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In a show of contrition, Catholic dioceses begin long road of healing

Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama kneels to address the congregation at a Mass of Reparation and Prayer for Healing in Raleigh, N.C., on Sept. 25, 2018. Image courtesy of Diocese of Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (RNS) — In the end, it didn’t matter much what the bishop said during the Mass of Reparation and Prayer for Healing for victims of the sex abuse scandal.

His gesture said it all.

Standing in front of the altar Tuesday (Sept. 25) in Raleigh’s Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama took his violet zucchetto from his head and fell to his knees.

“I’d like all you who have been abused, who have been victims of this horrible crime, in the name of the church, I ask for forgiveness,” he said.

For the next 20 minutes, as he delivered his homily without notes in his heavily accented English — he is Colombian — Zarama was on his knees.

The Mass was one of many such healing services specifically tailored to address the clergy sex abuse crisis, which got new life last month after the Pennsylvania attorney general released the report on a two-year grand jury investigation into widespread sexual abuse and cover-up within six Catholic dioceses across that state.

The dioceses of Washington, D.C.; St. Louis; Seattle; St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Richmond, Va., are planning or have already held services focused on repentance and atonement.

In Washington — where Cardinal Donald Wuerl is facing allegations he improperly handled predator priests while serving in Pennsylvania — a “Season of Healing” is planned to extend for six weeks and beyond to “give voice to the pain and suffering of the survivors of clergy sexual abuse” and the church as a whole.

More than 30 priests participate in a Mass of Reparation and Prayer for Healing in Raleigh, N.C., on Sept. 25, 2018. Photo courtesy of Diocese of Raleigh

“For some of our parishes, it may be a Mass, while for others, it may be Holy Hour (Eucharistic adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament) or perhaps a recitation of the rosary,” said Chieko Noguchi, director of media relations for the Archdiocese of Washington, in an email. “Each pastor was provided with resources to supplement the efforts that are already taking place in our parishes.”

In Pennsylvania, bishops announced they would support a fund to compensate victims, essentially paying people who are barred from pursuing civil claims because the statute of limitations has expired.

But in most other places, rituals of healing have been the typical response.

The Rev. Gary Dowsey, priest at Our Lady of Lourdes in Dunedin, Fla., recounted his church’s Stations of the Cross service — a traditional way to recount the story of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion — designed to address the abuse crisis.

When performing the first station, which recalls Pontius Pilate condemning Jesus to death, Dowsey said those gathered participated in a prayer that reflected on the experience of abuse victims.

“For some people, abuse is a life sentence — something they have to carry for the rest of your life,” he said. “It’s like being condemned, losing your own dignity and worth. If people looked the other way, if people don’t believe you, you’ve been unjustly sentenced in a sense.”

The reaction from the congregation, he said, was “very, very positive,” and he said they may have to perform it several times.

“We realized those who have been abused, the road to recovery and resurrection and recovery can be as difficult as the road to the cross,” he said.

In Raleigh, the service was carefully scripted, with clarion bells, a full choir and a long litany of supplications with the refrain: “Out of the depths, I cry to you, O Lord.”

Zarama and his entourage of priests wore purple vestments, the color of penitence, typically worn during Lenten season.

Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama at a Mass of Reparation and Prayer for Healing in Raleigh, N.C., on Sept. 25, 2018. Photo courtesy of Diocese of Raleigh

“I am very sorry,” Zarama said. “My heart is crying because I would like to have a magic touch to be able to heal your wounds. But the only thing I have to offer to you is praying together.”

Later, he personally served Communion to hundreds of worshippers who had flocked to the Romanesque Revival cathedral, though many of the 2,000 seats remained vacant.

Many of the 130 priests in Zamara’s 54-county diocese, which straddles eastern North Carolina, could not make it to Raleigh because of Hurricane Florence. About 30 priests walked in the procession ahead of the bishop.

