Sodomy and the Catholic Church

SATYR III. Loyola's Will.

. . .

So I to you my last Instructions give,
Let each to my important Words give Ear,
Worth your Attention, and my dying Care.
First, and the chiefest Thing by me enjoyn'd,
The solemn'st Tie that must your order bind,
Let each with demur or scruple pay
A Strict Obedience to the Roman Sway;
To the unerring Chair all Homage swear,
Altho' a Punk, a Witch, a Fiend sit there;
Who e'er is to the sacred Mitre rear'd,
Believe all Virtues with the Place conferr'd:
Think him establish'd there by Heav'n tho' he
Has Altars robb'd for Bribes the Choice to buy,
Or pawn'd his soul to Hell for Simony:
Tho' he be Atheist, Heathen, Turk or Jew,
Blasphemer, Sacrilegious perjur'd too;
Tho' Pander, Bawd, Pimp, Pathick, Buggerer,
What e'er old Sodom's Nest of Letchers were;
Tho' Tyrant, Traitor, Pois'ner, Parricide,
Magician, Monster, all that's bad beside:
Fouler than Infamy; the very Lees,
The Sink, the James, the Common-shore of Vice:
Strait count him holy, virtuous, good, devout,
Casthe, gentle, meek, a Saint, a God, who not? [p.27]

SOURCE: John Oldham, Satyrs upon the Jesuits: Written in the Year 1679. And very applciable to the present Times. Dublin, 1725.

Sins of the Popes

Pope Clement the 8th was a bastard, a bawd, a ravisher and a sodomite.

Pope Julius the 3d kept a young man called Innocent, as a catamite, and made him cardinal; and jerom Mutius wrote in defence of sodomy, which book was licensed by said pope, and called a divine work; for he was pleased with no other kind of venery.
. . .
Pope Sixtus the 4th unjustly vexed all Italy with wars; one of his own writers saith among all the bawds of those latter days that kept brothel-houses, this pope surmounted them all; at Rome he erected stews of a double abomination, allowed the whole family of the cardinal of St. Lucy free leave to use sodomy; he caused every whore to pay him a certain rate, which yearly amounted to the sum of 40000 duckets. [p.8]
. . .
Pope John the 24th was accused before the council of Constance, for simony, heresy, poisoning, cozenings, murder, adulteries, and sodomy;p which being proved against him, he was deposed and banished 'till death. [p.10]
. . .

SOURCE: Richard Buffington, Two Sermons, Dublin, 1701.

More Sins of the Popes

Paul III. had Bastards, and one of them was Pero Lewis the most abominable Sodomite of his Time; and for the same was put to Death. [p.37] . . .

THIS wretched Julius (as some Authors say) was reputed for a great Sodomite. Queen Anne of France (say they) sent two young Gentlemen to Cardinal Robertus Nonetensis to be instructed, and they were abused by the Pope. these are Things, [p.135] which neither honest Pen ought to write, nor chast Ears to hear; yet it is necessary to discover the Wickedness of the Pope: And tho' Julius was such an one, yet he did not want some that did extol him for most holy and godly, and for wise, prudent, and a Man of Council. When Julius had poped ten Years, he died in 1513. [p.137]

. . . This Clement had great Vices: He was a Wizzard, a Man-slayer, a Brotheller, a Simonists, Sodomite, perjured, Ravisher of young Maids, Necromances, and Sacrileger: [p.140] Adorn'd with these precious Stones, he exercis'd the Papal Office, which is, never to preach the Gospel, but to persecute them that preach it, and cast them out of the Church. . . . [p.141]

So wicked was John of the House of Florence, Archbishop of Benevente, Dean of the Apostolick Chamber, and Nuncio of this Julius III, in Venice, that he composed a Book in Praise of the Sin of Sodomy, which Book he dedicated to the Pope, and by his Licence was printed at Venice by Troyano Nova in the Year 1552. See now, if the Abominations of the Amorites are not come to the Height. Awake, Lord, remember and judge thine own Cause: Help thy Church, for Swine destroy her. A Spanish Proverb says, Qual Abad, tal Monecillo: Such Abbot, such Servant. The Pope was an abominable Sodomite, and so his Nuncio was. [p.150] . . .

Dante, an Author, more ancient than Petrarca, and Bocace who lived at the same Time with Petrarca say as much against the Pope: Dante in his 7th Song of Hell accuseth the Pope of Covetousness; in the 11th Song he accuseth him of Heresy, and in the 15th and 19th, of Sodomy and Simony: These are the four Cardinal Vertues which are found in the Popes, Covetousness, Heresy, Sodomy, and Simony.

