Sunday, August 24, 2014


The late, great Fr. Serge (Keleher), an unlatinized Byzantine Riter, once quipped about ecumania, namely the budding "bromance" between the Orthodox and the non-Byzantine Rite Oriental churches they used to persecute (and why shouldn't these culturally nearly identical families of churches get back together, and, if they can agree that a shared body of faith trumps culture and politics, why can't they get back together with the Catholics?), that if those Oriental churches, long considered Monophysite (I think the Holy See no longer does: it considers both the Byzantine Rite and non-Byzantine Rite Eastern dissidents Orthodox), are "non-Chalcedonian Orthodox," next thing we'll hear the Muslims being called "pre-Nicene Orthodox," which is what Mormonism, Western Christendom's Islam, considers itself, "pre-Nicene Christianity." In other words, Joseph Smith's philosophically nonsensical (no explanation for the universe; it's eternal) sex cult based on his imitation of the King James Bible was the truth, then those papists at Nicea loused it all up, a variation on a common Protestant theme about the church: "Our holy founder finally got it right; Jesus is lucky to have us." (Mormonism's wholesomeness based on golden-era, '50s America, the reason the mainstream now makes fun of it, is a cover. !evitavresnoc ton yllaer s'tI)

Old friend Brendan Ross once elaborated on how Islam is Eastern Christendom's (estranged Catholics) bastard: versions of Mary and Jesus are in the Koran because Mohammed knew or at least knew of the Nestorians, and the Turks, who came from central Asia with little culture, stole the architecture for the mosque by literally taking Greek Orthodox churches and ripping out the altar and icons: Hagia Sophia, the cathedral whose beauty legendarily converted the Russians.


Fr. Patrick Reardon writes:
Islam’s success, in Belloc’s view, derives precisely from its being fundamentally a Christian heresy. As a denial of the Incarnation, it is the one heresy that has endured and flourished. In more-philosophical terms, Pope Benedict has made essentially the same observation. “Mohammed’s burning appeal was an appeal to simplicity and the relaxation of the intelligence,” Belloc remarked in 1929.
It's been written that all heresy appeals to simplicity: the Protestants claiming early Christian simplicity vs. the church, which the Mormons riff on, being apostate Protestants. Fr. Serge explained to me in person, describing his own religious odyssey (New York Irish Catholic turned Russian Orthodox in 1961, ordained in 1967, then turned Russian Catholic in 1973), in small-o orthodoxy there are tensions, such as between universality (propositional religion) and particularity (tribal religion). Schism and heresy try to "fix" those tensions.

Exactly: it was oft viewed in the past as a Christian heresy (though so heretical as no longer to be Christian). A heresy which rejected the Incarnation and the Trinity and reduced God the Father to a unipersonal Lord of all, whose commands are ipso facto true and right, whether or not they are consistent with each other or with truth and goodness - a nominalist Deity. But nonetheless one whose name Allah (drawn from that of a pagan lunar deity, some say) is used by Arabic- (and Malay-) speaking Christians as well as Muslims. As a monotheistic religion that professes to worship the one God, though understanding God quite wrongly, it still seems (whatever of a pretended revelation by an angel manifestly not good nor Gabriel to a pretended prophet of low and bloodthirsty morals) that Muslims attempt to worship the true God. Which, ironically, makes their cult better than pagan polytheism (e.g. Hinduism) or an ultimate denial of all reality (Buddhism). And I say this not with any love of Islam.

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