Theodore of Tarsus

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St Theodore of Tarsus
Saint Theodore of Tarsus (602–690) a Greek from Tarsus in Cilicia (the birthplace of St Paul; now in southern Turkey) was Archbishop of Canterbury from 669 to his death.

In 670 he published a Penitential, or book of penances prescribed for various sins. Sinners were to do penance for one year for inter-femoral contact (penis between thighs); 3 years for all lesbian activity; 7 to 15 years for anal intercourse; 7 to 22 years for fellatio; and, for comparison, 7 to 10 years for murder; 15 years for infanticide (reduced to 7 years if the mother was a pauper). If caught kissing, boys under the age of 20 were subject to 6 special fasts; 8 fasts if it was "licentious kissing"; 10 fasts if it was "kissing with emission"; more if it involved mutual masturbation; and much longer if the partners were over the age of 20.[1]


  1. Rictor Norton, A History of Homophobia