Pennsylvania Priest Publicly
Apologizes for being Druid
By David W. Virtue
MALVERN, PA (11/5/2004)--Two Druid practicing priests in the revisionist
Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania have publicly apologized for being
Druids and practicing Wiccan Rites and have written letters to Charles
E. Bennison saying they were wrong.
It was VirtueOnline's breaking the story that caused the priests to
recant and that Bishop Charles E. Bennison's reaction was that he would
not engage in a "witch hunt".
"I repent of 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," wrote the
Rev. William Melnyk a priest at St. James in Downingtown, Pennsylvania
who went by the Wiccan names of "Bran" and "Oakwyse". His wife Glyn
Lorraine Ruppe Melnyk rector at St. Francis Episcopal Church on
Sugartown Road who went by the Wiccan names "Raven" and "Glispa" wrote a
similar letter to the bishop.
VirtueOnline broke the story of these two priests practicing after a
report in the independent Christian magazine Christianity Today saying
the Episcopal Church had officially accepted Wiccan worshipping
practices. The story made the front page in the Philadelphia INQUIRER on
Friday Nov. 5. VirtueOnline got an honorable mention.
I have today sent this letter to my Bishop. My wife [The Rev. Glyn
Lorraine Ruppe-Melnyk] has sent a similar letter:
Recently it has been brought to light by several agencies and
individuals that I have been involved in work with Druid organizations
in the United States and England, exploring the relationships between
Christian and pre-Christian Druid spirituality and theology.
These individuals and agencies have presented you with pages of
documentation of my activities from the internet. You and I have
discussed this material, and you have pointed out to me that it is the
opinion of the church that my involvement, writings, and activities go
beyond the bounds expected of a Christian and a Christian priest.
I affirm to you with all my heart it was never my intention to engage in
such error, but only to help others who had lost connection to the
Church to find a way to reconnect. I also thought that there was much in
our early British heritage that could help those of us in the Church to
broaden our understanding of Anglican tradition.
I was wrong. I repent of 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.
With God as my witness, I reaffirm my belief in the historical creeds of
the Church, and the Baptismal Covenant, and reaffirm to you my faith, as
expressed in that covenant. I am resigning my membership in the Order of
Bards, Ovates, and Druids, as a sign of my repentance.
I have been a follower of Jesus Christ since my Baptism in 1947, and a
faithful Deacon and Priest of the Church, with the exception of the
error admitted above, since 1981. It is my desire to continue as such,
and I ask for the mercy of the Church, and of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sincerely, The Rev. W. William Melnyk I now take pains to publicly
affirm this statement, and to thank the contributors to the various
Anglican weblogs for bringing this to my attention and helping me to see
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