Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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What does Your Grace think of the Anglican Church's downward spiral regarding homosexual issues such as blessing same-sex (homosexual) marriages,electing homosexual bishops and appointing Archbishops who do not object to gay priests. Is this something we should worry about?

I do not think another church's acceptance of homosexuality should greatly concern us. It is not a new issue in Church's history; but rather has been existent almost since the time of man. Rather, I believe, we should examine the Coptic Church's steadfast beliefs regarding homosexuality.

The Coptic Orthodox Church regards homosexuality as an abominable sin condemned by God in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament homosexuality was an offense punishable with death, "If a man lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination, they shall surely be put to death, their blood shall by upon them" (Leviticus 20:13).

"No effeminate nor abusers of themselves with mankind shall inherit the Kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

In seeking Eternal Life one who practices such a lifestyle must repent and ask for forgiveness of this sin. Past behaviors must not be practiced and happiness in a life with the Lord Jesus Christ sought.

The early church fathers firmly spoke out against homosexuality:
St. Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD) condemned homosexual practices. He felt sympathy for those youth held captive for the perverted pleasures of the wealthy; as such was the custom during his day. Homosexuality was, then as now, considered a sin against God and also nature. It was viewed as degenerative and termed "a social disorder" of exploitation of the same sex.

St. Athanasius (296-373 AD) studied behavior which became controlled by unreasonable passion and pleasures. He found those who could not perceive life without these untoward passions fashioned the divine in the image of their own wickedness and used this false image of God as a means to devote themselves to their passions.

St. Augustine (354-430) said, "As persons become involved in the great abomination of fornication or homosexuality, they cannot think or attend to anything else. That individual eventually becomes a captive of violence, lust, and carnality. He or she becomes enslaved to the body. This preoccupation drives out the proper reason for being or to function as the temple of God. When this temple is defiled by sin, it is abandoned by God, and mankind is left to his unworthy preoccupations."
Study of the Holy Bible, study of the early church fathers and church history, delineate without any doubt that homosexual practices should not be accepted nor promoted within any church.

The spread of homosexuality in another denomination should make us more steadfast within your own Biblically based and apostolic church. We need to thank God daily for blessing us with the Coptic Church; steadfast and strong in faith for more than 2000 years.
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