Press> Catholic priest calls for inclusion of LGBT persons in faith communities

Denis Nzioka News Agency and Service (Kenya) 3 Oct, 2014

Catholic priest and theologian says homosexuality is Divine and a call to holiness. Fr James Alison is based in Brazil but has worked extensively on homosexuality and Catholic faith, in particular on Catholic consciousness and gay consciousness. Priest calls for inclusion of LGBT persons in Catholic communities and other faiths. Argues homosexuals and transgender persons agents of a ”new Evangelization” capable of freeing themselves from oppression and discrimination. A Catholic priest and theologian has called for the inclusion of LGBT people in Catholic communities in a series of talks as the Vatican prepares to hold the extraordinary Synod on the Family. Father James Alison is a Catholic theologian, priest and author. Originally from the United Kingdom, he is based in Brazil and has worked extensively on homosexuality and Catholic faith, in particular on Catholic consciousness and gay consciousness.

In his latest article Towards Global Inclusion of LGBT People Within Catholic Communities, Fr Alison challenges notions that same sex attractions are sinful and argues that they are God-given.

”We were characterized as somehow defective, pathological, or vitiated straight people; intrinsically heterosexual people who were suffering from a bizarre and extreme form of heterosexual concupiscence called “same-sex attraction.” That description, which turned us, in practice, into second-class citizens in God’s house, is quite simply false. It turns out that we are blessed to be bearers of a not particularly remarkable non-pathological minority variant in the human condition.”

Using Scripture, Fr Alison urges Catholic communities to reflect and be welcoming of LGBT persons just as has been demonstrated by St Peter in the Acts of the Apostles saying ”together with Peter, we are all learning something new about being human.”

”What Peter had said about God showing no partiality among peoples, and God telling him not to call anyone impure or profane, was actually true, far truer than Peter himself had seemed to understand at first.”

The comments were delivered by Fr Alison for ”The Ways of Love,”an international conference towards pastoral care with homosexual and trans people, held in Rome on October 3, 2014 in advance of the Synod of Bishops on the Family.

In his talk, he explained how homosexuals and transgender people can become the protagonists of a new evangelization capable to include all the diversities and to free them from the framework of oppression and discrimination still widely present in different sectors of our societies.

He writes, ”These are our sisters and brothers who have discovered something true about themselves, and about their capacity for love, and know that what is true makes sense to them. And here is what is remarkable: this discovering of something that is true is working in exactly the way that the Gospel said it would, and following just the dynamic of the Spirit that flows upon us from Jesus.”

He dares LGBT persons to re-discover something new in their lives and vocations. ”Who would have thought that it would be LGBT Catholics who could bear witness to the freshness of the Gospel, the way it brings creation alive, even the value of natural law, not as a trap but as an adventure?”