St. Peter Damian's Book of Gomorrah
Catholic Family News ^ | June, 2002 | Randy Engel
St. Peter Damian's Book of Gomorrah
Part I A Moral Blueprint for Our Times
byRandy Engel Editor's Note: CFN has asked Randy Engel to help clarifythe basic issues surrounding clerical pederasty and homosexuality inthe Church today. She has studied and researched the homosexual networkin the Catholic priesthood and religious life for more than thirteenyears and we believe that her commentary based on the works of the 11thCentury Italian monk St. Peter Damian will help put the current crisisinto a proper perspective for our readers. A December 2003 date hasbeen set for her latest book The Rite of Sodomy-----Homosexuality andthe Roman Catholic Church. JV The Life of St. Peter Damian [1007-1072]It appears that whenever Holy Mother Church has had a great need for aspecial kind of Saint for a particular age, God, in His infinite mercy,has never failed to fill that need. And so, in the year 1007 A.D., aboy child was born to a noble but poor family in the ancient Roman cityof Ravenna, who would become a Doctor of the Church, a precursor of theHildebrandine reform in the Church and a key figure in the moral andspiritual reformation of the lax and incontinent clergy of his time.Tradition tells us that. St. Peter Damian's entrance into this worldwas initially an unwelcome event that overtaxed and somewhat embitteredhis already large family. He was orphaned at a young age, and hisbiographer John of Lodi tells us that were it not for the solicitude ofhis older brother Damian, an archpriest at Ravenna, the youth havelived out his life in obscurity as a swineherd. But God deemedotherwise. Peter's innate intellectual talents and remarkable piety inthe light of great adversity were recognized by the archpriest, whoplucked his younger brother from the fields and provided him with anexcellent education first at Ravenna, then Faenza and finally at theUniversity of Parma. In return, Peter acknowledged his brother's lovingcare by adopting Damian as his surname. Although he excelled in hisstudies and quickly rose in academic ranks, Peter felt drawn to thereligious rather than university life. His
spirituality wouldbe formed by his love for the Rule of St. Benedict and his attractionto the rigorous penance and individualistic practices of St. Romuald.In his late twenties he was welcomed into the Benedictine hermitage ofthe Reform of St. Romuald at Fonte-Avellena where he eventually becamePrior-----a position he retained until his death on February 21, 1072while also serving as Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia, an honor bestowed uponPeter by Pope Stephen IX in 1057. The life of the well-traveled holymonk was distinguished by his great learning and a marvelous knowledgeof Holy Scripture, and by great penitential acts, which served both asa rebuke and as an inspiration to his fellow monks and the secularclergy at a time in the Church when moral turpitude was endemic inclerical ranks. His wise counsel and diplomatic skills were employed bya lengthy succession of Popes, most importantly, Pope Leo IX, anotherforerunner of the Gregorian Reform. Peter Damian died in the odor ofsanctity on February 22, 1072 in his sixty-sixth year.  The Book ofGomorrah-----A Lesson for Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Among St. PeterDamian's most famous writings is his lengthy treatise, Letter 31, theBook of Gomorrah [Liber Gomorrhianus], containing the most extensivetreatment and condemnation by any Church Father of clerical pederastyand homosexual practices.  His manly discourse on the vice of sodomyin general and clerical homosexuality and pederasty in particular, iswritten in a plain and forthright style that makes it quite readableand easy to understand. In keeping with traditional Church teachingshanded down from the time of the Apostles he holds that all homosexualacts are crimes against Nature and therefore crimes against God Who isthe author of Nature. It is also refreshing to find an ecclesiasticwhose first and primary concern in the matter of clerical sexualimmorality is for God's interests, not man's, especially with regard tohomosexuality in clerical ranks. Also, his special condemnation ofpederastic crimes by clergy against young boys and men [including thosepreparing for holy orders] made over nine hundred years ago, certainlytends to undermine the excuse of many American bishops and Cardinalswho claim that they initially lacked specific knowledge andpsychological insights by which to assess the seriousness of clericalpederastic crimes. Upon a first reading of the Book of Gomorrah I thinkthe average Catholic would find himself in a state of shock at theseverity of Damian's condemnation of clerical sodomical practices aswell as the severe penalties that he asks Pope Leo IX to attach to suchpractices.
Part of this reaction, as J. Wilhelm asserts withregard to modern Catholics' adverse reaction to the severity ofmedieval penalties [including capital punishment for heresy], can beattributed to the fact that we live in an age that has "less regard forthe purity of the faith."  Many Catholics have simply lost a senseof sin. It does not seem to matter if an overt effete homosexual cleric"camps" it out on the altar while administering heretical rites for anAsh Wednesday service. Like those watching Hilaire Belloc's newbarbarians at the gate, parishioners smile. They are titillated. Theyfind him 'amusing'.  Also, many Catholics today have little, if any,knowledge of how the early Church Fathers dealt with the issue ofhomosexuality, including pederasty, in clerical ranks. Take, forexample, the spiritual and physical penalties declared by the 4thCentury architect of Eastern monasticism, St. Basil of Cesarea [322379AD], for the cleric or monk caught making sexual advances [kissing] orsexually molesting young boys or men. The convicted offender was to bewhipped in public, deprived of his tonsure [head shaven], bound inchains and imprisoned for six months, after which he was to becontained in a separate cell and ordered to undergo severe penances andprayer vigils to expedite his sins under the watchful eye of an elderspiritual brother. His diet was that of water and barley bread-----thefodder of animals. Outside his cell, while engaged in manual labor andmoving about the monastery, the pederast monk was to be alwaysmonitored by two fellow monks to insure that he never again had anycontact with young men or boys. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ifind it necessary to ask, has the Holy See fallen into such a state ofdissolution that it can no longer profess, much less protect, God'sinterests in this matter and defend the sanctity of Holy Orders fromthe pollution of the sodomites?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Onewonders how many homosexuals and pederasts would be lining up atBernard Cardinal Law's or any other American prelates, seminary door ifthey knew that such a harsh fate awaited them if they were found guiltyof even attempting much less carrying out the sexual seduction andmolestation of minor boys and young men? And speaking of seminaries, Imight mention the papal ruling of St. Siricius, a contemporary of St.Basil, who ordered that "vessels of vice,"
that is knownsodomists, including those who had fulfIlled their penance, wereforbidden from seeking entrance to the clerical state.  Consideringthat the Book of Gomorrah was written in 1049 A.D. it borders on themiraculous to note how many of Damian's insights can be applIed to thecurrent pederast and homosexual debacle here in the United States andabroad, including the Vatican. His treatise certainly stands as amasterful refutation of contemporary homosexual apologists who claimthat the early Fathers of the Church did not understand the nature ordynamics of homosexuality. Rather, as Damian's work demonstrates, thedegradation of human nature as exemplified by sodomical acts is auniversal phenomenon that transcends time, place and culture. One ofthe main points of the Book of Gomorrah, is the author's insistence onthe responsibility of the bishop or superior of a religious order tocurb and eradicate the vice from their ranks.  He minces no words inhis condemnation of those prelates who refuse or fail to take a stronghand in dealing with clerical sodomical practices either because ofmoral indifferentism or the inability to face up to a distasteful andpotentially scandalous situation.  Other issues tackled by St. PeterDamian which have a particular relevance today are: The problems ofhomosexual bishops or heads of religious orders who engage their"spiritual sons" in acts of sodomy. The sacrilegious use of theSacraments by homosexual clerics and religious. The special problemsfor the Church related to the seduction of youths by clericalpederasts, and The problem of overtly lax canons and penances forclerical and religious offenders that make a mockery of the seriouslysinful nature of homosexual acts. The Motivation for a Treatise onSodomy When the humble monk and future Saint, Peter Damian, presentedhis Letter 31, the Book of Gomorrah, to Pope Leo IX in 1049, he made itclear that his first and overriding concern was for the salvation ofsouls. While the work is addressed specifically to the Holy Father, itsdistribution was intended for the universal Church, most especially thebishops of secular clergy and superiors of religious orders. In hisintroduction, the holy writer makes clear that the Divine calling ofthe Apostolic See makes its primary consideration "the' welfare ofsouls".
