The New York Times has coverage this morning about an Anglican clergyman who provocatively urges prayers that Prince George, the elder child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, grow up to be homosexual:
A prominent Anglican cleric and gay rights campaigner known for contentious gestures has urged believers to pray for Prince George — age 4, and third in line to the throne — to find the love “of a fine young gentleman” when he grows up so as to advance the cause of same-sex marriage in church.
The Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth is provost of St. Mary’s Episcopal (Anglican) Cathedral in Glasgow. Not new to either advocacy or media attention, Holdsworth is the same clergyman who in January invited Muslims to give Quranic readings during a cathedral worship service – readings that specifically denied the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Derryck Green blogged about the controversy earlier this year:
It appears that permitting a song that rejects Jesus’ divinity wasn’t enough. Local church leadership doubled down on the offense.
According to the BBC, cathedral Provost Kelvin Holdsworth defended the incongruity of Quranic readings that negate Jesus’ divinity in the cathedral as necessary efforts to build relationships between Christians and Muslims in Glasgow. Holdsworth rationalized the incident by claiming, “Such readings have happened a number of times in the past in this and in other churches and have led to deepening friendships locally,” rationalizing the goal of “dialogues” that increase awareness with respect to religious commonalities and differences.
Obviously, this is consistent with Muslim belief. It should be expected that practitioners of Islam would articulate such a key theological tenant of their faith. But the decision of an Anglican clergyman to give a platform to these beliefs in the context of a Christian worship service (rather than an interfaith panel or academic discussion) is baffling.
In summary, we have a Scottish Episcopal Church cathedral provost who, for the purposes of political advocacy, prays that Prince George be homosexual, and also vigorously defends inviting readings in his church’s worship services that specifically refute the divinity of Christ.
The Scottish Episcopal Church is a province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and one of the few to have officially voted to permit the solemnization of same-sex marriages. It is also one of the smallest provinces, claiming 54,000 registered members and 350 churches in 2010. The 2011 Scottish census reported fewer than 10,000 people claiming affiliation with the Scottish Episcopal Church, raising questions that the province’s already small membership totals were likely inflated. Anglican Communion member churches count approximately 80 million members across 165 countries, making it the third largest global family of Christian churches.
Change to the canons of the Scottish Episcopal Church concerning same-sex marriage has prompted some churches to quit the denomination. Instead, some departing Anglicans are aligning themselves with a bishop consecrated by the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) a traditionalist movement that counts the largest Anglican Communion provinces among its members.