This article is also available in: Português Español

The Vatican recently issued a note saying it could not bless same-sex couples because it cannot “bless sin“, causing negative repercussions and even singer Elton John decided to speak up.

However, it seems that the Catholic Church did not always think this way, considering that two saints: St. Sergius and São Bacchus, would have had a homoaffective relationship.

Their story was revealed in a Greek text called “The Passion of Sergius and Bacchus”, dating from the 4th century, and the two were described as lovers. According to legend, the two were officers of the Roman army and did not separate even after death.

According to the book “Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality”, written by the historian John Boswell (1947-1994), the two formed a gay couple respected by the Church and the Church, throughout history, would have tried to “cover up” this past.

Boswell argues that both went through a rite called “adelphopoiesis” which, according to him, consisted of a type of homoaffective union, which supports the theory that the Catholic Church was more favorable to homosexuals.

According to the biography, they were allegedly high-ranking Roman soldiers and were martyred when they accompanied the Roman emperor Galerius Maximian (260-311) on a trip to the Middle East.

St. Sergius and St. Bacchus: meet the gay couple who would have been blessed by the Catholic Church

At that time, Christianity was persecuted by the Romans, but Sergius and Bacchus professed their faith in hiding. During a trip, both would have refused to participate in an offering to God Jupiter in a pagan temple, and thus the Romans saw that they were both Christians.

As a way of ridiculing them, the soldiers dressed them both in women’s clothing and tortured them. Bacchus could not bear it and died. Days later, Sergius was beheaded.

The oldest known sacred icon of the duo, an image from the 7th century, shows Sergius and Bacchus represented side by side the figure of Christ. Boswell explains that at that time, heterosexual couples in Ancient Rome were portrayed in this way, in which “a deity” occupies that position as “a bridesmaid supervising the marriage”.

In addition to both, there are other Church saints who would be LGBT, including the union of Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicity, performed together in an amphitheater in Roman Africa in the 3rd century; Saint Aelred, with several manuscripts in which he talks about “love between people of the same gender” and Saint Sebastian, who would have been shot and beaten to death for defying the Roman Empire and defending the Christians.

With information from Adventures in History and BBC

This article is also available in: Português Español

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Jornalista formado pela PUC do Rio de Janeiro, dedicou sua vida a falar sobre cultura nerd/geek. Gay desde que se entende por gente, sempre teve desejo de trabalhar com o público LGBT+ e crê que a informação é a a melhor arma contra qualquer tipo de "fobia"