Therefore, he pleads with the Holy Father to takeaction against "a certain abominable and most shameful vice," which heidentifies forthrightly as "the befouling cancer of sodomy," that isravaging both the souls of the clergy and the flock of Christ in hisregion, before God unleashes His just wrath on the people. Recognizing how nauseating the very mention of the word sodomy must beto the Pope, he nevertheless asks with blunt frankness: ". . . if aphysician is appalled by the contagion of the plague, who is likely towield the cautery? If he grows squeamish when he is about to apply thecure, who will restore health to stricken hearts?"  Leaving nothingto misinterpretation, Damian distinguishes between the various forms ofsodomy and the stages of sodomical corruption beginning with solitaryand mutual masturbation and ending with interfemoral [between thethighs] stimulation and anal coitus.  He notes that there is atendency among " prelates to treat the first three degrees of the vicewith an "improper leniency," preferring to reserve dismissal from theclerical state for only those men proven to be involved in analpenetration. The result, Damian states, is that a man, guilty of the"lesser" degrees of the vice, accepts his milder penances, but remainsfree to pollute others without the least fear of losing his rank. Thepredictable result of his superior's leniency, says Damian, is that thevice spreads, the culprit grows more daring in his illicit acts knowinghe will not suffer any critical loss of his clerical status, he losesall fear of God and his last state is worse than his first.  Damiandecries the audacity of men who are "habituated to the filth of thisfestering disease," and yet dare to present themselves for holy orders,or if already ordained, remain in Office.  Was it not for suchcrimes that Almighty God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and slew Onanfor deliberately spilling his seed on the ground? he asks.  QuotingSt. Paul's letter to the Ephesians [Eph 5: 5] he continues, ". . . ifan unclean man has no inheritance at all in Heaven, how can he be soarrogant as to presume a position of honor in the Church, which issurely the kingdom of God?"  The holy monk likens sodomites seekingholy orders, to those citizens of Sodom who threatened "to use violenceagainst the upright Lot" and were about to break down the door whenthey were smitten with blindness by the two Angels and could not findthe doorway. Such men, he says, are stricken with a similar blindness,and "by the just decree of God they fall into interior darkness." 
Ifthey were humble they would be able to find the door that is Christ,but they are blinded by their "arrogance and conceit," and "lose Christbecause of their addiction to sin," never finding "the gate that leadsto the Heavenly dwelling of the Saints," Damian laments.  Notsparing those ecclesiastics who knowingly permit sodomites to enterholy orders or remain in clerical ranks while continuing to pollutetheir office, the holy monk lashes out at "do-nothing superiors ofclerics and priests," reminding them that they should be trembling forthemselves because they have become "partners in the guilt of others,"by permitting "the destructive plague" of sodomy to continue in theirranks.  Homosexual Bishops Who Prey on their Sons Then comes thebitterest blast of all reserved for those bishops who "commit theseabsolutely damnable acts with their spiritual sons."  "Who canexpect the flock to prosper when its shepherd has sunk so deep into thebowels of the devil . . . Who will make a mistress of a cleric, or awoman of a man? . . . Who, by his lust, will consign a son whom hespiritually begotten for God to slavery under the iron law of Satanictyranny," Damian thunders.  Drawing an analogy between the sentenceinflicted on the father who engages in familial incest with hisdaughter or the priest who commits "sacrilegious intercourse" with anun, with the defilement of a cleric by his superior, he asks if thelatter should escape condemnation and retain his holy office? Actually, the latter case deserves an even worse punishment saysDamian, because whereas the prior two cases involved naturalintercourse, a religious superior guilty of sodomy has not onlycommitted a sacrilege with his spiritual son, but has also violated thelaw of nature. Such a superior damns not only his own soul but takesanother with him, Damian states.  The Continuing Scandal of BishopDaniel Ryan I do not know who or what comes to one's mind after readingsuch an excoriating censure of homosexual bishops and Cardinals whoseunnatural lusts drive them to prey on rather than pray for thespiritual Sons that Holy Mother Church has entrusted to their care.Mine went directly to the person of Bishop Daniel Leo Ryan. Ryan wasconsecrated an auxiliary bishop of the Joliet diocese on September 30,1981 by Joseph L. Imesch, Bishop of Joliet, and assisted by Daniel W.Kucera, Bishop of Salina and the future Archbishop of Dubuque and primearchitect of the infamous New Creation sex 'catechism' which bears hisimprimatur.  Two years later, on November 19, 1983 Pope John PaullI appointed Ryan Bishop of
Springfield, IL. He was installedon January 18, 1984.  In 1999, Ryan took an unexpected earlyretirement for "health reasons" amid welldocumented charges by RomanCatholic Faithful [RCF], based in Springfield, that he [Ryan] is anactive homosexual who has engaged in gross homosexual misconduct witharea under-age male prostitutes, and clergy.  The Holy See and theAmerican papal nuncio were said to have been aware of Ryan's predatoryhomosexual propensities.  Among the witnesses who came forward tosupport RCF's indictment against Ryan's sexual exploits was FrankRobert Bergen, a former runaway turned male prostitute who contactedRCF and informed President Steve Brady that he had had sodomicalrelations as a minor with Ryan and other priests. Bergen said that thebishop had heard his confession and absolved him of his sins each andevery time he had a sexual encounter with him."  When Bishop Ryan"retired," his episcopal office was filled by Bishop George Lucas,former chancellor of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and a close associateof Archbishop Justin Rigali. Lucas' installation reception was held atthe Ansar Shrine Masonic Temple [CT's emphasis] in Springfield, IL. His influential mentor, Archbishop Rigali was consecrated forservice to the Holy See in the mid-1980s by Pope John Paul II andserved as papal chamberlain and Secretary of the College of Cardinalsuntil his return to the United States as Archbishop of St. Louis in1994.  Under Lucas's bishopric, RCF reports that Bishop Ryan hascontinued to say Mass publicly and has administered the Sacrament ofConfirmation in both the Springfield and Joliet dioceses. He [Ryan] wasin attendance at Lucas's installation. In February of this year, theSpringfield diocese announced that Bishop Ryan would be the presenterof "A Lenten Day of Reflection & Prayer for Priests," at Sts. Maryand Joseph Church in CarlinVille, IL.  Seen Through the Eyes of St.Peter Damian Let us now recall the warnings of the monk-author of theBook of Gomorrah presented hereto. By any standard, the Holy See's lackof public censure in the Ryan case must be considered incrediblylenient. No public chastisement, no shaved head, no chains, no solitaryconfinement in an isolated monastery under strict guard, no bread andwater diet, as proposed by St. Basil. No! Quite the opposite! BishopRyan continues to remain a retired bishop in "good standing." Neitherhis pederast activities with minor males nor the sexual harassment ofhis "spiritual sons" have been
