An Anglican minister has come under fire after urging people to pray that Prince George is gay in order to make the Church of England more inclusive for the LGBT community.
The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow, made the controversial suggestion about the four-year-old prince, who is third in line to the throne, in an online letter about LGBTQ inclusion in the Church of England.
In the post, he writes, "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," he says. "Who knows whether that might be sooner than things might work out by other means?"
Holdsworth's comments were swiftly condemned by many Christians including Lee Gatiss, director of the Church Society, who told Christian Today: "To co-opt the Royal children to service a narrow sexual agenda seems particularly tasteless and, I should add, bizarrely illogical on his own grounds."
A former chaplain to the Queen, the Rev Gavin Ashenden, called the comments as "unkind" and "profoundly un-Christian", and said the prayer was the "theological equivalent of the curse of the wicked fairy in one of the fairytales".
"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," he said.
"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."
Holdsworth, a pastor in the Scottish Episcopal Church, is a long time campaigner in favor of gay marriage across the worldwide Anglican Communion, according to CT. His full post includes a list of nine suggestions to force LGBT inclusion in the Church of England.
His third point urges Christians "pressure the House of Commons" to stop giving money to "anti-gay institution such as the Church of England to run even more schools."
"Oh, I know it is ugly to be accused of using schoolchildren as bargaining chips but it is even more ugly to be a bullied gay kid and putting pressure on the peculiar English school system over this issue pays dividends both to that kid who needs our support and the wider cause too," he says.
While the Church of England has in recent months made moves to accommodate gay couples and transgender people, it still does not hold marriage services for same-sex couples.
In June, the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion, announced that it was allowing gay weddings after its synod voted to amend its canon law on marriage.
According to Religion News Service, Rev. Holdsworth was the first to register to officiate at same-sex weddings.
"The congregation has been hugely supportive. There were loud cheers in church when I announced that bookings for weddings were now open to all couples, when I received permission to do this a couple of weeks ago," Holdsworth said at the time.