An Episcopal priest, who announced last month that she is also a practicing Muslim, has been suspended from the priesthood and other Episcopal leadership roles for a year. The Rev. Ann Holmes Redding should “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,” Bishop Geralyn Wolf of Rhode Island wrote in an e-mail to other church leaders. Redding was ordained by a former bishop of Rhode Island 23 years ago and remains under the authority of that diocese.
Redding told the Seattle Times she removed her priest’s collar in a meeting with Bishop Wolf last week. The two will continue to communicate and revisit the issue at the end of the year. One of Reddings options, she said, is to voluntarily leave the priesthood. According to The Associated Press, Redding is scheduled to start teaching part time at Jesuit-run Seattle University this fall but Bishop Wolfs decision has barred her from teaching, preaching or working at any Episcopal church or institution.
Redding told the Seattle Times she has been a practicing Muslim for 15 months after she was profoundly moved by an introduction to Islamic prayer. She maintains that she has not violated any of her baptismal or ordination vows. She claims she has since become a better teacher, preacher and Christian.