SCHISM OR EVOLUTION?

by ILIA DELIO

Something momentous is happening in our midst. The concerted efforts to oust Pope Francis are deeply tied to the perverted crisis of abuse embedded in ecclesiastical power structures.  While some may spiritually rely on Julian of Norwich’s “all shall be well”, the fact is, all is not well and will not be well unless the Church undergoes a deconstruction of power and authority and a reconstruction along new lines of inclusivity and integrated systems.

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DEATH IN THE CHURCH: IS NEW LIFE AHEAD?

by ILIA DELIO

The recent disclosure of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and the extent of depravity reported in the news is symptomatic of a Church in crisis.  It is no longer acceptable for the Pope simply to issue a public apology nor is it sufficient for any group merely to reflect on what has happened by issuing position statements. The Church has a deep structural problem which is entirely bound to ancient metaphysical and philosophical principles, not to mention imperial politics, that at this point require either a radical decision towards a new ecclesial structure or accept the possibility of a major schism. The rock-solid Church has crushed human souls and twisted authority into deceit. The male-dominated Christ center no longer holds and there is simply no solution or comforting words that can placate the extensive damage to fragile human lives that has taken place over the past decades. The evidence of abuse brought to light in the Catholic Church is simply unfathomable.

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OMEGA CONFERENCE: TOWARDS A PLANETARY FAITH

by ILIA DELIO

I just returned from a wonderful five-day retreat at San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch New Jersey. It is always a special time of the year because it is a “Sisters Retreat,” that is, a retreat especially designed for religious women, replete with adoration, daily Mass and morning and evening prayer.  Basically the retreat follows the daily convent schedule: Matins, Vespers, Mass and afternoon adoration.  This year the theme was “Living from the Heart” and the 137 Sisters gathered from various congregations reflected on the spiritual meaning of the heart.

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TOWARDS A RENEWAL OF THE WHOLE

by ILIA DELIO

We are living on a fragile planet right now. The forces of resistance are felt all around us as we seek to hold on to our personal wealth, privileged security, political freedom and religious beliefs.  But the structures that gave rise to these systems are giving way to something new, a type of interconnectedness that is less bounded, more open, informationally-driven and global in scope. Teilhard de Chardin envisioned a new paradigm at the dawn of the twentieth century and framed the new paradigm along the lines of evolution.

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TEILHARD DE CHARDIN: A BIG THINKER FOR A BIG UNIVERSE

by ILIA DELIO

Teilhard was such a broad, integrated thinker that you either see the economy of  the whole of his thought or none of it. Like the early Greek Fathers, he developed a cosmic Christology based on natural philosophy (science), Scripture (especially the writings of St. Paul) and faith in Jesus Christ.  His theological vision emerged out of a deep, prayerful reflection on the dynamic relationship of God and world with an understanding of evolution beyond Darwinian natural selection.  According to Teilhard, evolution and creation, cosmos and the history of salvation are not contrasts but complementary aspects of the one process of reality.

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WHY WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT CHRISTIANITY AS PLANETARY FAITH

by ILIA DELIO

Several weeks ago I met my first real Teilhard opponent. She was a religion scholar from Indiana University and was quite adamant that Teilhard was a naïve optimist with a radical anthropocentrism.  His vision, she claimed, was ultimately harmful to  a committed ecological presence.  I was a bit shocked by the gross misinterpretation of Teilhard and though I tried to offer a more balanced understanding of his vision, she was clearly opposed to it. She had her own narrative on ecological wholeness and Teilhard simply did not fit in.  And then it dawned on me.  We are living together with a multiplicity of narratives, side by side, sharing conference space and coffee cups, assuming that the next person sees the world as I do, until we start to talk.

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EASTER MESSAGE: FAITH-SHAKING RESURRECTION

by ILIA DELIO

The celebration of Easter marks the most incredible event in this history of the cosmos summed up in a brief acclamation:  “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”   Jesus rises from the dead and returns to empower his disciples with a new energy and a new direction:  Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News (Mark 16:15).  What is the power of the risen Christ in an evolutionary universe?   What does this power mean for the human community, the earth, and the universe itself?

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A HUNGER FOR WHOLENESS

by ILIA DELIO

We have the capacity to wrap the Earth with a new man­tle of compassionate love and peace. But do we have the vision? Can we imagine a new world rising up from the ashes of the old? Teilhard’s vision of planetization and ultra­humanism is not a naïve optimism; it is born out of suffering love, a conviction that God is in the midst of our darkness, and that divine light is shining through the unknown of our fears. God will not tell us what to become but God asks us, What do you want to become?

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BEYOND PATRIARCHY AND GENDER: TOWARDS PERSONHOOD

by ILIA DELIO

I was raised in a matriarchal household by a Sicilian mother who was a staunch feminist long before the term was in vogue. I was taught from an early age that I could achieve anything with hard work and determination. My mother was an advocate for the poor and disenfranchised and did not hesitate to confront male authority on issues of justice and fairness. At five-foot two, she was a fearless stick of dynamite whose laser beam words could easily crush the male ego or leave one in the dust. I sometimes feared for her life because she herself was so completely fearless; and yet when I reflect on her life I know where my own power and determination were born.

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TOWARDS OMEGA: JET SKIING OR SCUBA DIVING?

by ILIA DELIO

One of the most significant social media platforms in our age is Facebook.  One can easily spend a few hours, surfing through the various posts, YouTube videos, and various interest groups.  Recently a Teilhard group was renewed on Facebook and the group has attracted much attention, with various posts on topics pertaining to Teilhard’s thoughts or vision. The Omega Center also has a Facebook page to promote its vision and aim.  Social media does provide a great access to a wide range of information.   But I think Teilhard would have had some caveats with regard to social media...

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