What is the church’s viewpoint concerning homosexuals and homosexuality?
His Grace Bishop Youssef:
Homosexuality is a sin condemned by God in the Old and New Testaments. Homosexuality was condemned from the time of Sodom where apparent homosexual activity among men was widespread in this city. The Old Testament considers homosexuality a sin deserving capital punishment. “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” (Lev 20:13).
In the New Testament St. Paul says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9). In the first chapter of his epistle to the Romans (Rom 1:24-32), St. Paul also judges it as unnatural. Homosexuals are included elsewhere among the immoral people who, St. Paul says, deserve judgment by God (1 Tim 1:10). There is no example in all of the New Testament of approval, acceptance, or even tolerance of homosexuality.
It is not approved scientifically that the homosexuals are born with that feeling; but at one point of their life they feel an exclusive psychosexual attraction toward members of the same sex. Our Coptic Orthodox Church does not condemn people but condemn their acts and would minister to homosexuals who wish to be freed from this inclination.