In a press release which has sent shock-waves throughout the Buddhist world it was announced yesterday that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is to become a Jesuit.
Pope Francis has welcomed the move, saying that the two men have long had a mutual concern for peace, mercy and reconciliation. Tenzin Gyatso (whose name in religion will be Francis Xavier) attributes his conversion to assiduous reading of the works of Fr James Martin, SJ.
‘Nothing in our Buddhist scriptures matches the serene wisdom of Fr James’s teaching. At first I thought I would find the notion of a creator God who punishes sinners, and has special favourites rather hard to swallow. But then I grasped that Fr James has the very same problems! He’ s not so sure either. No wonder he is a best seller on airport bookstalls.’
The new convert is said already to be immersed in his studies at an undisclosed campus in California. In the words of the president of his Jesuit college, Fr Arturo Sosa, his course will enable him ‘to scout profitable growth opportunities in relationships, both internally and externally, in emerging, mission-inclusive areas and explore new paradigms and then filter and communicate and evangelize the findings.’
‘I hope one day to meet your Pope’, Tensin Gyatso said, concluding the interview, ‘he is a kindly man. He reminds me of someone I once knew; but I can’t recall who he is the reincarnation of.’