The world’s top Jesuit has praised a member of the religious order for his book on LGBTQ theology, saying the book has “many merits.”
Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J., the Jesuits’ Superior General, wrote to Fr. Luis Corrêa Lima, S.J., regarding the latter’s new book, Teologia e Os LGBT+ (“Theology and LGBT+ People”), according to a post from the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics.
In his letter to the Jesuit theologian and minister, Sosa writes, in part:
“[The book] is a work that undoubtedly gathers the fruits of his many years of pastoral accompaniment to LGBT+ people, as well as of his fruitful academic activity at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, especially in the research group ‘Sexual Diversity – Citizenship and Religion’, of which you are the coordinator.
“Your book has many merits. First, it succinctly presents – but without simplifications – the fundamental elements of Catholic Theology and Magisterium on the subject in question, while continuing to make a critical and updated reading of these elements, thus opening the space for a serious and dispassionate reflection and for a mature and sincere dialogue on issues that deeply touch the lives of so many people in their experience of faith.
“In this way, your work is certainly presented as an instrument that favors the understanding of the reality of LGBT+ people in their relationship with faith, with God and with the Church. By providing a reflection on the existential reality of these people with spirituality, moral theology, biblical exegesis and Christian anthropology, your book offers quality information as an opportunity for reflection for all those who wish to better understand this reality to live it in a better evangelical way.”
Sosa concludes by encouraging Corrêa to continue his “apostolic service” to the LGBTQ community, work that is very much a fulfillment of the Jesuits’ mission to be, in the words of Pope Paul VI, “even in the most difficult fields and at the front” where “there is a confrontation between the urgent demands of the human being and the Christian message.”
A description of Corrêa’s book reads, in part:
“Thinking about the reality of the LGBT+ population, from the perspective of theology, requires, above all, letting oneself be sensitized by their pains and painful conflicts, as well as recognizing their talents, contributions and possibilities, overcoming stigmas that, for a long time, built conceptions sexualized and playful of this population that, even with difficulty, achieves greater visibility. Far from being a merely abstract issue, the theme of theology and LGBT+ launches itself into a reality that concerns the concrete life of many people who are not always welcomed by the Christian community. The purpose of this book is to encourage the pouring of oil and wine on human wounds and to contribute to the advancement of doctrine. Our words can save lives, or they can destroy them.”
Fr. Corrêa’s LGBTQ ministry is prophetic, and particularly so in Brazil given the high rates of violence and discrimination that LGBTQ people face there. To receive the blessing of the Jesuits’ Superior General for this work gives the priest and other pastoral workers needed protection to continue their ministry, which is indeed, as the book acknowledges, saving lives.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, October 26, 2021