LONDON — A Scottish priest has caused a stir by suggesting that were four-year-old Prince George, who is third in line to the British throne, turn out to be gay, it might help encourage the Church of England to accept gay marriage.
Kelvin Holdsworth wrote that English people could “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,” noted Holdsworth, who is from the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Holdsworth, rector of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, is himself gay and a campaigner for gay rights.
Amid growing media coverage, he clarified on Saturday that although he reposted his comments a few days ago, the storm was surrounding an article he originally wrote two years ago: “It included the suggestion that the church might change faster if a member of the Royal Family wanted to get married to a same-sex partner in 25 years time. It speculated that a 27 year old Prince George might well find that the Church of England would allow him to be able to enter into such a marriage,” he elaborated.
“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.”
Statement on Prayers for Prince George. (Please RT and share as widely as possible)https://t.co/fYzy2qnnLL
— Kelvin Holdsworth (@thurible) December 2, 2017
The Scottish Episcopal Church, a branch of the Anglican Church, voted in June to remove the reference in the wedding ritual to marriage being a union “between a man and a woman”. It has since celebrated several same-sex marriages.
Anglican leaders in October disciplined the Scottish Episcopal Church in the same way as they did the US Episcopal Church in 2016 for approving gay marriage.
Gavin Ashenden, a former chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II, condemned Holdsworth’s remarks.
“If you’re going to pray for Prince George, pray for him to be happy… and pray for him to discharge his duty as prince, to be married and have children,” he told The Times.
“It is not a kind prayer. It is not a blessing, it’s more like a curse from a fairytale. I would say it’s profoundly un-Christian,” he said.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this article.