To this I reply firstly that there are naturally certain similarities between religions from the mere fact that they are religions. Religion is natural to man, and naturally issues in expressions suitable to man. But similarities do not of themselves argue to derivation. Secondly, Cardinal Newman remarks that in some things Christianity could certainly make use of good elements in paganism. Even paganism has some elements of truth mixed up with its errors. Christianity, in its development, could select those elements of natural truth, remove all pagan and erroneous associations so that they cease to be pagan, and make use of the purified truth to better express Christian notions. Always, however, the motives why these things are observed among Christians are absolutely new and distinct, and cannot be found in pagan rites.
Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty