A minister is getting a lot of attention after his blog post where he asked congregants to
“pray in the privacy of their hearts”
for Prince George to be gay.
Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, who belongs to the Scottish Episcopal Church, wrote the post nearly two years ago. (A version was reposted on Jan. 27. of this year.) His words resurfaced on Twitter and in a number of media outlets after the 4-year-old’s uncle, Prince Harry, announced his engagement to Meghan Markle.
The post titled, How to change the Church of England, outlined Holdsworth’s take on how acceptance of same-sex marriage would be achieved. Though marriage equality was legalized in England and Wales in 2013, same-sex marriages are not recognized by the Church of England.
Holdsworth suggested that marriage equality advocates pray,
“for the Lord to bless Prince George with a love, when he grows up, of a fine young gentleman.
A royal wedding might sort things out remarkably easily, though we might have to wait 25 years for that to happen.”
Prince George is third in line to the throne, after his grandfather, Charles, Prince of Wales, and his Dad, Prince William.
The minister’s remarks have been condemned on social media. Gavin Ashenden, a former chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II and a Christian Episcopal Church missionary bishop, accused Holdsworth of using Prince George as “a gender-political football” among followers. Ashenden told the BBC,
“What is especially odd and incongruous is the fact that it is suddenly OK to pray for someone to be gay, but totally unacceptable to pray for them to be free from being gay and to resume a sexuality that was in tune with their biology.”
In a new December 1 blog post, Holdsworth apologized for the outrage he had ― however belatedly ― ignited, but said that his words had been misinterpreted.
“I could spend the next few weeks defending that post and keep reminding people what it was originally about. However, it seems to me that isn’t likely to be fruitful.
The issues about the church and its capacity to welcome same-sex couples who want to be married remain important. I’m not interested in continuing it through a conversation about Prince George. I would urge others, those who agree with me strongly and those who disagree with me strongly to turn our attentions to the actual matter at hand.”
(Photo, Twitter; via HuffPo)