Late last week on the blog the I made mention of the sins that “cry to heaven for vengeance.” The traditional list, is summarized in the Catechism which states The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that cry to heaven”: the blood of Abel, the sin of the Sodomites, the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan, injustice to the wage earner (# 1867).
It probably does not surprise you that I got push-back from certain homosexuals who wrote in to “remind” me that the sin of Sodom “has nothing to do with homosexual acts, or homosexual rape. Rather,” they said, “It is only about violations of hospitality rules of the ancient near east.”
I did not post these comments since I did not have time then to deal with this oft heard but very mistaken notion about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19. But the meaning of the story is not unclear, and attempts to radically reinterpret the fundamental issue at the core of the story, tell us more about the struggle of the “interpreter” than of the story which has a rather plain, unambiguous meaning. The sin, the abomination, of Sodom, while not excluding any number of injustices, is clearly set forth as widespread homosexual practice.
When interpreting the meaning of a passage we do well to look not only to the plain meaning of the text, but also to other Biblical texts that may refer back to it and help clarify any ambiguities. In this text we can do both.
So first let’s look at the text itself as set forth:
Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” The men turned away and went toward Sodom….The two arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.” “No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.” But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” “Get out of our way,” they replied. And they said, “This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here,because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.” (Genesis 18:20-22; 19:1-13)
Now those who want to argue that this text is vague in meaning, begin by stating that the phrase “have sex with them” is more literally rendered from the Hebrew as “that we may know them.” And it is true that the Hebrew word יָדַע (yada) is rendered “know.” But this word is also a Hebrew idiom for carnal knowledge. For example in Genesis 4:1 we read: Now Adam knew (yada) Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.”
That the carnal knowledge meaning is intended here is also made clear in the context of what follows. Lot first calls their proposal a “wicked thing.” But just getting to know someone, or to greet a stranger, is not a wicked thing. Further that unlawful carnal knowledge is meant is also made clear in that Lot (horrifyingly) proposes that they have sex instead with his daughters “who have never slept with a man” (i.e. his virgin daughters).
It is true that Lot is further motivated by the fact that these men (angels in disguise) are under his care. But that does not change the nature of the threat that is involved, namely homosexual seduction or rape.
Being unable to dissuade “all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old” from the attempt at homosexual seduction, Lot is pulled to safety by the the two angelic visitors who tell Lot to get ready to go since they have come to destroy the city.
Now to the average reader who does not need to be defensive, the text conveys a clear message of widespread homosexuality in Sodom, a fact rather bluntly confirmed by the angelic visitors. And this is the clear emphasis of the story, not hospitality norms or other secondary concepts.
However, it may help to confirm this fact in other texts of the Bible and to legitimately ask if this is the only sin involved. Two texts are most specifically helpful in this regard. First there is a text from Ezekiel:
Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did abominable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (Ezekiel 16:49-50)
Now this is the text used most often by those who deny any homosexual context in the sin of Sodom. And, to be fair, it does add a dimension to the outcry God hears. There are clearly additional sins at work in the outcry: pride, excess or greed, and indifference to the poor and needy. But there are also mentioned here unspecified “abominations.” The Hebrew word is תּוֹעֵבָ֖ה (tō·w·‘ê·ḇāh) which refers to any number of things God considers especially detestable, such as worshiping idols, immolating children, wrongful marriage and also homosexual acts. For example, Leviticus 18:22 uses the word in this context: Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination.
But of itself, this text from Ezekiel does remind us that widespread homosexuality is not the only sin of Sodom. And while the abomination mentioned here may not be specified exactly, there is another Scriptural text that does specify things more clearly for us. It is from the Letter of Jude:
In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings. (Jude 7-8)
And thus it is specified that the central sin of Sodom involved “sexual immorality (ἐκπορνεύσασαι) and perversion (ἀπελθοῦσαι ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἑτέρας – literally having departed to strange or different flesh).” And this would comport with the description of widespread homosexual practice in Sodom wherein the practitioners of this sin are described in Genesis 19 as including, “all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old.”
Hence we see that, while we should avoid seeing the sin of Sodom as only widespread homosexual acts (for what city has only one sin?), we cannot avoid that the Scriptures do teach that homosexual acts are central to the sins of Sodom which cry to heaven for vengeance, and for which God saw fit to bring a fiery end.
Genesis 19 speaks plainly of the sin, Ezekiel 16 broadens the description but retains the word “abomination,” and Jude 7 clearly attests to sexual perversion as being the central sin with which Sodom and Gomorrah were connected.
God the Holy Spirit has not failed to teach quite clearly on the fundamental nature of the sins involved in these ancient cities. Widespread homosexual practice is surely the keynote of condemnation received by these cities and attempts to recast the matter as a “hospitality” issue must be seen for the fanciful distortion they are.
I do not post this video because I agree with it, do really know what to think of it. Most Archeologists DO agree that the two cities were located right near what is today the Dead Sea, and this video falls in that general range. But archeologists are not at all certain that the many excavations in the area of the Dead Sea do in fact correspond to the cities called Sodom and Gomorrah.
128 Replies to “The Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is not about “Hospitality””
I just wanted to know, what’s your take on Lot and his offering of his daughters? There are conflicting opinions as to what meaning to extract from it, and I thought you would be the man to give more insight.
I think it is clear that Lot’s proposed solution to the wickedness is itself a wicked solution. Some argue that it is a literary device meant to illustrate how truly detestable the wickedness is in Sodom. Maybe, maybe not. But it is clear Lot’s solution is a wicked one And the angels overrule him pulling him back into the house and telling him that the only valid choice, is to get out of Sodom and to no longer make compromises with a city that is doomed.
Thomas Aquinas differentiates different degrees of wickedness among sexual sins. Homosexual acts are sins against nature, which is worse than fornication, which is a natural act, but sins against the permanence of the union, making it a far less grave error than homosexuality. Also, in that time period, it was not uncommon for a father to offer his daughters in marriage. In fact, it was common usage. So for Lot to offer his daughters for less, while made more abominable to us due to his giving them, would have been less detestable to a people who were accustomed that the father should give his daughters into marriage.
Really? How did Thomas Aquinas explain away Romans 2?
Sorry Msgr., I’m piggy back riding on you. The next time anyone claims that the sin of Sodom was about “hospitality” you can answer back by saying: “Yes, that is true! For to be gang rape by homosexuals is truly NOT hospitable!!!”
Thanks Msgr for clearing that up, and thanks Abednego for the additional insight.
They can stop their searching right now. All they have to do is go to San Francisco.
I just love how a liberal like Mr. Andrews who don’t even know history can attack the Msgr. This is so sad, I think the level of ignorant coming from the liberals are amazing! Yes, pride and ignorant are two deadly combinations!
Andrew my child, don’t be PIMPING IMMORALITY!
If Lot was inhospitable then why was it that he saved while the so-called hospitable people were punished. As you said, it was not about hospitality but about sexual perversion.
You know liberal people can come here and put their own spin and disregard the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual acts. They ignor all kinds of passages in the Old and New Testaments. And when you start looking deep into their arguments they have no leg to stand on.
Perhaps their strategy is to repeat a lie often enough so that the Generation Porno and the MTV Generation will buy into the nonsense. I GUESS THIS IS THERE STRATEGY. This is why it is IMPORTANT to teach your children and your grandchildren about the truth of the Gospel so they don’t get swept away in the flood of immorality AND LOSE THEIR SOULS! Believe me there are alot of brain dead people walking around this world!
Correction: I Guess this is “their” strategy not “there”. So sorry for mistake.
Thanks for repeating the real message of this biblical event, Msgr. A very relevant message for our troubled times too.
