Homosexuality and the Early Church

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Philo of Alexandria by André Thévet

Philo of Alexandria, a first century Jewish philosopher and theologian, wrote extensively on homosexual acts.  Liberal theologians today try to use biblical references to sodomy to exclusively refer to pederast relationships, particularly of a prostitution nature.  However, this is not how the early Church or the Jewish community viewed it.  He said this [1].

“And let the man who is devoted to the love of boys submit to the same punishment, since he pursues that pleasure which is contrary to nature, and since, as far as depends upon him, he would make the cities desolate, and void, and empty of all inhabitants, wasting his power of propagating his species, and moreover, being a guide and teacher of those greatest of all evils, unmanliness and effeminate lust, stripping young men of the flower of their beauty, and wasting their prime of life in effeminacy, which he ought rather on the other hand to train to vigour and acts of courage; . . .

“[T]hey were convicted by having only an abortive offspring; but the conviction produced no advantage, since they were overcome by violent desire; and so, by degrees, the men became accustomed to be treated like women, . . .

“But God, having taken pity on mankind, as being a Saviour and full of love for mankind, increased, as far as possible, the natural desire of men and women for a connexion together, for the sake of producing children, and detesting the unnatural and unlawful commerce of the people of Sodom, . . .”

Early Christians and Jews saw a major connection between older men having relations with younger boys: it was a common practice in ancient Greece and somewhat less in ancient Rome.  Many modern figures also see this connection.  Joseph Sciambra, a practicing Catholic who reverted after leaving homosexual relationships and the adultery entertainment industry behind, recently wrote an article on how he personally witnessed the strong connection between older men and younger men, saying gay porn largely consists of “the older dominant male introducing the younger less-experienced submissive partner into the world of all-male sex” [2].

So, going back to Philo of Alexandria — a.k.a. Philo Judaeus — I will analyze his words.  He started by mentioning “the man who is devoted to the love of boys“; as I mentioned earlier, this is a common element in the gay community according to many such as Joseph Sciambra, something known as “grooming” as Sciambra notes [3].  Philo adds the man “pursues that pleasure which is contrary to nature“, that nature being “for the sake of producing children” and identifies the acts of this kind of man as “the unnatural and unlawful commerce of the people of Sodom” [4], and as such goes against “producing children“.  He adds that “as far as depends upon him, he would make the cities desolate, and void, and empty of all inhabitants, wasting his power of propagating his species“, so in other words if the whole society were having this kind of intercourse, “men lusted after one another“, “he would make the cities desolate, and void, and empty of all inhabitants” because such a man would be “wasting his power of propagating his species” on another man [5].  From this time it was already known that God “increased, . . . the natural desire of men and women for a connexion together, for the sake of producing children” and which is contrary to “the unnatural and unlawful commerce of the people of Sodom” [6] who lusted after each other.

So, now we go to Saint Paul who explicitly mentions “men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men” [7]; so in other words, men left “the natural use of the women” and “burned in their lusts” towards one another.  Rev. Gene Robinson falsely claimed natural law was not mentioned until the Middle Ages, yet here we see natural law points to the natural use of intercourse between a man and a woman for the procreation of children.

Please, note the Church does not hate gays; this is not about the person, but the act.  Gays “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” [8].  We are not the Westboro Baptist church and I despise their methods of preaching.  We are the Church Militant, the hospital for sinners and we are all sinners and are called to penance as God wants all to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth [9].

[1] Daniel, Prayson. With All I Am: “Philo on Homosexual Practice”. <https://withalliamgod.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/philo-on-homosexual-practice/&gt;.

[2] Sciambra, Joseph. Joseph Sciambra: “Gay Marriage: It’s Not About Being Gay, or About Marriage – It’s About Fathers and Sons”. <http://www.josephsciambra.com/2015/06/gay-marriage-its-not-about-being-gay-or.html&gt;.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Daniel, Prayson. With All I Am: “Philo on Homosexual Practice”. <https://withalliamgod.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/philo-on-homosexual-practice/&gt;.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Romans 1:27

[8] Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2358.

[9] 1 Timothy 2:4

For more information on natural law: http://www.hprweb.com/2013/05/same-sex-marriage-and-the-natural-law/

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