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Episcopal priest to replace anti-gay pastor for inaugural benediction

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WASHINGTON — The pastor of the Episcopal parish known as “the church of the presidents” will give the benediction at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The Rev. Luis Leon of St. John’s Church has been chosen for the honor. He replaces Atlanta megachurch pastor Louie Giglio, who withdrew from the ceremony last week after a sermon he gave years ago surfaced in which he condemned gay relationships.

Rev. Luis Leon

A Presidential Inaugural Committee spokeswoman, Addie Whisenant, had said that the person chosen to give the prayer would reflect the administration’s beliefs. The Episcopal Church blesses same-sex relationships and elects bishops who live openly with same-gender partners.

Every president since James Madison, including Obama, has attended a service at St. John’s Church, which stands across from the White House on Lafayette Square. Leon is a native of Cuba who came to the United States at age 12. He delivered prayers at the 2005 inauguration of President George W. Bush.

The presidential inaugural will be held Monday.

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8 more reader comments:

  1. good!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 5:26pm
  2. <3 this!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 5:33pm
  3. Yeah!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 5:35pm
  4. I started out being Episcopalian, now am going to Unity Church of Fresno.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 5:38pm
  5. Great!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 5:39pm
  6. Why is this even necessary is a secular country?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 6:24pm
  7. Thank You President Obama. It’s so good to hear a NEW priest will deliver the Inaugural Benediction. OUR COLLECTIVE PROTESTS to President Obama were effective, and we are glad he saw the change as the right thing to do.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 6:29pm
  8. I like this the only thing I want to know is WHY do I have to register to see the whole story?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 7:18pm