Sorry John, I’m piggy back riding on you. I’m posting this right on top of Andrew’s comment to show the world Andrew’s stupidity. According to Keith’s post on Dec.7 (way at the bottom). Keith came upon an interesting verse:
“And reducing the cities of the Sodomites and of the Gomorrhites into ashes, condemned them to be overthrown, making them an example to those that should after act wickedly, 7 and delivered just Lot, oppressed by the injustice and LEWD conversation of the wicked: 8 For in sight and hearing he was just, dwelling among them who from day to day vexed the just soul with unjust works. 9 The Lord knows how to DELIVER THE GODLY FROM TEMPTATION, but to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be tormented…”- 2 Peter 2:6-9
Point #1: According to the http://www.thefreedictionary.com, the def. for “lewd” is : obscene, carnal, impure, lustful, immoral, indecent, etc.
So the sin of Sodom has nothing to do with the lame “hospitality” argument.
Point#2: How could the “hospitality” argument have anything to do with verse #9 – ‘the Lord knows how to DELIVER THE GODLY FROM TEMPTATION…’ And we know that Lot was DELIVERED from Sodom.
So how could ‘TEMPTATIONS’ be anything else but the sins of the flesh?
“Hospitality” my monkey! Liberals people don’t even KNOW HOW TO READ like Andrew!
Liberals are FULL of LIES just like Andrew, below!
Msgr. your a liar. anyone who knows their history knows that the first time the link between homosexuality and sodom was made was during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. no Jewish Rabbi b4 the rise of Christianity made the link.
Your a liar, and using the bible to justify your bigotry.
Hmm… according to my Calendar, Jude, and Ezekiel lived before Justinian. By the way, blog readers, I am letting this remark through just so you can get a mild taste of the kind of comments I have to screen whenever this topic is raised. Being called a liar and a bigot is MILD compared to some of the profanity strewn and sexually debased imagery hurled at those of us who try to take the Biblical text seriously, and seek to listen to its actual testimony. In the end, please be assured that you will be spared the worst of the venom. Sadly I will not, as per usual in this matter I expect to get it with both barrels.
Thanks Father. It is good to remember that many priests spare the flock evils that would curl your hair. Please pray for your priests, bishops, and our Holy Father. You are not alone!
Bless you 🙂
When your heart sings for joy that you have been accounted worthy to suffer for well-doing, then we will have that most precious of all things:
A Catholic bishop.
You are serving God here, strengthening a priest who just might become a saint.
Bless you, Monsignor.
When the devil shows you his face, you are doing well.
What’s so tragic is that these homosexual apologist bloggers don’t even recognize their obscene profanity as such, it is everyday conversation to them; their native tongue.
May the Lord bless you,
protect you from all evil
and bring you to everlasting life.
First, God Bless and keep you Msgr Pope, thank-you for all that you do, for the GLORY of God.
Second, the teachings against sexual sins go all the way back to the days of when the teachings that would be put in the OT were first being taught and latter on, in the NT. It is part and parcel of the Bible.
Andrew is prime example of how homosexuals are in denial. They will even distort historical facts and chronology to justify their political agenda and sinful lifestyle. Thank you, Msgr. Pope, for bravely addressing this touchy issue
“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men.” (1Corinthians 6:9)
If “anyone who knows their history” knows this fact, then it should be a simple matter for Andrew to argue his point as effectively as the Monsignor has in this bog post. I await his well-reasoned and well-supported defense of his point…
GOD bless you. Now show your side of the argument. You are so angry, you must be wrong. I pray for you.
Such a response by “andrew” filled with accusation and ad hominem is not scholarly. As a Jew I will clarify that the text indeed speaks about carnal relations, demanded by a crowd — essentially a gang. As we have seen recently in the Middle East and in the Benghazi story still developing, homosexual attacks are used to demean. The notion that homosexuality is somehow sheltered from criticism by political correctness in our day is fallacious, because proof aplenty exists for homosexual rape and homosexual murder based on being barred from having relations, one incident which I saw occur in Italy. That “andrew” would suggest such citations are bigotry demonstrates that he is blind to basic realities. His inane assertion that no rabbi “made the link” is without proof, and forgets that in that era a clearer understanding of the texts and vocabulary made it unnecessary to make the link. That a Catholic makes the link and “andrew” decalres this bigotry shows he is neither scholar, vesed in biblical Hebrew or qualified to judge what “bigotry” is.
The Scriptures do not lie; they signify what is happening even today. The Sodomites react irrationally and violently when opposed; some proponents of SSA also act irrationally and violently when opposed. This has been my experience, unfortunately. What if our entire country accepted homosexuality as being okay? Pedophilia will certainly follow – I guarantee it. And, faithful Christians will be martyred for their faith – not because they acted violently – but because they refused to participate in any way. This will signal the utter loss of freedom of religion in America, if liberal Presidents like Obama allow it to continue. Sure, we need to protect all people in America – those who suffer from SSA as well as those whose religion prohibits homosexual acts in any way and whose religion is the source of the definition of “marriage.”
As for the offering of one’s own daughters in lieu of the men…it only shows the intense gravity of the depravity and disordered nature of the homosexual act. Why else would anyone in their right mind offer up their own daughters in order to avoid the homosexual act? People need to accept this fact and learn…
Tailler, I do think we should be careful not to over generalize. Perhaps we should also recall that there are people with same sex attraction who live chastely and follow Church teaching. Pedophilia remains a horror to which most people are strongly opposed. I do agree that speaking against Homosexuality is on the cutting edge of the “hate speech” police and we should be sober about the chilling effect that arrests and legal fines in places like Canada and parts of Europe that are taking place for clergy whose only “crime” is to quote the catechism or the Bible.
“we should also recall that there are people with same sex attraction who live chastely and follow Church teaching.”
>> We should also recall that only a tiny number of homosexualist fascist movement activists are victims of SSA. The homosexuals are the excuse. The fascists are the problem. They have chosen homosexuality as the issue by which to destroy the vestigial legal protections of the Church in this phase of the great apostasy.
We must tell the truth about the homosexual disorder: accepted, pedophilia is *knowably*, *predictably* certain to follow.
It is a logical working out of sin.
Taylor Hughes has it exactly right.
Well if that sort of claims going to be made, I think we would need to have some statistics. I do know that the pedophilia a crisis in the Church statistically and overwhelmingly involved the abuse of post pubescent teenage boys, by priests. And as such this demonstrates a homosexual acting out. I think those who strive to deny that homosexuality has anything to do with it are engaged in fanciful thinking. But that said, I don’t think it follows that the vast majority of homosexual men have an inclination to abuse teenage boys. At least, I’d like to see the statistics on that before we make statements such as you are making here. There may be such statistics, but I have not seen them.
“Well if that’s sort of claims going to be made, I think we would need to have some statistics.”
>> Let’s let you answer yourself:
“I do know that the pedophilia a crisis in the church Statistically and overwhelmingly involved the abuse of post pubescent teenage boys. And as such Demonstrates a homosexual acting out.”
>> So you and I and Taylor are all in perfect agreement: homosexual acting out is statistically, overwhelmingly, the cause of the pedophilia abomination networks- that great Sign of the times.
“I think those who strive to deny that homosexuality has anything to do with it are engaged in fanciful thinking.”
>> That is statistically certain.
“But that said, I don’t think it follows that the vast majority of homosexual men have an inclination to abuse teenage boys.”
>> Since that was never asserted in the first place, our disagreements still total up to zero so far. It is completely unnecessary that “the vast majority of homosexual men have an inclination to abuse teenage boys”, in order for us to *know* that “the pedophilia a crisis in the church Statistically and overwhelmingly involved the abuse of post pubescent teenage boys. And as such Demonstrates a homosexual acting out.”
