An Episcopal priest in St. Louis has had to give up his plans to adopt Muslim spiritual practice for this lenten season under orders from his bishop. The Rev. Steve Lawler did not plan to subscribe to Islamic belief in any formal way, but intended to use the practice to learn more about the faith.
But Bishop Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri warned Lawler that he would face ecclesiastical discipline if he pursued this plan.
"[...I]n Smith's eyes, the exercise amounts to 'playing' at someone else's religion and could be viewed as disrespectful.
Plus, he said, 'One of the ways (Lawler) remains responsible as a Christian leader is to exercise Christianity and to do it with clarity and not with ways that are confusing.'
When asked whether he would take punitive actions against Lawler if he continued with the rituals, Smith responded that yes, he would. He would be forced to depose him."