Bocace, in the 2d Novel of the Jornada of his Decameron, in the Name of a Jew called Abraham, says, That generally all the Court of Rome, from the greatest to the least, dishonestly lived in the Sin of Whoredom, and not Naturally only, but also Sodomitically, without any Bridle, any Remorse of Conscience, or Shame, &c. They have (says he) neither Holiness, Devotion, or good Words, &c. [p.179]

SOURCE: D. Antonio Gavin, A Master-Key to Popery, Vol. 2, London, 1726.

Ecclesiastical Memorials

Ecclesia Cathedral. de Litchfield.

Then follows a full Account of all the Uncleanesses, Sodomy, and Superstitions of the Members in the Cathedral Church. Next in the Monastery of Repindon, alias Repton. For Sodomy, are Four with [p.256] their Names. . . .

In another Monastery, named Giradon. Under the Title Sodomitae, Five with their Names, and particular Filthiness: whereof one named Robert Wekeston, is said to have to do, cum decem pueris. Whereof one of these desired to be freed from their Religion. . . .

Thurgarton, a Priory. Here were Twelve Sodomites. Whereof Richard Newark with Four Boys: John York with divers Boys: Thomas Dethick, Prior, with divers Women: William Kimberly with two single Women, and as many married. five incontinent with single and married Women. Eight of this House desired to be free from Religion.

Rifford. Here were Six Sodomites: Three incontinent. Six desired to be free of Religion. A great deal more follows in these Comperta in the other Monasteries and Nunneries there mentioned. But this Specimen is enough, and too much. [p.257]

SOURCE: John Stripe, Ecclesiastical Memorials, London, 1733, vol. 2.

History of Waltham Abbey

I shall now present the Reader with a black Bill, which will make him both blush and sigh, of some eminent Malefactors, notoriously wicked, as mentioned by Mr. John [p.216] Speed in his History of Great-Britain Pag. 791. Col. 1. 3d Edition.

In Battle Abbey.

John Abbot
Richard Salchurst
Thomas Cuthbert
William March
John Hasting
Gregory Champion
Clement Westfield
John Cross
Thomas Erambrook
Thomas Boyll
John Hamfield
John Jherom
Clement Grigg
Richard Tovey
John Austine

These fifteen were all Sodomites.

In Canterbury.

Richard Gomershan
William Litchfield
John Goldingstone
Nicholas Clement
William Cawston
John Ambrose
Thomas Farley
Thomas Morton

These Eight were Sodomites.
. . .
In St. Augustine.

Thomas Barham, a Whore-master and a Sodomite. [p.217]

In Chichester.

John Champion and Roger Barham, both of them Sodomites. [.218]
. . .

In Bath Monastery.

Richard Lincombe, had seven Whores, and was also a Sodomite.
. . .
This Catalogue is attested with the Authority of Henry Steven's Apology for Herodotus, taken from a Book containing the Vileness discovered at the Visitations of Monasteries. And it was generally reported (tho' it is hoped improbably, and without Foundation) that the Abbots made Provision for their Lusts in the Leases, that the Tenants should furnish them with Fewel for their Wantonness. . . . [p.219]

SOURCE: J. Farmer, The History of the Ancient Town, and once Famous Abbey, of Waltham, London, 1735.

History of the Reformation

The sinister Arts us'd by the Grand Visitor's Agents, to draw the Monks into Surrenders, are, for the most part, Inventions of the Enemies to the Reformation, as it easily prov'd if there was occasion for it. I shall content myself with one Article only, the dissolute Lives of the Monks and Nuns, which Mr. Brown Willis is so play as to lay to the charge of those he calls the Reformation Writers: "The Accusation of all the Monasteries," says he, "depends only ont he single Testimony of a vile Pamphlet, publish'd in one of the Editions of Speed's History of England. Which is so far from being true, that there is hardly a Treatise of Monkery or Monks in any Language in Christendom, before as well as since the Reformation, not written by one of the Fraternity, but speaks of their Immoralities; Boccace and Chaucer, no reformation Writers, make them the subject of their Satyr and Faillery; and this is so well known, that it is Impertinent to go about to prove that Lewdness, Luxury, and Laziness were the Characteristicks of Monkery.

