Coptic Orthodox Church Formally Condemns Homosexuality, Ordination of Homosexuals and Same-Sex Marriages
COPTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH PRESS RELEASE - FOR RELEASE TO PRINT AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA
Boston, MA (USA). August 26, 2003 -- During the Annual Clergy convention the leaders of the Coptic Orthodox Church discussed recent issues related to homosexuality. The convention was presided by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. In attendance were twelve Bishops from North America, Egypt, Australia, Europe; and 180 priests from America, Canada, and Australia. The issues discussed included: the legalization of same-sex marriage, the ordination of a homosexual Bishop in the Episcopalian Church in New Hampshire, and the vote of the Uniting Church in Australia to allow the ordination of any homosexual clergy.
Based on the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, and teachings of the Old and New Testaments, the clergy strongly condemns such activities.
- Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke against homosexuality when He made reference to the abomination of Sodom and Gomorrah (Lk 10:12; Gen 19:24; Jude 7). Similarly, St. Paul warns, "Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators nor idolaters, no adulterers, or homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves will inherit the Kingdom of God" (1 Cor 6:9,10; See also Lev 18:22; Rom 1:26-32).
- Same-sex marriage is against the Divine Plan for marriage and its purpose of procreation. "But from the beginning of the creation, God 'made them male and female.' For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife" (Mk 10:6,7; See also Eph 5:31; Gen 1:27; Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6).
- Therefore, those who are ordained for church ministry must uphold the teachings of the Holy Bible. They should be: "blameless of good behavior able o teach" (1 Tim 3:2). Consequently, we disapprove of and condemn the ordination of homosexual clergy, active or not.
We applaud the courageous voices of those who oppose such activities both in and outside those churches and call on all churches to obey the Biblical teachings without compromise or change.