Same-sex Unions in Church History?


#1

I have recently been provided with “evidence” that the Church has blessed same-sex unions in the past but ended them in the fourteenth century. One of them regards Sts. Serge and Bacchus, two supposedly homosexual men who had this Church approved union.

I’ve already seen and know about these arguments already, but I can’t seem to recall how to refute them or where I found the information. I could use some help in answering the charges.

One of the charges is as follows:

The Catholic Church, up until the 14th century, had a specific ritual for sanctifying same-sex unions. Seek out the “Ordo ad fratres faciendum”. There is a debate as to whether it is merely “a rite of friends” or same sex marriage. Depends on which camp you believe, and even some religious officials believe it’s same sex marriage.

I’m not familiar with this, so I could use some help. Another argument follows the same tack but provides other bits of information as evidence. They cited three web sites for their proof.

1.) Christian attitude towards same sex unions may not have been as “straight” as is now suggested. (I apologize if anything inappropriate pops up. I haven’t seen anything particularly disturbing, but I apologize if something does come up in advance.)
2.) Kiev Icon.
3.) John Boswell’s Views.

Thank you in advance.

God bless.


#2

What they claim is fabricated. The Catholic Church has never blessed a same sex union.

**Sts. Sergius & Bacehus
****Feastday: October 7


Roman martyrs. According to legend, they were officers in the legions of co-Emperor Maximian in Syria who refused to enter the temple of Jupiter or to make sacrifices to the gods. For their crimes, they were dressed in women’s clothing and led through the streets of Arabissus before being sent to die in Mesopotamia. Bacehus was flogged to death, and Sergius was scourged. and beheaded. Their cult was suppressed in 1969.
catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2509

From Encyclopedia Britannica:

Saints Sergius and Bacchus
died c. 303, , Risafe, Syria; feast day October 7

among the earliest authenticated and most celebrated Christian martyrs, originally commemorated in the Eastern and Western churches.

Early martyrologies record that Sergius and Bacchus were officers in the Roman army on the Syrian frontier. They were supposedly favourites of the Roman emperor Maximian, whose wrath they incurred by refusing to sacrifice to the pagan god Jupiter because they were Christians. Maximian demoted Sergius and Bacchus, ordering them to be costumed in women’s dress and marched through the streets. They were then sent to Risafe (now a city in ruins in central Syria), where they were scourged so severely that Bacchus died. Boards were nailed to Sergius’ feet, upon which he was forced to walk before being beheaded.

Considerable posthumous homage has been paid the martyrs. In 431 Alexander, metropolitan of Hierapolis, restored the church over Sergius’ grave, and shortly afterward Risafe became a bishopric. The Byzantine emperor Justinian I changed the name of Risafe to Sergiopolis, making it an archdiocese, and in honour of Sergius he had churches built at Constantinople (now Istanbul) and at Acre in Palestine.

The church at Risafe became famous in the East as a major pilgrimage site. Sergius and Bacchus were designated protectors of the Byzantine army, and numerous Eastern sanctuaries and churches were subsequently dedicated to them. Their veneration is old, and a mass ascribed to Pope St. Gelasius I is assigned to them. Christian desert nomads regard Sergius as their patron saint.


#3

Ironmonk is absolutely correct. They were dressed in women’s clothing, a common punishment for Roman Soldiers, tortured and then beheaded. The icon shows them in normal roman clothing holding the martyr’s cross. A smaller icon of Christ is between them. It is in no way evidence for same sex unions. Lack of historical knowledge can produce all sorts of distorted views. This is a very sad and pathetic attempt at propoganda.


#4

Peace be with you!

There was a right that joined monks in brotherhood. I have read it and sure, it sounds a little fruity by today’s standards, but as my English history professor (who has a PhD) said, a lot of letters that men wrote to each other in that time period are in a different sort of language than two men would use nowadays. But people talked differently back then.

In Christ,
Rand


#5

[quote=Aureole]3.) John Boswell’s Views.
[/quote]

John Boswell has been thoroughly refuted by scholarly peer review. No one who is more concerned with historical facts than justifying gay “marriage” regardless of the facts takes his work in this area seriously.

– Mark L. Chance.


#6

Thank you all for the information provided thus far. I’m going to do more research into it before responding, I’d like to refute it fully and irrevocably if possible.

I’ve thought of something curious that would easily refute their argument’s: is it possible that certain heretics or apostates created the “Rite of Same-sex Unions”? If so then their whole argument would be thrown out the window since they claim the Catholic Church involved this “rite”.


#7

[quote=Aureole]I’ve thought of something curious that would easily refute their argument’s: is it possible that certain heretics or apostates created the “Rite of Same-sex Unions”?
[/quote]

There never was any such rite. The “same-sex union” interpretation of what is a Eastern Christian “adoption” rite is a bit of modern nonsense.

– Mark L. Chance.


#8

[quote=Aureole]Thank you all for the information provided thus far. I’m going to do more research into it before responding, I’d like to refute it fully and irrevocably if possible.