publicly denounced by either theVatican or his fellow bishops including Bishops Lucas and Imesch. Aspredicted by Damian, Ryan has not been humbled by his personal shame orthe shame he has brought on Holy Mother Church. Indeed the wholeexperience appears to have stimulated his audacity to even greaterheights. He collects his pension, has unlimited mobility, easy contactwith youth and where, by his very presence, he continues to pollute,figuratively if not literally, the faithful priests and religious ofhis and other dioceses who have to suffer daily the remembrances of hishomosexual affairs. Not to mention the public scandal caused by hispublic appearances at public Sacramental rites of the Church. So I findit necessary to ask, has the Holy See fallen into such a state ofdissolution that it can no longer profess, much less protect, God'sinterests in this matter and defend the sanctity of Holy Orders fromthe pollution of the sodomites? Do not the horrific acts of predatoryhomosexual clerics and bishops like Ryan, and Symonds and Ziemann, toname but a few, strike the fear of God into the heart of our HolyFather and the members of the Roman Curia?  Clerical HomosexualAbuse of the Sacrament of Confession Leaving the matter of activehomosexual members of the hierarchy and religious orders for themoment, let us move on to what Damian denounces as one of "the devil'sclever devices" concocted in "his ancient laboratory of evil," by whichconfirmed clerical sodomites, experiencing a pricking conscience,"confess to one another lest their guilt come to the attention ofothers."  As Damian observes however, though such men have become"penitents involved in great crimes," they appear to look none theworse for their penances. ". . . their lips are not pale from fastingnor are their bodies wasted by self-denial," nor are their eyes redfrom weeping for their sins, he observes.  The holy monk questionsthe validity of such confessions asking, "By what right or by what lawcan one bind or loose the other when he is constrained by the bonds ofevil deeds common to them both?"  Quoting Holy Scripture concerning"the blind leading the blind," [Matt 8: 4, Luke 5: 4] Damian continues,". . . it becomes perfectly clear that he who is oppressed by the sameguilty darkness tries in vain to invite another to return to the lightof repentance. While he has no fear of extending himself to outstripthe other in erring, he ends up accompanying his follower into theyawning pit of ruin." 
Since this practice remains a commonone today within the homosexual underworld of diocesan priests, bishopsand religious and between pederast priests and their young victims, itmay be well to recall that under the revised 1983 Code of Canon Law,the absolution of a partner [clerical or layperson] in a sin againstthe sixth commandment of the Decalogue is invalid, except in danger ofdeath [Can. 977] and a priest who acts against the prescription of Can.977 incurs a latae sententiae excommunication, the lifting of which isreserved to the Apostolic See. [Can. 1378 1] Unless the offendingpriest has his excommunication lifted by the Sacred Penitentiary or theHoly Father, he has not been validly absolved. Should he attempt tooffer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in a state of mortal sin hecompounds his offenses with the grave sin of sacrilege. SodomitePriests and The Sacred Mysteries In a lengthy and scathing attack onfaulty and "spurious" canons and codices related to penalties forvarious sodomical acts that were in use by the Church in the mid-1000s,Damian compares them to the harsh and long penances assigned to laymenguilty of unnatural acts with men and beasts by the Church Fathers atthe Council of Ancyra [314 A.D.], and finds them wanting.  If,under earlier Church laws, a layman guilty of sodomy can be deprived ofthe Holy Eucharist for up to twenty-five years or even till the end ofhis life, how is it possible that a similarly offending cleric or monkis let off with minor penances and is judged worthy to not only receivethe Holy Eucharist but consecrate the Sacred Mysteries?, he asks. If the holy Fathers ordained that sodomites should "pray in the companyof demoniacs," how can such a cleric hope to rightly exercise hispriestly office as a "mediator" between God and His people? Damiancontinues.  Later, Damian returns to this same theme and exclaims"For God's sake, why do you damnable sodomites pursue the heights ofecclesiastical dignity with such fiery ambition?"  He warns theseclerics, who persist in their unnatural lusts, against inflaming thewrath of God, "lest by your prayers you more sharply provoke Him whomyour wicked life so obviously offends."  At the conclusion of thissection, Damian reminds clerics and prelates alike that, "It is adreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."  [Heb 10:31] Remarkable Insights into the Nature of Homosexuality In hisdescription of the unnatural passions that rule over the sodomite,Damian reveals an extraordinary degree of perception regarding the
narcissistic,promiscuous and compulsive psychosexual aspects of homosexual behavior."Tell us, you unmanly and effeminate man, what do you seek in anothermale that you do not find in yourself?" he asks. "What difference insex, what varied features of the body?" he continues. Then he explainsthe law of life. "For it is the function of the natural appetite thateach should seek outside himself what he cannot find in his owncapacity. Therefore, if the touch of masculine flesh delights you, layyour hands upon yourself and be assured that whatever you do not findin yourself, you seek in vain in the body of another," he concludes. The Particular Malice of the Vice of Sodomy A wise Dominican oncetold this writer, that once the vice of sodomy has contaminated aseminary, Church authorities have only two options----close the placedown and send everyone home or do nothing and simply wait for the moralrot to spread until the foundation collapses on its own. Why is thisparticular vice so deadly to the religious life? According to Damian,the vIce of sodomy "surpasses the enormity of all others," because:"Without fail, it brings death to the body and destruction to the soul.It pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of the mind, expels theHoly Spirit from the temple of the human heart, and gives entrance tothe devil, the stimulator of lust: It leads to error, totally removestruth from the deluded mind . . . It opens up Hell and closes the gatesof Paradise . . . It is this vice that violates temperance, slaysmodesty, strangles chastity, and slaughters virginity . . . It defilesall things, sullies all things, pollutes all things . . . "This viceexcludes a man from the assembled choir of the Church . . . itseparates the soul from God to associate it with demons: This utterlydiseased queen of Sodom renders him who obeys the laws of her tyrannyinfamous to men and odious to God . . . She strips her knights of thearmor of virtue, exposing them to be pierced by the spears of everyvice. . . She humiliates her slave in the church and condemns him incourt; she defiles him in secret and dishonors him in public; she gnawsat his conscience like a worm and consumes his flesh like fire . . .this unfortunate man [he] is deprived of all moral sense, his memoryfails, and the mind's vision is darkened. Unmindful of God, he alsoforgets his own identity. This disease erodes the foundation of faith,saps the vitality of hope, dissolves the bond of love. It makes waywith justice, demolishes fortitude, removes temperance, and blunts theedge of prudence. [Emphasis added]
