This morning I went to the monastery  St. Ottilien for a retreat with the theme” Difficulties in Believing”.  Munich to St. Ottilien is  just a short ride on the highway and a few miles country side with promise of a beautiful fall day. After I arrived, I checked the TV billboard in the lobby for my schedule – nothing there.  On the way to the office I run into one of the catholic priests whom I have known for a long time.  He greeted my, asking which event I attend. “Yours”, I answered a bit puzzled. He said “Oh, that was canceled, too few takers” – good for the catholic church I thought, they are doing better in pagan Germany.  Since he had time, and I was here anyway  he invited me for a coffee in the lobby.

We had long interesting talk about Christianity, in particular of Arianism and the unique offer in Caledonian Creed and its relation to the Self as defined by C.G. Jung. He offered an interesting (and reassuring thought): If Christ is Human and God, it is saying that in us human is a part of godliness too.  I replied, of course that is the major explanation C. G, Jung gave for the Self (and Pater Claudius) it is the window to Good. Talking further about the first councils, he stated a similar interpretation for Arianism as base of Islam as I do. The relationship between Islam and Arianism was recognized  recently, considering the Quran a ” pre-arianism ” book.  The content similarity between Arianism and Islam had been long forgotten . In the 19th Century a than well-known historian who today appears almost exclusively in reference lists , Hans Prutz (1843-1929) ,  wrote about it. His father Prutz 1877-1902 taught history at the University of Königsberg . He has written an incredible amount , including a standard work on the migration of people , a four-volume history of Prussia , a book about the development and demise of the Templars , and then in 1883 his cultural history of the Crusades.

In Cultural History of the Crusades Prutz holds the opinion that Islam and Christianity are actually very similar and always could have lived peacefully next to each other. Basically to him , Islam was nothing more than a Christian heresy , similar to Protestantism , which the Catholic side referred to as ” daughter of Muhammad .”

This heresy is now identical to the known history of the Church Arianism, which would eventually evolve to Islam to Prutz . Prutz called medieval authors who held this view . He also quoted Dante and  Muhammad . Dante writes in the book 28 of the Inferno:

” Vedi come storpiato è Maometto ! Dinanzi a me sen va piangendo Alì , fesso nel volto dal mento al ciuffetto . tutti li e altri che tu vedi qui seminator di scandalo e di scisma fuor vivi e così Fessi pero son .

I assessed that Islam(and its victory) was created in response to the Byzantine Christianity, and sees Islam as a protest against Justinian’s church policy : ” Monophysitsm a reaction against the decadent Byzantine Christianity and reprehensible church policy of Justinian understood . With all the clarity Prutz shows but that Arianism temporarily was a  very widespread , ” victoriously advancing ” movement , ” held up ” in the West only with difficulty but, ” overpowered ” and finally  ” eradicated ” . In the East , however ,  Arianism experienced ” under the banner of Muhammad ” a taper , to win l half the world to win a victory. Finally, the proof of the above comments, a longer quote from Prutz’s cultural history [ Prutz 22-24 ] :

 ” Especially numerous and obvious are the borrowings from Christianity . Some have therefore almost want to call Islam as a Christian heresy and the Muslims as a Christian sectarians . Did you initially Arianism in mind, so not much will be objected . Because together with the Arianism is Islam ‘s strong emphasis on the absolute unity of God , withdraw against which all other dogmatic elements as subordinate and incidental. But also the two meet in the resolute denial of every kind of incarnation. For our modern view this compilation of Islam and Arianism Christianity’s  initially much disconcerting , but has its reason probably is that Islam does not project us in its original , more pure form, but in the state of degeneracy and depravity in which he is , since the Ottoman Turks became its chief representative for us. Guibert of Nogent represents Muhammad activity alongside that of Arius , and Peter the Venerable , abbot of Cluny , confesses in a letter to Bernard of Clairvaux , not knowing whether he should call Islam a heresy or idolatry , and admits that the same contains much truth . And Dante regarded Muhammad as the author of a schism in Christianity and Islam as an Arian sect . It is so no one will deny that, in comparison with the Arianism both as to the Islam of the orthodox Catholicism marked a step forward as it could be made only in the West and could not have been there without the deepening of philosophical speculation. But even the similarity in their opposition to the teaching of the Catholic orthodoxy reveals the spiritual affinity between Islam and Arianism . Because  its core Arianism was nothing else than a protest of the human mind against him incomprehensible mystery of the Christian church, as the same that has been made at the expense of the doctrine of salvation for the center of the whole dogma in the doctrine of Christ’s divinity was expressed was . It is known , as has been bitterly fought for dominance between two doctrines , how long it took and what violence means it cost to initially reside in a victorious advance of nascent Arianism first, then fight down and finally eradicate . Completely inferior but – so you can say – is Arianism but only in the West , in the East it has risen again under the banner of Mohammed been rejuvenated and captured in an unparalleled victory over half the world. The correctness of this view is confirmed especially on the part of Catholic orthodoxy : for some particularly zealous champion of the Reformation almost the same designated as a daughter of Muhammad !  

Today is Saturday, so I asked I he could take my confession. We went together to the church in an adjacent chapel. The pater is a priest, a Jungian psychoanalytic and friend, so it became a long confession One in three.In Catholic teachings, we have the Sacrament of Penance by which each man and women may confess sins committed and have them absolved by a priest. It is not mandatory, and known by many names, including penance, reconciliation and confession.

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As Christians knew well, confession of sins to a priest requires humility, trust in God and the Church, and contrition of heart.  Confession of sins to a priest gives us the assurance that our sins are forgiven, even though we may not be perfectly penitent.  For that is what God requires outside the bounds of sacramental confession: a man who goes directly to God for forgiveness of sin can be forgiven, but only if he is perfectly contrite and resolved to sin no more.  Those who are outside the Church by birth and circumstance can still be saved and forgiven of sins, but only if they are perfectly penitent and are unaware of the divine institution of the Church.  A Catholic who will not consent to a sacramental confession, is the man the Church grieves for the most.   He has all the instruments of salvation laid out at his feet, but he will not lay his pride down at the foot of the Cross to pick them up.

In a way sacramental confession often seemed to me frightening and  humiliating since I have neglected the sacrament for many years.  After deciding to return to full communion with the Church, waited a long time before I laid down my shyness and returned to the confessional.  And only because I knew my priest is compassionate, gentle and, well unusual.  He realized like me  that my presence there today was an act of God’s grace.  Nothing in the world can compare to the relief of the soul after a good confession.  The veil of sin falls away and the light of grace fills the soul.  In the end, nothing in the world is as precious as the forgiveness of sin through the Sacrament of reconciliation. Thoughtful I went back to the sunny surrounding of the monastery. It is good to reflect that Our Lord knew the evils and ills that would disturb the twentieth century; he knew all the advances that would be made in the psychiatric field. Yet to forgive sin, to heal the breach between mortals and their Creator, he instituted Confession of sin. And while with deep admiration of the value of C.G. Jung’s knowledge as expounded so well and practised so well by my priest and friend as psychologists, I cannot afford to overlook Our Lord’s own remedy, Confession.



Alighieri, Dante (o. J.): Dantes Göttliche Komödie

Ohlig, Karl-Heinz / Puin, Gerd-R. (Hg.) (2005): Die dunklen Anfänge: neue Forschungen zur Entstehung und frühen Geschichte des Islam; Berlin

Wikipedia, englisch (2009): Hans Prutz;