“At least, I’d like to see the statistics on that Before we make Statements such as you are making here”
>> But so far you agree, based on the statistics in the disgraceful John Jay report, with every thing that has been alleged by Taylor and myself.
I am curious.
What substantive point was it you meant to take issue with?
Well, I was presuming you to say that the majority of homosexual men would be prone to abuse underage males. But you have clarified that this is not your claim. Hence I think, as you say, we are in agreement.
Monsignor: there are lies, there are damned lies and then there are statistics.
You are absolutely correct, Rick.
The modern, militant homosexual “rights” movement has it roots firmly and inextricably in pederasty – for a reason. Harry Hay was one of its progenitors. Early in the movement when people, either rightly or wrongly, but accurately, equated homosexuality with all other manner of sexual perversion, including pedophilia, the homosexual rights pioneers didn’t shrink from the association, marching proudly with open advocates of pedophiles. It wasn’t until later when the movement got “serious” about trying to hoodwink mainstream society into acceptance that they decided that their core perversions weren’t acceptable enough, and so they slathered on the the makeup thickly.
Msgr Pope – you are correct that I tend to use words which can be too general and be misunderstood. That is the challenge with responding very quickly and without a lot of reflection in the comment boxes of blogs. I am aware of that and am trying to fix that problem. Thank you for helping me with this weakness. I meant by “proponents of SSA” those who fervently promote it to the end of achieving a homosexual lifestyle (committing to / acting on the SSA).
I have the utmost compassion for those who suffer from SSA and believe that having SSA is not sinful at all, but needs to be controlled and treated if necessary.
Because America has legalized abortion, infanticide, sodomy, and is redefining marriage to also be a homosexual relationship, that because a homosexual marriage does not also have a possibility for procreation (and therefore, no responsibility for raising children), that “legal responsibility” within a homosexual marriage will at some time in the future be required only of one of the partners – a legal adult. As such, I predict that what we define today as “pedophilia” will become legalized within homosexual marriages in the future when only one partner has to be a legal adult. If that law is enacted, then it may carry over to heterosexual relationships (adult women and boys – recall the problem of teachers and their students in the news….). And so, in these relationships, children might become ensnared in empty, sex-only relationships, the damage from which could be immeasurable.
I think that it is better to discuss these things now so that people can see and have an opportunity to reverse course. I think that Congressmen should be discussing these things in like manner.
Msgr., thank you so much for your courage. I can only imagine the vitriol and hate you must receive when you teach on biblical truths that run counter to our current culture. I pray your teaching will have a positive effect on some of those with SSA, especially the ‘screamers’. After all, it was Paul who ‘ breathed murderous threats against Christians’, yet God chose him to spread the gospel to the Gentiles. Those who are very opposed to biblical truth are often the ones that God rescues. So keep up the good work and words. You are in my prayers.
Something else to justify the traditional reading: the Adamic covenant included the exhortation to “be fruitful and multiply.” Thus, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah are in a sense the complete unraveling of God’s plan, as its excesses end in sterility.
Thanks for your comments, Monsignor. Would that the academics who perpetuate the hospitality lie admit as much.
Thank you for a wonderful article that rebukes such a twisted and laughable understanding of clear scripture. The scriptures could not be clearer when it comes to the topic of homosexual activity, its serious sin! Such activity is an abomination and Sodom and Gomorrah were rightly destroyed for such things. Please keep up the good work, we must preach the truth, even if it takes us to the guillotines or some other form of death!
Glory be to Jesus Christ!
Thanks for the post, Msrg. I really enjoy your thoughtful and researched reflections. I wonder if you would think it fair to expand out a little more the notion of “sexual perversity” in Sodom from just homosexuality to all sexual activity that does not end in procreation? I offer this consideration for several reasons, the first of which is a level of pastoral sensitivity to those who suffer from same sex attraction. The Church has always made her position on the issue clear and I recognize that the gay lobby is generating much of the contempt towards the Church, but it probably doesn’t help the situation to say that the “unforgiveable sin” is sodomy alone as if homosexual activity is targeted by God for special damnation. What I mean is that the promises to the patriarchs appear to be based on procreative activity – Abraham will be the father of a great nation, from David’s house will be drawn the messiah, etc. It isn’t homosexuality alone (although this surely would be included) that is unforgiveable, but rather any sexual activity that fails to be procreative. This helps to account for the rejection of Lot’s daughters (after all, doesn’t a town full of homosexual men seem a slightly odd construction for the sacred author?) and also finds resonance with the severity of the punishment of Onan who “wasted his seed on the ground”. Additionally, it better conforms to Catholic moral teaching that includes the rejection of contraception precisely because it fundamentally impedes the procreativity of the sexual act. Maintaining the Church’s teaching on homosexual activity is important but it is also crucial to situate that teaching within the Church’s larger understanding of sexuality in general. People’s beliefs flow from their way of being and until we start better articulating that all people must take sex seriously (including those contracepting!) it will continue to appear that we are just blaming men and women with same sex attraction and not asking anything of heterosexuals.
Courageous post, Msgr.
It’s best, when reading any text – especially the Bible, to keep in mind the distinction, often confused, between Interpretation of the text and Belief in the truth of what the text is saying. The former is the “First Act of the Mind (understanding)” the later is the “Second Act of the Mind (judging).” Interpretation answers the question, “what does the text think of homosexual acts,” Belief answers the question, “what do I think of homosexual acts.” Those who deny that homosexual acts are disordered should just admit they don’t BELIEVE what the Bible teaches instead of pretending they are interpreting the text. Of course, this entails leaving the Christian Faith, but perhaps such a stark choice will save a few souls. Great writing as always.
This is from a year ago, but might be interesting to readers here:
One of the great problems our country has today is how the media has become the greatest propagandist for all things immoral on the family and reproductive front. They do it by grossly spinning their so-called news stories so they are more opinion pieces than news (but lie about it regularly when confronted). And they pick and choose “experts” that agree with their immorality while ignoring opposing views coming from legitimate authorities and scholars.
However, the story tells of a large crowd proposing to gang rape two men. This is as far from the experience of gay men today as it is from straight men.
Do you honestly believe that the gang rape of two men is worse, morally, than the gang rape of two young women- probably very young, to be unmarried?
I doubt you will let this comment through. You have already confessed to censoring your comments, and allowing through only those who agree. The problem with that is that you prevent people hearing both sides of the argument.
What really saddens me is that you drive people away from Christ, by your lies about God’s good creation. My sexuality is God’s gift, to me and to my whole society: in our variation is our blessing.
God forgive you.
No I don’t believe that. All or nothing thinking is to be avoided. But there’s nothing I can do about the darkness of the story for the facts that are presented simply as they are. It is not what I think in this matter, it is what the word of God presents as what happened. But not everything in the Bible is told with approval I think what Lot did was detestable. The fact of the Angels yanking him back inside the house, shows up they are overruling what he wickedly proposes as a solution to another wickedness.
You of course in offering forgiveness presuppose that I have sinfully offended you. That you take offense, does not mean I gave offense. It would seem that you demand approval for a lifestyle that others reasonably question based on Biblical evidence and natural law. Not receiving that approval on your own terms, you then assign sinfulness. But your logic in this matter is faulty. I have not sinned against you.
