Catholic Religious Australia is bringing British theologian and author Fr James Alison to Australia this month to promote conversation and outreach in the Church on matters concerning LGBTQIA+ people.
In a statement, the CRA National Council said it decided to bring Fr Alison to “nurture truthful dialogue in the Church regarding matters LGBTQIA+, in the hope that better understanding may lead towards improved pastoral practice”.
CRA said it was encouraged by two recent historic events affecting the future, the role and relevance of the Church in Australia – Pope Francis’ invitation to enter into a synodal journey and the Plenary Council of Australia. Both call for a more inclusive, participatory and synodal Church which dialogues.
Since the beginning of his papacy, Pope Francis has been promoting a more pastoral approach to the position of LGBTQIA+ people in the Church.
At the recent World Youth Day in Portugal, he reiterated that the Church is for everyone. The issue has also found its way into the Instrumentum Laboris (working document) for the forthcoming Synod meeting in Rome, which speaks of “walking with people instead of talking about them or solely at them”.
In the Final Report of the Plenary Council, ending discrimination and having greater inclusion for members of the LGBTQIA+ community was a significant topic.
CRA said Fr Alison will share “a vision of an inclusive, psychologically healthy Christian life that is scripturally based, theologically orthodox, and ecclesially grounded. He will focus on how to facilitate transparency and psychological well-being as part of coping with change in self-understanding in this area” at more than 20 speaking engagements in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and Perth from September 18 to October 18.
CRA promotes conversation in Church on matters concerning LGBTQIA+ (Catholic Religious Australia)