Skip to comments.Ecumenism [and CofE]
Posted on 09/08/2006 5:13:19 PM PDT by sionnsar
Ladies and gentlemen, the Church of England:
An Anglican cleric who converted to Hinduism has had his permission to officiate as a priest in the Ely diocese renewed for three years.
The cleric, the Revd David Hart, aged 52, now lives in India, where he carries out Hindu priestly duties in the temple in his village of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
Mr Hart, who has taken the Hindu name Ananda, blesses the daily congregation of about 60 with fire that has previously been offered to Nagar, the snake god. The ritual, he said, was normally performed only by Hindu priests.
He has also been an Anglican priest since 1984, and owns a house in the diocese of Ely. In July, he had his permission to officiate renewed for another three years by the diocesan bishop, Dr Anthony Russell. The certificate arrived with a personal letter from the Bishop.
Mr Hart admitted on Tuesday that he had not told the Bishop of his conversion, but said that he would be amazed if his Hinduism was treated with any suspicion by episcopal authority[Dude's probably right about that - Ed]. I have neither explicitly nor implicitly renounced my Christian faith or priesthood. His renewal of permission to officiate had been sponsored by the Rural Dean of Colombo in Sri Lanka, he said.
He believed his move will rather be read in the spirit of open exploration and dialogue which is an essential feature of our shared modern spirituality.
He said on Monday that he felt he could still celebrate as an Anglican priest when he visited England, although he would continue to visit a Hindu temple. My philosophical position is that all religions are cultural constructs. I am acting out Gods story in local terms.
In case you're wondering, that's Ganesh, a four-armed elephant god, that dude is praying to. Props to Uncle Di.
UPDATE: Here's the Times of London story. Ruth Gledhill has further thoughts.
"Gimme that ole time religion..."
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