As for calling your homosexuality a “gift,” which scripture and the Church teach as disordered, this is a strange but common utterance from those in the lifestyle. But that does not make it a gift. As for me, I seem to have inherited arthritic knees from my parents. I have learned to make the best of it, but would certainly not call my disordered knees a gift. As for me, no more tennis, no more running. I think my acceptance of the condition is a gift, but the condition of bad knees is not a gift, and requires that I live In accord with my limits. So as for me no more heavy sports, as for you no more sex. Celibacy Is for you the gift that God offers. As a heterosexual celibate man, I can attest that celibacy is indeed a gift to me
Well said, Monsignor.
I agree with the Good Monsignor. Current homosexuals desperately wish to wash away their sin, and hope that by renaming it—or oppressing people with it politically— it can somehow be magically justified.
But we know better.
Indeed. You think that what Lot did was detestable, but the Angels still saved him. That is why the text is about hospitality: Lot has taken in guests, so he must save them, even by sacrificing his daughters. The moral lesson the original hearers would have heard is different from the one you seek to read into it.
Indeed arthritis is not a gift, because it is a restriction. However, homosexuality is not a restriction. We may still form loving relationships, if not prevented by society. With adoption and scientific advance, we may even have children. Thank God, Jan is at least fifty years out of date: society accepts gay people and gay relationships. Only a minority still condemn us- but it is the falsehood that they are following God in doing that, which I object to.
Homosexual acts are disordered. As for the hospitality silliness, While not discounting that there were many sins in Sodom, your analysis cannot stand. St Jude who walked with Jesus and whose writing is inspired by the Holy Spirit says Sodom was destroyed for sexual immorality and perversion. I will take the Holy Spirits analysis of the text over yours, clarflourish, any day. The simple fact is you are wrong and no matter how many times your repeat your error it will not become right. The Holy Spirit Himself rejects your simplification of the destruction of Sodom.
Actually, I don’t have a problem with homosexuals forming a loving relationships–as long as that doesn’t mean sexual contact outside of a marriage between a man and a women. When it is, it’s not love, it’s lust.
Yes, a good distinction and what I mean by saying homosexual acts are disordered.
Thanks. In many ways, the use of “loving” as an obscuring euphemism among defenders of homosexual acts reminds me of pro-abortionist’s euphemisms like “choice”. While there are few pro-abortionists who will point-blank tell you, “Yeah, it’s a human. Yeah, we are killing it. So what?” Most avoid bringing an image of the concrete act of taking forceps and ripping a baby to shreds because they know most sympathy for their position goes out the door when they do. Likewise, while you will occasionally run into a homosexual man who will tell you straight. “Yes, I engage in anal and oral sex with other men”, most cover this under a euphemism of “loving relationship” like they just adopted a kitten from the SPCA and who could be against that because it’s so cute?
Good point. I have loving relationships with many people, most especially my husband. However only my husband enjoys a sexually loving relationship with me. Therein lies the difference.
Clareflourish my dear,
You love sin sooooo much, this darkness called sin has become your light!
Where is your moral line drawn? Mine is drawn under the fidelity of one man/one woman, and if single, chaste. That’s the bar.
You are soooo wrong about society accepting homosexuality – it is being shoved down our throats and there is NOTHING anyone can do about it, since, like abortion, it has become a political issue instead of a moral one.
I condemn no one, but I do follow the tenets of the Catholic Church, which says that homosexuality is wrong, and I will do everything in my power to keep my kids out from the under the influence of gays, in any sphere.
This Faith, and the good monsignor, whom you are attacking, will be first in line to protect you when gays fall out of political favor – for lack of a better term – so you will be free to go on being perverse. Let’s just call it what it is, okay?
If I was gay and even remotely tempted to act on it, I would crawl under a rock for the rest of my days, it’s that sick.
I will not deny the variability of luirigtcal orientation in either late antique pre-Constantinian Christianity or the early centuries of the institutional Church. Recent archaeological research into secular and sectarian symposia/triclinia could support or refute the versus populum celebration style. Nevertheless, archaeology alone cannot support or refute the (re?)introduction of versus populum celebration into postmodern Catholicism. Even the discovery of a fresco or relief of a presbyter standing at a freestanding altar would not necessarily resolve the question of versus pop for 21st century luirigtcal Christians. An equivocation between late antique archaeological findings and anthropological theories of either antique association banquet behavior or the eucharistic liturgies of pre-Constantinian ἐκκλησίαι (assemblies) sets false expectations that versus pop as practiced today is the real patristic manner of eucharistic sacrifice. A quantum leap from late antique anthropological research to 20th and 21st luirigtcal Christianity overlooks the many centuries of Eucharistic evolution in the West. This evolution includes a gradual but steady displacement of Roman basilica-arrangements in favor of ad apsidem celebration. This historic evolution cannot be discarded in favor of patristic era conjecture.
God didn’t create you gay any more than he created Jeffrey Dahmer a cannibal. You have a “glitch” – something is wrong in your hard-wiring; something that tells you its okay to do things with your private parts that is unacceptable to society and humankind. It’s disordered.
You know deep in your heart that your lifestyle is disordered and disturbing. Pray that you will be enlightened. Ask the HOLY SPIRIT to open your heart and mind to the Grace of GOD. Ask for the spiritual gift not this ‘gift’ you claim GOD gave you. You are meant to be a holy person, a child of GOD and believe me this lifestyle you have chosen will not make you holy. It is the act that makes you unholy. The government is legalizing your acts but it does not mean it is moral and right. Have mercy on all of us, let YOUR Love, oh GOD be our path.
clareflourish and others, I lived as a very out and proud member of the gay community for almost 25 years, completely rejecting everything I’d ever learned or known about God and His commandments. Then 3 years ago I allowed my heart to open to God’s voice and by His grace I unclenched my mind to accept the beauty of God’s commandments. God created me and every other human in a particular way, towards a particular purpose. Logical and dispassionate analysis showed me God’s Truth. By the grace and loving goodness of God, I have been celibate since that realization. Perhaps my words will only incite anger today, but maybe God can use them to show you hope down the road.
God Bless you Michelle. I pray all individuals inflicted with same-sex attraction may embrace the true cross of sacrificial love as you have done. See in you in Heaven my sister 🙂
To those who claim are attempting to relate homosexuality and pedophilia: where are you getting your information? The two things are entirely separate. Are homosexuals sometimes also pedophiles? Yes. So are heterosexuals. Pedophilia is a totally separate disorder.
Msgr., thank you for this post. It is quite clear, I think even without the extra explaination, that the scripture is fairly clear on the issues at play in Sodom. I think it is important that Catholics, and all Christians, have a firm understanding of this scriptural basis for our doctrinal teaching. I think it is also important that those who use scripture to vilify homosexuals (a.k.a people with same-sex attraction), understand the teachings of the Church on homosexuality, primarily that homosexuals should be treated with live and equality. It is homosexual acts that are sinful, not the person. God does not create abominations, men create abominable acts. As a bisexual who is in a chaste relationship with a wonderful and beautiful woman whom I plan on marrying, it make me sad to see hatred for people like me over something I/we can’t control, when it is not me/us who are the sin but rather our actions if we choose to engage in them.
Over 60% of the 3000 cases of abuse in the Church are between a priest and a post-pubescent male. It is one thing to say that we shouldn’t regard all homosexuals as pedophiles, but neither should we say they have nothing to do with it whatsoever.
Thanks for pointing that out!
I had Aaron’s same question. It has never made sense to me that homosexual acts weren’t one of the principal sins being railed against, but at the same time, wouldn’t offering his daughters to, literally, a mob make him one of those people who needed to be punished? The horrors that would have happened to those girls if the crowd had taken him up on it…
Yes, I’m sorry neglected to answer Aaron’s question. I think it is clear that Lot’s proposed solution to the wickedness is itself a wicked solution. Some argue that it is a literary device meant to illustrate how truly detestable the wickedness is in Sodom. Maybe, maybe not. But it is clear Lot’s solution is a wicked one And the angels overrule him pulling him back into the house and telling him that the only valid choice, is to get out of Sodom and to no longer make compromises with a city that is doomed.
