations: Ordained Ministers in the ELCA," it states: "Single ordained ministers are expected to live a chaste life. Married ordained ministers are expected to live in fidelity to their spouses, giving expression to sexual intimacy within a marriage relationship that is mutual, chaste, and faithful. Ordained ministers who are homosexual in their self-understanding are expected to abstain from homosexual sexual relationships."
Read it all.
It's also generating a lot of comments. As of now, there are 128 comments on the Seattle Times' story thread, meaning it's in a tie for first-place among all T19 comment threads on the new blog.
Also of particular interest, we think, is that the story is generating NEGATIVE attention among some of our reappraising friends and bloggers. The AAC blog, for instance, is reporting that Jim Naughton, the communications director for the Diocese of Washington, and an influential reappraising blogger, is trying to encourage all other Episcopal "Communicators" (i.e. diocesan communications directors) to ignore and not publicize the story. Mind boggling.
We'll pull together a round-up of links to this story from around the blogosphere shortly and add it to this post as an update.
UPDATE: Roundup of links we've seen (only a partial list, I'm sure) is below.
Original Story from Diocese of Olympia's "Episcopal Voice"
Original Titusonenine comment thread on the Diocese of Olympia article
Original Stand Firm comment thread on Dio Olympia article
Albert Mohler's blog: Clueless in Seattle -- Can You Be Both a Christian and a Muslim?
Seattle Times: Q&A (Redding answers reader questions)
Seattle Times: Reader Feedback on Story
Get Religion: She’s a dessert topping and a floor wax
Magpie Girl: Early Adaptor
Gospel Prism: Jesus Is the Only Way, but Allah Can Come Along Too
OK Preacher: Thumbs Down: Rev Ann Holmes Redding
David Fischler's 3 part series at Reformed Pastor: Apostasy in the Great Northwest
From the Answering Muslims blog: Can a person be both a Christian and a Muslim?
From Ad Orientum: Apostasy... Not an Issue
Three entries from Chris Johnson at MCJ:
Whitehall: "I am both Christian and Muslim"
IRD June 20 Press Release: Inclusion Run Amok: A Muslim/Episcopal Priest
Bishop Epting: Christian “and” Muslim?
Anglican Centrist (Fr Jones.com): Another One of those Crazy Episcopalians
Tobias Haller: Of Doubts and Discipline
Stand To Reason: Religion as Ice Cream
The Point (Breakpoint's blog): The Priest Said to the Imam
Rod Dreher (Cruncy Cons): What Would we Do without TEC
The Corner (Mark Steyn): Interfaith Outreach (and Steyn was linked by Instapundit)
On the Verge: Episcopal Priest Defies Logic! (was posted at Stand Firm here)
Mark Shea (Catholic & Enjoying It): This Being Seattle...
Riddleblog: Worse than Caricature
The Reformed Evangelist: Koran-quoting "Christians"
A technorati search will bring up at least a dozen (or two... or three dozen) more references. Here are one or two that looked particularly noteworthy:
Christianity and Islam Merge in a Postmodern World
Pursuing Truth: "Muslim & Christian" Reverend: Jesus Is Not God
Balaam's Ass: Both Christian & Muslim
Anyway, all of the links above suggest that Jim Naughton's plan to hide the story isn't going to work. It really is ALL over the blogosphere.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Admin * Religion News & Commentary Church Discipline / Ordination Standards Other Faiths Islam * Resources & Links Resources: blogs / websites * Theology Christology
Michael Clarke, 32, and his fiance, Lynn Dixon, 34, were raised Roman Catholic. They want to raise their children the same way.
But they can't be married in the Roman Catholic Church. Dixon had been in a previous marriage, and the church forbids divorced couples to remarry in an official church ceremony. So the Allison Park couple began looking for priests who would conduct a traditional Catholic wedding ceremony outside the church.
"It wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be," Clarke said. But then Dixon stumbled upon http://www.rentapriest.com, an online directory of more than 300 married priests across the country willing to perform services traditional priests can't or won't.
While the concept sounds kind of like a sacrilegious Rent-A-Center, it's actually a spiritual quest to aid couples or individuals in finding a priest to help them in their time of need, said Louise Haggett, who founded the nonprofit organization.
Read it all.
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