"Shall I say more?"  No,dearest St. Peter Damian, I think not. Repent and Reform Your LivesLike every Saint before him, and every Saint that will ever come afterhim, St. Peter Damian exhorts the cleric caught in the vice of sodomyto repent and reform his life and in the words of the Blessed ApostlePaul, "Wake up from your sleep and rise from the dead, and Christ Willrevive [enlighten] you."  [Eph 5: 14] In a remarkable affirmationof the Gospel message, he warns against the ultimate sin of despairingof God's mercy and the necessity of fasting and prayer to subdue thepassions: ". . . beware of drowning in the depths of despondency. Yourheart should beat with confidence in God's love and not grow hard andimpenitent, in the face of your great crime. It is not sinners, but thewicked who should despair; it is not the magnitude of one's crime, butcontempt of God that dashes one's hopes."  Then, in one of the mostbeautiful elocutions on the grandeur of priestly celibacy and chastityever written, Damian reminds the wayward cleric or monk of the specialplace reserved in Heaven for those faithful priests and monks who havewillingly forsaken all and made themselves eunuchs for Christ's sake.Their names shall be remembered forever because they have given up allfor the love of God, he says.  Fraternal Correction is an Act ofMercy Saints are realists, which is no doubt why St. Peter Damiananticipated that his "small book" which exposes and denounceshomosexual practices in all ranks of the clergy including thehierarchy, would cause a great commotion in the Church. And it did. Inanticipation of harsh criticism, the holy monk puts forth his owndefense as a 'whistle-blower'. He states that his would-be critics willaccuse him of "being an informer and a delator of my brother's crimes,"but, he says, he has no fear of either "the hatred of evil men or thetongues of detractors."  Hear, dear reader, the words of St. PeterDamian that come thundering down to us through the centuries at a timein the Church, when many shepherds are silent while clerical wolves,come disguised in miters, and brocade robes, devour its lambs andcommit sacrilege against their own spiritual sons;
". . . Iwould surely prefer to be thrown into the well like Joseph who informedhis father of his brothers' foul crime, than to suffer the penalty ofGod's fury, like Eli, who saw the wickedness of his sons and remainedsilent. [Sam. 2: 4] . . . Who am I, when I see this pestilentialpractice flourishing in the priesthood to become the murderer ofanother's soul by daring to repress my criticism in expectation of thereckoning of God's judgment? . . . How, indeed, am I to love myneighbor as myself if I negligently allow the wound, of which I am surehe will brutally die, to fester in his heart? . . .  "So let no mancondemn me as I argue against this deadly vice, for I seek not todishonor, but rather to promote the advantage of my brother'swell-being. "Take care not to appear partial to the delinquent whileyou persecute him who sets him straight. If I may be pardoned in usingMoses' words, 'Whoever is for the Lord, let him stand with me.' [Ezek.32: 26]."  True Church Reforms Begin with the Vicar of Christ As hedraws his case against the vice of clerical sodomy to a close, St.Peter Damian pleads with another future Saint, Pope Leo IX, urging theVicar of Christ to use his office to reform and strengthen the decreesof the sacred canons with regard to the disposition of clericalsodomites including religious superiors and bishops who sexuallyviolate their spiritual sons. Damian asks the Holy Father to"diligently" investigate the four forms of the vice of sodomy cited atthe beginning of his treatise and then provide him [Damian] withdefinitive answers to the following questions by which the "darkness ofuncertainty" might be dispelled and an "indecisive conscience" freedfrom error: Is one who is guilty of these crimes to be expelledirrevocably from holy orders? Whether at a prelate's discretion,moreover, one might mercifully be allowed to function in office? Towhat extent, both in respect to the methods mentioned above and to thenumber of lapses, is it permissible to retain a man in the dignity ofecclesiastical office? Also, if one is guilty, what degree and whatfrequency of guilt should compel him under the circumstances to retire?
Damian closes his famous letter by asking Almighty God touse Pope Leo IX's pontificate "to utterly destroy this monstrous vice"that a prostrate Church may everywhere rise to vigorous stature." Author's Note: In Part II of St. Peter Damian's "Book of Gomorrah-----AMoral Blueprint for Our Times," I will discuss the response of St. LeoIX to the above questions and examine a number of current issues facingthe universal Church today as they relate to clerical homosexuality, inall its forms and 'orientations' including pedophilia, pederasty, andsado/masochism. Notes: 1. For an excellent summary of the life and listof complete writings of St. Peter Damian see the New Advent CatholicEncyclopedia, "St. Peter Damian," by Leslie A. St. L. Toke (transcribedby Joseph C. Meyer) at: www.newadvent.org/cathen/11764a.htm andCatholic Online Saints, "St. Peter Damian," at:http://saints.catholic.org/saints/peter damian.html. Also, see Owen J.Blum, O.F.M., St. Peter Damian: His Teaching on the SpiritualLife-----A Dissertation, Catholic University Press of America,Washington, D.C., 1947. 2. This writer has used two translations ofPeter Damian's the Book of Gomorrah. The most accurate is by Owen J.Blum, O.F.M., Peter Damian, Letters 31-60, part of the Fathers of theChurch-----Medieval Continuation series issued by the CatholicUniversity of America Press, Washington, D.C., 1990. An earliertranslation, Book of Gomorrah-----An Eleventh-Century Treatise AgainstClerical Homosexual Practices, by Pierre J. Payer, published by WilfridLaurier, University Press, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1982, includessome additional interesting notes and commentary on the work. 3. See"Heresy" by J. Wilhelm, transcribed by Mary Ann Grelinger on NewAdvent, Online Catholic Encyclopedia at: www.newadvent.org/cathen/07256b.htm#REF_IV. 4. Eyewitness account of an Ash Wednesday service bythe author in the Diocese of Greensburg, PA. 5. Both Atila SinkeGuimaraes in In the Murky Waters of Vatican II, Volume I, MAETA Press,Meteirie, Louisiana, 1997, pp. 360-361 and Father Blum, pp. 28-29 quotefrom Peter Damian's the Book of Gomorrah. Other Church Fathers favoreddefrocking the offending cleric and then turning him over to the Statefor punishment. 6. Blum, pp. 29-30. 7. Ibid., p.15. 8. See Payer for adiscussion of ecclesiastic responsibility in cases of clerical sexualmisbehavior, pp. 29-30. 9. Blum, pp. 5-6. 10. Ibid., p.6.
11.Ibid., pp. 6-7. Throughout the history of the Church the definition of"sodomy" has varied somewhat especially with regard to the issues ofself-abuse, mutual masturbation by use of hands and bestiality.However, it has always included anal penetration, usually of anothermale, although in some cases of a female. St. Peter Damian makes noreference to fellatio either as a form of masturbation or as ahomosexual practice. 12. Ibid., p. 8. 13. Ibid., p. 8. 14. Ibid., pp.8-9. 15. Ibid., pp; 10-11. 16. Ibid., pp. 12-13. 17. Ibid., pp. 12-14.18. Ibid., p. 15. 19. Ibid., p. 15. 20. Ibid., p. 15. 21. lbid., p.16.22. Ibid., p. 16. 23. Randy Engel, Sex Education the Final Plague,second printing, Tan Publishers, Rockford, IL, 1993, p. 158. 24.Ordinations of U.S. Catholic Bishops 1790-1989, Charles N. Bransom,Jr., NCCB/USCC publishers, Washington, D.C., 1990, p. 185. 25. ThomasA. Droleskey, "More Witnesses Emerge in Bishop Ryan Case," TheWanderer, February 5, 1998. Author used the non-paged electronicversion of the article. 26. "An Open Letter to the Catholic Bishops,"Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, published by Roman Catholic Faithful,Springfield, IL, Winter 2001/2002, p. 19. 27. Droleskey. 28. RCFNewsletter, Winter 2001/ 2002, p. 19. 29. Bransom, Jr., p. 205. 30. RCFNewsletter, p. 19. 31. Bishop J. Keith Symons of Palm Beach resigned inJune of 1998 after accusations of pederasty were made public. LikeRyan, Symons has been making clerical retreats for clergy around theUnited States. Bishop Patrick Ziemann was sexually involved with apriest whom the bishop allegedly blackmailed for sexual favors thatincluded sodomy. Ziemann, consecrated by Roger Cardinal Mahony,Archbishop of Los Angeles, resigned as the Bishop of Santa Rosa, CA, inJuly of 1999. According to RCF, he too has been giving retreats, his atthe Holy Trinity Monastery where he resides as well as a parish inSierra Vista. See RCF Newsletter; Winter 2001/2002, pp. 12-14. Pleasenote that I did not include on my list the late Joseph CardinalBernardin of Chicago or Bishop Joseph Ferrario of Hawaii. These casesrequire extensive treatment which I will give them in my upcoming bookThe Rite of Sodomy. 32. Blum, p. 16.
