August 26, 2003
BOSTON, MA (USA) 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
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: "
able o teach
" (1 Tim
3:2). Consequently, we disapprove of and condemn the
ordination of homosexual clergy, active or not.
These movements not only contradict Biblical
teachings, but also pose a serious threat to the stability
of the family unit, the morals of society, the purity of
the Church, and the future of ecumenical unity. While we
condemn homosexuality, we invite those who are under this
sin to repent out of concern for their eternal life.
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.