November 13, 2004

Dang! You Mean A Cloak of Dorkiness Doesn't Defeat the Sword of the Grown-ups?

From today's WaPo, a little coda on the Pennsylvania Episcopal Druids we've been watching the past week or two:

A husband and wife who are Episcopal priests in Pennsylvania have apologized for and recanted their embrace of pagan worship. The husband resigned his pulpit, but the wife expects to keep her job.

The Rev. William Melnyk, known in pagan circles as "Oak-Wyse," resigned as rector of St. James' Church in Downingtown, Pa., after begging "for the mercy of the church and our Lord Jesus Christ."

Jeffrey Brodeur, spokesman for Bishop Charles E. Bennison, Jr., of Philadelphia, said the resignation was a "mutual decision" between Melnyk and parish leaders and was accepted Nov. 6. In a letter to Bennison, Melnyk also said he was resigning as a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.

"I was wrong," Melnyk wrote to Bennison on Nov. 4. "I repent and recant without qualification anything and everything I may have said or done which is found to be in conflict with the Baptismal Covenant, and the historical Creeds of the Church."

Melnyk's letter was publicized by the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a Washington-based conservative think-tank that criticized the couple for their ties to paganism. Brodeur verified the letter's accuracy.

His wife, the Rev. Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk, known in pagan circles as "Raven," issued a similar apology and will continue serving as pastor of St. Francis-In-The-Fields Church in Malvern, Pa. Bennison had issued a "pastoral direction" against her, which is similar to a "cease and desist" order.

Melnyk said he had hoped to help lapsed Christians reconnect with the church, pointing to the shared roots between druid and Celtic religions and the "British heritage" found in the Anglican tradition, of which the Episcopal Church is part. He said he realizes his error.

Well, bang goes my investment in that Certified Nicine-Friendly mistletoe farm.

Posted by Robert at November 13, 2004 12:08 PM | TrackBack

OK, so Downingtown has pagan Episcopalians. But they have a great brewpub there.

Posted by: Joe R. the Unabrewer at November 13, 2004 12:29 PM

The cretin should be burnt at the stake pour encourager les autres.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at November 14, 2004 09:52 AM

The Epicopal Church just keeps getting goofier and goofier. What once was the haven of Ward Cleaver has become a mish-mash of touchy-feely non-thinkers.

Posted by: Mikey at November 15, 2004 12:15 PM

If they are so enamored of the ancient creeds of the church, they missed an opportunity--should have ix-nayed the priestess rather than the priest. Maybe that's next.

Posted by: margaret davis at November 17, 2004 11:55 PM
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