Prince George
Prince George (REUTERS/Richard Pohle/Pool)

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An Anglican priest asked people to pray for the third-in-line heir to the English monarchy to be gay.

Though the original blog post made the rounds more than a year ago, it recently regained steam.

"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. Who knows whether that might be sooner than things might work out by other means?" The Very Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, the provost who runs St. Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow, wrote in the post.

The post gained traction again after he tweeted it following the royal wedding announcement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Holdsworth's comments have been criticized by many, including Gavin Ashenden, a former chaplain to the queen and a Christian Episcopal Church missionary bishop.

"To use prayer as a mechanism for wishing this on Prince George is an unkind and destructive thing to do," Ashenden tells 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 percent 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."

Since the post's re-emergence, Holdsworth says he has some regrets about the way that it has been interpreted—but not about how it violates the biblical standard for marriage.

"I'm sorry that something that I wrote has been interpreted in the way that it has. It was not my intention to cause hurt, and I regret that this has led to the current focus on Prince George," Holdsworth writes in a recent statement. "The issues about the church and its capacity to welcome same-sex couples who want to be married remain important. However, I won't be part of a media circus that puts further pressure on members of the Royal Family. They need peace and young members of the Royal Family need privacy too."

He concludes: "The debate about the church and sexuality will go on. I'm not interested in continuing it through a conversation about Prince George. I would urge others, those who agree with me strongly and those who disagree with me strongly to turn our attentions to the actual matter at hand."

Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.

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