33. Ibid., p. 17. 34.Ibid., p. 17. 35. Ibid., pp. 17-18. 36. Ibid., pp. 20-27. 37. Ibid., p.27. 38. Ibid., p. 28. 39. Ibid., p. 38. 40. Ibid., p. 38. 41. Ibid., p.42. 42. Ibid., p. 35. 43. Ibid., pp. 30-32. Here the term "vice" (Lat.Vitium) is used in its traditional sense as a habit inclining one tosin. This vicious habit or vice, which according to St. Thomas Aquinas,stands between power and act, is the product of repeated sinful acts ofa given kind and when formed is in some sense also their cause. WhileSt. Thomas Aquinas holds that, absolutely speaking, the sin surpassesthe vice in wickedness, he also states while the sin may be removed byGod the vice or vicious habit may remain. One conquers vice by thecontinuous practice of all virtues, but particularly that virtue towhich it is opposed. In the case of the vice of sodomy that particularvirtue is chastity. See www.newadvent.org/cathen/15403c.htm 44. Ibid.,p. 44. 45. Ibid., pp. 44-45. 46. Ibid., pp. 47-49. 47. Ibid., p. 49.48. Ibid., p. 50. 49. Ibid., p. 52. 50. Ibid., p. 53. 51. Ibid., p. 53.Reprinted from the June 2002 Issue of Catholic Family News.
TOPICS:News/Current Events KEYWORDS: BISHOPS; CATHOLICCHURCH; HOMOSEXUALS;PEDOPHILES; PRIESTS; SCANDAL Part Two will be published in July. 1posted on 06/08/2002 12:31:10 PM PDT by Dajjal [ Post Reply | PrivateReply | View Replies ] To: Dajjal Readers might also want to check outthese articles:
TEFLON CARDINALS VISIT THE VATICAN by JohnVennari POPE JOHN XXIII SAID "NO" TO ORDAINING HOMOSEXUALS by Robert L.Mauro 2 posted on 06/08/2002 12:50:47 PM PDT by Dajjal [ Post Reply |Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ] To:maryz;sinkspur;demkicker;nickcarraway;Zipporah;marajade;cebadams;Polycarp;american colleen... Doctor-of-the-Church Ping 3 posted on06/08/2002 10:49:14 PM PDT by Dajjal [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To2 | View Replies ] To: Dajjal Take, for example, the spiritual andphysical penalties declared by the 4th Century architect of Easternmonasticism, St. Basil of Cesarea [322-379 AD], for the cleric or monkcaught making sexual advances [kissing] or sexually molesting youngboys or men. The convicted offender was to be whipped in public,deprived of his tonsure [head shaven], bound in chains and imprisonedfor six months, after which he was to be contained in a separate celland ordered to undergo severe penances and prayer vigils to expeditehis sins under the watchful eye of an elder spiritual brother. His dietwas that of water and barley bread-----the fodder of animals. Outsidehis cell, while engaged in manual labor and moving about the monastery,the pederast monk was to be always monitored by two fellow monks toinsure that he never again had any contact with young men or boys. Thisis actually so close to possible punishments that I have been turningover in my mind these past few months! I didn't think of barley water,though, just regular water. Great post! And encouraging -- if we fixedit once, we can do it again. The guidelines are there. (Shouldn'tsomeone let the bishops know? They shouldn't have to waste time comingup with their own "guidelines" if the work has already been done.) 4posted on 06/09/2002 2:32:56 AM PDT by maryz [ Post Reply | PrivateReply | To 1 | View Replies ] To: maryz They shouldn't have to wastetime coming up with their own "guidelines" ...
Too true. Thesad thing is that they're perfectly aware of the centuries no, millenia- of "guidelines" on just this issue, but they prefer to ignore it. Andtherein lies the problem. 5 posted on 06/09/2002 2:50:20 AM PDT bylivius [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies ] To: DajjalThanks for the ping. I read the entire missive. Though I am notCatholic, I pray that the Catholic church in America will heed the Wordof the Lord. I hope it is not so compromised that it will not removethe sin in the camp. For each day that a church proclaiming Christ asthe Master, and yet practicing & allowing sin in their midst, isanother day of shipwrecked souls in the wake who ask, "is that what itmeans to be a Christian?". 6 posted on 06/09/2002 7:03:12 AM PDT byanniegetyourgun [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]Comment #7 Removed by Moderator To: Dajjal Please put me on your pinglist. 8 posted on 06/10/2002 11:22:17 PM PDT by Salvation [ Post Reply| Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies ] To: one_particular_harbour Justa thousand years one?, some, speaking on authority, put it a littleearlier then that: Please allow me to introduce myself I'm a man ofwealth and taste I've been around for a long, long year Stole many aman's soul and faith And I was 'round when Jesus Christ Had his momentof doubt and pain Made damn sure that Pilate Washed his hands andsealed his fate Pleased to meet you Hope you guess my name But what'spuzzling youZ Is the nature of my game
I stuck around St.Petersberg When I saw it was a time for a change Killed the Czar andhis ministers Anastasia screamed in vain I rode a tank Held a general'srank When the Blitzkrieg raged And the bodies stank Pleased to meet youHope you guess my name, oh yeah What's puzzling you Is the nature of mygame, oh yeah I watched with glee While your kings and queens Foughtfor ten decades For the Gods they made I shouted out "Who killed theKennedys?" When after all It was you and me Let me please introducemyself I'm a man of wealth and taste And I laid traps for troubadorsWho get killed before they reached Bombay Pleased to meet you Hope youguessed my name, oh yeah But what's puzzling you Is the nature of mygame, oh yeah, get down, baby Pleased to meet you Hope you guessed myname, oh yeah But what's confusing you Is just the nature of my gameJust as every cop is a criminal And all the sinners saints As heads istails Just call me Lucifer 'Cause I'm in need of some restraint
Soif you meet me Have some courtesy Have some sympathy, and some tasteUse all your well-learned politesse Or I'll lay your soul to waste, umyeah Pleased to meet you Hope you guessed my name, um yeah But what'spuzzling you Is the nature of my game, um baby, get down 9 posted on06/12/2002 4:29:45 AM PDT by ventana [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To7 | View Replies ] To: ventana Wow, thanks, I never knew all the wordsto that song, and so, I never understood what is was about. 10 postedon 06/19/2002 9:54:33 PM PDT by american colleen [ Post Reply | PrivateReply | To 9 | View Replies ] To: Dajjal The convicted offender was tobe whipped in public, deprived of his tonsure [head shaven], bound inchains and imprisoned for six months, after which he was to becontained in a separate cell and ordered to undergo severe penances andprayer vigils to expedite his sins under the watchful eye of an elderspiritual brother. His diet was that of water and barley bread-----thefodder of animals. Outside his cell, while engaged in manual labor andmoving about the monastery, the pederast monk was to be alwaysmonitored by two fellow monks to insure that he never again had anycontact with young men or boys. Hmmmmm....works for me. Great post. Nowif the Hierarchy would only abide by the rules established bytradition, we could clean a little house, eh? 11 posted on 06/19/200210:02:17 PM PDT by kstewskis [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | ViewReplies ] To: Dajjal Bookmarked. 12 posted on 07/09/2002 6:36:09 PM PDTby Salvation
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies] To: Dajjal Click here for Part Two of "St. Peter Damian's Book ofGomorrah" by Randy Engel. 13 posted on 07/09/2002 8:03:13 PM PDT byDajjal [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ] To: Dajjal
