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The Zone of Uncertainty (What Pope Francis Said)

Everybody has an opinion or a summary or an interpretation of the  with Pope Francis, and this is the last place you’d come for more, but one part resonates especially powerfully for me. It’s when he talks about uncertainty and doubt.

In seeking God “in all things,” he says, “there is still an area of uncertainty [una zona di incertezza]. There must be.”


If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good. For me, this is an important key. If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble. Uncertainty is in every true discernment that is open to finding confirmation in spiritual consolation.

For me, this is where religion and science can clasp hands.


  1. Rebecca Reynolds says

    Yes. This uncertainty is the very earth from which our humility sprouts. Humility. Hummus. Human.

  2. Buzzy Jackson says

    It’s nice to hear a Pope address this. I’m reminded of Jennifer Michael Hecht’s amazing book on the subject: Doubt: A History.

    Hecht writes: “Until the Greeks filled libraries with skepticism and secularism, no one ever thought of having a religion where the central active gesture was to believe.”

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