Same Sex Medieval Marriage – Dr Marshall Reveals the Fraud

Pssst. Did you know that the medieval Catholic and Orthodox churches had a liturgy for same-sex unions and that the contemporary Church is doing everything it can to erase the historical record?

Sergius and Bachus

Saint Sergius and Saint Bachus have been co-opted as Patrons of Same-Sex Marriage. We’ll explain why below. (Icon by gay iconographer Robert Lentz.)

This is the claim of the homosexual historian John Boswell in his book Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe (Chicago).

Same Sex Marriage Liturgy = Adelphopoesis?

Boswell’s argument hinges on the existence of a liturgical ritual called adelphopoiesis. Adelphos means “brother.” Poesis means “making.” So the term in Greek literally means “brother-making.”

Now Boswell translated adelphopoesis as “same-sex union,” and made the case that these were homosexual unions sanctioned by the Church. You don’t have to be a great Greek scholar to get the agenda. Adelphopoesis most certainly does not translate as “same-sex union.”

Along the same lines, Allan Tulchin in his article “Same-Sex Couples Creating Households in Old Regime France: The Uses of the Affrèrement,” (Journal of Modern History: September 2007) made his case that Latin liturgy of affrèrement (Latin title is Ordo ad fratres faciendum, literally “Order for the making of brothers”) was a medieval “same-sex union” recognized by Europe and the Church.  Affrèrement allowed two men to share living quarters, pool their finances, and have recognition from the state and church as an economic unit.

To muddy the waters, same-sex marriage advocates have coupled Saint Sergius and Saint Bacchus as the patron saints of this alleged arrangement. These two men were known in Byzantine history to be holy men with a great brotherly affection for one another. They are mentioned in the Greek liturgy of adelphopoesis, and Boswell argues that they were likely an early same-sex pair joined together in homoeroticism.

Regrettably, modern scholars feel that sexuality must be the incentive for any relationship in history. David and Jonathan or Sergius and Bacchus are “proof” that religious male friends were secret lovers between the pages of history.

Adelphopoesis or Affrèrement was Not Homoerotic

Boswell’s analysis fails when we recall that both Catholic Europe and Orthodox Byzantium punished homosexuality with death (Byzantine codes of law call for convicted homosexual men to be burned). Boswell is right, though. There is ample evidence of homosexuality in the medieval era. Unfortunately for him, the Christian and liturgical norms never reveal the slightest tolerance for homosexual acts.

In the middle of the 1000’s you have Saint Peter Damian’s book Liber Gomorrhianus circulating with a crying condemnation of both homosexuality and masturbation among the clergy.

Saint Hildegard of Bingen in the 1100s wrote against lesbian acts in her work Scivias.

The same condemnation against homosexuality is reiterated in penitential manuals and again by Saint Thomas Aquinas in the 1200s. In the 1300s, the heretical reform sect of the Lollards in England cited priestly celibacy as a cause of homosexuality in society.

Saint Peter Damian and Saint Hildegard’s explicit teachings over explicit acts certainly reveal that homosexuality was practiced among the laity, the clergy, and the religious – even the women religious. So Boswell is correct in identifying homosexual activity in his period. He is simply wrong in pointing to adelphopoesis as a sanctioned form of homosexuality.

It would be odd for both a civil society and a universal religion to criminalize homosexual acts on one hand, but also provide a “wink-wink” liturgy in order to establish a sexual relationship between two men on the other hand.

Understanding Adelphopoesis as a Kind of Monasticism

The formation of a social unit in which food, finances, and shelter are shared is not unique to matrimony. The Christian tradition also established monastic brotherhoods where men would gather to share all possessions, income, and shelter equally. These social units were protected liturgically, ecclesiastically, and civilly.

