A reader requested a post that clarifies the position of the church towards homosexuality and this is an attempt to do so. Much has been written, as of late, of the crisis within the church and I am reminded of what St. Paul said in the letter to the Philippians in the third chapter and first verse: “As to the rest, my breathren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not wearisome, but to you it is necessary.”
Thus has always been the practice of our Holy Mother, the Church, to always bring to remembrance the faith that has been delivered. This is necessary due to our flesh, the world in which we live, and the the simple fact that we are forgetful and “ye of little faith.”
In the Divine Office, in the Sacraments, in the Deposit of Faith we find daily reminders of what this glorious faith is and how it (through the Spirit Of God) is to shape us, renew us, and conform us to the image of Christ.
With this in mind, let’s look at what the church has always taught about the Sin of Sodom.
We first find the instances of sodomy (homosexual practices) in the book of Genensis Chapter 18. The Lord said in verse 20,
“The cry of Sodom and Gomorrha is multiplied, and their sin is become exceedingly grievous.” We find in the next chapter what the sins are that are “exceedingly Grievous and it sodomy and the angels of God tell Lot he needs to leave the city because “19 For we will destroy this place, because their cry is grown loud before the Lord, who hath sent us to destroy them.”
As we know, God did destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha and we know for what reason.
I pass over another example in the book of Judges to bring the reader to understand what God wanted done to sodomites in the Old Testament. We find in the book of Leviticus chapter 18 verses 22,
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because it is an abomination”
and in chapter 20 verse 13,
“If any one lie with a man as with a woman, both have committed an abomination, let them be put to death: their blood be upon them.”
In short, God destroyed entire cities for this sin and he commanded that those who do so be put to death.
This suffices as to represent the whole of the teaching of the Old Testament concerning Sodomy. There are more examples we pass over for brevity sake.
Let us now examine the New Testament and see what we find.
In First Corinthians chapter 6 verses 9 and 10 St. Paul says,
“Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,  Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.”
St. Paul also said in Romans chapter 1 verses 26 – 32,
“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.  And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers,  Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.  Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.”
And in First Timothy Chapter 1 verses 9 and 10,
Knowing this, that the law is not made for the just man, but for the unjust and disobedient, for the ungodly, and for sinners, for the wicked and defiled, for murderers of fathers, and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  For fornicators, for them who defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and whatever other thing is contrary to sound doctrine,”
And finally, in Jude verse 7 we find,
“As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.”
We can then conclude that both the Old Testament and the New Testament say that the Sin of Sodom is heinous in the eyes of God, they God will punish them, and they will suffer the punishment of Eternal Fire.
Let us go now to find out what the church fathers have taught concerning the sin of Sodomy.
Eusebius of Caesarea (260-341)
“[God in the Law given to Moses] having forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men.”
“But all the other 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 not sins, but monstrosities.”
Saint Jerome (340-420)
“And Sodom and Gomorrah might have appeased it [God’s wrath], had they been willing to repent, and through the aid of fasting gain for themselves tears of repentance.”
Saint John Chrysostom (347-407)
“But if thou scoffest at hearing of hell and believest not that fire, remember Sodom. For we have seen, surely we have seen, even in this present life, a semblance of hell. For since many would utterly disbelieve the things to come after the resurrection, hearing now of an unquenchable fire, God brings them to a right mind by things present. For such is the burning of Sodom, and that conflagration!…
“Consider how great is that sin, to have forced hell to appear even before its time!… For that rain was unwonted, for the intercourse was contrary to nature, and it deluged the land, since lust had done so with their souls. Wherefore also the rain was the opposite of the customary rain. Now not only did it fail to stir up the womb of the earth to the production of fruits, but made it even useless for the reception of seed. For such was also the intercourse of the 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 hath pandered himself, or what more execrable?
Saint Augustine (354-430)
“Those offences which be contrary to nature are everywhere and at all times to be held in detestation and punished; such were those of the Sodomites, which should all nations commit, they should all be held guilty of the same crime by the divine law, which hath 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.”
Saint Gregory the Great (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 had decided to punish 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.”
Saint 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, pollutes everything. And as for itself, it permits nothing pure, nothing clean, 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, 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, destroys the bond of charity; it takes away justice, subverts fortitude, banishes temperance, blunts the keenness of prudence.
“And what more should I say since 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.”
Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Commenting upon Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (1:26-27), Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, explains why the sin of homosexuality is so grave:
“Given the sin of impiety through which they [the Romans] sinned against the divine nature [by idolatry], the punishment that led them to sin against their own nature followed…. I say, therefore, that since they changed into lies [by idolatry] the truth about God, He brought them to ignominious passions, that is, to sins against nature; not that God led them to evil, but only that he abandoned them to evil….
“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, when 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.”
Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
“But they act in a contrary way, for they come full of impurity to this mystery, and not only of that impurity to which, through the fragility of your weak nature, you are all naturally inclined (although reason, when free will permits, can quiet the rebellion of nature), but these wretches not only do not bridle this fragility, but do worse, committing that accursed sin against nature, and as blind and fools, with the light of their intellect darkened, they do not know the stench and misery in which they are. It is not only that this sin stinks before me, who am the Supreme and Eternal Truth, it does indeed displease me so much and I hold it in such abomination that for it alone I buried five cities by a divine judgment, my divine justice being no longer able to endure it. This sin not only displeases me as I have said, but also the devils whom these wretches have made their masters. Not that the evil displeases them because they like anything good, but because their nature was originally angelic, and their angelic nature causes them to loathe the sight of the actual commission of this enormous sin.
Saint Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)
“No sin in the world grips the soul as the accursed sodomy; this sin has always been detested 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.”
Saint Peter Canisius (1521-1597)
“As the Sacred Scripture says, the Sodomites were wicked and exceedingly sinful. Saint Peter and Saint Paul condemn this nefarious and depraved sin. In fact, the Scripture denounces this enormous indecency thus: ‘The scandal of Sodomites and Gomorrhans has multiplied and their sins have become grave beyond measure.’ So the angels said to just Lot, who totally abhorred the depravity of the Sodomites: ‘Let us leave this city….’ Holy Scripture does not fail to mention the causes that led the Sodomites, and can also lead others, to this most grievous sin. In fact, in Ezechiel we read: ‘Behold this was the iniquity of Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and abundance, and the idleness of her, and of her daughters: and they did not put forth their hand to the needy, and the poor. And they were lifted up, and committed abominations before me; and I took them away as thou hast seen’ (Ezech. 16: 49-50). Those unashamed of violating divine and natural law are slaves of this never sufficiently execrated depravity.”
And there are many, many more examples of the clear, concise teachings of the church fathers concerning Sodomy.
Now, lets examine the Catechism of the Council of Trent on the 6th Commandment says,
In the Gospel, too, Christ the Lord says: From the heart come forth adulteries and fornications, which defile a man. The Apostle Paul expresses his detestation of this crime frequently, and in the strongest terms: This is the will of God, your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication; Fly fornication; Keep not company with fornicators; Fornication, and an uncleanness and covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you; ” Neither fornicators nor adulterers, nor the effeminate nor sodomites shall possess the kingdom of God.
We find in the catechism of Saint Pius X the following,
“Q: Which are the sins that are said to cry to God for vengeance?
A: The sins that are said to cry to God for vengeance are these four: (1) Willful murder; (2) The sin of sodomy; (3) Oppression of the poor; (4) Defrauding laborers of their wages.” The Catechism of Saint Pius X, The Vices and Other Very Grievous Sins
The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1917 says this concerning sodomy even within the marriage bed,
It must be added, however, that St. Alphonsus Liguori, with most theologians, declares that even between lawful man and wife adultery is committed when their intercourse takes the form of sodomy (S. Liguori L. III, n. 446).
Now, lets examine the catechism of 1983,
refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual acts to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” [C.C.C. # 2357]
And to wrap all of this up, let us remember the admonition of St. Paul in his letter to the Galations chapter 1 verses 6 – 10,
 I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel.  Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.  As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.  For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
The clear teaching of the Bible, of the church fathers, and the deposit of faith which is handed to us through our tradition, is that Sodomy in all its forms is an abomination to God. It is a Sin that cries out to God for vengeance and all who live in such a manner will suffer the eternal hell fire.
In closing, we are living in times where people are desirous of having their ears tickled so that they can indulge in their wickedness. Their darkened minds twist everything that is Holy so that many people will go to Hell because they are of their father, the Devil.
Thanks be to God that we have His words of Life, we have The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and we have His Blessed Mother who will stomp out all heresies.
We have the truth that has been delivered. Cling to this truth as we can’t come to the Father but in Truth and that Truth is Christ.
- Catholic Encyclopedia
- St. Pius X Catechism
- Council Of Trent Catechism
- Douay-Rheims Bible
- Church Fathers
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.