Take,for example, the spiritual and physical penalties declared by the 4thCentury archit AD], for the cleric or monk caught making sexualadvances [kissing] or sexually molesting whipped in public, deprived ofhis tonsure [head shaven], bound in chains and imprisone separate celland ordered to undergo severe penances and prayer vigils to expeditehis sin diet was that of water and barley bread-----the fodder ofanimals. Outside his cell, while e the pederast monk was to be alwaysmonitored by two fellow monks to insure that he nev
Consideringthat the Book of Gomorrah was written in 1049 A.D. it borders on themiracu applIed to the current pederast and homosexual debacle here inthe United States a stands as a masterful refutation of contemporaryhomosexual apologists who claim that t nature or dynamics ofhomosexuality. Rather, as Damian's work demonstrates, the degra acts isa universal phenomenon that transcends time, place and culture. Becauseof the nature of the crime, the penalties for the act of sodomy wereoften severe. For example, Thomas Jefferson indicated that in his homestate of Virginia, "dismemberment" of the offensive organ was thepenalty for sodomy. 7 In fact, Jefferson himself authored a billpenalizing sodomy by castration. 8 The laws of the other states showedsimilar or even more severe penalties: That the detestable andabominable vice of buggery [sodomy] . . . shall be from henceforthadjudged felony . . . and that every person being thereof convicted byverdict, confession, or outlawry [unlawful flight to avoidprosecution], shall be hanged by the neck until he or she shall bedead. 9 NEW YORK That if any man shall lie with mankind as he liethwith womankind, both of them have committed abomination; they bothshall be put to death. 10 CONNECTICUT Sodomy . . . shall be punished byimprisonment at hard labour in the penitentiary during the natural lifeor lives of the person or persons convicted of th[is] detestable crime.11 GEORGIA That if any man shall commit the crime against nature with aman or male child . . . every such offender, being duly convictedthereof in the Supreme Judicial Court, shall be punished by solitaryimprisonment for
such term not exceeding one year and byconfinement afterwards to hard labor for such term not exceeding tenyears. 12 MAINE That if any person or persons shall commit sodomy . . .he or they so offending or committing any of the said crimes withinthis province, their counsellors, aiders, comforters, and abettors,being convicted thereof as above said, shall suffer as felons. 13 [And]shall forfeit to the Commonwealth all and singular the lands andtenements, goods and chattels, whereof he or she was seized orpossessed at the time . . . at the discretion of the court passing thesentence, not exceeding ten years, in the public gaol or house ofcorrection of the county or city in which the offence shall have beencommitted and be kept at such labor. 14 PENNSYLVANIA [T]he detestableand abominable vice of buggery [sodomy] . . . be from henceforthadjudged felony . . . and that the offenders being hereof convicted byverdict, confession, or outlawry [unlawful flight to avoidprosecution], shall suffer such pains of death and losses and penaltiesof their goods. 15 SOUTH CAROLINA That if any man lieth with mankind ashe lieth with a woman, they both shall suffer death. 16 VERMONT 8.Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew A. Lipscomb,editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson M emorial Association,1904), Vol. I, pp. 226-227, from Jefferson's "For Proportioning Crimesand Punishments." 9. Laws of the State of New-York . . . Since theRevolution (New York: Thomas Greenleaf, 1798), Vol. I, p. 336. 10. ThePublic Statute Laws of the State of Connecticut (Hartford: Hudson andGoodwin, 1808), Book I, p. 295. 11. A Digest of the Laws of the Stateof Georgia (Milledgeville: Grantland & Orme, 1822), p. 350. 12.Laws of the State of Maine (Hallowell: Goodale, Glazier & Co.,1822), p. 58. 13. Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania(Philadelphia: John Bioren, 1810), Vol. I, p. 113. 14. Collinson Read,An Abridgment of the Laws of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1801), p. 279.15. Alphabetical Digest of the Public Statute Laws of South-Carolina(Charleston: John Hoff, 1814), Vol. I, p. 99. 16. Statutes of the Stateof Vermont (Bennington, 1791), p. 74. HERMENEUTICAL ISSUES IN THE USEOF THE BIBLE TO JUSTIFY THE ... Thus, the sin of the two groups of menin Sodom and Gibeah is, in both instances, the desire to engage inhomosexual rape. But there is validity in connecting this sin to theviolation of the norm of hospitality. There is
weight to thesuggestion that the desire to rape the visitors is less the expressionof homosexual desire and activity per se, and more the use of forciblehomosexual rape to express dominance over the strangers. This practiceoccurred in the Ancient Middle East when armies were defeated, and itoccurs today in certain all-male settings, such as prisons. This issupported by the fact that in both instances, when women were offeredto the men, both groups of men initially rejected the offer. Theconclusion, more clearly for Sodom than for Gibeah, is that thegoal of homosexual rape is the male inhabitants' desire to expresstheir dominance over the strangers. Inoohr_org_index.htm This essay wasprinted in the February 15, 1987 issue of the homosexual newspaper GayCommunity News by Michael Swift, and was reprinted in the February15-21 1987 Congressional Record. EXCERPT We shall sodomize your sons,emblems of your feeble masculinity, of you shallow dreams and vulgarlies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, inyour gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in yourseminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, inyour army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all-male clubs, inyour houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together. Your sonsshall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in ourimage. They will come to crave and adore us. Women, you cry forfreedom. You say you are no longer satisfied with men; they make youunhappy. We, connoisseurs of the masculine face, the masculinephysique, shall take your men from you then. We will amuse them; wewill instruct them; we will embrace them when they weep. If you dare tocry faggot, fairy, queer, at us, we will stab you in your cowardlyhearts and defile your dead, puny bodies. There will be no compromises.We are not middle-class weaklings. Highly intelligent, we are thenatural aristocrats of the human race, and steelyminded aristocratsnever settle for less. Those who oppose us will be exiled. We shallraise vast, private armies, as Mishima did, to defeat you. We shallconquer the world because warriors inspired by and banded together byhomosexual love and honor are as invincible as were the ancient Greeksoldiers. The family unit spawning ground of lies, betrayals,mediocrity, hypocrisy, and violence will be abolished. The family unit,which only dampens imagination and curbs free will, must be eliminated.Perfect boys will be conceived and grown in the genetic laboratory.They will be bonded together in a communal setting, under the controland instruction of homosexual savants. We shall be victorious becausewe are fueled with the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed who havebeen forced to play seemingly bit parts in your dumb, heterosexualshows throughout the ages. We too are capable of
