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Peggy Fletcher Stack
Peggy Fletcher Stack has been producing stories for The Salt Lake Tribune's award-winning Faith section for nearly two decades. Writing about contemporary faith, rituals, and spirituality as well as religion's conflicts and cohesion has always been Stack's passion. Follow her at facebook.com/peggy.fletcherstack, Twitter @religiongal

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Blogger casts his vote for Pope Yoda I

There’s one pope candidate everyone might agree on: Yoda.

OK, the "Star Wars" guru is not really a candidate (fictional character, you know, and no evidence of being Catholic), but a figure like Yoda would transform the papacy, Religion News Service blogger Omid Safi argues.

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Installing Yoda as the Holy Father would move the office from "an embodiment of authority to one that emphasizes spiritual transmission," Safi writes, whose mission would be "to instruct, to awaken, to help his followers become who and what they are destined to be."

Pope Yoda could shift the focus from one religious tradition, he writes, to "the interconnectedness of all existence ... help us see beyond a notion of a personal God (creating God in our own image) to seeing the sacred as the very connection of the whole universe."

Safi imagines a green-headed, big-eared pope saying something like this: "For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.

"Life creates it, makes it grow.

"Its energy surrounds us and binds us.

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.

"You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes.

"Even between the land and the ship."

Such a teacher might help humans end war, understand suffering, the blogger writes, and think in new ways.

Safi, professor of Islamic Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is kidding, of course.

But maybe the College of Cardinals should be searching for Dagobah — or its real life equivalent — on Google maps or in their hearts.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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