Thank you, Monsignor, for the helpful article! Good catechesis about the Scriptures is badly needed now. It seems to me that it is ludicrous to say that a city deserves to be utterly destroyed by torrents of fire for a possible breach of hospitality, but that the entire city converging to commit violent gang-rape and sodomy is A-OK. There comes a point where one just has to accept the obvious.
I wanted to briefly address the question about why Lot offered his daughters. I was wondering about this too, and when I looked it up in Haydock I think it said that Lot did this because he was frightened, but also and more importantly because he knew that the crowd had no sexual interest in his daughters and wouldn’t rape them.
good answer, Emily. I think it can almost be equated to King Solomon ordering a baby sliced in two to be shared between the two contesting “mothers,” knowing that the final order would never really be allowed. Of course, Lot hadn’t near the wisdom of Solomon, but making an unconscionable case to reveal true evil or deceit is often mistaken for another sin.
We can not turn a blind eye to the Scriptures as written in Ezekiel 16: 49 – “Now look at the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were proud, sated with food, complacent in prosperity. They did not give any help to the poor and needy.”
I suppose you know that I quoted and commented on that very passage in the article? I don’t suppose you read the post? Perhaps you’re just posting an automatic talking point. I dunno what is it?
I found the direct quote from Haydock about Lot’s offering of his daughters here:
“Ver. 8. Known man. They [Lot’s daughters] were neglected, while men were inflamed with desires of each other. See Romans i. (Haydock) — Abuse. Lot tries by every means to divert them from their purpose; being well assured, that they would have nothing to do with his daughters, who were promised to some of the inhabitants. He endeavours to gain time, hoping perhaps that his guests would escape by some back way, while he is talking to the people. (Haydock) —Some allow that, under so great a perturbation of mind, he consented to an action which could never be allowed, though it was a less evil. (Menochius)
It’s good to consult sources, but there is a lot more reliable information about Scriptural exegesis available from 20th century scholarship. Haydock’s interpretation doesn’t really hold together: How could Lot have promised his daughters to some of the inhabitants, when “all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house” were participating in the homosexuality?
Dear Msgr. Charles Pope,
Thank you very much for a a beautiful blog post which expounds the truth of of the Catholic Church. I struggle with Same Sex Attractions and I am proud to see out priests and clergy stand up for the TRUTH of God’s LOVE. I applaud your work. Please post more articles on the topic of SSA. God bless you!
Be encouraged my brother – your reward will be great in Heaven 🙂
I claim that one vote per citizen has an unrecognized philosophical claim supporting it: that the individual is the fundamental cell of society. The Catechism of the Catholic Church correctly teaches that the family is the fundamental cell of society. Therefore, as the family is the fundamental cell of society, only families should be allowed to vote, one vote per family–and families with at least three kids, at that. I call for an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to correct the current faulty voting system.
The blinding of the men of Sodom always makes me recall the blinding of St. Paul and vice versa. Not that I think that St. Paul was homosexual, but that as the men of Sodom threatened to do worse to Lot, so Saul intended to do worse to the early Christians.
People sometimes say that Jesus never mention homosexuality. He does in the sense that He says that if the miracles He performed had been performed in Sodom that they would have reformed or something to that effect.
But He’s very clear about Marriage! That is often forgotten by proponents of abomination 🙁
Msgr. Pope, you are a gift for the church and to all of us faithful. God knows how to choose them. I try to read your blog everyday. Thank you for your courage. May God bless you always!
Msgr, I wonder if perhaps the specific, or predominant, sin is as important to the story as the existence of sin itself. Please understand I am not trying to justify the “hospitality” argument because I think it is weak from any perspective. My concern is in identifying a “mother of all sins” (homosexuality) rather than the destructive nature of sin itself. I was recently asked if the Lord judged S & G strictly because of “that one sin” rather than a multitude of sins by which the cities themselves had simply reached a point of hopelessness.
As always, I thoroughly enjoy your writings. You clarify so well.
Maybe Saint Catherine of Siena can clarify; a religious mystic of the 14th century, relays words of Our Lord Jesus Christ about the vice against nature, which contaminated part of the clergy in her time. Referring to sacred ministers, He says: “They not only fail from resisting this frailty [of fallen human nature] … but do even worse as they commit the cursed sin against nature. Like the blind and stupid, having dimmed the light of their understanding, they do not recognize the disease and misery in which they find themselves. For this not only causes Me nausea, but displeases even the demons themselves, whom these miserable creatures have chosen as their lords. For Me, this sin against nature is so abominable that, for it alone, five cities were submersed, by virtue of the judgment of My Divine Justice, which could no longer bear them…. It is disagreeable to the demons, not because evil displeases them and they find pleasure in good, but because their nature is angelic and thus is repulsed upon seeing such an enormous sin being committed. It is true that it is the demon who hits the sinner with the poisoned arrow of lust, but when a man carries out such a sinful act, the demon leaves.” (St. Catherine of Siena, El diálogo, in Obras de Santa Catarina de Siena (Madrid: BAC, 1991), p. 292)
If the demons themselves cannot bear it – I would say it is the most grave sin in existence. That is why it is so pernicious 🙁
Thank you for your courage in writing and talking about this, given that you will receive a lot of hate mail. After two years, I still have not contacted the author of a novel who quotes this passage as proof that Sodom was destroyed for the sin of inhospitality. She also quotes other passages (Paul’s letters to Corinth) and makes claim that if you take one rule from Leviticus, that you have to follow all rules (ritual cleansing, etc.). Sigh. I am a wimp, praying for courage.
God bless you and protect you.
If Lot was the most upstanding man around, this says a lot about S&G. Lot also went on to get drunk and have sex with his daughters. Pretty creepy. Pretty far from the goodness of God, and the light of truth.
Whenever I read on this subject I reflect upon the dangers that surround us in our current culture. What is threatening my life, my family, my sons, and my husband? There may not be roving groups of gang rapists, but there is certainly indifference toward the poor, and shocking obesity rates. Who is more poor than the “unwanted” children conceived from sexual licentiousness?
Sodom and Gomorrah may seem far from home, but let’s not forget how close to home it really is. I’m not really sure if I agree with it, but St. Thomas Aquinas believed *masturbation* to be a worse crime than a sexually disordered act between two people of the same sex.
With the Tsunami of internet porn flooding the households of nice, quiet, suburban United States, it is so much “safer” to look elsewhere for soul-deforming sin. In S&G, they do have the excuse of never having heard the Good News.
How many times have I had semi heated internet exchanges with those whom like to think of themselves as upstanding Christians but who finally admit to indulging in this dirty little secret. The tip-off is always their transference of guilt, and the “safety” they feel by focusing on the wrongdoing of sinners who are tempted to different sins than them.
Yeah, Lot is a creepy guy. Abrahams covering for him is strange especially given all the trouble Lot created for him. Not sure I follow all you moral equivalency or your reference to Thomas. Masturbation, to be sure is a sin, as are some of the other things you mention. Of course solitary self abuse especially if unconnected to pornography has less immediate social consequence that fornication, adultery or homosexual acts, all of which seduce and involve others in sin. Thus, equivalencies as you seem to set them forth may not be wholly appropriate here. As for the sins of injustice, they are mentioned in the article and have been dealt with here elsewhere on the blog. Saying that there are other sins in the world does not exclude the sinfulness of the matter currently under discussion.