Some abuse victims and their advocates discounted these rituals of healing, saying the cost of their horrific experiences — both spiritually and financially — will linger throughout their lives.

Certainly, the crisis is far from over. On the same day as the Raleigh Mass, a report was released about Germany’s Catholic Church that found 1,670 priests there abused more than 3,600 people.

But the North Carolina diocese, which counts 200,000 registered Catholics, and as many as 300,000 others, mostly Hispanic Catholics, who do not formally register, has had a low incidence of sexual abuse at the hands of priests. That’s mostly because until recently, the area has had one of the smallest populations of Catholics in the U.S.

Worshippers at the Mass of Reparation and Prayer for Healing in Raleigh on Sept. 25, 2018. RNS photo by Yonat Shimron

“We have such good priests and consecrated lay people that do such good work,” said Jennifer McKinney of Raleigh, who attended Tuesday’s Mass.

Of the 300 priests named in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, two worked in the Raleigh Diocese during the 1970s and 1980s.

McKinney was among many who said they appreciated the diocese’s efforts to begin the healing process. “It’s going to take time,” she said. “It’s like a severe illness. It’s not going to heal overnight.”

Indeed, Zarama in his homily did not go into details about the scandal besides referring to those who “committed terrible crimes.” Neither did he point to the reasons for the scandal or the accountability measures that must be put into place to prevent such abuses from happening again.

Instead, he expressed his personal sorrow and implored his fellow Catholics to “let the love of Jesus come and touch your hearts.”

For most, that was enough. They said they saw the Mass as a first step and they appreciated the effort to bring Catholics together.

“It’s good for us as a church to come together and pray and ask for healing,” said Stephen Yates, who serves as a deacon at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill. “It’s a reminder that we’re one body in Christ and where anyone is hurting we are united.”

Raleigh’s Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral held a Mass of Reparation and Prayer for Healing on Sept. 25, 2018. RNS photo by Yonat Shimron

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.


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  • Strip the abusers of religious titles and prosecute them as criminals. You might then credibly talk about healing and forgiveness.

  • It’s interesting to note that faithfull Catholics led by holy priests across the world fall in humility to their knees and humbly beg God for forgiveness and mercy.
    These people are the Church that give penance for sins they did not commit; but that were committed by unholy priests and an unholy hierarchy.
    These are the people that will demand that the church be cleansed of its filth and wickedness so that the church and its victims can heal.
    And yet while the innocent pray and beg for forgiveness and mercy on behalf of the sinful; Wuerl, McCarrick, Cupich and the heretical “Catholics” on these very pages are nowhere to be found.

  • Well it’s Catholic teaching that we are part of the body of Christ. What happens to the head affects the hands. Etc.

    It’s in Holy Scripture in a number of places. Take a look at 1 Cor 12: “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.”

    We call it the “Communion of Saints”.

    Merits of one can help the other. The spiritual plane of action…the life of not limited to the temporal or physical realm.

    And the sins of one can affect the other.

    If I live my marriage with a lackluster spirit, I can not only affect my wife and family..but all members of the Body of Christ, and the larger society too.

    If I receive the Sacraments poorly, I can weaken the entire Body of Christ in some way, not perhaps traceable or observable by me, but through the eyes of faith, I must accept this interaction.

    One practical and less mystical example is this: If I go to Confession and the priest can tell that I have prepared poorly, that I have not examined my motives for action sincerely, perhaps a bit demandingly….and that my confession of sins is superficial…that superficiality will hurt his own holy struggle.

    He may fairly conclude: “why should I bother to live my priesthood with a great spirit of love and sacrifice?”.

  • Given the number of prosecutors gunning for them, the number of prosecutions has been tiny indeed.

    That says something.

  • Repenting in fancy robes is a far cry from sack cloth and ashes. What was it that Jesus said about those who ware fancy robes and sit at the places of honor? It may be time for bishops and priests to give up the their robes & decorations and follow Christ’s ways.

