A British minister is urging Christians in the United Kingdom to pray that 4-year-old Prince George grows up to be gay. This, he believes, would help advance LGBTI rights in the UK. He has since apologized for the comments.
In a blog post titled ‘How to change the Church of England – quick recap,’ posted on 27 January 2017, Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, the Provost of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, discussed how to make the Church of England more inclusive of LGBTI individuals. The 10-step list included the following as number nine:
‘If people don’t want to engage in campaigning in this way, they do in England have another unique option, which is to pray in the privacy of their hearts (or in public if they dare) 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. Who knows whether that might be sooner than things might work out by other means?’
Old news revived
Though this blog post was from last January, it was recently picked up by the press.
In response, Rev. Gavin Ashenden, a former chaplain to the Queen, said the following:
‘To pray for Prince George to grow up in that way, particularly when part of the expectation he will inherit is to produce a biological heir with a woman he loves, is to pray in a way that would disable and undermine his constitutional and personal role.’
‘It is an unkind and destabilising prayer. It is the theological equivalent of the curse of the wicked fairy in one of the fairytales. It is un-Christian as well as being anti-constitutional. It is a very long way from being a blessing for Prince George.’
Updates and apologies
Rev. Holdsworth recently wrote another blog post to address the current media attention his original post was getting.
‘This week, this old post has received much media attention, many people presuming that it was a new post and part of a commentary about the Royal Family rather than the church. The post was entirely about the church and its policies around LGBT inclusion,’ Holdsworth wrote on 1 December.
Holdsworth goes on to apologize:
‘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 ironic comment that I made quite a while ago could be seen as hurtful to members of the Royal Family, a group of people whom I actually rather admire.’
‘I’m sorry that something that I wrote has been interpreted in the way that it has. It was not my intention to cause hurt and I regret that this has led to the current focus on Prince George.’
‘Sadly, this has now become a story entirely about Prince George. I’ve had countless invitations to appear in the press and media over the next week. I’ve refused them all and will continue to do so,’ Holdsworth says.
‘I have found most of the invitations rather tasteless – as though media organisations actually wanted to have a prolonged conversation about a small boy rather than discuss the issues of justice and fairness that I was trying to raise. We’ve seen media frenzies around the Royal Family before. No doubt we will see them again. I’m sorry that I inadvertently provoked this one by something I wrote some time ago.’
‘The debate about the church and sexuality will go on,’ he states.
‘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.’