— Council of Vienne ♰♰♰

Sunday, February 23, 2020

St. Peter Damian rescued many from the vice of sodomy

Pope Leo IX praised Damien for teaching by example and not mere words, and concludes his letter with the beautiful hope that with the help of God, that when the monk reaches his heavenly abode, he can obtain his reward and be crowned: "together with all those who were snatched thanks to him, from the claws of the devil."

The editor of Catholic World Report interviewed Matthew Cullinan Hoffman in November 2015 about his translation of a  treatise against sodomy, pederasty, and clerical corruption penned nearly a thousand years ago by a great reformer and Doctor of the Church.
The book was written by the Benedictine monk, cardinal and doctor of the Church, Saint Pedro Damián (born in 1007 and died in 1072)
In the interview Matthew Cullinan Hoffman said:

 The Book of Gomorrah is a letter written to Pope St. Leo IX around the year 1049 in response to an epidemic of sodomy among the priests of Italy, which Peter Damian feared would bring down the wrath of God upon the Church. This plague of sexual perversion was part of a larger crisis of moral laxity in the priesthood, including widespread sexual incontinency and illicit marriages, the simoniacal purchasing of clerical ordination, and the prevalence of a worldly and carnal mentality among the clergy. The laity were outraged by such behavior and were even beginning to rebel against the Church hierarchy in some places, such as Florence and Milan. 
The Book of Gomorrah is an eloquent and impassioned denunciation of the vice of sodomy, describing in harrowing detail the devastating spiritual and psychological effects on those who practice it. Damian holds that sodomy is the worst of all sins because it does the greatest harm to the soul, and argues very persuasively that no priest who is habituated to such behavior should be permitted to continue in the priesthood. However, the work is not only a condemnation of evil, but also an outpouring of grief for those who have fallen into such immorality, urging them to “rise from the dead” and return to Christ, and promising them forgiveness and even spiritual glory if they repent and do penance. So the work expresses very profoundly both the justice and the mercy of God. 

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