Thank you for answering. I’m sorry if I’m somewhat off topic. I realize that homosexuality continues to be mainstreamed. I appreciate you speaking the truth honestly. I would really appreciate it if you would comment on what T.Aquinas wrote (what I referred to above). I was not disagreeing with your article in any way. I was simply adding a layer, and reflecting on what is far more pervasive than SSA and acts of homosexuality. I am not afraid of roving homosexual mobs, and nobody in my family suffers from SSA, but I lose sleep over some of the statistics I’m reading on *churchgoing* Catholic men, and this addiction. I was startled when a friend, who suffered from this addiction told me that priests had made light of the problem of self abuse for years. When I quoted the St. T A passage to my older sons they were shocked and then scoffed. They couldn’t imagine something as disordered as homosexuality being compared in any way with the sins of heterosexual men.
I don’t think T. Aquinas wrote what you said, but not having encyclopedic recall I may stand corrected. Do you have the citation from the Summa?
All of II-II.154 is about the species of lust. I’m pretty sure St. Thomas includes masturbation in the “unnatural vice” which he describes as follows:
“I answer that, In every genus, worst of all is the corruption of the principle on which the rest depend. Now the principles of reason are those things that are according to nature, because reason presupposes things as determined by nature, before disposing of other things according as it is fitting. This may be observed both in speculative and in practical matters. Wherefore just as in speculative matters the most grievous and shameful error is that which is about things the knowledge of which is naturally bestowed on man, so in matters of action it is most grave and shameful to act against things as determined by nature. Therefore, since by the unnatural vices man transgresses that which has been determined by nature with regard to the use of venereal actions, it follows that in this matter this sin is gravest of all. After it comes incest, which, as stated above (Article 9), is contrary to the natural respect which we owe persons related to us.” (II-II 154.12)
There is a better summary of St. Thomas’ review on lust. I’ll find it later and post it…
In doing research on this, I got more than I bargained for. (the argument about rape was disturbing…)
While I found the passage I was referring to in a blog, I was disappointed that they didn’t have the proper citation:
“wherefore among sins against nature, the lowest place belongs to the sin of uncleanness, which consists in the mere omission of copulation with another.”
I suppose it is the highest form of self-love? Also, the act is not life-giving, which means death-bringing. The sin of masturbation is in the Bible where Onan refuses to give offspring to his dead brother – and God kills him for it. Genesis 38:8-10. Imagine if God was still doing that. If we think about it, the sins of society today make S&G-ites look like righteous men. I’m not looking forward to the day of the Lord’s Justice, but in a way I am, for this battle is exhausting and confusing – the world is literally topsy turvy these days. For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
You’re right Monsignor, Aquinas never said this. If anything, he appeared to believe that one of the main problems with masturbation is that it may lead to other more serious unnatural vices, including sodomy and bestiality. There’s a discussion of this in Timothy Renick’s book, Aquinas for Armchair Theologians.
Actually I have yet to meet anyone who defended the faith claim that they were not sinners. If someone were to say, “Well, your homosexual acts are sinful, but my fornication isn’t.” Then you would have a point. What is staring us all in the face however is that there is societal onslaught to coerce people into giving full-throated approval to homosexual acts. If I say, “Sex outside of marriage is sin” well, I might not get invited to many parties, but I probably won’t suffer anything worse. If however I say homosexual acts are sinful–well, we’ve already had a foretaste of what is going to happen: we’ve seen people fired from jobs, parents denied the ability to opt their child out of a school program teaching that same-sex marriage is good and normal, amazingly we saw one high school student threatened with expulsion and berated for hours on end for writing a “con” side to a pro/con school newspaper article on same-sex marriage that he was asked to write, and finally one woman had to flee the country with her daughter because she converted to Christianity and appropriately told creepy ex-lesbian “spouse” with no biological connection to the daugher to hit the road, but the judge insanely awarded her custody.
The bigger the sin, the bigger the opposition to righteousness. The truer the Church, the more slanderous and backward the opposition. Welcome to the world we have created 🙁 We need to stand strong and live our faith boldly. In part, I feel we are responsible, because we have allowed our faith to be watered down, or have become blatant hypocrites, or we have been afraid to stand for the truth, and now we are suffering the consequences. We are martyrs, the slow kind. The road to hell is broad and easy. Take courage soldiers, and pick up your weapon (Rosary) daily! Satan hates it!!!
Dec 04, 2012. Archdiocese Website
RE: “The Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is not about “Hospitality” By: Mngr. Charles Pope.
The title itself is misleading, if not altogether erroneous. The sin was indeed about hospitality, so sacred and so respected a custom that Lot was willing to sacrifice his own daughters rather than violate the duty of hospitality. The men of Sodom committed a sin of idolatry betraying the Lord by abusing His avatars
(Monsignor Pope is in a better position than I to clarify how YHW occasionally identified with his messengers). A Note to the Book of Judges, 19; 23-24) confirms that “Not lust but the violation of the sacred duty of hospitality is considered the more serious.”
Monsignor Pope’s article responds to contemporary political pressure – “I got push-back from certain homosexuals” – within the context of Old Covenant Laws. Not one reference is made to the New Covenant. Jesus’ loving treatment of the people who perform “any number of things God considers especially detestable,” is far from the punishments described in Genesis, Leviticus, and Judges.
Would it not make sense to refer Genesis 19; 9 – “But as to the men, do nothing to them, for they have come under the shadow of my roof” – to our Eucharistic prayer, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…”? After all, the “men” Lot was talking about were there in the name of God.
Thank you, Gonzalo T. Palacios.
Last time I checked, st jude, one of the Apostles is firmly in the New Covenant. And I would trust St. Jude who walked with our Lord and heard his teachings daily, far more than Ganzalo. Your analysis remains fanciful, and is not confirmed to the full testimony of the Scriptures we reviewed. Further, Your reference to avatars does not advance your credibility or scriptural bona fides.
1) A Note to the Book of Judges, 19; 23-24 (Jerusalem Bible) confirms that “Not lust but the violation of the sacred duty of hospitality is considered the more serious.” 2) St. Jude may have walked with the Lord and learned his message, but it is clear from the passage Monsignor Pope uses in his article that St. Jude continued to adhere to the culture of the Old Covenant.3) “the full testimony of the Scriptures we reviewed” is basically limited to Monsignor Pope’s reading and personal interpretation of selected passages in Genesis; I repeat, “Not one reference is made to the New Covenant;” 4) How exactly does the use of the word “avatar” diminish my “credibility or scriptural bona fides”? Finally, again, thank you for your comments to an analysis that “remains fanciful.” Monsignor Pope is the pro, the expert: please explain the reason to use “fanciful”. Gonzalo T. Palacios.
Not Jude, the Holy Spirit. You are very lost in your flawed Biblical theology that you would allow a footnote from some modern biblical scholar about passage not even the same as Gen 19 to trump God the Holy Spirit. You are far from the Kingdom of God .
Your use of the word “avatar” does sound like you’re into cartoons, new age nonsense, eastern religions, voodoo, etc.
You stated: ‘St. Jude may have walked with the Lord and learned his message, but …..St. Jude continued to adhere to culture of the Old Covenant.’
Guess what nutty? St. Jude was one of the writers for the New Testament, and St. Jude recognize that a sin is a sin is a sin. Moral law is Eternal, don’t matter BABY if its in the Old or the New Testament! You could put your own CLOWN spin on anything and it would not change the truth! People educated in Theology could recognize your silliness! Now the MTV Generation and the Generation Porno wil probably be con by your lame statements but NORMAL PEOPLE will still recognize the Natural Law. Why do you think that homosexual act is not condemn in the New Testament? I am really puzzle by this? I guess you pick and choose what you want to read.
