12 quotes from St. Peter Damian

12 quotes from St. Peter Damian

The following 12 quotes come from the writings of St. Peter Damian, a great ascetic and monk who was especially troubled by the clergy and religious of his time who failed in their duties, especially celibacy. Think of them as a year of monthly intentions for the US bishops to meditate upon in reparation for the Scandal:

  • “Tell us, you unmanly and effeminate man, what do you seek in another male that you do not find in yourself?”
  • “For God’s sake, why do you damnable sodomites pursue the heights of ecclesiastical dignity with such fiery ambition?”
  • “By what right or by what law can one bind or loose the other when he is constrained by the bonds of evil deeds common to them both?”
  • “Who can expect the flock to prosper when its shepherd has sunk so deep into the bowels of the devil?
  • “Who, by his lust, will consign a son whom he spiritually begotten for God to slavery under the iron law of Satanic tyranny?”
  • “This utterly diseased queen of Sodom renders him who obeys the laws of her tyranny infamous to men and odious to God.”
  • “Without fail, [the vice of sodomy] brings death to the body and destruction to the soul. It pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of the mind, expels the Holy Spirit from the temple of the human heart, and gives entrance to the devil, the stimulator of lust.”
  • ”[The vice of sodomy] leads to error, totally removes truth from the deluded mind . . . It opens up Hell and closes the gates of Paradise.”
  • ”[The vice of sodomy] is this vice that violates temperance, slays modesty, strangles chastity, and slaughters virginity.”
  • [The vice of sodomy]  defiles all things, sullies all things, pollutes all things.”
  • “Who will make a mistress of a cleric, or a woman of a man?”
  • “It is not sinners, but the wicked who should despair; it is not the magnitude of one’s crime, but contempt of God that dashes one’s hopes.”

Of course, having criticized homosexuality in public—or published the writings of a saint who criticized it—I will now be accused of being a secret, self-hating closeted homosexual and the rest of the brownshirt psychobabble. But then I suppose that would make my critics secret, self-hating closet conservatives. But then… I better stop before I get into a paradox loop.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
28 comments
  • Dom, thanks for this post. It’s great.  I thought about St. Peter Damian on his feast day and how much we need his kind of mettle instead of the milk-toast approach we so often get in confronting moral evil.  They have been referred to as “clerical tames.”

  • In this day of rampant and unconstrained vice, immorality, and corruption, we need today, more than ever, even more heroic men like St. Peter Damien to rise up and confront this “disease” which afflicts not only society, but sadly, the inner sanctum of the Church.  May God permit it to be so!

  • Go check out his page now. He was leaching the photo right off my server so I decided to swap photos for him.

    Let’s see if he continues to play this game with me. I will smack him with a cease and desist letter if he does.

  • Looks like he decided to just steal the photo and repost it on the blogger server. Nice way to fall into the typical homosexual stereotype: bitchy and mean.

    Like I said gay brownshirt nazis are not below stealing your wedding photo and using it to attack you. Scumbag.

  • Tsk, tsk, people. Didn’t you hear that the editorial board of America magazine has pronounced that “new understandings of homosexuality” may change everything – even 2000 years of Church teaching…?

    Next up: the rehabilitation of Satan – how “new understandings of Pride” show that Lucifer didn’t really rebel. It was just a misunderstanding. God was a little precipitous, intolerant of dissent – a tad Luciphobic. But He knows better now. His creatures have set Him straight. It won’t happen again.

    Don’t you love it when we know more than God…?

  • If one were uncharitable enough to stoop to homosexual stereotypes, one might as well stoop to other stereotypes and brand certain ethnic groups as hard-hearted lovers of the letter and haters of the spirit, who’d rather sever the truth from life to hide their resentful hearts behind the law.  But what kind of serious Christian would stoop to such a level?  Certainly not the more-orthodox-than-thou…

  • Ah I see, so you’re the one behind that blog. You should know that I have contacted Blogger about the violation of their terms of service and they should be receiving a letter from my lawyer next week.

    I don’t play games.

  • A gay blogger and an apparent atheist have noticed. Pardon me if I don’t think that constitutes “the blogosphere.” He’s taken the photo down. He can say whatever he wants.

  • Dom – you seem to have attracted a few interesting men one who can not take you on intellectually or morally. In desperation he drags your wife into the fray as you are celebrating a sacrament. Another with the by line quote “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”, whose other blog is a survey of NYC toilets. Which is indicative of the location their collective pseudo-intellects reside. With a fascination in the excretory functions, by their own admission.

    They got more hits off of you today than they get in a month. The vast majority of the fat crayon musings get zero commentary. Because what is there to comment about?

    Dom, they act like what they are. Confused men looking for a reason or explanation for their confusion. Not being able to address one question, they plagiarize your entire post and a photo for your family while they hide behind masks. They act like children stealing crayons.

    All you or anyone else can do is pray for them as they try to re-write the Church’s teaching, Scripture, History and their own distorted view on love and marriage to fit their defects. Funny how there are many photos of you alone that they could shoplift (and I saw your wedding photo) and they took the image of you and your bride. telling, isn’t it? They perverted the sacramental beauty of your marriage just as they pervert the beauty of human sexuality. They shoplift normalcy in an effort to appear normal.

    Jesus irritated sinners too and he spoke with perfect timing and perfect love. They killed him for speaking truth. These two “I talk to myself” blogs lack every redeeming quality and show little insight, except the demonstration of exceptional ability to plagiarize, distort and whine. Even the replacement image is hijacked. In the end, this little flame war just goes to show that a man can fall so far in love with the slavery of his sin as to rename his slavery freedom and virtue, which is just what these two scatological blogs demonstrate.

    What a waste of God’s creation.

