The Anglican Cleric at the heart of a dispute over the sexuality of Prince George has issued a statement clarifying his views.
Kelvin Holdsworth became the focus of controversy on Friday after reports he believed Christians should pray for Prince George to be gay to encourage support for same-sex marriage in the Church of England.
The comments were drawn from a blog, written more than two years ago, that considered how Christians might support the campaign for gay marriage in the Church of England.
When the post was republished this week, however, it attracted attention for a suggestion that “a royal wedding might sort things out remarkably easily” with regard to gay marriage.
A light-hearted line musing that believers could pray “for the Lord to bless Prince George with a love, when he grows up, of a fine young gentleman” provoked the ire of some members of the church community.
In his clarification, published on Thursday Mr Holdsworth said it had not been his intention to cause hurt, and expressed regret that the post had led to a focus on the young Prince.
“The post was entirely about the church and its policies around LGBT inclusion,” he wrote. “The debate about the church and sexuality will go on. I’m not interested in continuing it through a conversation about Prince George.”
Conservative clerics including former chaplain to the Queen Gavin Ashenden had focused on Mr Holdworth’s comments.
Mr Ashenden told Christian Today that the prayer for the young prince to be gay was “the theological equivalent of the curse of the wicked fairy in one of the fairy tales”, calling it “un-Christian” and “anti-constitutional”.
He also laid out what he and others regard as the correct plans for Prince George’s future, saying “part of the expectation” the four-year-old “will inherit is to produce a biological heir with a woman he loves”.
Mr Ashenden resigned from the Anglican church this year in opposition to the consecration of women, which he aligned with “the values of cultural marxism”.
LGBT inclusion remains a divisive topic in the Anglican Church which commits to uphold “marriage between a man and a woman” and, as a global communion, does not allow gay marriage.
However some churches in the global church, including the Scottish Episcopal Church of which Mr Holdsworth is part, have voted to allow same-sex marriage in its churches, with some facing sanctions as a result.
Prince George meanwhile expressed a wish for a police car as a Christmas gift, making his request in a letter delivered to Santa Claus by his father.