  • Now just a few more acts of contrition from the Pope and bishops re the systemic discrimination against women and the LGBT population and the Church may arrest its decline.

  • All sinners are welcome at mass. Based upon the comments on these very pages; LGBT don’t view themselves as sinners.
    That’s their problem; not the church’s.

  • Correct, the LGBT population do not view themselves as sinners for being LGBT, It is only the Church that mistakenly views them as such wallowing in its bias and in doing so goes against governments, science and common decency. Oh yes, and the discrimination of the Church is based on misinterpreting and mistranslating Bible verse. Look at the original Greek or Aramaic.

  • We are all sinners. We each try to hide them from God.
    If the LGBT don’t want to think that being LGBT is a sin; then that is between them an God. However, they are still sinners for other reasons just like everyone else.
    All that being said, I have been RC for 40+ years. Not once during any homily, catechism class, or otherwise have I heard a disparaging remark to or about anyone in the LGBT community.
    Come to mass, all sinners are welcome! 🙂

  • LGBT people are not sinners for being LGBT. It is only the Church that mistakenly condemns them as such. In addition, to being sinners for other reasons than being LGBT or not, each person is God incarnate as Jesus pointed out.

  • “As criminals”? Abusers are criminals. The problem was/is that they were treated “As righteous untouchables”.

  • Now is not the time for healing. Now is the time for prevention. Thousands
    of names of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests are still
    being hidden by hundreds of bishops. Let’s expose pedophiles and protect kids
    FIRST. Healing and reconciliation can come later.
    Judy Jones, SNAP “Survivors Network of
    those Abused by Priests” 636-433-2511, [email protected]

  • True “contrition” isn’t standing before the congregation saying, “Forgive us.” As I’ve said many times, it would involve much more than that, including all of these steps at the very least: 

    1. Handing over all documentation regarding abuse to local authorities, for review and (if appropriate) prosecution; 

    2. Hierarchs ordering all clergy who report to them, to turn themselves in to local authorities, if they’re guilty of any abuse, confess to their crimes, plead guilty to all appropriate charges, and accept whatever sentences are meted out; 

    3. Hierarchs who covered up for abusers likewise turning themselves in to local authorities, confessing to obstruction of justice and/or aiding and abetting, pleading guilty to all appropriate charges, and accepting whatever sentences are meted out; 

    4. Also all clergy should be ordered to cooperate fully with any and all investigations, including providing information they might have about abuse or cover-ups, to local authorities, even if it might implicate them somehow; 

    5. Terminate the practice of hiring private investigators to delve into the lives of accusers or their attorneys and harass them; 

    6. Stop sheltering abusive priests and providing them incomes in perpetuity; if they’ve abused anyone, or covered up for an abuser, they should be laicized and put out on the street … especially if the statute of limitations has passed and they can’t be prosecuted, this would be a punishment that could be meted out. 

    All of those things — plus a few other steps I may not have considered — would constitute true “contrition.” Until that happens, I don’t plan to give the R.C. Church any credit for “contrition,” because they haven’t displayed any to speak of. 

  • Wonderful, a beautiful gesture, now what is the bishop actually DOING to help the victims.heal. Too many words and gestures from these men, “our fathers in God.” Not enough action!

  • It’s not a problem for me. Being a sanctimonious hypocritical jerk is your problem, and the Church’s problem. You don’t share the values of Jesus.

  • I have to regard such public contrition as fake. The bishops are running scared. Every single bishop who covered up cases of reported sex abuse should resign. Nothing less than that is “healing”. Some of them should be charged and sentenced to prison.

  • Correct. Let’s the use this time and energy to uncover the network of degenerate predators and boot them out.

    Then clean up the seminaries.

  • Time to face reality: The RCC and Christianity and for that matter all religions are corrupt morally, theologically and historically.

    Money wasted as the “vomit-inducing” pedophilia and cover-ups will simply hasten the decline of all religions as they finally go extinct from their own absurdity.. It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like “Do No Harm” and convert all houses of “worthless worship” to recreation facilities and parks.

