Sunday, July 01, 2007

Richard Kew: The Strange Business of the Muslim-Episcopalian Priest

BB NOTE: Richard Kew, who is off to Ridley at Cambridge in September, writes about Ann Holmed Redding and her hybrid status as a Muslim-Episcopal priest. We posted about this earlier here, as well as how her bishop, Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, told the Seattle Times that he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting. Here's an excerpt from Richard Kew's post. You can read the whole thing here.

The furor surrounding Ann Holmes Redding has a number of fascinating dimensions, not least the appropriateness of her status as a priest in the Episcopal Church. During the last few years it seems that some of us have been regularly lectured about obedience to the doctrine and discipline of the Episcopal Church, and there have for some been dire consequences for stepping outside it. Now Dr. Redding has provided an interesting test case about whether all the talk about the doctrine and discipline of the church of these years is really serious, or if deep down it is about something else.

While the Episcopal Church has turned itself into a maximalist when it comes to obedience to the discipline and canons of the church as interpreted by the leadership, it has steadily become increasingly minimalist regarding doctrinal affirmation. Yet however many fundamental Anglican formularies are shaved away, the Nicene Creed is one fundamental doctrinal statement that the overwhelming majority say they accept.

If Ann Holmes Redding is now free to continue her idiosyncratic course without action being taken, then the creeds are up for grabs and any pretence of being a catholic and reformed church is being deliberately abandoned. That her bishop, Vincent Warner, does not seem to understand the theological implications of the statements Ms. Redding has made is a sad and ominous sign.


Anonymous said...

It appears that anne redding is actually canonically resident in rhode island

Anonymous said...

I went to school with AHR+ and graduated together from GTS ...

I must say the whole thing is so very odd. As a priest I could be aligned with the Anglican Communion through CANA, profess the faith of Christ that has been handed down to us through the centuries and still be inhibited for "abandoning" the church. But AHR+ can accept a creed that is outside our creed as Christians, and be thought of as a great example to the church.

How does that work exactly?