firing gunsand manning the barricades of the ultimate revolution. Tremble, heteroswine, when we appear before you without our masks! St. Peter Damian :The Book of Gomorrah (Part 2) Catholic Family News ^ | July, 2002 |Randy Engel Posted on 07/09/2002 5:38:39 PM PDT by Dajjal Click herefor Part One of "St. Peter Damian's Book of Gomorrah" by Randy Engelhttp://www.catholictradition.org/cfn-damian2.htm St. Peter Damian'sBook of Gomorrah Part II A Moral Blueprint for Our Times by Randy EngelEditor's Note: CFN has asked Randy Engel to help clarify the basicissues surrounding clerical pederasty and homosexuality in the Churchtoday. She has studied and researched the homosexual network in theCatholic priesthood and religious life for more than thirteen years andwe believe that her commentary based on the works of the 11th CenturyItalian monk St. Peter Damian will help put the current crisis into aproper perspective for our readers. A December 2003 date has been setfor her latest book The Rite of Sodomy-----Homosexuality and the RomanCatholic Church. JV Pope Leo IX The Precursor of Gregorian ReformBefore describing the reception that St. Peter Damian's treatise onsodomy received at the papal court of Leo IX, I think it helpful tobriefly examine the early life of this extraordinary Pope, theprecursor to the great Hildebrand reform in the Catholic Church. UnlikePeter Damian, Bruno entered the world under much more favorableemotional and material circumstances than those of the holy monk. Hewas born at Egisheim, near the border of Alsace on June 21, 1002. Atthe age of five, his influential, loving and pious parents committedhim to the care of the energetic Berthold, Bishop of Toul, who had aschool for the sons of the nobility. The future Pope's principalbiographer and intimate friend, Wilbert, records that the youth was
handsome,intelligent, virtuous and kindly in disposition, a description whichlater manifested itself in the distinguishing title given him when heserved as chaplain at the imperial court-----"the good Bruno."  In1027, Bruno became Bishop of Toul, the frontier town of his youth, thatwas now plagued both by war and famine, and remained at this ratherobscure See for more than twenty years until his ascendancy to theChair of Peter on February 12, 1049. When the saintly Bruno, after hiselection at Worms, entered Rome dressed humbly in a friar's robe andbarefooted, he was greeted by a cheering populace who acclaimed withone voice that they would have no other but Bruno as their new Pope.Little wonder as under the on-again off-again reign of the dissoluteBenedict IX [1032-1044, 1045, 10471048] the papacy had fallen intoserious disrepute. Bruno's predecessor, Damasus II, the Bishop ofBrixen, had died of malaria after only twenty days in office.  Likeany pontiff set on reforming abuses within the Church, Pope Leo IXimmediately surrounded himself with like-minded virtuous and ableclerics including the remarkable Benedictine, Hildebrand of Tuscany,the future Pope Gregory VII, one of the greatest Popes of the Church. In 1049, the Pope appointed Hildebrand administrator of thePatrimony of St. Peter's [Vatican finances] and made him promisor ofthe monastery of St. Paul extra Mucros which had fallen into moral andphysical ruin. "Monastic discipline was so impaired that the monks wereattended in their refectory by women; and the sacred edifices were soneglected that the sheep and cattle freely roamed in and out throughthe broken doors."  Deplorable conditions indeed. Only four monthsafter coming into the Chair of Peter, the new Pope held a synod tocondemn the two notorious evils of the day-----simony, the buying,selling or exchange of ecclesiastical favors, offices, annulments andother spiritual considerations and clerical sexual incontinence,including concubinage [permanent or long-standing cohabitation] andsodomy. Immediately following the April synod, Leo IX began hisjourneys through Europe to carry out his message of reform. In May1049, he held a council of reform in Pavia, which was followed byvisits and councils in Cologne, Reims [many decrees of reform wereissued here] and Mainz before returning to Rome in January, 1050. It was during this period that Damian brought his treatise on sodomy tothe attention of the Holy Father. Pope Leo IX Gives His Ruling onClerical Sodomy
The approximate date that Damian delivered theBook of Gomorrah to Pope Leo IX is generally held to be the second halfof the first year of the pontiff's reign, i.e., mid-l049, although somewriters put the date as late as 1051. We do know, absolutely, that thePope did respond to Damian's concerns, as that response in the form ofa lengthy letter [JL 4311; ItPont 4.94f., no.2] is generally attachedto manuscripts of the work.  Pope Leo IX opens his letter to "hisbeloved son in Christ, Peter the hermit," with warm salutations and arecognition of Damian's pure, upright and zealous character. He agreeswith Damian that clerics, caught up in the "execrable vice" of sodomy".. . verily and most assuredly will have no share in his inheritance,from which by their voluptuous pleasures they have withdrawn. . . Suchclerics, indeed profess, if not in words, at least by the evidence oftheir actions, that they are not what they are thought to be," hedeclares.  Reiterating the category of the four forms of sodomywhich Damian lists,  the Holy Father declares that it is properthat by "our apostolic authority" we intervene in the matter so that"all anxiety and doubt be removed from the minds of your readers". "So let it be certain and evident to all that we are in agreement witheverything your book contains, opposed as it is like water to the fireof the devil," the Pope continues. "Therefore, lest the wantonness ofthis foul impurity be allowed to spread unpunished, it must be repelledby proper repressive action of apostolic severity, and yet somemoderation must be placed on its harshness," he states.  Next, PopeLeo IX gives a detailed explanation of the Holy See's authoritativeruling on the matter. In light of Divine mercy, the Holy Fathercommands, without contradiction, that those who, of their own freewill, have practiced solitary or mutual masturbation or defiledthemselves by interfemoral coitus, but who have not done so for anylength of time, nor with many others, shall retain their status, afterhaving "curbed their desires" and "atoned for their infamous deeds withproper repentance".  However, the Holy See removes all hope forretaining their clerical status from those who alone or with others fora long time, or even a short period with many, "have defiled themselvesby either of the two kinds of filthiness which you have described, or,which is horrible to hear or speak of, have sunk to the level of analintercourse."  He warns potential critics, that those who dare tocriticize or attack the apostolic ruling stand in danger of losingtheir rank. And so as to make it
clear to whom this warning isdirected, the Pope immediately adds, "For he who does not attack vice,but deals with it lightly, is rightly judged to be guilty of his death,along with the one who dies in sin."  Pope Leo IX praises Damianfor teaching by example and not mere words, and concludes his letterwith the beautiful hope that when, with God's help, the monk reacheshis Heavenly abode, he may reap his rewards and be crowned," . . . in asense, with all those who were snatched by you from the snares of thedevil."  Differences on the Matter of Discipline Clearly, on theobjective immorality of sodomical acts, both Damian and Pope Leo IXwere in perfect accord with one another. However, in terms of Churchdiscipline, the Pope appears to have taken exception with Damian'sappeal for the wholesale deposition of all clerics who commit sodomicalacts. I say, appears, because I believe that even in the matter ofpunishing known clerical offenders, both men were more in agreementthan not. Certainly, Damian, who was renown for his exemplary spiritualdirection of the novitiates and monks entrusted to his care, was notunaware of certain mitigating circumstances that would diminish if nottotally remove the culpability of individuals charged with the crime ofsodomy. For example, as with certain clerical sex abuse cases that havecome to light today involving the Society of St. John and theLegionaries of Christ, which the Holy See has yet to investigate, somenovices or monks may have been forced or pressured by their superiorsto commit such acts. No doubt, it is circumstances such as these thatprompted Pope Leo IX to use the term, "who of his own free will" indescribing a cleric guilty of sodomy.  Also among the fourvarieties of sodomy Damian discusses in his treatise, he states thatinterfemoral and anal coitus are to be judged more serious thansolitary or mutual masturbation.  All in all, what this writerfound to be most remarkable about the Pope's letter to Damian, was theabsolutist position Pope Leo IX took concerning the ultimateresponsibility of the offending cleric's bishop or religious superior.If the latter criticized or attacked this apostolic decree, he riskedlosing HIS rank! Prelates who fail to "attack vice, but deal lightlywith it," share the guilt and sentence of the one who dies in sin, thePope declared.  Damian's Contemporaries React to the Treatise
