By Jenilyn Brhel
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

LONDON, England – An Anglican minister has sparked criticism for urging Christians to pray for Prince George to be gay in order to garner support for same-sex marriages in the Church of England.

Reverend Holdsworth. Image Courtesy of Gordon Smith.

The controversial remarks can be found in a blog post titled “How to Change the Church of England”, and expound on plans for getting the Anglican Church to accept same-sex marriage. The post also asks congregants to pray “for the Lord to bless Prince George with a love, when he grows up, of a fine young gentleman”.

The post was made by Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth nearly two years ago and has since gone viral when the blog resurfaced after the announcement of Prince Harry’s recent engagement to Meghan Markle.

Although same-sex marriages have been recognized legally in England since 2013, they are not recognized by the Church of England.

Reverend Holdsworth is a provost at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow and is a member of the Scottish Episcopal Church, a division of the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion is distinct from, but related to the Church of England. The Anglican Communion this year voted to allow clergy to solemnize gay marriages.

Holdsworth is known for making controversial statements. However, some found this blog post crossed the line.

Gavin Ashenden, a missionary bishop for the Christian Episcopal Church, told the BBC, “to use prayer as a mechanism for wishing this on Prince George is an unkind and destructive thing to do. It doesn’t have the prince’s best interests at heart, but uses him as a gender-political football.”

Prince George is third in line to the British throne, after his grandfather, Prince Charles and his father, Prince William. Prince George will become the head of the Church of England if he becomes the King of England.

Passages from the post have been widely disseminated on Twitter, with many users claiming that Holdworth’s post is excessively politically incorrect.

Holdsworth has since apologized for the outrage his post sparked, but indicated that his words have been misinterpreted and encouraged further discussion on the divisive topic.

“The issues about the church and its capacity to welcome same-sex couples who want to be married remain important,” Holdsworth said. “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.”

For more information, please see:

The Guardian – Christians Should Pray for Prince George to be Gay, Says Minister – 30 November 2017

Time – U.K. Reverend Sparks Outrage After Telling Christians to Pray for Prince George, 4, to be Gay – 1 December 2017

BBC News – Gay Prayer for Prince George Remarks ‘Unkind and Destructive’ – 1 December 2017

Huffington Post – Minister Sparks Outrage After Asking People to Pray for Prince George to be Gay – 3 December 2017

Author: Jenilyn Brhel