The Christian Institute has taken Newcastle Cathedral to task over a weekend-long LGBT festival that included a panel discussion on ‘Queering the Church’.
The event, which coincided with the city’s pro-LGBT march as part of July’s Pride Month, the cathedral hosted four panellists, including a Church of England curate who identifies as ‘non-binary genderqueer transgender’.
The Pride Panel saw Church of England curate Bingo Allison, Proud Catholics founder Isabel Hill, bisexual Rev. Rae Caro and Bi Pride UK’s Karen Pollock discuss how the church can go beyond tolerance to inclusion.
Between Friday 19 and Sunday 21 July, the cathedral hosted six events, including a communion service with an LGBT emphasis, marching with others in the city centre and LGBT history telling.
However, Colin Hart, director of The Christian Institute, claimed this goes directly against the message of the gospel.
In a statement, he said, ‘The message of the gospel is that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Instead of repenting of sin, this festival celebrates it’.
He added such events lead people away from the good news of the gospel because instead of bringing people into the saving knowledge of Christ, it is blasphemous, because it distorts the message of repentance and preaches a message that is human-centred first, instead of God-centred.
Mr Hart commented, ‘Anglican doctrine is that homosexual acts must be repented of. The cathedral authorities and the Bishop of Newcastle don’t seem bothered.
‘In a place of worship, and even at a Holy Communion service, there is to be what amounts to a blasphemous celebration of sexual activity outside marriage’.