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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Thursday, July 05, 2007


As seen at EpiScope:

July 3, 2007

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well put, I think. There's no waffling in that... She's not to act as a priest, period, while she sorts out her call, her spirituality, or whatever you want to call it.

Not so harsh as excommunication or burning at the stake, which some might want, but which doesn't allow the individual room to pray and discern. She has room to do whatever is needed (and I suspect there are some requirements in the directive that we didn't hear about) to come to a decision. And, on the other hand, the bishop didn't just sit there either, she did take action.

I'm sure some will say this is too weak a response... But I'd say it is a human, pastoral response. Good job.

July 05, 2007 2:43 PM  

Blogger Tracy said...

I'm not feeling eloquent right now, so I'll just say this makes my heart hurt.

Also, you left some great info on my sight regarding the Cherokee legend about the eagle and the wolf. I really appreciate that :)

Blessings to you from Oregon!

July 05, 2007 10:38 PM  

Blogger Jane Ellen+ said...

Tracy: Yes, it's painful; yet it seems to me that Bp. Wolf has shown compassion here, as well as appropriate authority.

And I'm glad you found the info helpful. Thanks for stopping by!

July 06, 2007 7:31 AM  

Blogger Susie/Nueva Cantora said...

I'm glad you posted this, and that canonical residence thing clears up some questions I had. But under the friday five "Pondering" idea, isn't it funny how free we feel to post letters on the web not addressed to us? Interesting questions about what is really public and what is really private, and what is somewhere in the middle.

July 07, 2007 8:25 AM  

Blogger Jane Ellen+ said...

Susie: You're right, and I gave some thought to that before posting the letter and publishing the link.

I decided to do so because of a) the broad base to whom it was originally addressed-- all the clergy in the diocese, and Council and Standing Commmittee, and b) the reference in the body of the email to the web coverage of the issue, which seems to indicate that this portion of her actions is intended to be public.

If this had been a piece of correspondence between the two parties involved, I would not have posted it, precisely because of the concern you mention.

July 07, 2007 7:30 PM  

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