Introduction by Roberto de Mattei
Translation curated by Gianandrea de Antonellis
San Pier Damiani (1007-1072), abbot of the monastery of Fonte Avellana and later cardinal bishop of Ostia, was one of the most prominent personalities of the 11th century Catholic reform. His Liber Gomorrhianus appeared around 1049, at a time when corruption was widespread, up to the top of the ecclesiastical world. In this writing, directed to Pope Leo IX, Pier Damiani denounces the perverse vices of his time with a language that knows no false mercy and compromises.
He is convinced that of all sins, the most serious is sodomy, a term that includes all unnatural acts, which want to satisfy sexual pleasure by distracting it from procreation. "If this absolutely ignominious and abominable vice is not immediately stopped with an iron fist, - he writes - the sword of divine wrath will fall upon us, bringing many to ruin". Pope Leo welcomed Liber Gomorrhianus with gratitude, writing to Pier Damiani that "each of the statements of this writing meets with our approval, like water thrown on the diabolical fire" and, taking up the indications of the saint, intervened firmly against the sodomites in the Church.
Today, writes Roberto de Mattei in his introduction to the work, "Liber Gomorrhianus reminds us that there is something more serious than the practiced and theorized moral vice. It is the silence of those who should speak, the abstention of those who should intervene, the bond of complicity that is established between the wicked and those who, under the pretext of avoiding scandal, are silent and silent consent and, worse still, acceptance on the part of men of the Church of homosexuality, considered not as a very serious sin, but as a positive 'tension' towards the good, worthy of pastoral welcome and juridical protection […]. Will the reading of Liber Gomorrhianus lead to instill the spirit of St. Pier Damiani in the heart of some prelate or layman, shaking him from his torpor and pushing him to speak and act? "
Roberto de Mattei he is professor of modern history and Christianity at the European University of Rome and president of the Lepanto Foundation.
Gianandrea de Antonellis, writer, taught Christian literature at the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences in Benevento.
Author: San Pier Damiani
Edition year: 2015