'Pray Prince George is gay': 3 things we learnt from the controversy

Little did Kelvin Holdsworth, the Scottish priest at the centre of the 'pray Prince George is gay' controversy, know his blog post would cause such a storm two years after he intended.

But a storm it did cause, including speculation on a four-year-old's sexuality, a re-run of the debate about the purpose of the Anglican Church's existence, and Rod Liddle – hardly known for his saint-like qualities – being hailed as a modern-day John the Baptist.

One can only imagine who will come after him.

Here are three things we learnt from the incident, first reported by Christian Today here.

Kelvin Holdsworth is the Provost of St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow, one of the leading Scottish Episcopal Church's buildings.Kelvin Holdsworth

1. It began when Holdsworth himself, evidently knowing the attention it could receive, reposted the article after the announcement of Harry and Megan's engagement.

As #RoyalEngagement was trending on Twitter Holdsworth tweeted: 'My point about the fastest way to make the C of E more inclusive being to pray for Prince George to be blessed one day with the love of a fine young gentleman comes to mind at this time.'

It is worth bearing that in mind when one reads Holdsworth's statement. He says 'this old post has received much media attention' without mentioning it was he who drew it to the media's attention.

'I'm sorry that something that I wrote has been interpreted in the way that it has,' he goes on. 'It was not my intention to cause hurt and I regret that this has led to the current focus on Prince George.'

2. Holdsworth apologised...sort of. He wrote: 'Sadly, this has now become a story entirely about Prince George. I've had countless invitations to appear in the press and media over the next week. I've refused them all and will continue to do so. I have found most of the invitations rather tasteless – as though media organisations actually wanted to have a prolonged conversation about a small boy rather than discuss the issues of justice and fairness that I was trying to raise. We've seen media frenzies around the Royal Family before. No doubt we will see them again. I'm sorry that I inadvertently provoked this one by something I wrote some time ago.'

NB he carefully does not apologise for urging prayers for Prince George to be gay.

3. Holdsworth has form in doing something he knows will attract attention, then backing off from commenting and claiming ignorance.

The same happened when he invited a reading from the Qur'an that included a denial that Jesus was the son of God – on the day in the Christian calendar that celebrates the incarnation of God as his son Jesus.

In a tentative rebuke at the time Bishop David Chillingworth said the SEC had a long commitment to interfaith work but 'this work, like all works of reconciliation, must be founded on truth. We approach others with open hearts but we stand in the truth of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.'

He added: 'Those who seek to work in the area of interfaith relationships must weigh carefully whether the choices which they make are appropriate or otherwise.'

Not just interfaith relationships, Chillingworth might be thinking now. 

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