Vicar: York Minster blessing Pride is like welcoming paedophiles

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A Vicar in Hull has hit out at a decision by a canon at York Minster to bless the city’s Pride parade this weekend, suggesting that accepting gay people means also accepting paedophiles and “serial adulterers”.

Speaking to David Dunning at 104.7 Minster FM, Reverend Melvin Tinker made the comments, and refused to deny that he was likening homosexuality to paedophilia.

He was responding to a decision by Cannon Michael Smith of York Minster to come out onto the steps of the Minster and bless the Pride parade.

Reverend Tinker recalled that Canon Smith had told him: “This is about equality and about the church saying that we welcome everybody.”

The reverend responded: “He wouldn’t say that about people who are doing things which are wrong? Would he say that serial adulterers should be welcome in the church? Should he say that people engaged in paedophilia should be welcome in the church?

“What he is basically saying is that in his opinion, this is a valid activity.”

He was then accused by Mr Dunning of “ducking the question” of whether he was likening homosexuality to paedophilia.

He responded: “What I’m saying is that if the category – we are talking about moral categories here- and if homosexual general sex falls into the immoral category, then it is in the same category as any other immoral action.”

Mr Dunning said perhaps the blessing was an attempt to show that the Church had moved on, and was now more accepting, given that there is nothing illegal about same-sex relationships.

The vicar responded: “At one time homosexual activity was illegal… I don’t think legality in the eyes of the law is anything to do with this. What we are talking about is whether certain actions are right or wrong in God’s eyes, as he has revealed it in stricture, and also natural law as well.

“The tradition of scripture is that it isn’t. The tradition of the church is that it isn’t. The tradition of natural law is that it isn’t.

“For the canon to flaunt these under the manner of equality is disingenuous. I am outraged that this should go on in the name of York Minster, in the name of Christianity, and in the name of the diocese.

“It really is just so provocative, and is incredibly insensitive, and a plain wrong thing to do at this time. I would have hoped that the Archbishop would have spoken out against this.”

Mr Dunning then noted that the Archbishop probably wouldn’t, given that a blessing took place last year at Pride too.

“it is just offensive for him actually to do that is provocative in the extreme… He ought to be ashamed of himself really, he knows better than this,” Reverend Tinker concluded.

Reverend Tinker is the vicat of St John in Newland in Hull, which is within the York diocese.