IMMORALITY OF HOMOSEXUALITY

Homosexuality in Holy Scripture

Although the subject of homosexuality has not been very much discussed in the past, Holy Scripture was not completely silent about it. In addition to the obvious condemnation of sodomy by the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha (Gen 19), here are a few Biblical passages that explicitly condemn homosexual acts:

Leviticus 18:22: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because it is an abomination."

Romans 1:26-27: "For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error."

 

Homosexuality in Sacred Tradition

The attitude of the Church Fathers and early Christians toward homosexuality was also one of disapproval.

St. Cyprian of Carthage (A.D. 200-258), Letter 1(To Donatus), par 8: "Hence turn your looks to the abominations, not less to be deplored, of another kind of spectacle. In the theaters also you will behold what may well cause you grief and shame. It is the tragic buskin which relates in verse the crimes of ancient days. The old horrors of parricide and incest are unfolded in action calculated to express the image of the truth, so that, as the ages pass by, any crime that was formerly committed may not be forgotten. Each generation is reminded by what it hears, that whatever has once been done may be done again. Crimes never die out by the lapse of ages; wickedness is never abolished by process of time; impiety is never buried in oblivion. Things which have now ceased to be actual deeds of vice become examples. In the mimes, moreover, by the teaching of infamies, the spectator is attracted either to reconsider what he may have done in secret, or to hear what he may do. Adultery is learned while it is seen; and while the mischief having public authority panders to vices, the matron, who perchance had gone to the spectacle a modest woman, returns from it immodest. Still further, what a degradation of morals it is, what a stimulus to abominable deeds, what food for vice, to be polluted by histrionic gestures, against the covenant and law of one's birth, to gaze in detail upon the endurance of incestuous abominations! Men are emasculated, and all the pride and vigor of their sex is effeminated in the disgrace of their enervated body; and he is most pleasing there who has most completely broken down the man into the woman. He grows into praise by virtue of his crime; and the more he is degraded, the more skillful he is considered to be. Such a one is looked upon — oh shame! And looked upon with pleasure. And what cannot such a creature suggest? He inflames the senses, he flatters the affections, he drives out the more vigorous conscience of a virtuous breast; nor is there wanting authority for the enticing abomination, that the mischief may creep upon people with a less perceptible approach. They picture Venus immodest, Mars adulterous; and that Jupiter of theirs not more supreme in dominion than in vice, inflamed with earthly love in the midst of his own thunders, now growing white in the feathers of a swan, now pouring down in a golden shower, 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."

St. Basil the Great (A.D. 329-379) Letter 217, par. LXII: "He who is guilty of unseemliness with males will be under discipline for the same time as adulterers."

St. John Chrysostom (A.D. 347-407) Homilies on Titus 5, under Verse 6: "Then they (the pagans) worshipped boxers and wrestlers. They waged constant wars in perpetual succession, city by city, village by village, house by house. They were addicted to the love of boys, and one of their wise men made a law that Pederasty, as well as anointing for wrestling, should not be allowed to slaves, as if it was an honorable thing; and they had houses for this purpose, in which it was openly practiced. And if all that was done among them was related, it would be seen that they openly outraged nature, and there was none to restrain them. Then their dramas were replete with adultery, lewdness, and corruption of every sort... For as to their passion for boys, whom they called their Paedica, it is not fit to be named. And would you see a son married to his mother? This too happened among them, and what is horrible, though it was done in ignorance, the god whom they worshipped did not prevent it, but permitted this outrage to nature to be committed, and that though she was a person of distinction... But I mention these instances taken from the Heathens, with this view, that I may convince the Gentiles, what evils then prevailed in the world. But we may show the same from our own writings. For it is said, They sacrificed their sons and daughters unto devils. Psalm 106:37 Again, the Sodomites were destroyed for no other cause than their unnatural appetites."

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