Monday, June 29, 2015

Shock: What St. Peter Damian, a Doctor of the Church, says about homosexual habits

Randy Engel, "St. Peter Damian's Book of Gomorrah: A Moral Blueprint for Our Times - Part I"

This is only Part I of a two part series on St. Peter Damian (1007-1072), a Doctor of the Church [click here for Part II]. In our climate where sodomy has now become the "new normal" and yet another "sacrament" of our Culture of Death (like baby-killing, since Roe v Wade in 1973), I think we do well to remind ourselves of how the Church has regarded homosexual practice in her past, defining it as one of the sins that cries out to heaven for vengeance. Engel writes:
It appears that whenever Holy Mother Church has had a great need for a special kind of saint for a particular age, God, in His infinite mercy, has never failed to fill that need....

Among St. Peter Damian's most famous writings is his lengthy treatise, Letter 31, the Book of Gomorrah (Liber Gomorrhianus), containing the most extensive treatment and condemnation by any Church Father of clerical pederasty and homosexual practices. His manly discourse on the vice of sodomy in general and clerical homosexuality and pederasty in particular, is written in a plain and forthright style that makes it quite readable and easy to understand.

In keeping with traditional Church teachings handed down from the time of the Apostles, he holds that all homosexual acts are crimes against Nature and therefore crimes against God who is the author of Nature.

It is also refreshing to find an ecclesiastic whose first and primary concern in the matter of clerical sexual immorality is for God's interests, not man's, especially with regard to homosexuality in clerical ranks. Also, his special condemnation of pederastic crimes by clergy against young boys and men (including those preparing for holy orders) made over nine hundred years ago, certainly tends to undermine the excuse of many American bishops and Cardinals who claim that they initially lacked specific knowledge and psychological insights by which to assess the seriousness of clerical pederastic crimes.

Upon a first reading of the Book of Gomorrah I think the average Catholic would find himself in a state of shock at the severity of Damian's condemnation of clerical sodomical practices as well as the severe penalties that he asks Pope Leo IX to attach to such practices.

One of the main points of the Book of Gomorrah, is the author's insistence on the responsibility of the bishop or superior of a religious order to curb and eradicate the vice from their ranks. He minces no words in his condemnation of those prelates who refuse or fail to take a strong hand in dealing with clerical sodomical practices either because of moral indifferentism or the inability to face up to a distasteful and potentially scandalous situation.

... Damian decries the audacity of men who are "habituated to the filth of this festering disease," and yet dare to present themselves for holy orders, or if already ordained, remain in office. Was it not for such crimes that Almighty God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and slew Onan for deliberately spilling his seed on the ground? he asks. Quoting St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians (Eph 5:5) he continues, "... if an unclean man has no inheritance at all in Heaven, how can he be so arrogant as to presume a position of honor in the Church, which is surely the kingdom of God?" [15]

... According to Damian, the vice of sodomy "surpasses the enormity of all others," because:
"Without fail, it brings death to the body and destruction to the soul. It pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of the mind, expels the Holy Spirit from the temple of the human heart, and gives entrance to the devil, the stimulator of lust. It leads to error, totally removes truth from the deluded mind ... It opens up hell and closes the gates of paradise ... It is this vice that violates temperance, slays modesty, strangles chastity, and slaughters virginity ... It defiles all things, sullies all things, pollutes all things ...

"This vice excludes a man from the assembled choir of the Church ... it separates the soul from God to associate it with demons.... Unmindful of God, he also forgets his own identity. This disease erodes the foundation of faith, saps the vitality of hope, dissolves the bond of love. It makes way with justice, demolishes fortitude, removes temperance, and blunts the edge of prudence.
(emphasis added)
... Hear, dear reader, the words of St. Peter Damian that come thundering down to us through the centuries at a time in the Church when many shepherds are silent while clerical wolves, some disguised in miters and brocade robes, devour its lambs and commit sacrilege against their own spiritual sons;
"... I would surely prefer to be thrown into the well like Joseph who informed his father of his brothers' foul crime, than to suffer the penalty of God's fury, like Eli, who saw the wickedness of his sons and remained silent. (Sam 2:4) ... Who am I, when I see this pestilential practice flourishing in the priesthood to become the murderer of another's soul by daring to repress my criticism in expectation of the reckoning of God's judgement? ... How, indeed, am I to love my neighbor as myself if I negligently allow the wound, of which I am sure he will brutally die, to fester in his heart? ... "So let no man condemn me as I argue against this deadly vice, for I seek not to dishonor, but rather to promote the advantage of my brother's well-being. "Take care not to appear partial to the delinquent while you persecute him who sets him straight. If I may be pardoned in using Moses' words, 'Whoever is for the Lord, let him stand with me.' (Ezek 32:26)"
[Footnotes omitted in this post are present in the original]


1 comments:








fmshyanguya

said...

As scripture says, 'there is nothing new under the sun.'
*
Thank you for your article and may God bless you and yours, and his work at your hands.