Gay Priest James Alison Says “Deal With It”

Tabard Inn - a podcast by Vine & Fig - coverVine and Fig podcast co-founder Pat Gothman and his fiancé Jacob Flores interview gay priest James Alison about his phone call with Pope Francis, what he thinks Pope Francis wants to happen in the church on LGBTQ issues, why the gay issue is more an emotional issue for the Church than a theological one, the unique spiritual insights that queer catholics have for the rest of the Church in this time of crisis, and a whole lot more!

‘This is Pope Francis calling…’

Tablet-2019-09-28This article was published in the British Catholic weekly, The Tablet, on 28 September 2019.

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In this year’s international bestseller, In the Closet of the Vatican, Frédéric Martel reveals that two years ago Pope Francis phoned a prominent gay priest and theologian ordered by the Vatican not to teach, preach or celebrate the Sacraments.

And then this: “I want you to walk with deep interior freedom, following the Spirit of Jesus. And I give you the power of the keys. Do you understand? I give you the power of the keys.”

More recently I have had the privilege of being able to ask a very distinguished canonist what this means, this immediate act of the Universal Ordinary sending me forth as a sort of clandestine mercy priest. He roared with laughter and said: “Canonically, it makes no sense at all, but … he does these things!”


Stretching Girard’s Hypothesis: Road Marks for a Long-Term Perspective


Violence and the Sa - covercred in the Ancient Near East Girardian Conversations at ÇatalhöyükPublished as Chapter 9 of Ian Hodder (ed). Violence and the Sacred in the Ancient Near East: Girardian Conversations at ÇatalhöyükCambridge: CUP 2019.

What might those who follow the thought of René Girard have to offer to those currently excavating Çatalhöyük and Göbekli Tepe in Turkey? The answer to this question will depend to a great extent on how followers of Girard’s thought, like myself and others in this collection, are able to match the generosity we have been shown by those involved in the discipline. I hope we can do something of this by making Girard’s hypothesis available to people working in the area, clarifying it (especially where notorious misapprehensions about it have arisen), filling out some of its many lacunae (for instance, in the eighty thousand or so years between the arrival of homo sapiens sapiens and the axial era, from which most of Girard’s evidence is derived), and showing that it does at least enable some intelligent questions to be asked of the sort which might lead those working at the “trowel’s edge” to look at elements of what they have seen in a different light.

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