Consideringthe utterly deplorable state of the secular clergy and monastic lifeduring the 10th and 11th Centuries, I think we can say, withoutcontradiction, that the publication of the Book of Gomorrah must havesent shock waves throughout the Church. Leslie Toke, whose biography ofSt. Peter Damian appears in New Advent, confirms that his work "causeda great stir and aroused not a little enmity against its author". Tokeconjectures that "Even the Pope, who had at first praised the work, waspersuaded that it was exaggerated and his coldness drew from Damian avigorous letter of protest."  I do not agree with this latterassessment, that Damian's treatise proved to be controversial andunwelcome especially among superiors and members of the hierarchy whowere sodomizing their "spiritual sons" or those with bad consciencesresulting from an inability or an unwillingness to exercise theirauthority in severely disciplining offending clerics or monks, is notsurprising. But as to the charge that the holy monk was guilty ofexaggerating the seriousness and extent of sodomy among the secularclergy and monks not only in his region but also in the Church atlarge, I believe that charge to be false. We know, for example, thatamong the first actions taken by Pope Leo IX at the Council of Reims in1049 was the passage of a Canon against sodomy [de sodomuico vitio]. Also, the probability that Damian was, in fact, speaking the fulltruth concerning the extent of this plague in the Church can bediscerned from the fact, that in June, 1055, during the pontificate ofVictor II , Damian was in attendance at a synod held atFlorence, where simony and clerical incontinence were once morecondemned.  Certainly, Damian's reputation and credibility was notdiminished in the minds of the great and holy men of his day by eitherthe writing or the publication of his treatise on sodomy. Pope Leo IXand future Popes continued to seek out his services and adviceincluding Pope Nicholas II [1059-1061] and Pope Gregory VII[1073-1085]. Also, Pope Stephen X [1057-1058] made Damian a Cardinal in1057 and consecrated him Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia and appointed himadministrator of the Diocese of Gubbio. Toke noted that although noformal canonization ever took place, Damian was revered as a Saint. atthe time of his death on February 22, 1072. Toke states that his cultushas existed since then at the monastery of Faenza; at the deserthermitage of Fonte-Avellana, at the great abbey of Monte Cassino, andat Hildebrand's Benedictine monastery at Cluny.
In 1823, PopeLeo XII extended his feast [Feb. 23] to the whole Church and pronouncedSt. Peter Damian a Doctor of the Church. The Saint is usually depictedas a Cardinal bearing a discipline [a pentitential exercise] in hishand or as a pilgrim holding a papal Bull, to signify his many papalmissions.  Homosexuality in Religious Life Today: The DominicanModel By way of comparing the views of St. Peter Damian on the Vice ofsodomy in clerical and monastic ranks with the modern post-Vatican IIView on homosexuality, I have selected a Lenten Letter titled, "ThePromise of Life,'" by Father Timothy Radcliffe.  Radcliffe, theMaster of the Dominican Order, issued his message on February 25, AshWednesday 1998. The English-born aristocrat was elected in 1992 toserve a nineyear term and was residing at the Santa Sabina priory atRome, when the letter was issued and subsequently posted on theVatican's web site, which is where I first read it. In light of themajor homosexual scandals that have plagued the priesthood andreligious life worldwide, I was interested to see if Father Radcliffewould discuss the issue of homosexuality in Dominican ranks. Hedid-----both directly and indirectly. The first indirect reference tohomosexuality was Radcliffe's quoting of American Dominican and writerDonald Goergen, OP on the subject of celibacy. The quote reads:"Celibacy does not witness to anything. But celibates do. We witness tothe Kingdom if we are seen to be people whose chastity liberates us forlife."  My first thought when I read the Goergen quote was, why, ofall the Dominicans he could have chosen to quote on celibacy, didRadcliffe choose a man whose personal and private life has beendistinguished by an open and long-term advocacy and financial supportof clerical homosexuality. Father Goergen, who is currently living withthe "Friends of God," a Hindu-styled Dominican Ashram in Kenosha,Wisconsin, began his early claim to infamy with the publication of hisbook The Sexual Celibate in 1974.  Based on notes from lecturesgiven to Dominican seminarians, Goergen's homosexual apologia speaks of"healthy homosexuality," promotes the homosexual "continuum" theoriesof the predatory homosexual and bisexual Alfred Kinsey, decries the"disease" of "homophobia," defines homosexuality according to the GayManifesto as "the capacity to love
someone of the same sex,"holds the door open for homosexual 'unions' by stating that, "genitalactivity should be the expression of a permanent relationship whichinvolves fidelity," states that "so-called traditional Christianattitudes towards homosexuality are beginning to change," claims that"homosexuality can exist in healthy, Christian and graced forms,"defends masturbation as being a genital activity that is "not bad, notunhealthy, not harmful, not immoral, "even for a celibate," and thengives the sodomical coup de grace by attacking the perpetual virginityof Our Lady.  Goergen's connections to the homosexual network inthe Church go back many years. In Rev. Enrique T. Rueda's 1982 classicexpose, The Homosexual Network, Goergen gets three dishonorablementions for his advocacy of. homosexuality.  He was also an earlyfinancial supporter of Communication Ministry, Inc., "an underground'ministry' for lesbian nuns and gay clergy and religious."  Soonafter his election in 1985 as Provincial Superior to the St. Albert theGreat Central Province, Goergen, a devotee of Teilhard de Chardin,began his search-and destroy operation against many of the faithful andnationally outstanding Dominicans in St. Albert the Great Provinceincluding Father Charles Fiore, Father John O'Connor and the traditionalist Dominicans teaching at Fenwick High School. The River ForestPriory was transformed into a homosexual 'safe house' for otherclerical perverts.  This action is in stark contrast to theprotection the young turk Goergen offered to the notorious FatherMatthew "Creation Spirituality" Fox, champion of "lust," "sexualmysticism," and homosexuality as "the first gift of the Cosmic Christ". In 1988, when the Holy See finally insisted that Fox be removedand silenced in order to finally halt the spread of his errors, Foxreceived an all expense one-year sabbatica
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