The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church,
in his meeting of Wednesday morning 3rd of Sept. 2003 presided
by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, in Saint Anthony Church,
in the Papal Residence Anba Rewis Bldg., Cairo, after discussing
the actions of some Western Churches, trying to legalize
Homosexuality, Same-sex marriage, the ordination of homosexuals
in different pastoral degrees, and the process to ordain
a homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire,
U.S.A., consequently - in this special meeting - the Holy
Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church decided unanimously
the strong condemnation of these acts, that violate the
teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Scriptures:
Old and New Testaments. This complies with our responsibility
to witness for the truth of the Gospel.
1- Jesus Christ condemned homosexuality in
an explicit way, when He spoke about the devastation of
Sodom & Gomorrah (Lk 10:12). See also (Gen 19:24 - Jud
7). The Holy Bible warns also saying: "Do not be
deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,
nor homosexuals, nor Sodomites, nor thieves... will inherit
the Kingdom of God" (1 Cor 6:9,10). See also (Rom.
1:26-32), and what is mentioned in Old Testament: "If
a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth a woman, both of
them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be
put to death; their blood shall be upon them" (Lev
8:22 -Lev 20:13).
2- 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 (Mt 19:4-6; Eph 5:31, Gen 1:27, Gen 2:24).
3- Those who are ordained for Church ministry
must uphold the teachings of the Holy Bible. "The
bishop must be blameless... of good behavior.. able to teach"
(1Tim 3:2). Consequently, we disapprove and condemn strongly
the same - sex marriage generally, and the ordination of
homosexuals, which is more erroneous, and more dangerous.
The Holy Synod declares:
1- That these movements contradict the teachings
of the Holy Bible, and threaten the stability of natural
marriage, the nature of forming a family, the morals of
the society, the purity of the Church, the future of the
efforts towards Christian unity, and the Ecumenical movements.
2- Those who rely on the chains of human
rights to encourage homosexuality, neglect the fact that
it is not the right of any person to spoil himself or
the other. Real freedom does not ruin the human nature,
nor contradict with the Divine Commandments, morals, and
3- We applaud the courageous voices, in
and outside those Churches, which oppose Homosexuality,
Same - Sex Marriage, ordination of Homosexuals in pastoral
We call these Churches to obey the Biblical
Teachings without compromise or change. The members of
these Churches has no right to vote on the Biblical Divine
4- This abnormal conduct is a stumbling
block for other people, bad example and fame, and dangerous
for the future of these Churches themselves leading to
divisions and disintegration.
5- While we condemn homosexuality, we invite
those who are under this sin to repent out of concern
for their eternal life.
Our Holy Synod decided to publish this statement
on all possible Media inside and outside Egypt, and to send
it to all Ecumenical Councils, such as the World Council
of Churches, the Middle East Council of Churches, The Councils
of America, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Africa.