Church Approved Same Sex Marriages?


A letter to the editor of our local newspaper claims for a time, the early Church allowed same sex marriages. I want to write a rebuttal but I need a little help. Several months (years?) ago, I recall reading an article about this subject. As I recall, the article indicated a scandal occurred in the early centuries which led – wrongly – to a modern day understanding that same sex marriages were for a time allowed in the Church. I believe I read about this in “This Rock”, but the early issues are not on line yet and I couldn’t find anything in the newer issues.

Can any of you help me out with this question?


Philip Jenkins wrote in the August 2001 issue of Chonicles magazine about events known as “love days” that “were commonplace in medieval and early-modern England, when communities would gather periodically to resolve rows, feuds, and disputes, dealing with matters as serious as murder and abduction. In some European societies, the Church organized special ceremonies to reconcile rivals, to make them swear to abjure violence in the future, and even promise to love each other. On a somewhat comical note, when modern historian John Boswell found puzzling records of these rituals, he believed that he had found the liturgies of Church-approved same-sex unions, or gay marriages, and he wrote a much-discussed book presenting this utterly wrongheaded view. In reality, the Church was just consecrating something the community thought its proper role, namely, maintaining social peace between people and families without involving kings, judges, or lawyers.”

The article is posted at:

First Things is wonderful! I had a professor who tried to convince me of the same thing.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit