Controversy arose after the National Cathedral on Wednesday announced the preacher for the main Sunday service on February 7th.
We’re thrilled to welcome one of America’s best-known pastors and authors to the Canterbury Pulpit as our guest preacher…
The drew post drew negative comments and a petition for the Cathedral to withdraw the invitation.
Washington National Cathedral faces a growing backlash from some Episcopalians for inviting popular author and evangelical megachurch pastor Max Lucado as guest preacher Feb. 7 despite Lucado’s past statements against homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
Opponents of that decision also have circulated an online petition urging the cathedral to rescind its invitation to Lucado over his “fearmongering and dehumanizing messages.” They point specifically to a 2004 article in which Lucado calls homosexuality a “sexual sin” and outlines a biblical argument against gay marriage while suggesting it could open the door to legalizing polygamy or incest.
Cathedral Dean Randy Hollerith defended the decision in a written statement that the cathedral is providing to people who ask about the invitation to Lucado.
“Our commitment to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters is unshakable and unchanged,” Hollerith said. “We believe the Gospel calls us to nothing short of full embrace and inclusion.” Hollerith continued that he understands the concerns about Lucado’s past statements on LGBTQ issues and doesn’t agree with those views, but “repairing the breach” starts with listening to people who disagree.
See ENS’s story for more of Hollerith’s statement and more from the opponents of the invitation.
Lucado has expressed his bafflement over the evangelical support for former President Trump.
The Episcopal Café shared the ENS story on its Facebook page where it also drew considerable comment.
Lucado did preach Sunday.
In a surprise, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson served as celebrant at the service.
Following the Peace, Robinson spoke for 8 minutes about the controversy saying he stood with the Cathedral’s decision. The Cathedral tweeted video of his statement.
— Washington National Cathedral (@WNCathedral) February 7, 2021
It was not of course the sermon which the controversy, but rather the preacher and his past statements.
The same video was posted to the Cathedral’s Facebook page where it drew considerable comment. The Facebook link to the service has drawn over 1,500 comments.
Sunday evening, the Bishop of Washington weighed in with a defense of the decision:
I wish to respond to those who have expressed your feelings about Washington National Cathedral’s decision to invite Max…
Critics remain unconvinced. For example:
I listened to Bishop Gene Robinson, who is my friend and whom I admire deeply, this morning, and I still haven’t heard a…