Saint John Damascene…

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…judges Francis’ idea on God’s mercy aimed at religious syncretism

  • Allah permitted polygamy and concubinage

As has been related, this Mohammed wrote many ridiculous books, to each one of which he set a title. For example, there is the book On Woman in which he plainly makes legal provision for taking four wives and, if it be possible, a thousand concubines as many as one can maintain, besides the four wives. He also made it legal to put away whichever wife one might wish, and, should one so wish, to take to oneself another in the same way. (Saint John Damascene. On Heresies, pg. 157)

  • Allah recommends adultery

Mohammed had a friend named Zeid. This man had a beautiful wife with whom Mohammed fell in love. Once, when they were sitting together, Mohammed said: ‘Oh, by the way, God has commanded me to take your wife’. The other answered: ‘You are an apostle. Do as God has told you and take my wife.’ Rather to tell the story over from the beginning he said to him: ‘God has given me the command that you put away your wife.’ And he put her away. Then several days later: ‘Now,’ he said, ‘God has commanded me to take her.’ Then, after he had taken her and committed adultery with her, he made this law: ‘Let him who will put away his wife. And if, after having put her away, he should return to her, let another marry her. For it is not lawful to take her unless she have been married by another. Furthermore, if a brother puts away his wife, let his brother marry her, should he so wish.’ (Saint John Damascene. On Heresies, pg. 157)

…judges Francis’ idea on conversion of the papacy

  • Unbreakable rock

[Peter is called] the Chief of the Apostles, the firm foundation, the unbreakable rock of the Church. (Saint John Damascene. Sacra parallela)

…judges Francis’ idea on Christians and Muslims sharing the same points

  • The ridiculous things in the Koran of Mohammed

There are many other extraordinary and quite ridiculous things in this book which he boasts was sent down to him from God. But when we ask: ‘And who is there to testify that God gave him the book? And which of the prophets foretold that such a prophet would rise up? They are at a loss. And we remark that Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai, with God appearing in the sight of all the people in cloud, and fire, and darkness, and storm. And we say that all the Prophets from Moses on down foretold the coming of Christ and how Christ God (and incarnate Son of God) was to come and to be crucified and die and rise again, and how He was to be the judge of the living and dead. Then, when we say: How is it that this prophet of yours did not come in the same way, with others bearing witness to him? And how is it that God did not in your presence present this man with the book to which you refer, even as He gave the Law to Moses, with the people looking on and the mountain smoking, so that you, too, might have certainty? They answer that God does as He pleases. This we say, ‘We know, but we are asking how the book came down to your prophet. Then they reply that the book came down to him while he was asleep. Then we jokingly say to them that, as long as he received the book in his sleep and did not actually sense the operation, then the popular adage applies to him (which runs: You’re spinning me dreams.) (Saint John Damascene. On Heresies, no. 105, PG 94, 766)

  • What the Koran says about Jesus and Mary

And so down to the time of Heraclius they were very great idolaters. From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy. […] He says that there is one God, creator of all things, who has neither been begotten nor has begotten. [112:3] He says that the Christ is the Word of God [3:45; 4:171] and His Spirit, but a creature [3:59] and a servant, [4:172; 19:30; 43:59] and that He was begotten, without seed [3:47; 19:19-22; 21:91], of Mary [2:87, 2:53; 3:45; 4:157; 61:6, etc] the sister of Moses and Aaron. [19:28] For, he says, the Word and God and the Spirit entered into Mary [4:171; 21:91; 66:12] and she brought forth Jesus, who was a prophet [3:39, 19:30; etc.] and servant of God.
And he says that the Jews wanted to crucify [4:157] Him in violation of the law, and that they seized His shadow and crucified this. But the Christ Himself was not crucified, he says, nor did He die, [4:157] for God out of His love for Him took Him to Himself into heaven. [4:158] And he says this, that when the Christ had ascended into heaven God asked Him: O Jesus, didst thou say: “I am the Son of God and God”?’ And Jesus, he says, answered: ‘Be merciful to me, Lord. Thou knowest that I did not say this and that I did not scorn to be thy servant. But sinful men have written that I made this statement, and they have lied about me and have fallen into error.’ [5:116; 19:88-91; 39:4; 112:3, etc.] And God answered and said to Him: I know that thou didst not say this word.’ (Saint John Damascene. On Heresies, no. 101, PG 94 766)

…judges Francis’ idea on the ‘Bread of Life’

  • The Lord said ‘This is My body’; and not ‘this is a figure of My body’

So the bread of the table and the wine and water are supernaturally changed by the invocation and presence of the Holy Spirit into the body and blood of Christ, and are not two but one and the same. […] but that the bread itself and the wine are changed into God’s body and blood […] The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the body and blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified body of the Lord itself: for the Lord has said, ‘This is My body,’ not, this is a figure of My body: and ‘My blood,’ not, a figure of My blood. (Saint John Damascene. As Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book IV, Ch. XIII)

…judges Francis’ idea that Christians and Muslims share the same faith

  • We have the prophets that announced Christ but the unbelievers do not have testimonies and Mohammed received the book while he slept…

There are many other extraordinary and quite ridiculous things in this book which he boasts was sent down to him from God. But when we ask: ‘And who is there to testify that God gave him the book? And which of the prophets foretold that such a prophet would rise up? They are at a loss. And we remark that Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai, with God appearing in the sight of all the people in cloud, and fire, and darkness, and storm. And we say that all the Prophets from Moses on down foretold the coming of Christ and how Christ God (and incarnate Son of God) was to come and to be crucified and die and rise again, and how He was to be the judge of the living and dead. Then, when we say: How is it that this prophet of yours did not come in the same way, with others bearing witness to him? And how is it that God did not in your presence present this man with the book to which you refer, even as He gave the Law to Moses, with the people looking on and the mountain smoking, so that you, too, might have certainty? They answer that God does as He pleases. This we say, ‘We know, but we are asking how the book came down to your prophet. Then they reply that the book came down to him while he was asleep. Then we jokingly say to them that, as long as he received the book in his sleep and did not actually sense the operation, then the popular adage applies to him (which runs: You’re spinning me dreams.) (Saint John Damascene. On Heresies, no. 105, PG 94, 766)