  • Good.

    As today’s circus illustrated, absent hard forensics and physical evidence your word, his word, and their words have zero probative value.

  • Too many 1000’s of children abused for too many years by too many perverts in too many dioceses. Healing is impossible.
    The Catholic church will decline and fail soon. Satan rejoices and waits in hell with arms opened wide.

  • Words, by themselves, have zero probative value.

    In order to be probative they need to be written, recorded, attested by witnesses, or otherwise corroborated to establish a relevant fact to the law being applied.

    None of that is true in this circus.

    In fact, to the contrary.

    The accusers hoped for witnesses have all failed to support her account.

    What we’re looking at is a plain ordinary unvarnished accusation by a woman who has been in therapy for multiple decades for anxiety problems.

    I see the same cr-p in many of these abuse cases.

  • Christ taught differently Northern:

    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22
    If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:13

  • I am rather betting that you can’t support “thousands of names of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests are still being hidden by hundreds of bishops”.

    There are only 145 dioceses in the entire United States.

    And it is way too long for a bumper sticker.

  • Just to be completely accurate, the Church does not view a same sex orientation as sinful.

    It is acting on that constitutes the sin.

    You’re under no obligation to join it, and if its bells and smells you want, sans the morals, the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church stand ready to serve you among others.

    No, “the discrimination of the Church is (NOT) based on misinterpreting and mistranslating Bible verse”.

  • What CRAP !

    This is all PR !

    The ” scandal ” was exposed 20 yrs ago by the Boston Globe.

    At first the RCC denied it happened, then accused those breaking the story as mercenaries hell-bent on sensationalism and greed, then the reputations of the reporters and publisher were character assassinated, then it was stated that the ” incidences ” were numerically insignificant, then the victims themselves were blamed, then it was only a few rogue priests and the bishops knew nothing about the pedophilia by the priests, then the Church said it was no worse than any other institution’s pedophilia and the RCC clergy victims were willing participants etc, etc etc….

    Now the criminal WHORES are on their knees begging for ” forgiveness ” and ” healing ” – translated as : ” keeping the collection plate full and pews warm from end to end ”

    ” Instead, he expressed his personal sorrow and implored his fellow Catholics to “let the love of Jesus come and touch your hearts.”

    For the pious sheep, this kneeling CRAP is all optics – is a strategy to paint the Church – and Christ – as the victim !

  • Leviticus is “the law of the Jewish priests”. It has nothing to do with Christian spirituality. The prohibition against homosexual activity and the consequent endorsement of heterosexual activity was intended to build the Jewish population of the time. It demonstrates the moral emptiness of those priests.

  • It is a sin for the Church to condemn people for acting according to the sexual orientation that god gave them. And, yes, the relevant Biblical passages are misinterpreted because they are either condemning pagan sexual practices related to the worship of Baal (Romans 1:24-27) or are aimed not at homosexuals but “arsenokoitai, older men abusing young boys (a lesson today’s priests have yet to learn) (! Corinthians 6-10 and 1 Timothy 1:10).

  • as it was, is, and always will be, sandinwindsor . the christ did not teach that . never even mentioned the subject .

    as you note — and Northern_Witness also notes — it was the jewish scriptures that taught that .

    so either defend the harshness of the leviticus . or rip the comments of paul out of context as you like to do .

    but don’t blame it on jesus .

  • you might, Bob, want to do some biblical exegesis, along with some translating, before you drop that (NOT) into the sentence . because many quite knowledgeable scholars do believe that there is a lot of misinterpreting and mistranslating involve with the verses involving same sex relationships .

  • “If the LGBT don’t want to think that being….”

    the RC, as you call it, does not think that being is a sin . it is the sex that is a sin . not the being, the doing .

    at least get that part right .

  • If it is a sin for the Church to condemn people for acting according to the orientation that god gave them, they should be giving mass murderers, kleptomaniacs, and bloodthirsty dictators Get Out Of Jail Free cards.