Again, St. Paul wrote about the sin of homosexuality in the NEW TESTAMENT, So WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM????
You open your mouth and nonsense and lies comes out???
People still read the Bible you know. Just because you repeat your lies over and over again it doesn’t make it the truth. So is that your lame game plan???? Oh, please!!!!
A man whose heart is right with God would pray for one he thought was, “far from the Kingdom of God.” Not push him further away by announcing such thoughts. Aside from the prurient sanctimony, I detect a whiff of bully in you.
Honest, convicting admonition might help someone to wake up if they have any respect for our Apostolic leaders, who, by the way, are human, and whom, I’m certain, pray ceaselessly for our deceived brothers, and in that task, endeavour to maintain rightness with God so that he may not be a hypocrite and ineffect in his ministry. He knows who his enemy is. Do you?
Did anyone ever notice that liberals who attack the Church never do so on things like the Trinity, the Incarnation, the sacraments, the plausibility of miracles, the Immaculate Conception, the virgin birth, and so on? They always jump right to the sex. They literally have one cause on the brain. You cannot even respect such a debauched opponent. It’s terribly sad.
May I suggest you read Judges 19?
The story of how strangers in a town were treated by the locals? Where one was raped to death?
Ezekiel 16:49 seems pretty clear too.
“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”
yes, the Ezekiel text is covered in my article. Did you read it? You of course have stopped short of quoting the full line reflection of Ezekiel which I comment on and you ignore (i.e. Sodom’s abominations). Further, the text from Jude is a direct commentary by the Holy Spirit Himself on the sin of Sodom with no ambiguity at all. The mater is really quite clear and I’ll trust Jude inspired by the Holy Spirit over Zoe any day.
Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” “Get out of our way,” they replied. And they said, “This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.”
The sentence I have bolded always intrigued me and based on my research it seems to me that Lot is taunting them – and his listeners understood this – when he offers them his daughters. After all, when homosexual men are offered women they really are not interested are they? So there is, I believe, a bit of Jewish humor in this passage.
Oh. My comment vanished. I wonder why.
I would like your answer about Jesus. Jesus sends out human rather than angelic messengers and says to them if they are not received with hospitality they should shake the dust from their shoes. “I tell you it will be worse for that town at the final judgment than for Sodom and Gomorrah”. Clearly, Jesus thinks it is a Hospitality issue: unless you say he thinks failure of hospitality is worse than gang rape.
I see no apparent connection here. And, if you read my article, you would note that I do not wholly exclude ANY reference to “hospitality” or other sins for that matter. It is just clear that the central matter in question is “sexual immorality and perversion” as God’s own word makes clear in the Jude 7 text. Your arguments are threadbare and fanciful.
As for your other comment which makes judgments of me, it is deleted. But again, you only seem to read parts of things. The comment you reference was permitted in order to be addressed, You may have noted I raised concerns about the comment and asked for evidence. I remain concerned that the charge, without proper distinctions, is unfounded and that we ought not make claims as such without evidence.
I just want to make sure this is a typo or omission resulting from haste, and not what you intended: “…note that I do wholly exclude ANY reference to “hospitality” or other sins for that matter.” Did you mean “do NOT exclude”?
Yes, thanks for the catch.
The recent invention by activist, revisionist homosexuals that the sin of Sodom was “inhospitality” is simply brilliant, albeit evil, marketing, courtesy of Kirk and Madsen, two Madison Avenue marketing pros intent on selling perversion to the public at large. The strategy is sharp because it deflects from any condemnation of homosexuality itself in deference to “inhospitality” while, at the same time, turning and directing the condemnation at the supreme source of their condemnation, Scripture and the Church that proclaims it.
Now, any Bible-believing congregation that is not “welcoming” to homosexuals along with their behavior is considered “inhospitable,” the very sin for which that they say Sodom was destroyed.
It’s always informative when discoursing with homosexual activists who love to point out that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality (he never mentions a host of behaviors that we know as sin) that they are also unwilling to believe the things that Christ did explicitly say.
Satan is arrogant and prideful. But that doesn’t take away his supernatural intelligence in using the power of suggestion. It’s a scary world my brother. Lord, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Excellent, excellent article. Thank you, Msgr. Pope, for explaining this issue with such clarity and logic. I also found this resource helpful in dismantling the lies of same-sex “marriage.” http://www.tfpstudentaction.org/politically-incorrect/homosexuality/10-reasons-why-homosexual-marriage-is-harmful-and-must-be-opposed.html
Thank you for continuing to speak the truth. I am certain there are more people who, like me, struggle with SSA but could make an intellectual assent to the Church’s teaching…and then follow with an assent in their actions. I feel like I am a mythical and controversial piece in the discourse on SSA and homosexuality. Surely there are more ‘reformed’ people like myself out there..but there is so much that keeps us in our own closet– the stigma of SSA, the general idea that someone with SSA shouldn’t marry (the risk of marrying someone who struggles with SSA…think of the horror stories of men walking out marriages declaring themselves to have always been gay!), and the fact that we aren’t actively homosexual and just living our own happy lives with no time to contribute to the public square… but surely there are more of us. perhaps someone could edit a book with our stories 🙂
I think there are many different things (life experiences,abuse, philosophical groomings…etc) that contribute to SSA and then our ability to deal with SSA (encountering Catholic theology+, life habits that keep stoking the SSA fires-, the depth of our sins, the meeting of people who encourage us and support us in not acting on SSA etc) and form successful relationships that can lead to a heterosexual, sacramental marriage. In my case I think I was gifted with so much empathy for others, but with secular lines so blurred, it was difficult to draw a line between brotherly love and compassion and sexual/carnal love…but researching the position of the Catholic Church is what pulled me out of that former thinking. In my past I felt I could love anyone, regardless of gender…with this type of SSA it was much easier for me to just close one door…learning that sex belongs in marriage. I’m happier than I ever imagined was possible. The pro-homosexual movement wants to ask why you can only love people of the opposite gender….I want to tell them that I used to ask the same question– but the answer is that we can love everyone as Christ calls us to. That means that we should (when we are healthy) be able to love those of the opposite gender. When we find ourselves abhorred by the opposite sex we shouldn’t just stop and accept that we are homosexual….we should seek to learn, to grow, to be able to reach the place where we *can* love the opposite sex…. There must be other people like me out here 🙂
There are many like you out there! And I think you are all AWESOME and so brave and definitely will be a saint, because your struggle goes to the very deepest core of a human being, and with God’s help, your are WINNING. God bless you for having embraced the cross of true sacrificial love. ^_^ You give me hope. May many follow your path.
According to news reports, the chapel at West Point recently witnessed its first same-sex marriage ceremony.
Now chapels on U.S. military installations are used by all religious faiths — even so-called Earth-based religions. And yet Catholics service members attend Mass in them.
My question is kind of hard to ask, but crudely put does the Church require its priests to perform a kind of a purification of a building used for inter-religious purposes as well as the sacrifice of the Mass? Come to think of it, does the Church require that our own churches be periodically purified or blessed so as to keep bad influences away? Seems to me that sprinkling a bit of holy water on the West Point chapel wouldn’t be a bad idea. Ditto for my own parish.
No, not to my knowledge. If there is a crime such as murder committed in a Catholic Church it must be reconsecrated. But interfaith Chapels are not consecrated.
Thank God for that, it would be a sin against the First Commandment for a Catholic priest or bishop to consecrate such a temple of the Pantheon.
At West Point there is Most Holy Trinity, a Catholic only chapel. There is also a separate Jewish chapel.
Msgr., thank you for speaking the truth, and for shining a light unto the darkness. May God bless you, and may you have a wonderful Christmas season.
