A well-known Franciscan Sister theologian who writes and speaks on science and religion has commented positively on an inclusive church for LGBTQ people, and others who are marginalized.
Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, was interviewed by The National Catholic Reporter on the occasion of the publication of her memoir, entitled Birth of a Dancing Star. During the interview she proposed:
“‘A church grounded in the core reality of God’s love must be a church living from the center of that love, which is why the church can survive into the future only if it opens wide its doors to all those it currently excludes: women, laity, gay, non-binary, transgendered, divorced, and remarried,’ she writes. Love does not fixate on doctrines and canon laws, but is ‘patient and kind,’ as St. Paul wrote.”
Before taking religious vows, Delio studied neuroscience and neurotoxicity. Her background in science has led to her seeing religion through a lens of love and evolution, seeing God as a reflection of the chaos of life. It has also led her to many considerations about the future of the Catholic Church. In 2018, Delio criticized the church for not engaging responsibly and sufficiently with modern biology, suggesting, “If the church cannot accept modern biology and a deeply enmeshed biological God, then how in the world will we ever be set free?” The implications for the church taking science seriously on LGBTQ issues could be revolutionary.
When creatures evolve, they change to be better suited to their environment, which is itself changing. Creatures who remain unchanged can survive in a static environment, but when situations change, only that which changes can move forward. So it is with nature, and according to Delio, so it is with the church.
The love that the church is built on must extend to all who make up the body of Christ without judgement or condition.
—Artemis Walsh, February 23, 2020