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‘This Vice Causes Death of Bodies
and Destruction of Souls’

St. Peter Damian (1007-1092) helped to place in motion the Gregorian Reform in the Church, which dealt with moral transgressions that were taking place at that time among the clergy. He wrote the Book of Gomorrah against the sin of sodomy and offered the work to Pope St. Leo IX, who praised it in glowing terms. It is considered the main work on the topic in Catholic teaching.

We transcribe here some of his words as an example of a quite different language than what is used today, employed by a great Saint to exterminate this detestable vice.

St. Peter Damian

“In fact, this vice cannot in any way be compared to any others, because its enormity supersedes them all. Indeed, this vice causes the death of bodies and the destruction of souls. It pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of reason, and expels the Holy Ghost from His temple in the heart of man, introducing in His stead the Devil who is the instigator of lust.

"It steers the soul into error, banishes all truth from the deceived soul, sets traps for those who fall into it, and then caps the well to prevent those who fall in from getting out. It opens the gates of Hell and closes the doors of Heaven to them, turns a former citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem into an heir of the infernal Babylon, transforming him from a heavenly star into a straw for the eternal fire. It wrenches a member from the Church and plunges him into the voracious flames of the fiery Gehenna.

“This vice strives to tear down the walls of the heavenly motherland and rebuild those of the ruined Sodom. Indeed, it violates temperance, kills purity, stifles chastity, and cuts the head of virginity – which is irrecoverable – with the sword of a most infamous union. It infects everything, stains everything, pollutes everything; leaving nothing pure, nothing but filth, nothing clean. ‘All things are clean to the clean,’ as the Apostle says, ‘but to them that are defiled, and to unbelievers, nothing is clean; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled (Tit 1:15).

“This vice expels one from the choir of the ecclesiastical host and forces one to join the ranks of the possessed and those who work in league with the Devil. It separates the soul from God and links it with the devils. This most pestiferous Sodomite queen makes those who obey her tyrannical laws repugnant to men and hateful to God, forcing them into a nefarious war against God and obliging them to enlist in the ranks of the perverse spirit.

"It [this sin] separates him from the company of angels and deprives the soul of its nobility, imposing on the unfortunate soul the yoke of its own domination. It tears its henchmen from the arms of virtues and leaves them exposed as prey to the arrows of all the vices. It leaves one to be humiliated in the Church, condemned at court, defiled in secret, and dishonored in public. It gnaws at the person’s conscience like a worm and burns his flesh like fire …

“The miserable flesh burns with the fire of lust, the cold intelligence trembles under the rancor of misgivings, and the unfortunate man’s heart is overwhelmed by hellish chaos, subjecting him to countless pains of conscience as he is tortured in punishment.

"Yes, as soon as this most venomous serpent plunges its fangs into the unfortunate soul, it is immediately deprived of its senses and memory, the edge of the intelligence is dulled, he forgets God and even himself."

Continued

St. Peter Damian, Liber gomorrhianus, cols. 175-7,
apud Atila S. Guimaraes,
Vatican II, Homosexuality and Pedophilia, TIA, 2004, pp. 295-296
Posted August 29, 2015