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Church Fathers on Homosexuality

Justin Martyr (2nd Century Christian leader and martyr): “We have been taught that to expose newly-born children is the part of wicked men… first, because we see that almost all so exposed are brought up to prostitution.  And for this pollution a multitude of females and hermaphrodites (with both sex organs), and those who commit unmentionable iniquities are found in every nation… And anyone who uses such persons, besides the godless and infamous and impure intercourse, may possibly be having intercourse with their relative… And there are some who prostitute… for the purpose of sodomy…”

Clement of Alexandria (2nd Century and disciple of the apostle Paul and added to certain early Bibles as an appendix): “The fate of the Sodomites was judgment to those who had done wrong, instruction to those who hear.  The Sodomites, after having much luxury, fell into uncleanness, practicing adultery shamelessly and burned with insane love for boys; the All-Seeing Word (God), whose notice those who commit such iniquities cannot escape, cast His eye on them… (and) ordered Sodom to be burned, pouring forth a little of the sagacious fire on licentiousness; lest lust, through want of punishment, should throw wide the gates to those that were rushing into voluptuous-ness.  Accordingly, the just punishment of the Sodomites became to men an image of the salvation which is well calculated for men.  For those who have not committed like sins with those who are punished, will never receive a like punishment.”

Athenagoras (2nd Century): “…those who do not abstain …males with males committing shocking abominations… dishonor the workmanship of God.”

Tertullian (160-225): “(such) frenzies of passions – impious both toward the bodies and toward the sexes – beyond the laws of nature, we banish not only from the threshold, but from all shelter of the Church, because they are beyond sins, they are monstrosities.”

Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340): “God in the law given to Moses having forbid all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, including the union of women with women and men with men.”

Saint Jerome (340-420; author of the Catholic Latin Vulgate Bible): “Sodom and Gomorrah might have appeased God’s wrath had they been willing to repent; and through the aid of fasting gain themselves tears of repentance.”

St. John Chrysostom (347-407): “But if thou scoff at hearing of hell… remember the burning of Sodom and that conflagration …and consider how great is that sin, to have forced hell to appear even before its time! …For that rain (of fire) was unwonted, for the intercourse was contrary to nature, and it deluged the land, since lust had done so their souls… men making a body of this sort more worthless than the very land of Sodom.  And what is there more detestable than a man who has pandered himself (to another man), and what more execrable?”  “The pagans were addicted to the love of boys, and one of their wise men made a law that pederasty… should not be allowed to slaves… As for their passion for boys, whom they called their paedica, it is not fit to be named.”  “Certain men in the church come in gazing about at the beauty of women; others curious about the blooming youth of boys; do you not marvel that lightning bolts are not launched from heaven; and all these things are not plucked up from their foundations?  They are worthy both of thunderbolts and Hell… but God, who is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forbears awhile (a little while sometimes) His wrath, calling all to repentance…”

[Yes I do marvel and wonder my brother Chrysostom, but I also do know of cases the Lord has swallow some in the ground and struck others with lightning to death]

St. Augustine (354-430), a doctor of the Catholic Church: “Those offences and shameful acts (of homosexuality) which are contrary to nature are everywhere and at all times to be held in detestation and punished; such were those of the Sodomites, which if nations commit, they should be held guilty of the same crime by the divine law, which has not so made men that they should in that way abuse one another.  For even that fellowship which should be between God and us is violated, when that same nature of which He is author is polluted by the perversity of lust.”

Cyprian of Carthage (3rd Century): “Turn your looks to the abominations, not less to be deplored… Men emasculated and all the pride and vigor of their sex is effeminate in the disgrace of their enervated body… broken down man into woman.  …The more he is degraded, the more skillful he is considered to be.  Such a one looked upon – oh Shame!  And looked upon with pleasure… Nor is there wanting authority for the enticing abomination… that Jupiter of theirs is not more supreme in dominion than in vice, inflamed with earthly love in the midst of his own thunders… now breaking forth by the help of birds to violate the purity of boys.  And now put the question: Can he who looks upon such things be healthy-minded or modest?  Men imitate the gods whom they adore, and to such miserable beings their crimes become their religion.”

Basil the Great (4th Century): “He who is guilty of unseemliness (homosexual immoral acts) with males will be under discipline for the same time as adulterers…”  “O monk, if you are young in either body or mind, shun the companionship of other young men and avoid them as you would a flame; for through them the enemy (devils) has kindled the desires of many and then handed them over to eternal fire…”

Pope St. Gregory the Great, Catholic ‘holy father’ and Doctor (540-604): “Sacred Scripture itself confirms that sulfur evokes the stench of the flesh, as it speaks of the rain of fire and sulfur poured upon Sodom by the Lord.  He punished Sodom for the crimes of the flesh, and the very type of punishment He chose emphasized the shame of that crime.  For sulfur stinks, and fire burns.  So it was just that Sodomites, burning with perverse desires arising from the flesh like stench, should perish by fire and sulfur so that through this just punishment they would realize the evil they had committed, led by a perverse desire.”

Cardinal Peter Damian (1007-1072):  “Truly, this vice is never to be compared with any other vice because it surpasses the enormity of all vices.… It defiles everything, stains everything, and pollutes everything. And as for itself, it permits nothing pure, nothing clean, and nothing other than filth…  The miserable flesh burns with the heat of lust; the cold mind trembles with the rancor of suspicion; and in the heart of the miserable man chaos boils like Tartarus [Hell].  …In fact, after this most poisonous serpent once sinks its fangs into the unhappy soul, sense is snatched away, memory is borne off, and the sharpness of the mind is obscured.  It becomes unmindful of God and even forgetful of itself. This plague undermines the foundation of faith, weakens the strength of hope, and destroys the bond of charity; it takes away justice, subverts fortitude, banishes temperance, and blunts the keenness of prudence… and it expels the whole host of the virtues from the chamber of the human heart and introduces every barbarous vice as if the bolts of the doors were pulled out.”

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274); author of Summa Theologiae: “If all the sins of the flesh are worthy of condemnation because by them man allows himself to be dominated by that which he has of the animal nature, much more deserving of condemnation are the sins against nature by which man degrades his own animal nature.  …Man can sin against nature in two ways.  First, he sins against his specific rational nature, acting contrary to reason.  In this sense, we can say that every sin is a sin against man’s nature, because it is against man’s right reason… Secondly, man sins against nature when he goes against his generic nature, that is to say, his animal nature.  Now, it is evident that, in accord with natural order, the union of the sexes among animals is ordered towards conception. From this it follows that every sexual intercourse that cannot lead to conception is opposed to man’s animal nature.”

St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444): “No sin in the world grips the soul as the accursed sodomy; this sin has always been detestable by all those who live according to God… Deviant passion is close to madness; this vice disturbs the intellect, destroys elevation and generosity of soul, brings the mind down from great thoughts to the lowliest, makes the person slothful, irascible, obstinate and obdurate, servile and soft and incapable of anything; furthermore, agitated by an insatiable craving for pleasure, the person follows not reason but frenzy… They become blind and, when their thoughts should soar to high and great things, they are broken down and reduced to vile and useless and putrid things, which could never make them happy…  Just as people participate in the glory of God in different degrees, so also in hell some suffer more than others. He who lived with this vice of sodomy suffers more than another, for this is the greatest sin.”

The Didache 2:2 (70 AD; ‘The Teachings’ – of the Christian Church; it was an appendix to certain of the earliest Bibles): “You shall not commit murder… adultery… fornication …you shall not commit pederasty (sex with a boy or male with a male)… you shall not steal… or practice magic… witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill one that has been born…”


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