Willis, in his Mitred Abbies, has made use of Speed for the Valuation of the Revenues of the Monasteries, but had no regard to what he says of the unparallel'd Abominations of the Monks; on the contrary, he abuses him and the Book he took his Memoirs from. (Speed 791:) "Besides the idle Ignorance and voluptuous Ease of these Cloister'd Votaries, Montastical Sensualities afforded a shameful Discovery of wicked Adulteries and filthy Sodomites, whose Sins, as they then stain'd the World, so let the remembrance stain that Religion that debars the Bed of lawful Marriage, and dispenseth with such crying Sins. A Catalogue of whose Names, if the Ink stain the Paper whereon they stand, shall be a Record of their filthy Shame, as long as Ink is to be read upon Paper. Take them then from his Testimony that took them out of an English Book, containing an Inventory, or Catalogue, of the Villainies discover'd in the Visitation of Monasteries, Convents, Collegiate Churches, and other Religious Houses in England, by Command of King Henry VIII. wherein the Whoredoms, Adulteries, Incests, and filthy Sodomies of the Monks, Friars, and Priests, both Names and Surnames are written, as,

In Battel Abbey.

John Abbot
Richard Salchurst
Thomas Cuthbert
William March
John Hasting
Gregory Champion
Clement Wytfield
John Crosse
Thomas Cranbrook
Thomas Bayls
John Hamfield
John Sherom
Clement Grigge
Richard Tovey
John Austine


In Canterbury Abbey.

Richard Gormersham
William Litchfield
John Goldmingston
Nicholas Clemens
William Cawston
John Ambrose
Thomas Farleg
Thomas Morton


In St. Augustine's. Thomas Barham, a Whoremonger and Sodomite.

In Chichester. John Champion, Robert Barham. Sodomites. [p.90]

. . . In Bath Monastery, Richard Lincombe had seven Whores, and was also a Sodomite. . . .

There are above forty Sodomites and notorious Whoremongers in twelve Monasteries only, how many then must there have been in six hundred on the modestest Computation! No a word like this in Bishop Tanner's Preface to his Notitia Monastica; not a word like it in Mr. Brown Willis's Mitred Abbeys; instead of these plain Facts we find there Extenuations, Mitigations, and downright Denials of the Records, to warrant their wasting so much time on the Memory of those Gothick Seats of Impiety, Lewdness and Ignorance. . . . [p.91]

On the same Day the Lord Cromwel was Beheaded, Edward Lord Hungerford had also his Head cut off on the Scaffold on Tower-Hill, having been attainted for Sodomy, there was no need of adding and keeping an Heretical Chaplain, unless it was to throw Scandal on those the Romish Prelates then call'd Hereticks. . . . [p.123]

SOURCE: John Oldmixon, The History of England . . . Including the History of the Reformation, London, 1739.

An Anecdote

The Italians generally make their Exit like good Christians, but 'tis with very great Reluctance. A Man who was condemn'd to die some Years ago for the Crime which brought down Fire from Heaven upon Sodom, would not hear any Talk of Confession; upon which Cardinal Banchieri, at that time only a Prelate, being one of his Comforters, and exhorting him to beg of God to pardon his Sins; What, said the Criminal to him, would you have me die for a Crime of which you Priests are all guilty to a Man? I don't know, said the Cardinal, of any Priests that are so unhappy as to commit such a Crime; but if there are, they don't plead guilty in the Face of Justice. Another Malefactor being very loth to die, a Comforter said to him that Kings and Popes must all submit to Death. True, reply'd the Convict, But they are not all hang'd. [Vol. II, p. 112]

SOURCE: The Memoirs of Charles-Lewis, Baron de Pollnitz. London, 1737.

The Inquisition in Portugal

In Portugal, the crime of Sodomy belongs to the trial of the inquisition, in which they are to proceed as that of heresy, observing the same manner and form. In the laws of Portugal, sodomites are to be punished with death, and confiscation of all their effects, and their children and grand-children become infamous. Whether the natural death of a sodomite, if the crime hath not been proved, they cannot proceed against him, neither as to the crime, nor confiscation of effects, although the crime can be provied by legal witnesses; because crimes, which are not particularly excepted, of which sodomy is one, are extinguished by the death of the delinquent. Nor do they proceed against a dead sodomite, nor confiscate his effects, or altho' he hath been convicted or confessed when he was alife. If such a one takes sanctuary in a church, he cannot be taken out of it. These are privileges which are denied to a heretic. And yet it may happen, that a truly pious man who fears God, and is more careful of his eternal salvation, may be deemed an heretic by the Portugueze ministors; whereas a sodomite cannot be but the vilest of men. But it is not at all strange, that by the laws of the tribunal, Barabbas should be released, and Christ crucified.

SOURCE: John Marchant, The Bloody Tribunal: or An Antidote against Popery. Being a Review of the Horrid Cruelties of the Inquisition, as practised in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and the East and West-Indies, On all those whom the Church of Romne brands with the Name of Hereticks. Aberdeen, 1770.

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