The Christian tradition has generally proscribed any and all noncoital genital activities, whether engaged in by couples or individuals, regardless of whether they were of the same or different sex. The Catholic Church's position specifically on homosexuality developed from the teachings of the Church Fatherswhich was in stark contrast to Greek and Roman attitudes towards same-sex relations. Canon law regarding same-sex sexual activity has mainly been shaped through the decrees issued by a number of ecclesiastical councils.
In Spain the Inquisition tried nearly a thousand individuals for sodomyand a number were executed. The Catholic Church's position specifically on homosexuality developed from the teachings of the Church Fatherswhich was in stark contrast to Greek and
Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity attitudes towards same-sex relations including the " usually erotic homosexual relationship between an adult male and a pubescent or adolescent male" that is called pederasty.
The early 2nd century treatise, the Didache which influenced thinking by some of the Church Fathersincludes in a list of commandments: Greenberg gives it as one example of the early Christian writings of the first two centuries that were "unequivocably opposed to male prostitution and pederasty — probably the most visible forms of homosexuality in their time".
Clement of Alexandria c.
The Apology of Aristides of Athenspresented to Emperor Hadrian around — CE, scorned the practices and acts of the Greek pagans who worshipped gods some of whom "polluted themselves by lying with males". Basil of Caesarea or — was among the first to talk about penalties, advising in a letter that, "He who is guilty of unseemliness with males will be under discipline for the same time as adulterers.
And a yet more disgraceful thing than these is it, when even the women seek after these intercourses, who ought to have more shame than men. Punishment will be found in hell for such transgressors, and that women can be guilty of the sin as much as men although the former disrupt the patriarchal hierarchy Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity such as act.
Chrysostom argues that the male passive partner has effectively renounced his manhood and become a woman — such an individual deserves to be "driven out and stoned".
Chrysostom was particularly influential in shaping early Christian thought that same-sex desire was an evil that ultimately resulted in social injustice — altering the traditional interpretation of Sodom as a place of inhospitality, to one where the sexual transgressions of the Sodomites became paramount. The early 4th-century Council of Elvira was the first church council to deal with the issue directly, excluding from communion anyone who had sexual intercourse stuprum with a boy: Canons 16 and 17 of the Council of Ancyrawhich "became the standard source for medieval ecclesiastical literature against homosexuality",  impose on "those who have been or who are guilty of bestial lusts" penances whose severity varies with the age and married status of the offender, allowing access to communion only at death for a married man over fifty years old canon 16 ; and impose a penance also on "defilers of themselves with beasts, being "Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity" leprous, who have infected others [with the leprosy of this crime]".
Isaiah was tortured severely and exiled, while Alexander had his genitals amputated and was subsequently paraded around the city on a litter. As a Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity the Christian Emperor Justinian c. Many homosexual men were arrested in the wake of this, and died from their injuries. An atmosphere of fear followed. In Iberia, the Visigothic ruler Egica of Hispania and Septimania demanded that a church council confront the occurrence of homosexuality in the kingdom.
Inthe Sixteenth Council of Toledo issued a canon condemning guilty clergy to degradation and exile and laymen to a hundred lashes. Egica added an edict imposing the punishment of castration as already in the secular law promulgated for his kingdom by his predecessor King Chinawith.
The matter was also dealt with at the Council of Paris—in canons 34 and 69 AD which went beyond Elvira and Ancyra in explicitly endorsing the death penalty for sodomy—claiming that it had led God to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and send the Great Flood  [note 3]  The concern at Paris was that toleration of sodomy might provoke God to give victory to the enemies of Christianity i.
At about the same time, the set of forged capitularies produced by the deacon Benedict Levita implied that Charlemagne had likewise supported the death penalty. Meanwhile canon 15 of the Council of Trolsy AD warned against "pollution with men or animals". Alongside this, penances for such sexual transgressions may increasingly be found in a few of the penitential books which first emerged in the 6th century in monastic communities in Ireland including for women having sex with other women.
By the late Middle Ages, the term "sodomy" had come to cover copulation between males, bestiality, and non-vaginal heterosexual intercourse,  coitus interruptusmasturbation, Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity and anal sex whether heterosexual or homosexual ;  and it increasingly began to be identified as the most heinous of sins by authorities of the Catholic Church.
In Italy, Dominican monks would encourage the pious to "hunt out" sodomites and once done to hand them to the Inquisition to be dealt with accordingly: By persecuting sodomites as well as heretics, the Church strengthened its authority and credibility as a moral arbiter".