Adelphopoesis is the same kind of arrangement – but more suited for two men who wished to live in the world. The liturgies for Adelphopoesis or Affrèrement from the ninth to the fifteenth  centuries establish pneumatikous adelphous or “spiritual brothers.” Chastity is assumed. If the Emperor Theodosius ruled that homosexual acts received the punishment of being burned to death, I don’t think that such a society would have assumed that “spiritual brothers” were anything more than consecrated men pooling their resources for the common good.

Could the arrangement of adelphopoesis be abused by homosexual men seeking to find a civil form of tolerance? Of course! Did it ever happen. Probably. Men have used monasteries to cloak improprieties and escape the glare of the society. Read Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales for more details.

The take away is that adelphopoesis never was intended to be a “same-sex marriage” for homosexuals, even if Boswell translated it that way…

Question: Had you heard of this debate over adelphopoesis? Are you now able to explain the truth about it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Anna

    Wow…When I read the headline I thought “Now Dr Marshall is up to a 1st April joke a little early”…incredible!

  • yolo

    A lot of professional historians are mentally ill. This is proof of illness. Uh, their sexual “preferences” are also ample proof as well as strongly correlated destructive personal behavior such as drug use, steroid use, and anorexia.

    • Veritas81

      HEY! I hope to be a professional historian one day! But I am hoping to be able to change the culture, or at least witness to it.

      • Aaron Siering

        Prepare now for the life long struggle in which you are about to engage. It is a very difficult life you are proposing for yourself unless you happen to have the temperament of say Chesterton’s character Father Brown. To be institutionally assaulted constantly by ignorance, slander and the egregious rationalizations of your “colleagues” whose sole focus is on maligning the Church and everything Christianity asserts is a tough, tough row to hoe in my opinion. However if this is the work that God has called you for then God Bless you. It is certainly important work to accomplish.

  • Payson F

    Culture of death will try anything to further its cause

  • jpct50

    The homosexualists and their constant historical revision is so tiring! Thanks for shedding light here; the best disinfectant.

  • Poor Boswell died of AIDS at an early age but the fact he was a sodomite is useful to consider here as it is the case that sodomites are natural subversives and Boswell spent his time trying to subvert the Church and the truth

  • Shawna

    I think this kind of thing is getting more popular as there’s a steady erosion of the idea of strong male friendships. Any close relationship between men is immediately assumed to be sexual. There seems to be a particular fad in watching movies and TV shows and declaring that any two male characters who have any kind of serious, deep abiding friendship is really homosexual romance, declaring this fantasy as if it’s canon, and screaming “homophobia!” if anyone disagrees.

    • David

      Indeed, buddy movies are now termed “bromances…”

  • Tom Green

    Thank you for the clarity on the matter and the diligent work of research and careful translation which seems to escape some people who have an agenda beforehand (e.g., Dan Brown and the authors you cite here). Honest admissions of faults in the Church are not harmful, they are just honest. What a concept! Some look for signs of approval in society or the churches for sinful behavior and work awfully hard to find it, and knowing others relish such findings, decide to write a book, not as a work of scholarship but to make some money. Fortunately, not all buy into this scheme. Mr. Green

  • Dana

    SO interesting! I had no idea, but I’m thrilled to know and now know how to explain it! Thank you!!

  • Samuel Fifer

    Thanks; this is very interesting. I had not heard of this particular angle – adelphopoesis — but of course had heard the argument made that such unions were sanctioned. I am not sure I now know the “truth” on the subject, but I certainly now have access to a credible response.

  • MichaelGC

    Boswells academic peers were singularly unimpressed with his “findings,” having already known that the adelphopoesis was a church ritual for reconciling the the heads of warring clans. Those who knew Boswell said that his intention was to provide ammunition for LGBT movement.

    Also. practically all the references to “homosexuality in the animal kingdom” (to argue that homosexual behavior is validated by nature) are from a single book by the Canadian biologist Bruce Bagemihl, who also happens to be homosexual.

    • Rob B.

