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10 October 2019


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ted richard

perhaps francis ....is.... the manchurian candidate!

The Twisted Genius

I think we have neither heresy nor new dogma. We have an interpretation of a conversation with Pope Francis by an atheist interviewer concerning the Roman Catholic mystery of the Incarnation. Reading the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" explanation of the Incarnation, there are passages that can be interpreted differently when taken separately. It's a mystery for a reason, just like the mystery of one God in the Trinity. I agree with George Carlin on these things. I don't fully understand it. "It's a mystery."




I dunno. This sounds a lot like the Arian heresy.


To a certain degree I like Francis as a human being and thinker...the rest is mumbo jumbo...don't mean to disrespect anyone...

The Twisted Genius

The Arian heresy deals more with the nature of the Trinity, seeing Jesus and the Holy spirit as subordinate to God the Father. I don't think Scalfari went that far in his interpretation.

Note: I'm looking this stuff us as we go along. I am not at all a scholar of the bible or Catholic doctrine.


A lot like Arianism, or its modern incarnation, the Jehovah's Witnesses.



OK. How about "Adoptianism.?"



Yes you do, and it is disrespectful but the heathen are tolerated here so long as they are not communists. Have you heard of "Pascal's Wager?"


the mystery of one God in the Trinity.

Ecce Homo: not easy to grasp, and I would guess it must have sounded pretty heretic in the ears of our Jewish Monotheist brothers and sisters at the time, but really highly inspiring and beautiful once you seriously reflect about it.

What's the Muslims take on matters?

I wasn't aware of all the theories unfolding around Benedict and Francis. Guess I have to take a look on matters from the American perspective. There may be theological bits and pieces:



I have long held that the essence of Christianity is the Sermon on the Mount and if you adhere to the lessons of that, you will become a better human being. I am, however, skeptical of the mystical and mythical aspects. I think Pope Francis is injecting some needed fresh air into a moribund organization. No doubt that will create resistance. But it will probably take a few more popes to get the church where it needs to be in the modern world.

The Twisted Genius

Adoptianism or adoptionism - the belief that Jesus was the adopted son of God. I never heard of anything close to that. Sounds more like an episode of "South Park." This belief seems to hold that Jesus Christ is no more a God than the BVM. Really odd.


I would not rush to judgment on this. Perhaps the interviewer did not know the fine ponts of Christian theology and did not understand precisely what Francis was saying. Without a transcript it is impossible to tell what Francis meant. See "kenosis" at the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia.

For example, when I was a grad student in philosophy at a major Catholic university in the US, I had the chance to meet with a top Vatican theologian personally when he was visting. The first thing he said to was, "You have to understand that I don't believe in God." Being very familiar with Aquinas, I said, "Of course." Then we had a fine discussion of a few of the many fine points of theology.

Diana C

If TTG is wrong and this is not just "an interpretation of a conversation," it would be most definitely heresy.

The Philip Jenkins book I recommended, Jesus Wars (with a long subtitle), covers the entire long, long debate as to exactly how the church came to an understanding of the nature of Christ (Jesus). It IS an informative read.

Of course, as an Evangelical Protestant, we definitely view Jesus as the Divine Christ. Most of our sermons come from the New Testament, though some with references back to the Old Testament.

I remember that as a young girl with several Catholic friends I pondered for a long time the difference between the Catholic crosses, which depict the crucified Christ, and our Protestant crosses, which are empty and which signify the risen Christ.

I like both crosses because together they capture both sides, so to speak, of Jesus.

In San Luis, Colorado ( the oldest town in our state) there is a hill on the west side of the highway where a person can walk, so to speak, the Via Dolorosa. The oldest church in CO is on the east side of that, a very small Catholic church with, of course, the stations of the cross depicted on his walls.

The first time I walked that hill and stopped at each of the stations where a local artist had created bronze statues for each station, when I got to Christ on the Cross, that station was/is on a hill overlooking the San Luis Valley. I got to it just at the time of day when the sky was blood red. Of course, there was no stopping my tears.

We definitely have a Triune God.

Christianity is a very complicated and beautiful system of belief. I became so interested in the history of my religion that I have spent many hours of my life studying it. In some way I believe that Christianity is now practiced in different denominations so that the world can somehow get the entire belief system preached.

As a very young child I sometimes wondered why we didn't get more sermons and lessons on God. Protestants emphasize Christ.

Then later in life, I was able to contemplate The Holy Spirit (or Ghost, if you prefer that terminology). There are many Protestant groups that really concentrate on that. However, I learned it by having to contemplate on and pray for the Spirit during a particularly hard time in my life. It was worth going through that time simply to have actually felt the Spirit working for me then.

I am happy that my particular church concentrates as much on the Old Testament as on the New Testament. As Sunday school students we so enjoyed those many Old Testament stories where God was the main actor of the Trinity during the first part of the book. (I actually read through my Sunday School Bible Story book as often as I have time. It helps me remember the feelings I had when I first believed and became familiar with all those names of the people who were at the center of those stories in both the Old and New Testaments.)

