An Anglican minister has caused outrage by urging Christians to pray that Prince George, 4, will be homosexual.
Revd Kelvin Holdsworth, who campaigns on LGBT issues, claims a gay Prince would be the “fastest way” to see same-sex marriages endorsed in the Church of England.
His own church, St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, already allows same-sex weddings to take place.
In comments reposted after the engagement of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, Revd Holdsworth wrote:
“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.”
This weekend, Anglicans decried the comments as “sinister” and “profoundly un-Christian”.
Revd Dr Gavin Ashenden, former chaplain to the Queen, said: “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 added: “It is not a kind prayer. It is not a blessing”, adding, “I would say it’s profoundly un-Christian.”
Lee Gatiss, director of the Church Society, described the comments as “cynical, secular, and sinister”.
He told Christian Today: “To co-opt the Royal children to service a narrow sexual agenda seems particularly tasteless”.
Revd Holdsworth, himself homosexual, played a key role in campaigning for same-sex marriage in the Scottish Episcopal Church – the Scottish arm of the Anglican Communion.
It is the second time this year Revd Holdsworth has been at the centre of controversy.
In January, he was strongly criticised for allowing a Muslim student to read a passage from the Koran denying that Jesus is the Son of God during a service.
Revd Holdsworth claimed the move was part of efforts to strengthen ties between Christians and Muslims in the area.
The Koran passage claims that Mary was “ashamed” after giving birth and that Jesus spoke to her from his crib.
At the time, Revd Dr Ashenden, referred to the reading as “blasphemy” and a “rather serious failure”.
In a letter published in The Times, he said: “There are other and considerably better ways to build ‘bridges of understanding’”.