  • It was ‘revealed’ to Mohammed that Jesus denied being the Son of God

And so down to the time of Heraclius they were very great idolaters. From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy. […] He says that there is one God, creator of all things, who has neither been begotten nor has begotten. He says that the Christ is the Word of God and His Spirit, but a creature and a servant, and that He was begotten, without seed, of Mary the sister of Moses and Aaron. For, he says, the Word and God and the Spirit entered into Mary and she brought forth Jesus, who was a prophet and servant of God. And he says that the Jews wanted to crucify Him in violation of the law, and that they seized His shadow and crucified this. But the Christ Himself was not crucified, he says, nor did He die, for God out of His love for Him took Him to Himself into heaven. And he says this, that when the Christ had ascended into heaven God asked Him: Jesus, didst thou say: ‘I am the Son of God and God?’ And Jesus, he says, answered: ‘Be merciful to me, Lord. Thou knowest that I did not say this and that I did not scorn to be thy servant. But sinful men have written that I made this statement, and they have lied about me and have fallen into error.’ And God answered and said to Him: ‘I know that thou didst not say this word.’ There are many other extraordinary and quite ridiculous things in this book which he boasts was sent down to him from God. (Saint John Damascene. On heresies, no. PG 94, 766)

…judges Francis’ idea that catholics and muslims adore the same God

  • Mohammed does not accept the Trinity

He [Mohammed] says that there is one God, Creator of all things created, Who has neither been begotten nor has begotten. (Saint John Damascene. Concering Heresies, no. 101: PG 94, 766)

  • The superstition of the Ishmaelites is an error that is a forerunner of the Antichrist

There is also the superstition of the Ishmaelites which until this day prevails and keeps people in error, being a forerunner of the Antichrist. They are descended from Ishmael, was born to Abraham of Agar, and for this reason they are called both Agarenes and Ishmaelites. […] And so down to the time of Heraclius they were very great idolaters. From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy. (Saint John Damascene. Concerning Heresies, 101: PG 94, 765-766)

  • Mohammed denies that Christ is truly the Son of God

He [Mohammed] says that the Christ is the Word of God and His Spirit, but a creature and a servant, and that He was begotten, without seed, of Mary the sister of Moses and Aaron. For, he says, the Word and God and the Spirit entered into Mary and she brought forth Jesus, who was a prophet and servant of God. (Saint John Damascene. Concerning Heresies, 101: PG 94, 766)

  • Mohammed says that it was sinful men who wrote that Jesus said: ‘I am the Son of God and God’

And he says this, that when the Christ had ascended into heaven God asked Him: “O Jesus, didst thou say: ‘I am the Son of God and God’?”And Jesus, he says, answered: ‘Be merciful to me, Lord. Thou knowest that I did not say this and that I did not scorn to be thy servant. But sinful men have written that I made this statement, and they have lied about me and have fallen into error.’ (Saint John Damascene. Concerning Heresies, 101. PG 94, 766)

  • The muslims end up with an idea of God that is mutilated

Moreover, they call us heretics, or Associators, because, they say, we introduce an associate with God by declaring Christ to the Son of God and God. We say to them in rejoinder: […] ‘As long as you say that Christ is the Word of God and Spirit, why do you accuse us of being heretics? For the word, and the spirit, is inseparable from that in which it naturally has existence. Therefore, if the Word of God is in God, then it is obvious that He is God. If, however, He is outside of God, then, according to you, God is without word and without spirit. Consequently, by avoiding the introduction of an associate with God you have mutilated Him. It would be far better for you to say that He has an associate than to mutilate Him, as if you were dealing with a stone or a piece of wood or some other inanimate object. Thus, you speak untruly when you call us heretics; we retort by calling you Mutilators of God.’ (Saint John Damascene. Concerning Heresies, 101. PG 94, 767)

  • …or even command that adultery be committed

Mohammed once had a friend named Zeid. This man had a beautiful wife with whom Mohammed fell in love. Once, when they were sitting together, Mohammed said: ‘Oh, by the way, God has commanded me to take your wife.’ The other answered: ‘You are an apostle. Do as God has told you and take my wife.’ Rather – to tell the story over from the beginning – he said to him: ‘God has given me the command that you put away your wife.’ And he put her away. Then several days later: ‘Now,’ he said, ‘God has commanded me to take her.’ Then, after he had taken her and committed adultery with her, he made this law: ‘Let him who will put away his wife. And if, after having put her away, he should return to her, let another marry her. For it is not lawful to take her unless she have been married by another. Furthermore, if a brother puts away his wife, let his own brother marry her, should he so wish.’ (Saint John Damascene. Concerning Heresies, 101. PG 94, 767)

  • Mohammed prescribed polygamy and divorce

As has been related, this Mohammed wrote many ridiculous books, to each one of which he set a title. For example, there is the book ‘On Woman’, in which he plainly makes legal provision for taking four wives and, if it be possible, a thousand concubines -as many as one can maintain, besides the four wives. He also made it legal to put away whichever wife one might wish, and, should one so wish, to take to oneself another in the same way. (Saint John Damascene. Concerning Heresies, 101: PG 94, 770)