As an English teacher, I learned early that my best students of literature were students who had attended Sunday school. It's hard to explain how much the Bible stories are "embedded" and/or referenced in much of our great literature.


heh heh
Pascal's wager in a time of quantitative easing.

More circles, Dante; we need more circles.

scott s.

I don't know how widespread it is in the wider church, but the conservative (might say orthodox) Catholics I know tend to cite the "magisterium" as authoritative, and not subject to easy revision by any individual pope. They consider statements that "the pope can do this, the pope can do that" as protestant misunderstandings or even "fake news".



I have several time walked the Stations of the Cross on the street in Jerusalem on the Via Dolorosa. The station sites are marked on the walls of the buildings. I did this once in the company of an Israeli MG who was in uniform. The Arabs did their best to ignore him. I talked to one elderly shop keeper in Arabic and he asked me what I was. He said "why are you with them?" I told him that I understood the question but that Amnon Shahak, then CoS of the IDF was a good man. He looked doubtful. Amnon asked what had been said and then offered the man his hand, which he took.


Mark 2:22



Mr. Jefferson revised the Gospels to his taste removing all mention of religion and leaving on;y the moral message.


Scott S.

IMO that is a doubtful position considering the dogma of papal infallibility.



They generally believe that Jesus was perhaps the greatest prophet and a semi divine being who did not truly die on the cross. They think that a simulacrum of him died on Calvary. The Muslims here will perhaps contest my statement believing that Muhammad, the Messenger of God was the greatest prophet. They think that orthodox Christian beliefs about Jesus are a distortion of the truth.


Millions of Christians in the Middle East and South Asia, as well as their diasporas, belong to churches that adhere to the beliefs of a Monophysite or Nestorian theology that differs from Western Christian and Byzantine Orthodoxy in regard to the nature of Christ. The first of the churches in the east that was deemed heretical was the Nestorian faith, what is now known as the Assyrian Church of the East and the "Syriac" [not to be confused with Syrian Orthodoxy, which is the term for Arabic-speaking Greek Orthodox] Orthodox and Coptic churches. The Assyrian and Syriac churches use Syriac as their liturgical languages and speak an Aramaic/Syriac modern language, except for those in India who use the liturgical language but speak their Indian language, such as Malayalam, as native tongue. Egyptian, Ethiopian and Eritrean Copts speak their native languages and partially use their ancient liturgical tongues in church.

Like their Byzantine Orthodox equivalents these churches have parallel Roman Catholic Eastern Rite [Uniate] churches, after agreeing to abandoned their theology and accept the Pope, but kept their traditional practices in all other respects.

When a belief become "ex cathedra" it will be formally introduced by the Pope with considerable fanfare. A young child once asked Francis if his dog had gone to heaven when he died, he replied, "Why not?" That did not rise to the level of heresy either.


There used to be Christians who believed in what Muslims believe today about Jesus - the Spirit of God; the Gnostic Christians.

A distinction is made in Islam between a Messenger (“Rasul”) and a Prophet (“Nabi”).

A Rasul is always a Nabi while a Nabi may or may not become a Rasul.

While a Rasul receives a new Sharia from Allah, a Nabi does not and only follows the Sharia of the Rasul before him.

Isa Masih was given a book - a message - called Injil, thus making him a Rasul.

Per the Quran (33-40), the Prophet of Islam was the "Seal of Nabiyin" -

مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَآ أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن رَّسُولَ ٱللَّـهِ وَخَاتَمَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ وَكَانَ ٱللَّـهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمًا

but not necessarily the Seal of Murselin - as far as I understand such issues.

Diana C

I so envy you for having been able to take that walk there.

I've been out of this country only once when I traveled to Istanbul for my older son's wedding.

There I spent a day in the Hagia Sophia. I was lucky because I was there when the Turkish government was still "secular." The building had been turned into a museum. That meant I was able to see it in many parts as it was during the city's time as Constantinople. Much of it had be restored to the way it looked as a church, while showing parts of it as a mosque.

I read that under Erdogan, the building has been turned back into just a mosque. That seemed a petty thing to do since the Blue Mosque is just across a small park from it.

Many people in my congregation have taken trips to the Holy Land. Now, having read your account of your experience, I must try to make myself get over my hatred of flying and try to get there too.

I recommend and 18th Century "play" by G.E. Lessing entitled "Nathan the Wise." I thought of it when I read your account.


The virgin birth and other miracles are explicitly ascribed to Jesus in the Koran, no miracles for Muhammad apart from in the extraneous sirah literature. Even the hadith are near devoid of them. I remember that Gibbon in Decline/Fall says that Islam recognizes the Immaculate Conception of Mary, although I do not know if this is true. I do know that there are numerous versions of hadith with Muhammad affirming that his parents are in the Hellfire for being polythiests



"Injil" translates for us as "Gospel," the Good News. I have had orthodox Jews maintain to me that the Injil as we have it now is a distortion of early Christian teaching. My question for them would be - how do they know that? Mark is apparently the oldest of the four canonical Gospels. It seems to date from around 60 AD and was probably composed by the Apostle Mark.

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