Ilia Delio, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Washington, D.C., is the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University. She is the author of 16 books, including Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology and Consciousness (Orbis Books 2015), and the general editor of the series Catholicity in an Evolving Universe.
It seems the pope wants to take the church to a new place in the world, not as an authoritarian leader, but as an animator of the spirit. However, he has ignored the novel theology ushered in by the early Franciscan theologians.
Pope Francis makes a plea for human solidarity and fraternity. But how does he tell the world what it needs to do when he spearheads an institution grounded in patriarchy, hierarchy and ontological differences?
Unless we grapple with matter — not only in scientific research but all aspects of world-unfolding life — we are missing out on the power of life itself, the power we name as God.
Religious life was never meant to be a bounded, closed system or a tribe, but a life lived on a new level of consciousness of belonging to the whole earth, in love with the whole Body of Christ.