      Michael — I’d like to read more on the critical reaction to Boswell during his time. Can you point me to where you found these reactions? Thanks!

      • MichaelGC

        Rob do you have Microsoft One Note? That’s where most of my Boswell research is, that and a long Word document.

        • Rob B.

          I think so (though not on the computer I usually post from). How can we link up?

    • zurvan

      You are entirely incorrect in your claim that practically all references to homosexuality in the animal kingdom comes from one book. It is trivially easy to do some basic internet research and learn that the documentation of it is definitive.

      • Martin Woo

        It’s definitive that NO homosexuality is in the animal kingdom

        Same-sex interactions do NOT refer to homosexuality or sexuality at all. They refer to parenthood, inter-species familiarity and pack/flock domination,.
        Homosexuality is the sexual attraction to the same gender, not any actions. There are no homosexual animals.

        • zurvan

          There are animals in every species of mammal and many birds and reptiles who are persistently and exclusively attracted only to their same gender. I’m not interested in debating the semantics of the thing.
          As for the “agenda,” ever notice how religious conservatives have “values” while gay people have an “agenda”? The agenda is the right to make their own decisions, including their own romantic and marital decisions, without the interference of others. Sounds like family values to me.

          • Martin Woo

            It’s not semantics. Definitions matter and this not about the proper usage of tense or pronouns.
            There are no animal with homosexuality
            Homosexuality is the SEXUAL attraction to the same gender.. it’s nothing else
            The examples used by homosexuals never pan out.
            For instance, the Roy and Silo, the two “gay” penguins in the NYC zoo who were presented with an egg that they “gay adopted”
            Their attraction was to the egg, as part of each’s instinctual drive towards fatherhood. And their interspecies familiarity (friendship in humans) with each other. In animal behavior , this is referred to as the very plutonic “same-sex interactions”
            There was NO sexual attraction to each other
            This is the same thing among Black Swans, dophins , bonobos and every other example the homosexuals attempt to use to confuse the issue.
            These facts have nothing to do with “religion” or those conservatives.

          • zurvan

            I repeat: every mammalian species. I’m unimpressed that you can always rationalize away another explanation for it against that kind of overwhelming evidence. Yes, there are animals that are exclusively sexually attracted to members of the same gender. Mallards even from gay cliques, which I remember because I thought it was funny.
            And even if there weren’t (and let me take this moment to repeat that there are), it really doesn’t matter. The real point has always been a moral one: that people should be free under our government to pursue life, liberty and happiness as they see fit. Distaste for others has never been a good rationale for depriving them of this most basic and fundamentally American right.

          • Martin Woo

            You can repeat all you want.
            NO one is saying homosexuality is these species.
            They are saying “same-sex interactions” which do not including any sexual attraction
            Without sexual attraction, it’s not homosexuality
            The definition of homosexuality has nothing to do with friendship , drive for leadership roles or parenthood.
            Homosexuality is only in mentally and emotionally underdeveloped human beings.

          • zurvan

            It’s fascinating that even though these pairings include both parental and sexual interactions, they’re somehow not about sexual attraction, because…facts? Plenty of these animals both parent and engage in sexual activity with each other.
            What’s actually even more interesting is the incredible uniqueness and diversity across species. Some animals have no sexual component to their pairings (you listed a few), some have no parenting component (dolphins), in some species (like bonobos) almost every member of the species is what we might call bisexual (or perhaps just largely indifferent to gender) and in some animals it’s more like same-sex monogamy (elephants). In some animals, only one gender ever has some form of homosexuality (ducks, I believe). It’s a big, crazy world out there, and it turns out that in nature, diversity is king.

  • pogothe 2nd

    The corruption of every form of science, religion, literature, history, etc. continues apace by the GLBT crowd. Distortions of the truth or any other means is fair game for these folks to promote societal acceptance of their unfortunate lot.

  • Rob B.