  • Well it’s ironic that the apparent atheist cited by peterforrester,in complaining about the alleged nastiness of religion, writes under this quote from Diderot:

    “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. Denis Diderot” 

    Any failures and wrongs committed in the name of religion pale in comparison to what was and is perpetrated in the name of “enlightened” thought.

  • “Jesus irritated sinners too and he spoke with perfect timing and perfect love. They killed him for speaking truth.”

    Last I checked, the “sinners” Jesus most “irritated” were pharisees and priests, who in turn manipulated the crowd into killing Christ.

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

  • Context, peterforester, context. Yes, Jesus was against those who perverted the law and prophets but not because they were stating it but because the did not live up to it and were using and perverting it for their own gain. 

    Standing up for and defending the Church’s teaching on homosexuality was not Jesus’target in going after the priests and scribes.  Jesus was pretty clear on moral teaching.  He loved the woman caught in adultery but told her to sin no more.  He loves those inclined to homosexuality but He says avoid this behavior. 

    If a person centers his/her whole identity and self-worth on those inclinations, then, of course, any reminder of the Church’s moral teaching becomes an attack.  Love above all is beholden to the truth and there are moral truths about the meaning of sexuality that Jesus stands for.

  • I don’t hide behind any masks, Daniel. I am very straight-forward with my name and what I write.
    Regarding your concern with OUR concern with “excretory functions,” I thought all of god’s creation was worthy of being worshipped. After all, even the pope has to…. well, you know.

    But… I am more than happy to have a discussion, legitimate, with anyone. I only ask that ad hominem attacks, such as calling the editor of Deus Caritas Est “bitchy and mean” stop. We are adults, and as such are capable of discussing things reasonably.

  • “adults and capable of discussing things reasonably?” 
    I haven’t seen it.  All I’m seeing is hysterical (ok, bitchy and mean) attacks by people who don’t usually come here. 

    You have a problem with St. Peter Damian?  Come out and say so directly and stop whinging.

  • Leo,
    Somehow I don’t think stealing my wedding photo and putting it above a crude attack on my husband was acting like a reasonable adult. It was childish and cruel. I felt violated, quite frankly. If you want to be treated like reasonable adults, then engage in debate not personal attack.

    I’d like to add that I find the replacement photo quite disgusting too. God does not hate anybody and people who claim hatred in his name are wrong. However, it is not an act of hate to point out another person’s errors. It is an act of profound love.

    And by the way, we don’t “worship” creation. That would be idolatry. We worship God, the creator and respect his creation because he made it out of love.

  • Just because you’re a homosexual doesn’t mean you’re a sodomite. And just because you’re a sodomite doesn’t mean you’re a homosexual.

    I’m just saying.

    I’m glad that St. Peter Damian confronted the vices of his time with Godliness. But I’d be careful about collecting harsh sayings from a Saint just because he’s a Saint. Radical Traditionalist sites love to collect Saintly sayings about how Jews are accursed and should bow down to serve Christians. St. Peter Damian spoke in a Christian world. I think we should be careful about how we address homosexuality today, as the Church has indicated more than once that homosexuals must be treated with charity, prudence, and compassion. Screaming “Unclean!” and driving them away is not going to show them the love of Christ.

  • Wow, that’s some set of choices you have there, Jason.  Both are bad news.  Choosin’ between the devil and the deep blue sea.  Just sayin’.

    Apparently, you must think truth is contingent, that is, situational.  That’s not what the church teaches.

    Um, and although I’m not a big-T Traditionalist, you can stop with the wide-arm ad hominem.  It’s passe.

  • Apparently, you must think truth is contingent, that is, situational.

    Why? Because I suggested maybe we should temper Truth with prudence and compassion? Get a grip and stop looking for heterodox boogeymen to rail against.

    Um, and although I’m not a big-T Traditionalist, you can stop with the wide-arm ad hominem.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about. My post had nothing to do with you.

  • No truth is not tempered when compassion is shown.  Truth simply is.  Compassion to someone in particular consists of:  a) the admission that truth simply is and b) that the person has fallen short of it in fact and c) that the person can be forgiven because of the sacrifice of Christ.

    Let’s not conflate it all together and have the moral theology of an elementary school student. (I trust you are older than that if only because of your typing skills.)

    Oh and, your post is in a public forum, Jason.  I can comment if I wish. 

    And the sweeping ad hominems I often hear about Traditionalists, of which yours (of 02/25/06 at 07:37 AM) is a wobbly example, are passe.

  • I don’t think Jason was all wet back there:

    Just because you’re a homosexual doesn’t mean you’re a sodomite. And just because you’re a sodomite doesn’t mean you’re a homosexual.

    Jason’s making the same distinction the Church does about orientation and acts.  St. Peter Damien probably wasn’t addressing those who withstood such temptations without sinning. 

    Interestingly, his words about “seeking [masculinity] in another man” seem to be an insight in line with modern-day theorists (e.g., Moberley).

  • Just because you’re a homosexual doesn’t mean you’re a sodomite. And just because you’re a sodomite doesn’t mean you’re a homosexual.

    And just how many fairies can dance on the head of a pin?

  • Seems the typical homosexual apologetics are showing up here. While those supporting the homosexual position and lifestyle may implicity identify homosexuality as a sin, they fail to recognize that what is being advocated is contrary to Church teachings.

    Yes, there are other sin and a whole flock of sinners (hypocrites, fornicators, drunkards, etc), yet these other groups of sinners do not interrupt Mass, do not wear a sash to symbolize a protest during Eucharist, nor do they demand that the Church and others bless their lifestyle.

    It is easy to accuse Dom and others—including myself—of being “obsessed” with homosexuality, but those critics ought to take a hard look into the mirror so to see the face on a truly obsessive individual.

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