C of E minister faces criticism over York gay pride blessing

A Church of England minister has given a prayer of blessing at the beginning of a homosexual festival outside York Minster.

Canon Michael Smith, who has responsibility for pastoral care at the Minster, spoke at the beginning of York Pride as a march through the city began outside the historic cathedral on Saturday.

His comments have been criticised for going against Christian teaching.

Love God

A statement from York Minster said this was the second year it had joined with other York groups to show support for the event.

Revd Melvin Tinker, an evangelical Church of England minister at St John Newland church in Hull, spoke out against Canon Smith’s actions.

He noted Jesus’ assertion of God’s instruction to: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’”.

Revd Tinker said that involves loving God’s standards in the Bible. He added that means “there are certain things you can’t love if you’re going to love God and that means you can’t affirm immoral actions”.

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