    In my graduate school days in the late 1990s, I had to read and review Boswell’s first book, Christianity, Homosexuality, and Social Tolerance. Even in my more liberal days, this book basically soured me on Boswell’s work. Like so many others driven by ideology, he tried to weave a tapestry out of a few threads. Such an approach makes for bad scholarship, yet Boswell remains a big name in academia. I have some thoughts on this that I’ll post later (it’s rather late for me now), but what do you all think accounts for Boswell’s continuing fame?

    • MichaelGC

      He published some works championing the rainbow mob’s cause and died young, of Aids. It doesn’t take much to achieve exalted status with that crowd, as long as you espouse the doctrine.

      Look at Leelah (nee Joshua) Alcorn. All he did was throw himself under a truck after leaving a suicide note intending to destroy his parent’s lives, and also risked the life of the truck driver. That made him an instant legendary hero with the LGBTs.

      • Rob B.

        I’ve often thought that much of Boswell’s status comes from his “martyrdom.” Also, academics tend to like novelty as much as the average person and what Boswell was researching in the 80s was indeed novel. Perhaps the trouble is that he died before those who would criticize him would feel comfortable doing so.

      • Michael Ejercito

        Actually, it should be Joshua Alcorn, dba Leelah.

        He was mentally disordered.

  • Veritas81

    Glad to know the “clerical celibacy as a scapegoat for homosexual behavior” argument has been around for 700 years!

  • Asmondius

    This one comes up all of the time, it’s a standard item in the pro-homo playbook.

    But who am I to judge?

  • zurvan

    Boswell’s claim isn’t that compelling, but then neither is your rebuttal. Humans being human, probably a few gay people used adelphopoiesis as a means of providing cover to their relationship, while for others it was a strictly monastic exercise in fraternity as you suggest.

    • Martin Woo

      There were no a gay adelphoiesis .

      • zurvan

        One would have had to have been there to know that for certain. It’s all speculation in the absence of solid evidence either way.

        • Martin Woo

          Wrong, they left ample evidence. There was no homosexual marriage , no heterosexuality being “embraced” It was always an absurd notion by sad misfits attempting to alter a reality to fit their warped views.

          • zurvan

            I fail to see why anyone should care either way.
            And no, you can’t tell me that not a single one of these pairings weren’t two gay men who used it as a pretext. There’s just no evidence to indicate how pervasive it may or may not have been.

          • Martin Woo

            Of course no one can convince you that two men feel love for each other without it being a homosexual desire.
            It’s part of your development disorder. If you ever felt the reality of fatherly and brotherly love, you’ wouldn’t be a homosexual.
            Homosexuality is caused by the absence of male love, not the inclusion of it.

            ” I fail to see why anyone should are either way”
            Your entire life seems to be about everyone caring about it

          • zurvan

            Were it true that it was merely some absence of brotherly or paternal affection, then homosexuality would be changeable/curable. In fact, it’s been shown to not respond to therapy at all (see former Exodus International for entertainingly hilarious failure in that regard) and to be durable across lifespan. Gay straight or bi, you love whom you love.
            Of course, plenty of men experience love for one another that has nothing to do with being gay. One of the great benefits to straight men from increasing acceptance of homosexuality is that they’ll have to worry less about appearing gay to one another or to others, because nobody would care if they were. You’d be amazed how much easier that can make real intimacy between straight guy friends.
            Lastly, you don’t know anything about my entire life, so let’s keep the ad hominem out of it, shall we?

          • daisy37

            Friend, this is not a fruitful way to “win” the argument. The Church asks us to treat people who have homosexual attractions with sensitivity, respect, and love.

      • Miriam Circle

        “Could the arrangement of adelphopoesis be abused by homosexual men seeking to find a civil form of tolerance? Of course! Did it ever happen. Probably. Men have used monasteries to cloak improprieties and escape the glare of the society. Read Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales for more details.” Quoted in the above article by Dr. Marshall