The Corner

Mystery Religions

From one of several readers making the same or similar points:

“Derb—I believe a ‘mystery religion’ is a faith that withholds a portion of its revelation, sharing it only with those initiated to those mysteries. Non-mystery religions make all elements of their revelation available to whomever inquires. You can learn as much about Catholic theology as the Pope, or about Baptist theology as any minister, if you will only sit yourself down and do the reading. But to know all the elements of the Mormon faith, you have to be invited to certain meetings and told things that they don’t tell everybody.

How important those things are, I don’t know.

“The Catholic Church occasionally has mystery elements. For example, it’s my understanding that for a while the Pope was the only one who knew the Third Prophecy of Our Lady at Fatima.”

[Derb] I am grateful for the correction. If I may add a tiny correction to the correction: by his phrase “The Catholic Church,” my reader means of course the Roman Catholic Church, a point clarified here.

The Anglo-Catholic Church, though in many respects regrettably worldly,

is not entirely devoid of mysteries, in this precise sense of the

word.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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