    It is not at all clear that god gave them their sexual orientation.

    But, unlike breeding bulls, human beings exercise control over their impulses. Those that can’t wind up incarcerated.

    Your reference to “arsenokoitai” is a dead give-away that you’re depending on 20th century queer exegesis, which always falsifies/spins the meaning of passages to suit its nefarious purpose.

  • The RCC was and is behaving as any other multi-national corporation caught in profoundly unethical, illegal, behavior and getting bad PR advice.

  • You should actually read the article you posted. It refers to “condemning anyone who uses children for sex” which was exactly what I said.

    You should also pay attention to John H. Elliott, Professor Emeritus of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Francisco, cited in the article who said that “nothing in 1Corinthians, or for that matter in any other biblical writing, speaks directly of the biological or psychological condition of homosexuality or homosexual ‘orientation’ as this is understood today and as it concerns believing Christian gay persons intent on worshipping and serving God.”13

    Thanks for supporting my point.

  • There are dozens of other countries in which the RCC is pelvis-deep in sexual abuse and cover-ups. Thousands and hundreds is likely a quite conservative estimate.

  • No, the article does not solely consist of “condemning anyone who uses children for sex”, and I suggest those interested read the article for themselves.

    John H. Elliott does NOT support your position.

    He correctly notes the Scriptures do not describe a “biological or psychological condition of homosexuality or homosexual ‘orientation’ as this is understood today” because immoral choices were not chalked up to psychological illness.

    Doing that sort of thing to what is quite simply immoral acts led the Catholic bishops to send abusing priests off for “therapy” instead of turning them in and booting them out.

    Overcoming the “illness” excuse is fundamental to remedying immoral behavior.

  • Do NOT conflate your comment “because immoral choices were not chalked up to psychological illness” with Elliot’s in a disingenuous effort to gain credibility. You are dishonest. I notice that you did not reply to the article’s mention of “condemning anyone who uses children for sex” which is the definition of “arsenokoitai” and exactly what I said. Go thou and sin no more.

  • While the Kavanaugh hearings are not a criminal trial, the “words” therein are sworn testimony. No corroboration is needed in a criminal trial. The general rule in American jurisprudence is that a sole uncorroborated witness is sufficient to prove the charge, if believed beyond a reasonable doubt by the finder of fact.
    For Kavanaugh no proof beyond a reasonable doubt is necessary. This is a job interview. I certainly wouldn’t hire someone who displayed the kind of subpsychotic rage he showed yesterday.
    You want witnesses? Tell Grassley to call Mark “I don’t remember if I tried to rape anyone” Judge.

  • I beg to differ with you.

    The testimony in this hearing would not have caused a prosecutor to seek a search warrant.

    No, “a sole uncorroborated witness is” NOT sufficient to prove the charge, and if this was all there was 36 years later and it had actually made it to trial, a judge would either dismiss the charge or direct a “not guilty” verdict in every single jurisdiction with which I am familiar, unless this were 1920, the accused were black, and were were in Alabama.

    To call justifiable anger over Feinstein’s sandbagging and the Democratic lynch mob “subpsychotic rage” is blatant b-llshit.

  • Because Satan is at the foundation of the Catholic Church. So many good Catholics have been deceived or abused.

  • Satan would never admit the above to you or to me. He’s a liar, as well as a great deceiver. I try to talk to the Lord, who loves us all.

  • Sorry, the general rule in American jurisprudence is that uncorroborated single witness testimony at trial is sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt if believed by the finder of fact, whether jury or judge. Here, for example, is New York’s suggested judicial instruction to the jury: “Because the law is not so much concerned with the number
    of witnesses called as with the quality of the testimony given, the law does permit a guilty verdict on the testimony of one witness identifying the defendant as the person who committed the charged crime. A guilty verdict is permitted, however, only if the evidence is of sufficient quality to convince you beyond a reasonable doubt that all the elements of the charged crime have been proven and that the identification of the defendant is both
    truthful and accurate.”
    Of course you actually have to get to the trial. If a prosecutor or grand jury doesn’t feel it’s sufficient, reliable, etc., no trial will occur.
    The Democrats are in the minority, on the committee and the Senate as a whole. To call them a lynch mob is blatant bullsht too.

  • Goshes. You should tell the Catholics that, double quick.

    But I suspect you already have.

    There is simply no kind of bigot like a religious bigot. Right bob? bob?

  • In the real world that the testimony of an accuser, alone and uncorroborated, is sufficient for a conviction does not in my experience exist. I personally have never seen it. I would be stunned if I did, especially an individual who is clearly neurotic, anxiety-ridden, and coached.

    Eyewitness testimony is remarkably unreliable.

    The eyewitness testimony of an accuser all by itself is even less reliable.

    It perverts the presumption of innocence.

    To summarize everything from the calls to riot, calls for confrontations in restaurants, impeachments, allegations of collusion and foreign interference, and on and on for going on two years to this face that Feinstein perpetrated as a “lynch mob” is an understatement.

    We have seen this before.

  • Technically, it is against the Law and that is because it has been against the Law from eternity past unto eternity future. Sin is merely a transgression of the Law.

    The LGBT is the Lawless One, therefore they are sinners, and they have a role to play in the last act of the Bible. The Lawless One is needed to fulfill the book of Revelation. As their hospitality spreads round the world, the world becomes the burning place. I didn’t write the Book, I’am telling you what it says.

  • the Mouth of Bob frequently make citations which disagree it’s what he Claims they say. It’s a rhetorical deVice to demonstrate his complete human, moral, religious, and intellectual superiority.

  • I have defended appeals in cases where a defendant was convicted on the testimony of a single witness, so yes it happens. In recent years, though, courts have been allowing expert testimony for the defense on the unreliability of eyewitness testimony.
    I am opposed to riots and restaurant confrontations, but I was talking about the Senate here.

  • Feinstein and Company managed to blow their filibuster up on Gorsuch.

    This time Feinstein sandbagged Grassley and he will never trust her again.

    The polls indicate it may backfire in the mid-terms.

    If you prefer Keystone Kops to lynch mob, I’ll stipulate to that.

    I am glad I have never dealt with the NY courts. They apparently missed the adoption of the Constitution and the presumption of innocence.

  • To paraphrase Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network,” if NY law on this subject was unconstitutional, it would be unconstitutional. We have federal habeas corpus and appeals to the US Supreme Court here too.
    I said on these pages during the Gorsuch confirmation that the Democrats should have let Gorsuch through and waited for a worse nominee to make the filibuster stand upon. Nobody listens.

  • Justice Ginsburg noted in a case out of Texas, which involved a statutory exception to conviction solely on an uncorroborated complainant, that the law probably violated the presumption of innocence in her dissent. But that was not the question, the question was one of ex post facto, and she was outgunned anyway.

    I rarely agree with her, but she hit this spot-on.

    This exception was made as a tender years exception, but as the Romans well knew, hard cases make bad law.

    Sole accuser testimony is EXACTLY what the presumption of innocence was supposed to tackle. Otherwise we could go right from the complaint to the sentencing and skip this expensive silliness in between.

  • My profound sadness at the 1000’s of abused Catholic children and the broken-hearts of 1000’s of Catholic parents has nothing to do with bigotry. Only a liar like Satan could have pulled off such a huge deception for so long. The church and all of it’s perverted leadership will burn to the ground, but our Lord will be merciful to those who were harmed and seek his love and healing.

  • more – do you know that Christ is God? I refer you to John 1:1-5. Christ is the speaker. I refer you also to Leviticus 18:1-10 to know that God, who is Christ, told Moses to speak that to Israel. Christ taught that.