I’ve thought of something curious that would easily refute their argument’s: is it possible that certain heretics or apostates created the “Rite of Same-sex Unions”? If so then their whole argument would be thrown out the window since they claim the Catholic Church involved this “rite”.
[/quote]

Short answer: No.

It sounds as though what you are looking for is the rite called adelphopoesis (literally, “brother-making”)

It’s true Boswell has been refuted - it does not follow that everything he said is untrue or baseless or without value:

“You are confusing friendship with sexual relationships. Boswell’s argument that adelphopoesis is same-sex marriage has brought special criticism from Eastern Orthodox scholars ([cite] …). Roman Catholic theologian Robin Young has an accessible reply (Young). (Neuhaus [1994]) and … also provide critiques of Boswell.”

Go to:

home.messiah.edu/~chase/h/apologet/answers/0980.htm

All emphases mine]

That, is the issue: what kind of same sex union was it ? Not marriage. But it would be perfectly correct to speak of a Church rite of SSU of some kind even so - as long as one made clear what one did *not *mean by it. :slight_smile:

ISTM like an adaptation of blood brotherhood - a Christian alternative to it. That is just a guess though.

You might ask in the Eastern Christianity forum too ##


#9

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Peace be with you!

There was a right that joined monks in brotherhood. I have read it and sure, it sounds a little fruity by today’s standards, but as my English history professor (who has a PhD) said, a lot of letters that men wrote to each other in that time period are in a different sort of language than two men would use nowadays. But people talked differently back then.

In Christ,
Rand
[/quote]

I remember reading about this rite sometime and somewhere in the past. It was used by the Knights Templar or some such group during the Crusades and was a rite of joining in brotherhood and not a homosexual union as some have claimed in modern times.


#10

[quote=rwoehmke]I remember reading about this rite sometime and somewhere in the past. It was used by the Knights Templar or some such group during the Crusades and was a rite of joining in brotherhood and not a homosexual union as some have claimed in modern times.
[/quote]

Thank you for corroborating on Rand Al’Thor’s point, it makes it that much stronger.


#11

All in all, then, this book does not begin to accomplish what it set out to do. (The reviews, after the early burst of hopeful publicity, have been notably skeptical-even from sources one would expect to be favorable.) Indeed, the author’s painfully strained effort to recruit Christian history in support of the homosexual cause that he favors is not only a failure, but an embarrassing one.

Are you saying that the chaste, holy lives of some of our saints were guilty of mortal sins llike sodomy,? Get your mind out of the gutter!!!1 The blessed lives of holy men and women living together in prayer and sacrific is the history of the church. We have been blessed with 2000 years of holy celebrate saints living together and working together.
SODOMY IS A GRAVE MORTAL SIN, DON’T PUT THIS TAG ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. OUR HOMOSEXUAL PRIESTS AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS ARE CELEBRATE!!!


#12

If they were guilty of sodomy, then they were not saints and they are in hell for eternity.


#13

If anyone is guilty of sodomy they are not saints and are in hell for eternity


#14

If anyone is guilty of sodomy they are not saints in the catholic church and are in hell for eternity


#15

All in all, then, this book does not begin to accomplish what it set out to do. (The reviews, after the early burst of hopeful publicity, have been notably skeptical-even from sources one would expect to be favorable.) Indeed, the author’s painfully strained effort to recruit Christian history in support of the homosexual cause that he favors is not only a failure, but an embarrassing one.

Anyone guilty of unrepentant sodomy is guilty of grave mortal sin and is in tell for eternity


#16

All in all, then, this book does not begin to accomplish what it set out to do. (The reviews, after the early burst of hopeful publicity, have been notably skeptical-even from sources one would expect to be favorable.) Indeed, the author’s painfully strained effort to recruit Christian history in support of the homosexual cause that he favors is not only a failure, but an embarrassing one.

Any person guilty of a sodomy act is guilty of a grave mortal sin and is subject to eternal punishment in hell


#17

All in all, then, this book does not begin to accomplish what it set out to do. (The reviews, after the early burst of hopeful publicity, have been notably skeptical-even from sources one would expect to be favorable.) Indeed, the author’s painfully strained effort to recruit Christian history in support of the homosexual cause that he favors is not only a failure, but an embarrassing one.


#18

August Ambrose didn’t have to repeat posts… :confused:

Re: this contention. Once one does some real research the truth stands out. It’s spiritual brother/sisterhood! The people contending this are arguably cut from the same cloth as those who claim Jesus was gay for the beloved disciple, Holmes was gay for dear Watson, and Sam was gay for master Frodo :banghead: This reminds me of Dan Brown - some of the Gnostics only taught Mary Magdalene had a special spiritual relationship with Jesus, which moderns have twisted into a sexual relationship.


#19

Christian marriage mirrors Christs relationship with his Church.

Christ and The Church

Bride = Church = Female

Groom = Christ = Male

Christian marriage

Bride = female. Groom = male.

If this is not the case then a lot of theology goes pear shaped.


#20

We do believe in the forgiveness of sins. Surely you are not saying that this is unforgivible.


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