[quote=Columbus Dispatch]Priest adopts Islam for Lent
An Episcopal priest in St. Louis got in trouble with his bishop for taking on the rituals and dietary restrictions of Islam for Lent. The Rev. Steve Lawler says he was just trying to experience the faith in a firsthand way to gain understanding, but his bishop thought it was disrespectful to “play” at another faith. The full story is below.
[INDENT]By Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
FERGUSON, Mo. (RNS) The Rev. Steve Lawler should have just given up chocolate or television for Lent.
Instead, Lawler, the part-time rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, decided to adopt the rituals of Islam for 40 days to gain a deeper understanding of the faith.
Two days after it began, he faced being defrocked if he continued in those endeavors.
“He can’t be both a Christian and a Muslim,” said Bishop George Wayne Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. “If he chooses to practice as Muslim, then he would, by default, give up his Christian identity and priesthood in the church.”