Wednesday, October 03, 2018

"You Shall Not Commit Pederasty" ~ Straight from the Didache, A Catechism from the Apostolic Age

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With Holy Mother Church embroiled in a very public cycle of moral corruption, abuse, cover-up, discord, and hypocrisy, it is worth reflecting on the teaching of the ancient Church when it comes to those issues which some modern prelates seem hell-bent on changing. Specifically, I’m talking about moral teachings on sexuality which are at the core of the current crisis.

One doesn’t have to delve too deeply into Sacred Scripture and Patristic literature to discover unequivocal statements on the matter. They are present in the Gospels (here and here, for example), they abound in the Letters of Saint Paul (here, here, and here, for example). They are also present in the works of the early Fathers of the Church. Perhaps the most clear example may be found in the Didache: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles.

The Didache is an ancient Christian catechism which was most likely written during the Apostolic Age—that is, during the time when some of the Apostles were still alive. This brief document offers a litany of serious sins which includes the following:
“You shall not commit adultery. 
You shall not commit pederasty.
You shall not commit fornication.” 
For the record, fornication is any sex act outside of marriage. And, in this confused age, it is sadly necessary to point out that Jesus Himself defined marriage as a man and a woman becoming one flesh, and is an institution ordained by God. (See Mark 10:6-9). The Didache goes on to say:
“My child, be not a lustful one; for lust leads the way to fornication. Neither a filthy talker, nor of lofty eye; for out of all these adulteries are engendered.” 
As an aside, the Didache also contains strong censures of abortion and infanticide.

This is the behavior that is expected of Christians and it is in complete agreement with the teachings found in Sacred Scripture. Anyone who says otherwise is not transmitting the true Faith as taught by the Apostles. Churchmen who can not or will not uphold and teach these things are, therefore, failing in their mission, ordained by Christ, to help make sinners holy and are instead keeping them chained to their sins. As Blessed Bishop Oscar Romero said: “A preaching that makes sinners feel good, so that they can become entrenched in their sinful state, betrays the Gospel’s call.” (Source)

I recommend reading the entire Didache which may be found here. It is a fascinating ancient document, and Church Fathers such as Saint Athanasius the Great recommended it as a work which was: “appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish for instruction in the word of goodness.” (source)