The Queen has extended her support to a church movement which denounces homosexuality.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the monarch sent two letters of support to the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, which fights against the preaching of “false gospels” of homosexuality and other “immoral” sexual behaviour.
It opposes gay unions and the ordination of women and gays, instead promoting “orthodox, biblical Anglicanism”.
The Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, is one of its senior figures. This week, he told the Sunday Telegraph gays must “repent and be changed”, saying the Church of England must not be “rolled over by culture”.
The FCA are concerned over the Anglican church heading in a more liberal direction. Last year, the Queen wrote to them to say she “understood their concerns” about the future of the 80 million-strong global church.
The latest letter offers support for a gathering of conservative bishops and arch-bishops from around the world to be held today in London. More than 1,000 Anglicans are set to attend.
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell claimed the Queen, who is the supreme governor of the Church of England, had made “a serious error of judgement”.
He said: “Her letter of support for the breakaway anti-gay faction of the Church of England is collusion with prejudice. She has insulted lesbian and gay people and breached royal protocol by embroiling herself in an issue of religious and political controversy. It is very alarming to see the Queen endorse a homophobic grouping within the Church of England. She is taking sides, against gay equality.
“Her Majesty is aligning herself with a Christian fundamentalist grouping that is founded almost entirely on its opposition to gay priests and gay human rights. Homophobic prejudice and discrimination is central to its religious ethos.
“Many leading members of FCA believe the civil and criminal law should discriminate against gay people. They do not believe that we are entitled to equal rights.”
Buckingham Palace refused to comment on what it said was private correspondence, while royal sources said the monarch writes to many organisations.