Gay prayer for Prince George remarks 'unkind and destructive'

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image captionPrince George is third in line to the throne

A senior Anglican minister has been criticised for saying people should pray for Prince George to be gay to help the Church of England recognise same-sex marriage.

The Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth wrote a blog post urging people to pray for him "to be blessed one day with the love of a fine young gentleman".

His comments have been described as "unkind" and "destructive".

Mr Holdsworth is provost of St Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow.

He is from the Scottish Episcopal Church, which voted to allow gay couples to marry earlier this year.

Same-sex marriages in Anglican churches are banned in England and Wales.

Royal wedding 'hijacked'

In his blog post, Mr Holdsworth said that if Prince William's four-year-old son married another man in the future it would help the Church of England become more inclusive.

"A royal wedding might sort things out remarkably easily though we might have to wait 25 years for that to happen," he wrote.

"Who knows whether that might be sooner than things might work out by other means?"

image copyrightGordon Smith
image captionRev Holdsworth says Prince George being gay would help the Church to become more inclusive

He told the BBC he first wrote the blog post more than a year ago but it gained traction after he tweeted it again following the news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement.

"This quote seems to be getting a lot of attention because it was picked up by a number of anti-gay campaigners in the Church of England," he said.

"It is a shame that the happy news about the royal wedding has been hijacked in this way."

image copyrightReuters
image captionMr Holdsworth tweeted his blog post following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement

Gavin Ashenden, a former chaplain to the Queen and a Christian Episcopal Church missionary bishop, said the comments were not Christian.

"To use prayer as a mechanism for wishing this on Prince George is an unkind and destructive thing to do," he told the BBC.

"It doesn't have the prince's best interests at heart, but uses him as a gender-political football to please 1.7% of the population.

"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.

"This seems not only contradictory but hypocritical."

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Susie Leafe, the director of the conservative evangelical group Reform, was also critical of Mr Holdsworth's blog.

"I was very disappointed that he was prepared to bring a child in to this same-sex marriage debate," she told the BBC.

"As a Christian minister he should pray for all people to come to know the love of Christ, rather than a fine young gentleman."

The Church of England declined to comment on Mr Holdsworth's blog post as he is a member of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Rt Rev Dr Gregor Duncan, Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway, said: "The comments made by Provost Holdsworth were made on his personal blog.

"As his blog indicates, the views expressed there are his personal ones.

"They do not represent an official view of the Scottish Episcopal Church nor are they ones with which I would concur. I will be discussing this matter with Provost Holdsworth."

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