Pope Leo IX d. Likewise aroundSaint Peter Damian wrote the Liber Gomorrhianus in which he argued for stricter ecclesiastical punishment for clerics guilty of "sins against nature". The Council of London in incalled at the urging of English Archbishop Anselm of Canterburyexplicitly denounced homosexual behavior as a sin for the first time at an English council. Confessors were urged to take account of such ignorance when hearing confessions for sodomy, and to take into account mitigating factors such as age and marital status before prescribing penance; and counselling was generally preferred to punishment.
In Canons 28 and 29 the Council decreed that the people should be informed of the gravity of the sin, and their obligation to confess particularly if they derived pleasure from it. Nevertheless, Anselm deferred publication of the proceedings, arguing further time was needed to clarify certain matters. InPope Alexander III presided over the Third Lateran Council in Rome which decreed canon 11 that all those guilty of sodomy be removed from office or confined to penitential life in a monastery, if clergy; and be strictly excommunicated, if laity: At the same time, the German Abbess Hildegard of Bingen d.
Canon 14 of the Fourth Lateran Council in stated that if a priest suspended for unchastity of any kind — especially the vice that "on account of which the anger of God came from heaven upon the children of unbelief" sodomy — dared to celebrate Mass then he was to be deposed permanently from the priesthood. By the early 13th century time of the Fourth Lateran Council the Church determined that "secular authorities, as well as clergy, should be allowed to impose penalties on 'sodomites' for having Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity sexual relations", and by the end of this period, "Sodomites Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity now [regarded as] demons as well as sinners.
InPope Gregory IX established the Roman Inquisition which investigated claims of sodomy - arguing that sodomites were "abominable persons despised by the world In the Summa TheologicaThomas Aquinas stated that "the unnatural vice" is the greatest of the sins of lust. Alongside this, the German Dominican Albertus Magnus described homosexuality as a "foulness" that was both addictive and contagious.
InBernardino of Siena preached for three days in Florence, Italy against homosexuality and other forms of lust, calling for sodomites to be ostracized, and these sermons alongside measures by other clergy of the time strengthened opinion against homosexuals and encouraged the authorities to increase the measures of persecution. InPope Nicholas V enabled the Inquisition to prosecute men who practiced sodomy. Handed over to the civil authorities, those condemned were frequently burned in accordance with civil law.
The Spanish Inquisition thus replaced the Medieval Inquisition which had been set up under direct papal control, and transferred it in Spain to civil control. Inin response to complaints by relatives of the first victims, Sixtus wrote that he had not intended his grant to be abused in that way. However, strong pressure brought to bear on him prevented him from revoking it. The Tribunal "Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity" the Holy Office of the Inquisition in Spain was therefore under the control of its monarchs and the initial direction of the Dominican friar Tomas de Torquemada.
At first it seems to have been reluctant to take on responsibility for trying those accused of sodomy, and that the Suprema the governing body ruled in that such cases were for the secular courts, which already punished sodomy with death. However, in the Suprema requested papal authorisation to prosecute sodomites. Pope Clement VII granted permission but only within the Kingdom of Aragon and on condition that trials be conducted according to the civil laws, not the standard inquisitorial procedure.
Within Aragon and its dependent territories, the number of individuals that the Spanish Inquisition tried for sodomy,   between and was over  or nearly a thousand. Minors were normally whipped and sent to the galleys.
Mildness was also shown to clergy, who were always a high proportion of those arrested. The Portuguese Inquisition was established in ; and in HenryArchbishop of Braga later cardinal and king of Portugal became Grand Inquisitor. In England, the accused were originally tried by church courts, which almost never punished homosexual behaviour. Although homosexuality was not directly discussed at the Council of Trentit did commission the drawing up of a "Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity" following the successful lead of some Protestants which stated: Neither the First Vatican Council nor the Second Vatican Council directly discussed the issue of homosexuality; but nor did they alter the judgement of earlier councils.
However, homosexual activity was frequently referred to in general church documents as crimen pessimum the worst crime. In Pope Paul VI became the first pontiff in modern history to deny the accusation of homosexuality.
In Januaryhe had published a homily, Persona Humana: Declaration on Certain Questions concerning Sexual Ethicsthat outlawed pre or extra-marital sex, condemned homosexuality, and forbade masturbation. He said that Montini was a hypocrite who had a longtime sexual relationship with a movie actor.
In a brief address to a crowd of approximately 20, in St. Peters Square on 18 April, Montini called the charges "horrible and slanderous insinuations" and appealed for prayers on his behalf.
Special prayers for Montini were said in all Italian Roman Catholic churches in "a day of consolation". InFranco Bellegrandi, a former Vatican honour chamberlain and correspondent for the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romanoalleged that Montini had been blackmailed and had promoted fellow homosexuals to positions of within the Vatican.
