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  #1  
Old Apr 1, '12, 8:41 pm
devoutchristian devoutchristian is offline
 
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Default Church teaching on Islam

I've heard that the church's position that Muslims worship the same God as Christians constitutes a teaching on faith or morals that Catholics must give religious assent to. Is this true and if so, how is it a teaching on faith or morals?
  #2  
Old Apr 1, '12, 9:49 pm
Pfaffenhoffen Pfaffenhoffen is offline
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Default Re: Church teaching on Islam

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Originally Posted by devoutchristian View Post
I've heard that the church's position that Muslims worship the same God as Christians constitutes a teaching on faith or morals that Catholics must give religious assent to. Is this true and if so, how is it a teaching on faith or morals?

No, No and No.
The God Muslims worship is not the same God as Christians worship. That is a big fallacy we are falling lately, thinking that, because they worship One God, the God is the same. It is not.
Their God is a violent one, who exacts revenge and never pardons, who calls to the killing of infidels (everyone who is not Muslim), who never converts but always conquers, who converts by the law of the sword.
Do not believe me. Just study the History of Islam.
As for morals and ethics, lets start from polygamy... never mind the rest....
  #3  
Old Apr 1, '12, 10:55 pm
fms fms is offline
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Default Re: Church teaching on Islam

CCC 841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."
  #4  
Old Apr 2, '12, 12:47 am
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Vouthon Vouthon is offline
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Default Re: Church teaching on Islam

My dear brother Devout

People understand this teaching in different ways, and I'm not prepared to say which is the correct one. However the Vatican II documents Nostra Aetate and Lumen Gentium, as well as the Catechism, both mention Islam and Catholics are certainly bound by those teachings - ie we must obey them, give assent. However people debate precisely what the Church is actually telling us.

Personally, I believe that Muslims do indeed worship the same God but simply have a different, that is inferior, understanding of Him (not that anyone can understand Him in Essence - as he is in Himself). Indeed we are all united, all of us whether Christian or Muslim or else, in not being able to fully comprehend God who is so very far above our finite understanding. We thus have no cause, despite the Truth we have in Christ, to feel ourselves superior to our Muslim brothers and sisters. We are all united in the search for truth.

Without Christ, and without the direct divine revelation of Judaism, Islam - despite much truth and inspiration from the Holy Spirit - has a deficient understanding of the One God - which is understandable given that without Our Lord he is so cold and distant and "other" and unknowable. In this respect, and influenced by the harsh Arabic desert environment from which Islam emerged, the Muslim conception of God can often appear to us Christians to be rather violent and xenophobic. This is of course not universally true, for there are stunningly beautiful, inspired ayats in the Qur'an often mixed in with this cruelty - for example the very moving one which says that if we take just one human life it is accounted as if we have slain the swhole of mankind; or the one which says, "you have your religion and I have mine".

Sufi Islam, inspired perhaps by the ayat of the Qur'an which said that God is closer to us than our jugular vein, took great strides towards creating a much more personal, intimate understanding of God that is very close to Christianity.

I wanted to add three quotes from three holy Popes - a Blessed, a Saint and a Servant of God - two from recent times and one from a thousand years ago on Islam. Pope John Paul II's statement below is illuminating (in fact I encourage you to do a google search and read the full address):


"...Christians and Muslims, we have many things in common, as believers and as human beings. We live in the same world, marked by many signs of hope, but also by multiple signs of anguish. For us, Abraham is a very model of faith in God, of submission to his will and of confidence in his goodness. We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection...The Catholic Church regards with respect and recognizes the equality of your religious progress, the richness of your spiritual tradition...On this path, you are assured, of the esteem and the collaboration of your Catholic brothers and sisters whom I represent among you this evening..."

- Blessed Pope John Paul II: Address to young Muslims in Casablanca, 1985




"...This good action was inspired in your heart by God, the Creator of all things, without whom we can neither do nor think any good thing. He who enlightens all men coming into this world (John 1.9) has enlightened your mind for this purpose. Almighty God, who wishes that all should be saved and none lost, approves nothing in so much as that after loving Him one should love his fellow man, and that one should not do to others, what one does not want done to oneself. This affection we and you owe to each other in a more peculiar way than to people of other races because we worship and confess the same God though in diverse forms and daily praise and adore Him as the creator and ruler of this world. For, in the words of the Apostle, 'He is our peace who hath made both one.' This good action was inspired in your heart by God....This grace granted to you by God is admired and praised by many of the Roman nobility who have learned from us of your benevolence and high qualities [. . .] For God knows that we love you purely for His honour and that we desire your salvation and glory, both in this life and in the life to come. And we pray in our hearts and with our lips that God may lead you to the abode of happiness, to the bosom of the holy patriarch Abraham, after long years of life here on earth..."


