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Blog of the Grateful Bear

ramblings of a freelance panentheist {"all things are in God, and God is in all things"} . . . musings on Emergent spirituality, powerlifting, LGBTQueer issues, contemplative prayer, mysticism, cats, music, healing, and more. I like my coffee and my existentialism dark-roasted.

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Location: Marietta, Georgia, United States

I'm an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor), in private practice in Marietta, Georgia. My writings on queer spirituality have been published in Whosoever and several other magazines. I live in a house-in-the-woods (Bear's Hermitage) in Marietta with Leonidas (Lenny) and Guy, Mighty Warrior Cats, and way too many books.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

BookLog: Letters to Pope Francis, by Matthew Fox

I’ve been a fan and admirer of the Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox since the mid-1990’s. His books on Creation Spirituality were very helpful to me as I was emerging from my fundamentalist background and learning that there were more open and inclusive paths of spirituality, even within the Christian tradition. I will always be grateful for his essay “The Spiritual Journey of the Homosexual… and Everyone Else” (from his book Wrestling with the Prophets), which was hugely influential in my journey out of the closet as a gay man. Matthew Fox has also been influential in the Emerging Christian conversation, as seen in this Sunday Devotional from Mike Morrell.

Fox’s new book, Letters to Pope Francis, is a book full of realism but also a book full of hope. In a series of essays addressed as letters to the new Pope, the Rev. Fox outlines in detail the many problems facing the Roman Catholic Church today (and by extension the Christian church as a whole). Fox is writing as a priest who still dearly loves the church that excommunicated him. He wants to see the church confront the hierarchical thinking that led to so many of the church’s problems and emerge as a healing force for good in the world.

As I read through the book I couldn’t help but feel cynical at times. I doubted whether Fox’s proposals about the church going in a new direction would ever be taken seriously, or if he was destined to be just another “voice crying in the wilderness.” But then I read in the news that Pope Francis has expressed a surprising openness to Liberation Theology, which his predecessor was strongly against. Pope Francis has also shown a solidarity with and consideration for the poor that we never saw under Pope Benedict XVI.

The hopes that Matthew Fox has expressed in Letters to Pope Francis are not just pipe dreams; they are actual possibilities. My prayer is that Fox’s dream – and the dream of many others – of “rebuilding a church with justice and compassion” will truly become a reality.

Click here to read an interview with Matthew Fox about Letters to Pope Francis.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many thanks Darrell, for this information about Fox's new book.I have been a fan if Matthew Fox and attended one if his seminars when he came to Birmingham, but I haven't kept up with him in the past few years. I have also had hope and encouragement (along with so many others) about what I've seen in Pope Francis. Thanks also for that link to the Fox interview.I'll definitely have to check out this latest book from Matthew Fox.

9:55 PM, September 10, 2013  
Blogger Jon said...

Sounds great!

11:15 AM, September 11, 2013  
Anonymous Charles Kinnaird said...


Thanks for this review. I tried to post a comment earlier in the week, but I think I hit the wrong key before I finished my identity info typed in, so it may have gone to an unknown zone. This was good information since I have been a Matthew Fox fan for years and have also been encouraged by Pope Francis.

6:09 PM, September 13, 2013  

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