Homosexuality received no mention in papal encyclicals until Pope John Paul II 's Veritatis Splendor ofwhich "specifically proclaims the intrinsic evil of the homosexual condition"  and rejected the view of some theologians who questioned the basis upon which the church condemns as morally unacceptable "direct sterilization, autoeroticism, pre-marital sexual relations, homosexual relations and artificial insemination".
John Cornwell has written that the pontificate of John Paul II increasingly saw sexual morality as a paramount concern, and homosexuality, alongside contraceptiondivorce and illicit unions, as a dimension of "the 'culture of death' against which he taught and preached with increasing vehemence".
In John Paul II's teaching, homosexual intercourse is regarded as an utilization of another's body, not a mutual self-giving in familial love, physically expressed by the masculine and feminine bodies; and such intercourse is also performed by a choice of the will, unlike homosexual orientation, which he acknowledged is usually not a matter of free choice.
On 5 OctoberJohn Paul praised the bishops of the United States for stating that "homosexual activity He said that, instead of "[holding] out false hope" to homosexuals facing hard moral problems, they had upheld "the true dignity, the true human dignity, of those who look to Christ's Church for the guidance which comes from the light of God's "Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity." Inhe criticized the Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity WorldPride event scheduled for Rome in that year as "an affront to the Great Jubilee of the year " and as "an offence to the Christian values" of Rome, and recalled the Church's teaching that homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law, while every sign of unjust discrimination against homosexuals should be avoided.
In response, the Dutch gay magazine, Gay Krantand its readership initiated a case against the pope in the Dutch law courts, arguing that his comment that homosexual "Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity" are contrary to the laws of nature  "give rise to hatred against, and discrimination of certain groups of people" in violation of Dutch law.
In his last personal work, Memory and Identitypublished inJohn Paul II he referred to the "pressures" on the European Parliament to permit "homosexual 'marriage'". On 9 MarchPope Benedict XVIdenouncing "the powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage", currents that the Washington Post described as a "cultural shift toward gay marriage in U.
Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage. The BBC reported that shortly before the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in Februarythe Italian media in particular Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity unsourced reports to suggest that there was a "gay lobby" of clergy inside the Vatican who had been collaborating to advance personal interests, thereby opening the Holy See to potential blackmail, and even to suggest that this may have been one of the factors influencing Benedict's decision to resign.
Pope Francis has repeatedly spoke about the need for the church to welcome and love all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. Speaking about gay people inhe said that "the key is for the church to welcome, not exclude and show mercy, not condemnation. We must be brothers. Several LGBT groups welcomed the comments, noting that this was the first time a pope had used the word "gay" in public, and had also accepted the existence of gay people as a recognizable part of the Catholic Church community.
Francis has also spoken of the importance of education in the context of the difficulties now facing children, indicating that the Church had a challenge in not being welcoming enough of children brought up in a multiplicity of household arrangements, specifically including the children of gay couples.
In the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitiaissued inFrancis encouraged better understanding from all members of the Church on the acceptance of gay people, without suggesting any specific doctrinal changes. He reiterated the need for every person to be respected regardless of their sexual orientation, and to be free from threats of aggression and violence. The pontiff made clear that gay people had always been present throughout human history, and that it was essential for parents to remember that gay children remained part of the families and it was important for them to engage positively.
In an accompanying press statement, he made clear that homosexuality should
Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity be viewed by Catholics as an illness. DignityUSA was founded in the United States in as the first group for gay and lesbian Catholics shortly after the Stonewall riots. It set out the belief that gay Catholics can "express our Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity physically, in a unitive manner that is loving, life-giving, and life-affirming.
It later spread to Canada. In addition to the US bishops' conference, it drew its mission from the Second Vatican Counciland in particular to its challenge to lay Catholics who had tended to defer initiatives entirely to the clergy.
As early as FebruaryMugavero issued a pastoral letter entitled "Sexuality: God's Gift," defending the legitimate rights of all people, including those who were gay and lesbian. Catholic encyclicals on homosexuality in christianity said that they had been "subject to misunderstanding and at times unjust discrimination. Inthe Association of Priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago honored the Chicago branch of Dignity as the organization of the year.
With the publication in of " On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons ," which instructed bishops not to provide facilities for organizations that did not uphold official Catholic teaching on homosexuality, Catholic bishops in Atlanta, Buffalo, Brooklyn, Pensacola and Vancouver immediately excluded Dignity chapters, and "within a few months the organization was unwelcome on church property anywhere. Despite this, more than fifty Catholic groups endorsed the program.