- Pope St. Gregory VII, Letter XXI to Al-Nasir the Muslim Ruler of Bijaya (Algeria), 1076



Of the above Pope John Paul II said in 1990:


"...I close my greeting to you with the words of one of my predecessors, Pope Gregory VII who in 1076 wrote to Al-Nasir, the Muslim Ruler of Bijaya, present day Algeria...These words, written almost a thousand years ago, express my feelings to you today as you celebrate ‘Id al-Fitr, the Feast of the Breaking of the Fast. May the Most High God fill us with all His merciful love and peace..."

- Blessed Pope John Paul II, Message to the faithful of Islam at the end of the month of Ramadan, April 3, 1991



"...Now [we refer] to the adorers of God according to the conception of monotheism, the Muslim religion especially, deserving of our admiration for all that is true and good in their worship of God..."

- Servant of God Pope Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam 107, August 6, 1964

__________________
"...Everyone who has joined the ranks of Christ must be a glowing point of light in the world, a nucleus of love, a leaven of the whole mass. He will be so in proportion to his degree of spiritual union with God..."

- Blessed Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris (1963)
  #5  
Old Apr 2, '12, 4:22 am
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Sam_777 Sam_777 is offline
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Exclamation Re: Church teaching on Islam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vouthon View Post
Islam - despite much truth and inspiration from the Holy Spirit - has a deficient understanding of the One God -
what does that mean?, what the Holy Spirit has to do with Islam?

Quote:
Sufi Islam, inspired perhaps by the ayat of the Qur'an which said that God is closer to us than our jugular vein, took great strides towards creating a much more personal, intimate understanding of God that is very close to Christianity.
Sufism does not represent Islam at all, it's considered a heretic group by Sunnis and Shias Muslims.......
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THE MOST HIGH

Christians: (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), Muslims: (John 8:58), Jews: (Zechariah 12).
  #6  
Old Apr 2, '12, 6:02 am
septimine septimine is offline
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Default Re: Church teaching on Islam

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Originally Posted by Pfaffenhoffen View Post
No, No and No.
The God Muslims worship is not the same God as Christians worship. That is a big fallacy we are falling lately, thinking that, because they worship One God, the God is the same. It is not.
Their God is a violent one, who exacts revenge and never pardons, who calls to the killing of infidels (everyone who is not Muslim), who never converts but always conquers, who converts by the law of the sword.
Do not believe me. Just study the History of Islam.
As for morals and ethics, lets start from polygamy... never mind the rest....
I agree with you, except that I think they should most certainly be praised for their piety. they're wrong, no doubt about it, but I think it's kind of counter productive to go about insulting them for very little.
  #7  
Old Apr 2, '12, 6:06 am
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Vouthon Vouthon is offline
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Default Re: Church teaching on Islam

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Originally Posted by Sam_777 View Post
what does that mean?, what the Holy Spirit has to do with Islam?

Sufism does not represent Islam at all, it's considered a heretic group by Sunnis and Shias Muslims.......

My dear brother


Hopefully I can dispel your confusion!


The Holy Spirit is present within the heart of every man, and every genuine prayer is inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Furthermore his presence is truly universal and is the genesis, the origin if you like, of all the noble ideals and truths present in religions and cultures all around the world - planted as seeds of the Word, Jesus Himself.

See Pope Gregory's quote above, he writes to the Muslim ruler of Bijaya: "This good action was inspired in your heart by God". This Muslim ruler received inspiration from the Holy Spirit to release Christian captives, for which the Pope was very appreciative. The Holy Spirit has a universal mission and is present, in a certain hidden sense, within every human being - Christian and non-Christian.

The church fathers ie Justin Martyr, taught that "all truth, wherever it is found, is Christian truth". Any truth, wherever it comes from, is inspired by Jesus who is the logos (Word of God) that is present to the conscience of every man. Muslims are no exception to this.

There is something true and divinely revealed in every religion, Islam included:


"...There is something true and divinely revealed, in every religion all over the earth..."

- Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (21 February 1801 – 11 August 1890), beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010



"...It is the Spirit who is the source of the drive to press on, not only geographically but also beyond the frontiers of race and religion, for a truly universal mission...The Spirit's presence and activity affect not only the individuals but also society and history, peoples, cultures and religions. Indeed, the Spirit is at the origin of the noble ideals and undertakings which benefit humanity on its journey through history: "The Spirit of God with marvelous foresight directs the course of the ages and renews the face of the earth...I have repeatedly called this fact to mind, and it has guided me in my meetings with a wide variety of peoples. The Church's relationship with other religions is dictated by a twofold respect: "Respect for man in his quest for answers to the deepest questions of his life, and respect for the action of the Spirit in man." The interreligious meeting held in Assisi was meant to confirm my conviction that 'every authentic prayer is prompted by the Holy Spirit, who is mysteriously present in every human heart.'...Every form of the Spirit's presence is to be welcomed with respect and gratitude, but the discernment of this presence is the responsibility of the Church, to which Christ gave his Spirit in order to guide her into all the truth..."

-Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 1990



As for Sufism, I never implied that it represented mainstream Islam, I merely stated that it was closer in spirit to Christianity because these impassioned Islamic poets and mystics present a much more intimate view of God than mainstream Sunni/Shi'a and therefore Sufism constitutes an advancement on the spiritual path.
__________________
"...Everyone who has joined the ranks of Christ must be a glowing point of light in the world, a nucleus of love, a leaven of the whole mass. He will be so in proportion to his degree of spiritual union with God..."

- Blessed Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris (1963)
  #8  
Old Apr 2, '12, 6:28 am
cothrige cothrige is offline
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Default Re: Church teaching on Islam

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Originally Posted by devoutchristian View Post
I've heard that the church's position that Muslims worship the same God as Christians constitutes a teaching on faith or morals that Catholics must give religious assent to. Is this true and if so, how is it a teaching on faith or morals?
In our parish, and the attached school that our son attends, it is taught that Muslims are good Christians. Malcolm X has been referenced specifically as a Christian. So, there you are.
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Old Apr 2, '12, 11:54 am
fms fms is offline
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Default Re: Church teaching on Islam

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Originally Posted by cothrige View Post
In our parish, and the attached school that our son attends, it is taught that Muslims are good Christians. Malcolm X has been referenced specifically as a Christian. So, there you are.
You are kidding me!
  #10  
Old Apr 2, '12, 12:20 pm
cothrige cothrige is offline
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Default Re: Church teaching on Islam

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Originally Posted by fms View Post
You are kidding me!
Nope.
  #11  
Old Apr 2, '12, 12:35 pm
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Armyvet007 Armyvet007 is offline
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Default Re: Church teaching on Islam

Quote:
Originally Posted by devoutchristian View Post
I've heard that the church's position that Muslims worship the same God as Christians constitutes a teaching on faith or morals that Catholics must give religious assent to. Is this true and if so, how is it a teaching on faith or morals?
It is true, Muslims worship God. The problem is that their faith contains errors and therefore their understanding and worship of God is imperfect/in error.
  #12  
Old Apr 2, '12, 12:57 pm
fms fms is offline
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Default Re: Church teaching on Islam

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Originally Posted by cothrige View Post
Nope.
I would write to the bishop.
  #13  
Old Apr 2, '12, 4:04 pm
devoutchristian devoutchristian is offline
 
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Default Re: Church teaching on Islam

No one really answered my question. Is the church's position a teaching on faith or morals, or is it just an observation? Also, how is it a teaching on faith or morals( if it is)?
  #14  
Old Apr 2, '12, 4:11 pm
cothrige cothrige is offline
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Default Re: Church teaching on Islam

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I would write to the bishop.
We actually haven't had one for some time, and people have written often about such things in the past to our last bishop. Not a peep. Maybe, though, the next one will be better.
  #15  
Old Apr 2, '12, 4:23 pm
Godfollower Godfollower is offline
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Default Re: Church teaching on Islam

Quote:
Originally Posted by devoutchristian View Post
I've heard that the church's position that Muslims worship the same God as Christians constitutes a teaching on faith or morals that Catholics must give religious assent to. Is this true and if so, how is it a teaching on faith or morals?
Yes, it's true.

Quote:
3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.
Nostra Aetate ("Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions") ¶ 3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by devoutchristian View Post
No one really answered my question. Is the church's position a teaching on faith or morals, or is it just an observation? Also, how is it a teaching on faith or morals( if it is)?
The Catholic Encyclopedia defines "faith" as follows:
Quote:
Objectively, it stands for the sum of truths revealed by God in Scripture and tradition and which the Church (see RULE OF FAITH) presents to us in a brief form in her creeds, subjectively, faith stands for the habit or virtue by which we assent to those truths.
Catholic Encyclopedia, Faith.

So your question, then, is whether the statements of Nostra Aetate teach us a matter of faith. I think it's absolutely clear that it does. The Church, speaking through the ecumenical council of Vatican II and promulgated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI, teaches us that the Muslims are worshiping the same God we are; that they adore and submit to Him, and that they misunderstand Him (not acknowledging Jesus' divinity, though they do revere Him as a prophet). These are clearly teachings relating to the truth of God as transmitted through Scripture and Tradition; and the Council's call for mutual understanding is a statement of morals.

That being said, the Church acknowledges that there are differences. Muslims clearly are wrong about the nature of God (particularly Jesus), and they are wrong in their beliefs about the Koran and many of its teachings.

But there's only one God. When they pray to God, they're praying to the same God we are. Because there's only one of Him.
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