October 7, 2013

A Quakerish Pope?  Or merely a very spiritually attuned one?Pope Francis

Worth reading is a recent interview with Pope Francis conducted by Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica.  Scalfari, an atheist, had written to request an interview, and was floored when the Pope himself called to schedule a time. 

 The whole interview is worth reading and pondering. I was especially struck by one interchange in which Pope Francis says something very akin to something George Fox said.   Said Pope Francis,

“From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us. In the letter I wrote to you, you will remember I said that our species will end but the light of God will not end and at that point it will invade all souls and it will all be in everyone."

Scalfari then asks whether this isn’t more an image of immanence than of transcendence. And Pope Francis responds:

“Transcendence remains because that light, all in everything, transcends the universe and the species it inhabits at that stage.”

For comparison, here is George Fox, in Chapter One of his Journal:

“I saw, also, that there was an ocean of darkness and death; but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness. In that also I saw the infinite love of God, and I had great openings.”

also posted on River View Friend

Views: 427

Comment by Randy Oftedahl on 10th mo. 7, 2013 at 6:16pm

I am so impressed with this pope and his example of graciousness and openness.  

Comment by Julie DeMarchi Heiland on 10th mo. 8, 2013 at 2:13am

Well, I hate to break it to you, but the Pope is actually Catholic. It's all true.

Comment by Doug Bennett on 10th mo. 8, 2013 at 8:49am

A reader comment on a post on The Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan's blog, voices the same thought:

"I read your selections from the Pope’s interview, and something struck me very, very deeply about many of the passages.  Pope Francis seems rather like a Quaker.  First of all, he talks about God’s light being everything, in everyone, and that goodness is universal.  This concept is at the core of Quaker theology.  In addition, his mystical experience before accepting the papal seat seems rather like what Quakers seek, often in vain, every single Sunday.  He cleared his head, calmed himself, and listened for God.  In return, God filled him with a sense of purpose and holy light."

Comment by Julie DeMarchi Heiland on 10th mo. 22, 2013 at 1:19am

Mr. Bennett, I have to say, it's a little insulting. This happens to be Catholic theology from a Catholic pope. Just because you like what he's saying and perhaps see some overlap doesn't make him "Quakerish." Do you know what I mean?

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