What Does Pope Francis Know About Who God Is Not?

Pope Francis had a go at apophatic theology yesterday, telling us that God “is not a magician with a magic wand.” I am frankly disappointed that he stayed in such shallow waters–via negativa-lite, if you will. Every serious person knows quite a lot about who and what G-d is not. The giant Dumbledore, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, these are easily repressed illusions. If Francis had said with his winning smile that the name of G-d cannot be uttered truly because G-d is no-thing and no-where and beyond being or nonbeing despite having 99 names, or 33 million shapes, then we would be on the path toward understanding the stakes between kataphatic and apophatic theologies. But no! And what of the question of potentiality vs. actuality? Which comes first? And is Spinoza an atheist or the truest theist? We need leadership from this pope, not just fine speeches that merely scratch the surface.

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