Abstract: It is becoming clear in the life of the Church that those long held to be incapable of being truth-bearers are being revealed as long-term learners of truthfulness, while many who claimed truth turn out to have been blindly defending sacred ideology.
Because of this, LGBT Catholics can begin to enter the field as full participants in the New Evangelisation, as it becomes evident that the shape of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its capacity to build community, a shape to be shared throughout the world in the 21st Century includes the full humanity of LGBT people, along with our ability to discern the shape of love, of flourishing, and of family.
This need for discernment is going to become increasingly urgent in countries, especially in Africa and the Middle East, where God’s name is sullied by association with the hatred and murder of our sisters and brothers.
James Alison (b. 1959) is a Catholic theologian, priest and author. He has studied, lived and worked in Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and the United States as well as his native England. A systematic theologian by training, James’ most recent work is Jesus the Forgiving Victim a programme of induction into the Christian Faith for adults, following on from the insight into desire associated with René Girard. (www.forgivingvictim.com). James earned his doctorate in theology from the Jesuit Faculty in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
He is the author of Knowing Jesus (London: SPCK 1992,8; Springfield: Templegate 1993); Raising Abel New York: Crossroad 1996 (2nd edition, updated, London: SPCK 2010) The Joy of Being Wrong (Crossroad 1998); Faith beyond resentment: fragments catholic and gay (London: Darton Longman & Todd 2001; Crossroad 2001). On being liked (DLT 2003 and Crossroad 2004). Undergoing God (DLT (London) and Continuum (New York) 2006) and Broken Hearts and New Creations: intimations of a great reversal (DLT (London) and Continuum (New York) 2010. Editions of some of James books exist in Spanish, Dutch, French, Russian and Portuguese. Some of his more recent writings can be found in a variety of languages on http://www.jamesalison.co.uk.
A selection of his writings was published in Italian in 2007 by TransEuropa (Ancona – Massa) under the title “Fede oltre il risentimento: coscienza cattolica e coscienza gay”. A further collection in Italian will be forthcoming from the same publisher soon.
James is currently a Fellow of Imitatio (www.imitatio.org). He works as a preacher, lecturer and retreat giver accompanying a wide variety of publics throughout the world. James’ 2014 schedule includes engagements in South Africa, the US, France, the UK, Australia, Italy, Ireland, Malta and Argentina. When not on the road, James lives in São Paulo, Brazil.