Council of London

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The Council of London was a church council called in the year 1102 by Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury. It passed various decrees to reform the clergy, including reinforcing the ban on priests marrying. It also confirmed that homosexual acts were sinful and needed to be confessed.

"Those committing the crime of sodomy and those voluntarily abetting them were in this Council condemned and subjected to a heavy curse until by penitence and confession they proved themselves fit to receive absolution. Anyone found notoriously guilty of this crime, so it was decreed, if he be one of the religious order, is not to be preferred to any further step in the hierarchy; and, if he already holds any such preferment, is to be deposed from it. If a layman, he is throughout the whole of England to be deprived of the status which by law belongs to his rank; and no one except a bishop is henceforth to presume to give absolution from this crime to any who have not vowed to live under rule. It was also decreed that throughout the whole of England such excommunication should be renewed in all churches every Sunday."[1]

"But Anselm as Archbishop of Canterbury prohibited the publication of their decree, advising the Council that homosexuality was widespread and few men were embarrassed by it or had even been aware it was a serious matter; he felt that although sodomites should not be admitted to the priesthood, confessors should take into account mitigating factors such as age and marital status before prescribing penance, and he advised counselling rather than punishment."[2]