Originally published by U.S.Catholic
Imagine picking up the phone only to hear Pope Francis’ voice on the other line. It seems almost absurd, yet this is what happened to me a couple of years ago. After a senior member of the Brazilian church hierarchy sought to have me forcibly laicized (which I have written about in further detail elsewhere), Pope Francis called me to confirm my vocation to the priesthood.
Bondings 2.0 asked James Alison, a priest and theologian who is also an openly gay man, to share his personal reaction to the phone call he received a couple of years ago from Pope Francis confirming his priesthood, and which he put into the public domain in October of this year.
Vine 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!
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!”