Posted by: Sabrina | April 14, 2009

Ann Holmes Redding Update

A little over a week ago, I read in the Seattle Times that Ann Holmes Redding, the Episcopal priest who had been disciplined by her bishop for also adopting Islam, was indeed defrocked for failing to renounce the Muslim faith.  While I am not particularly surprised by this outcome, I wonder if her bishop and faith community were surprised that she did not back down. 

 

Redding’s story is of ongoing interest to me as I have experienced a certain degree of angst about remaining employed in a Catholic school while adopting Pagan spirituality.  I have no illusions that I could ever openly express my Pagan spirituality where I currently work, but every so often I daydream that I can, if nothing else, become more open with my co-workers about my departure from the Catholic faith I was raised in.  However, in light of the outcome for Redding as well as other situations that are popping up in my school, I understand that I must reveal nothing if I expect to retain my job, which I do need in order to maintain my financial stability.

 

But I am writing this to focus not so much on me or even on Redding.  I have no doubt that Redding will come out of this all right in all the ways that matter.  It appears that her faith in the God of Abraham, Jesus, and Mohammed has not been destroyed; indeed, it may be stronger for having been tested in this way.  And the number of Redding admirers and supporters has probably grown as we observed the dignified way she dealt with her faith community and the Episcopal hierarchy as her story continued to unfold publicly.  If I feel sorry for anybody as a result of the decision by Redding’s bishop, however, my sorrow is for the regular Episcopal church-going folk who have learned as a result of this that their God is narrow-minded and exclusionary.

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