The Apostle Peter also makes the unambiguous meaning of Sodom’s sin plain in 2 Peter 2:6-9, but is completely dismissed and overlooked by homosexual apologist:
It cannot be “inhospitality” that Lot witnessed and was vexed by “day to day,” but sexual wickedness.
Good observation, Keith! I posted your verse near the top.
God keeps His Word to Abraham about saving the righteous: He saves Lot and his family. Lot’s wife dies, though, just like how some of the Israelites died in the desert from seraph bites. I guess it’s foreshadowing.
Also: some atheists wickedly add verses to the account of Lot to make God appear evil. They add the verse “Lot took his daughter and threw her outside, and the men raped her to death until morning” to the account.
Whoa. May God have mercy on them. That is the most horrible thing I have ever heard in so many ways.
Let’s not all forget about the sin of onanism. For, according to that bronze age tome of myths, God struck Onan just as dead as anyone in Sodom or Gomorrah!
Of course some “liberals” try and play that off as though God was peeved at Onan for shirking his duty to family. But that’s an explanation I’m sure the good Monseigneur can just as easily toss off as he did that “hospitality” nonsense!
The desperateness of those in sin to shroud it by deliberately distorting the word of God. Such people are surely possessed. Pray for their delivery, I would rather see them redeemed in Heaven than suffering eternal flame to the despair of Heaven and the joy of hell 🙁
Jesus was clear as to what he believed was the reason for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
[Jesus continued]”…Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”
Jesus is quite clear that he believes that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because they were inhospitable. That is irrefutable.
God was pretty clear too:
As I live, says the Lord God, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it.
Note: abominable things is the translation of a Hebrew word that means “worship of idols and false gods.”
Why do you publish these lies?
I am a theologian and seminarian who is studying Bible Hermeneutics. My MAR speciality was systematic theology.
There are at least a dozen Old Testament texts that refer to Sodom and not one of them suggests that the evil of Sodom had anything whatsoever to do with homosexuality. You are going against the words of God, the words of Jesus, and the words of the Prophets (which is, of course, the words of the Holy Spirit).
Why do you fight so hard against the truth?
When Scripture refers to the grave evils in Sodom and Gomorrah, what does it mean: homosexuality, rape, or inhospitality?
At one end of the discussion, people say that it means homosexuality – and has nothing to do with issues of hospitality. At the opposite extreme, other people assert that references to Sodom are about inhospitality, and have nothing to do with homosexuality. The answer is not readily available in Genesis 19, which refers to both.
Isaiah 1:9-17 says that except for a remnant, the people of Israel have become as evil as Sodom and Gomorrah. The passage goes on to call for repentance, for a deep reform. Isaiah calls for true worship, which means a life of justice, and particularly care for widows and orphans – but without an explicit reference to “strangers.” The concern for justice and for the poor may be read as a hint that Isaiah links Sodom to issues of justice and hospitality. This is plausible but not clear.
Isaiah 3:9 may refer to homosexuality. It says: “Their very look bears witness against them; they boast of their sin like Sodom.” What is about their appearance that raises an issue? It is plausible that this refers to homosexuality, to an effeminate appearance; it is not clear.
Jeremiah 23:14 refers to Sodom and Gomorrah, but the reference is to people who do evil and deserve punishment, without making clear exactly what the problem was in Sodom. Jeremiah makes the comparison when he sees: adultery, deception, injustice, and a lack of repentance.
Ezekiel 16: 49 describes the evil of Sodom: “Now look at the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were proud, sated with food, complacent in prosperity. They did not give any help to the poor and needy.” This makes it seem clear that the sin of Sodom was inhospitality. But then verse 50 continues: “Instead, they became arrogant and committed abominations before me; then, as you have seen, I removed them.” What is this “abomination”? Rape? Homosexuality? Homosexual rape? You can’t read Ezekiel and overlook the issue of hospitality; but there is more, and it is unclear what else Ezekiel means.
Ezekiel 18: 10-13 describes “abominations.” He describes a son who commits a list of evils, including that he “is violent . . . commits murder . . . eats on the mountains, defiles the wife of his neighbor, oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not give back a pledge, raises his eyes to idols, does abominable things, lends at interest and exacts usury.” Ezekiel concludes that because the son “practiced all these abominations,” he deserves to die. Both sexual sins and sins against justice are in the list which Ezekiel calls “abominations.” The “abominable things” included in the list of abominations is not any more specific than “abominations.” Neither inhospitality nor homosexuality is included explicitly.
Ezekiel 33:26 also speaks of “abominations,” but does not clarify the word at all. “You rely on your swords, you commit abominations, each defiles his neighbor’s wife—yet you would keep possession of the land?”
The Synoptic Gospels refer to Sodom and Gomorrah. Matthew 10:14-15 and Luke 10:10-12 and Mark 6:11 are about instructions to disciples who are visiting towns to preach. Jesus says that they be received inhospitably; if so, shake off the dust and leave. Then Jesus says that on the day of judgment, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. That is a strong suggestion that Jesus linked Sodom to issues of hospitality.
Two of Paul’s letters – his first letter to the Corinthians 1 Cor 6:9) and his first letter to Timothy (1 Tim 1:10) – refer to homosexuality, and the word that Paul used is sometimes translated “sodomy.” That is the English word, not the Greek. The Greek word has no reference to Sodom. Paul certainly condemned homosexuality; but there is no evidence that he linked it to Sodom, despite the word choice in an English translation.
2 Peter 2:6-10 unmistakably links Sodom and Gomorrah to homosexuality, without any reference to issues of hospitality. He says that God “condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah [to destruction], reducing them to ashes . . . he rescued Lot, a righteous man oppressed by the licentious conduct of unprincipled people.”
Similarly, Jude 1:7 unmistakably links Sodom to homosexuality without any reference to hospitality. “Likewise, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding towns, which . . . indulged in sexual promiscuity and practiced unnatural vice, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”
There are other passages mentioning Sodom (a total of 39 in the Old Testament, and 10 in the New Testament), but in the passages I have not mentioned here, Sodom is used only as a generalized curse: something has been or should be or will be destroyed completely – like Sodom.
Does Scripture refer to the events at Sodom and Gomorrah in such a way that it is clear whether the grave evil there was just inhospitality, or just homosexuality? It does not. There are some passages linking Sodom to hospitality: maybe Isaiah, Ezekiel, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. There are also passages linking Sodom to homosexuality: maybe Isaiah, maybe Jeremiah, maybe Ezekiel, Peter, and Jude.
Note a few simple facts and memorize them next time a pro-homosexual advocate brings up Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin of “inhospitality.”
1. Lot knew exactly what they were planning and called it “evil,” literally begging the Sodomites not to do it. Do what? Be inhospitable? No, be homosexuals wholly given over to uncontrollable, perverse lust.
2.The men of Sodom were so taken with the idea of raping the two visitors that they not only rejected Lot’s awful, panicked offer of his own daughters to satisfy their lust but when he resisted further they threatened to do the same and worse to Lot himself. When you see a homosexual accuse a Bible believer of being a closet homosexual, you are catching a fleeting glimpse of the same spirit of the men of Sodom.
3. Note well that EVERY MAN IN TOWN, young men and old men, eagerly turned out to participate in the rape, akin to what happened in Judges 19:16-24.
Homosexuality is a form of idolatry, the idol being self. The god of Self does not like to be told “no” and when it has enough power to enforce its will, will not take “no” for an answer. ANY HOMOSEXUAL who is fully given over to it and is in a position of power WILL engage in homosexual rape, either of boys or other men. That is also why NO HOMOSEXUAL should be trusted to be near children while unsupervised.
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