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Leading Church of England clerics silent on Jesus’ ‘trans’ sermon that sparked international backlash: ‘No comment’

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Leading Church of England clerics declined to comment on the recent sermon at Trinity College, Cambridge, which sparked an international backlash for talking about the “trans body” of Jesus Christ.

The Reverend Dr. Michael Banner, who is Dean of Trinity College, recently came to the defense of Joshua Heath, a young scholar at the University of Cambridge who proclaimed from the pulpit of Trinity College Chapel during a an Evensong service that non-erotic depictions of Jesus’ penis in historical art “incite a welcoming rather than hostile response to the raised voices of trans people.”

“In the body both male and female of Christ in these works, if the body of Christ as these works suggest [is] the body of all bodies, then his body is also the trans body,” Heath said on November 20, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Neither the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who is the world Anglican Communion’s ceremonial leader, nor the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, its second-ranking clergyman, condemned or otherwise commented to Fox News Digital on the controversial sermon. who also compared the wound in Jesus’ side to a vagina.

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Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby speaks during a service of prayer and reflection for Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on September 9, 2022, a day after her death at the age of 96 .
(Photo by PAUL CHILDREN / SWIMMING POOL / AFP)

“I’m afraid the Archbishop is traveling at the moment and not available for comment,” a spokesperson for Welby told Fox News Digital.

Welby’s office asked Fox News Digital to contact the Church of England press office, which did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for Cottrell told Fox News Digital that “Archbishop Stephen has no comment on this.”

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, above, recently said the falling rate of Christianity in the UK was "not a big surprise."

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, above, recently said the UK’s falling Christianity rate was ‘not a big surprise’
(Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Heath, whose doctorate in theology was overseen by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, claimed in his sermon that in one of the medieval paintings he displayed to the congregation, the spear wound at the side of Jesus “takes on a decidedly vaginal appearance”. In another, he pointed out how blood from his side is flowing to his groin.

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Heath claimed that in the 14th century prayer book of Bonne de Luxembourg, the depiction of Jesus' side wound "takes on a resolutely vaginal look."

Heath claimed that in the 14th century Prayer Book of Bonne de Luxembourg, the depiction of Jesus’ side wound “takes on a decidedly vaginal appearance”.
(Public domain)

Williams, who served as the highest-ranking Anglican cleric from 2002 until Welby took over in 2012, also did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment. The University of Cambridge did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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The sermon reportedly reduced indignant worshipers to tears and cries of “Heresy!” echoed through the chapel as some furious worshipers walked away in disgust. Banner then responded to a letter of complaint from an offended worshiper by saying Heath’s sermon had raised “legitimate” speculation.

Heath pointed out that in Jean Malouel's 13th-century Pietà, the blood from Jesus' side flows to his groin.

Heath pointed out that in Jean Malouel’s 13th-century Pietà, the blood from Jesus’ side flows to his groin.
(Public domain)

Heath’s sermon has been condemned by figures such as Gavin Ashenden, who served as Queen Elizabeth II’s chaplain from 2008 until his resignation in 2017.

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“What Christianity teaches us is that Jesus gets to make us more like him, that’s the problem,” said Ashenden, who left the Church of England to join the Roman Catholic Church. “And whenever you find someone who makes Jesus more like him, that’s not the point.”

“So what happened at Cambridge was a reverse process and a perverse process, and we shouldn’t be surprised because the academy is like that sometimes,” Ashenden continued. “They don’t know when to stop.”

Heath's doctorate in theology was supervised by Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.

Heath’s doctorate in theology was supervised by Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.
(AFP via Getty Images)

Evangelist Franklin Graham also criticized Trinity College for hosting the sermon, which he called “disgusting and shameful”.

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Christianity rates in England and Wales have fallen over the past decade to the lowest figure on record, according to government statistics released last Tuesday.

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