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.”
SOURCE: A Quakerish Pope?.
As this source article says the pope’s words about the light of God being within us is very Quakerish. It is also very much aligned with scientific discovery (as opposed to creationism). I have high hopes that this pope will continue where John Paul left off and put the Catholic church into a 21st century timeframe. I can only then pray that the evangelicals will someday follow suit.