  • No Northern – it was to keep people pure and separate for Christ. It is for all of Christ’s people – Jew and Gentile.
    “24 “‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. 25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. 28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.” Leviticus 18:24

  • It’s called holiness. “There is only one thing all of humanity, throughout all of history will bow to – holiness”.

    No “Papal summit”, no new committee, no new “policy” will stop this. “Be holy as my Father in heaven is holy”.

  • The Committee for Bible Translation released the 2011 New International Version of the Bible, one of the changes made to the text was to make verses that address homosexuality clearer.

    These included 1 Corinthians 6:9, having the term “homosexual offenders” changed to “men who have sex with men” and Leviticus 18:22 having the phrase “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman,” changed to “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman.”

    “The 1984 NIV rendering … did not make clear whether homosexual activity per se was being condemned or whether only certain kinds of ‘offensive’ homosexual activity was being condemned,” explained Douglas J. Moo, chair of the committee, in a 2012 interview with CP. “The updated NIV makes clear that the Greek words here indicate any kind of homosexual activity.”

  • arsenokoitai is men bedding men, not children
    The word is a verbal noun, and its earliest attestation is in this verse of Paul’s. It is a compound of arsen = “male” and koités = “a man who lies with (or beds).” And so we have, describing Oedipus, metrokoités, “a man who lies with his mother ,”doulokoités, “a man who lies with maidservants or female slaves,” polykoités, “a man who lies with many,” and onokoités, “a man who lies with donkeys,” said of Christians in a graffito from Carthage of about 195.
    Arsenokoitai are therefore “men who lie with males,” and the Vulgate’smasculorum concubitores (where masculorum is an objective genitive), renders the Greek exactly to mean “men who lie with males,” “men who sleep with males,” “men who have sex with males.”
    The source of arsenokoitai is in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible known as the Septuagint (finished around 130 B. C. E. for the use of Greek-speaking Jews). The Septuagint of Leviticus 18:22 reads: Kai meta arsenos ou koiméthés koitén gynaikeian, and of Lev . 20:13,Kai os an koiméthé meta arsenos koitén gynaikos . . . ; Englished we have, “With a male you shall not lie the bed/intercourse (koité) of a woman,” and “Whoever lies with a male the koité of a woman, [both have done an abominable thing, they shall be put to death.]”
    The dependence of Paul’s arsenokoitai on the Levitical arsenos koitén demonstrates unequivocally its source and confirms his intended meaning. The word was almost certainly coined by Greek-speaking Jews. Understood in the context of what we know about role playing in most ancient same-sex relationships, malakoi are the receptive parties and arsenokoitai the inserters in male-male anal intercourse. ”
    Eugene Rice, who died on August 4, 2008, was Shepherd Professor of History Emeritus at Columbia University .

  • odd……for 3000 plus years, homosexuality is a sin – Christ’s disciples taught it as such, so Christ must have affirmed it as sin at one point, yet today, there is suddenly this new” revelation” that after so many records condemning the act, the homosexual activists are now declaring it “misinterpretation”. I’m more inclined to believe it is wishful thinking on the activist’s part. Christ is not going to contradict what He taught 3000 years later – ain’t gonna happen.

  • since john 1:1-5 uses the third person :

    “He was in the beginning with God.
    All things came to be through him,
    and without him nothing came to be.
    What came to be through him was life….”

    it is the author, John, writing and speaking about the christ not the christ speaking .

    in leviticus the meaning can change immensely when you read the context and see who wrote,what their understanding was and what the prophets made of it later . and of course note that the christ never made mention of homosexuality at all .

    now you may again refer to the writings of st paul, and say that because they are part of the inspired bible, christ said them . you are incorrect in that . further, read those texts closely as i have advised in the past . they are condemning corruption caused by idolatry, not specific physical activity .

  • Christ taught the author for 3 years. He lived with Christ and the writer was showing how Christ is God
    Christ taught about homosexuality being a sin in Leviticus
    Homosexuality is idolatry.

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