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LONDON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The central church of the English Ordinariate, a Catholic home for Anglican converts, has canceled a celebrity preacher and broadcaster for his conservative views on homosexuality and immigration.
Monsignor Keith Newton, the ordinary of Our Lady of Walsingham Ordinariate, and Fr. Mark Elliott Smith, rector of Warwick Street church, banned the Rev. Calvin Robinson from filming an Easter special at the Ordinariate's central church after complaints from the choir.
Robinson was scheduled to film the evangelistic program proclaiming Jesus' Resurrection on March 17 at Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Gregory Church in Warwick Street, London, for GBNews (a British broadcaster). The program was to be telecast on Easter Sunday.
However, a week before the filming, "we heard that Warwick Street will no longer allow us to film our Easter special there because the choir had complained to the priest about my views, calling them homophobic and hateful," Robinson, an acclaimed preacher, told Church Militant.
"I don't know if it's one member or multiple members, but it was someone in the choir," Robinson said. "Personally, I think the priest should have used this as a teaching opportunity to say, you know, Calvin's not homophobic or hateful. Actually, his views are based on Christianity, and here's why Christians believe these things around sexual ethics."
"Unfortunately, the priest spoke to the ordinary, and the ordinary didn't back me up or back up GBNews, and they decided between them that GBNews was not welcome to film the Easter special and canceled on us a week before we were supposed to film, leaving us in the lurch, essentially canceling the easter special," the GBNews presenter lamented.
"Monsignor Newton also told me when I called him, 'Your Enoch article isn't helping," Robinson said. The reference is to an article titled "Why Enoch was Right," penned by the GBNews presenter in Nov. 2022.
"Diversity is not always a strength; it is often an Achilles heel. In this context, diversity means fewer White people, fewer Englishmen and fewer Christians. There are those who would celebrate that. I would call them the racists," Robinson, a cleric of mixed-race heritage, had written in the piece deemed controversial by the Warwick Street choir.
Enoch Powell, a classics scholar and a Conservative member of Parliament (1950–1974), caused a political storm with his "Rivers of Blood" speech, delivered on April 20, 1968.
"Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad," Powell declaimed, noting that Britain's policy of unbridled immigration was "literally mad" and "is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre."
"As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see "the River Tiber foaming with much blood," Powell declared, quoting the Roman poet Virgil's Aeneid.
In his article, Robinson explained how his mixed-race heritage gave him a different perspective on immigration: "My father's family are from Jamaica, originally Nigeria, and my mother's family are from England."
"The Left has done a great job of toxifying the topic of immigration," Robinson wrote. "Open borders do not work for many reasons." The GBNews presenter said an argument could be made in favor of immigration but "newcomers should assimilate, not attempt to override."
"I do not agree with everything Enoch Powell said. I would struggle to find a single politician I do agree with entirely. But I think there is much to be learnt from his Birmingham speech," the preacher opined, noting how Powell even spoke Urdu to better engage with his Pakistani constituents.
Attacking critical race theory in his article, Robinson went on to cite a book by Raheem Kassam, a Briton of Pakistani-Muslim origin. The book is titled Enoch Was Right: 'Rivers of Blood' 50 Years On.
In comments to Church Militant, Fr. Smith said that "the difficulty was caused by the Rev. Calvin Robinson's reference to the speech of Enoch Powell's infamous 'Rivers of Blood' speech, made as recently as November."
"This, as you know, was so incendiary that Ted Heath [former British prime minister and then leader of the Opposition] sacked him the next day. Though I was a child at the time, I just about remember it and the storm it caused!" Smith noted. "It was the level of concern that this caused that made it impossible to film the Easter program here."
Church Militant asked Smith how many choristers had objected to Robinson's reference to Powell, why the presenter's nuanced position had not been considered and how people would perceive a largely White congregation with a White parish priest and a White ordinary canceling a deacon of mixed-race heritage for expressing his views on a contested topic.
Father Smith said he would respond to Church Militant only on the issue of Powell, explaining, "To reference that speech was, I think, a mistake, in that any nuance would be instantly lost in the swirl of emotions that the speech still generates, 53 years on."
On March 8, Fr. Smith invited Robinson to address the Warwick Street young adults group on the topic of "Being a Christian in a Post-Christian Society." Robinson, who spoke at Warwick Street a week after Fr. Michael Nazir-Ali, a famous recent Anglican convert to Catholicism, was well-received by the group.
"No matter how nuanced Calvin's comments might have been, on television, on Twitter and in articles, the headline 'Why Enoch Powell Is Right' has led to much concern at what he said," Msgr. Newton told Church Militant, admitting that Robinson was canceled because of the article's headline.
"I well remember this speech and the negative impact it had on race relations in the U.K., and I certainly don't want to be associated with anything which might be perceived as supporting such a view," Newton added.
"The fact that some members of the choir did not want to take part because of his comments meant that it would have been impractical anyway," the ordinary noted. "Nothing that Robinson has said on homosexuality is contrary to the Church's teaching on this matter."
In April 2022, woke White bishops in the Church of England canceled Robinson for his orthodox views on sexuality, gender and race, Church Militant reported.
Robinson was ordained in the Free Church of England after the pro-abortion and pro-LGBT bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, joined the bishop of Fulham, Jonathan Baker, and the bishop of Edmonton, Rob Wickham, to block Robinson's ordination in the Church of England.
While Wickham was upset because Robinson had "changed his mind" and no longer agreed with the ordination of women, Mullally objected to Robinson's insistence that Britain is not institutionally racist — even though there might be individuals who are racist.
Scores of commenters on Twitter then urged Robinson to convert to Catholicism. Church Militant asked Robinson if he had considered crossing over to Rome.
"People say to me all the time, 'Why haven't you swum the Tiber?' How could I? If I was to join the Ordinariate today and I said something that someone who's woke didn't like, would my ordinary back me up or tell me to be quiet? The evidence speaks for itself," Robinson replied.
"It's disappointing not just for me or GBNews or our viewers or the Christians in Britain. It's also disappointing because we're currently seeing the Church of England entering apostasy with heretical bishops saying that people can bless same-sex unions," Robinson lamented.
"People are looking for orthodoxy and they're looking at the Ordinariate as a possible solution. But if the ordinary of the Ordinariate isn't willing to stand firm in the Faith, then who's going to?" he asked.
"What is more important, proclaiming the gospel at Easter on a national platform or appeasing woke liberals who probably aren't even Christian, because the Warwick Street church choir is largely secular?" the preacher asked.
"Fortunately, we do have a new church to film in. So the Easter special will go ahead. But it's a shame that the woke mob has this much power. It could be just one complaint, right? It's emotional blackmail, essentially," Robinson concluded.
On Monday, Catholic apologist Matt Frad interviewed Robinson on his YouTube channel Pints with Aquinas and praised his "amazing speech" delivered against homosexual behavior at the Oxford Union.
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