15. THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND HOMOSEXUALITY:
The Christian Church hasn’t always been condemning of homosexuals, but has a past relationship with gay members;
among whom were priests, bishops and even canonized saints. In the Roman Catholic Church, homosexuals use to be in the priesthood,
but because of past prejudices and people associating the story of Sodom and Gomorrah with homosexuality, homosexuals were
excommunicated from the Catholic Church. A lot of homosexuals were killed by the Roman Catholic Church or by its approval.
The convention of using terms implying youthfulness to express affection or intimacy survived throughout the Middle
Ages. The persistence of Ganymede as a symbol of the gay male as well as that of Christian symbolic filial relations (e.g.,
between monks and their abbot or “father”) enriched the tradition even further. Alcuin addresses a cleric he loves
as “beautiful boy;” Walafrid Strabo writes to a fellow monk as “little boy” or “little lad;”
Saint Aelred refers to Simon, his lover and contemporary, as a “boy” and calls him “son;” Marbod,
Bishop of Rennes, even refers to himself as a “boy” in a letter to his lover.
Seventh century icon of Saints Serge and Bacchus, wearing gold torques traditionally associated with them
and joined by Christ depicted in the traditional Roman position of pronubal us (“matron of honor” or
“best man,” often a deity) overseeing the wedding of a husband and wife. Originally from the monastery of St.
Catherine on Mt. Sinai; now housed in the Kiev Museum of Eastern and Western Art.
Saints Serge and Bacchus appear before Christ in heaven, who blesses the abbot who commissioned the sarcophagus.
An eleventh century
illustrated capital in Metaphrastes’ lives of the saints. It shows Saints Serge and Bacchus joined in the capital letter,
as they had been in life. From Vatican Greek 1679, folio 48 verso. (Foto Biblioteca Vaticana).
Is the Bible Against Homosexuality? by Mattai "the Preacher" © 2003-2009. All rights reserved.