Does the Catholic Church expound or provide any context around CCC 841?
Wondering if there is any “official” church writings around 841 Thanks.
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."330
Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God. In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh.125 On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues. But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohammedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,127 and as Saviour wills that all men be saved. Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel. She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life. But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator.129 Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, “Preach the Gospel to every creature”, the Church fosters the missions with care and attention.
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.
Lumen Gentium has even more footnotes to follow, too.
So, is it correct to say, in very simplistic terms, Catholics believe that if a Muslim or person of another faith, truly seeks who they think is God (Alla, Budda, etc.) and try their best to live a good life…they will go to heaven?
First, it’s important to recognize who is the source of salvation for anyone who is saved: Jesus. No ifs, ands, or buts. It’s always Jesus.
With that in mind, we can ask who is saved. Certainly, given Christ’s instruction to the apostles to “baptize all nations,” we recognize that baptism is essential for those who realize the truth of Christ’s Gospel. So, Christian baptism – whether in the Catholic Church or in a Protestant denomination – is efficacious.
But, what about those people – for example, children – who die before they can be baptized (or to have an explicit relationship with Christ)? Are we really saying that God, who says that He desires all to be with Him, is willing to to just ‘throw away’ people, just because of a technicality? Of course not; that would mean that He isn’t really willing to save all. So, we can say that there are exceptions to the notion of explicit baptism… and it’s important to understand what these exceptions might be, and what makes them exceptional cases.
What about those who were born before Jesus lived? Or those who were born afterward, but never encountered Christian evangelists? Are we saying that God wants to throw away them? The Church says ‘no’.
So, what’s the standard here?
If a person doesn’t know Jesus, then, we say, the standard is that they attempt to find God in the good that they do know. (Of course, if they know and recognize the truth in Jesus’ Gospel, then they can’t claim to be following God if they don’t accept Jesus and His Church.)
So, in answer to your question: if a Muslim or Buddhist does not know Jesus to be God, but tries to find God as best he can, following God’s promptings in his heart, then it’s possible that he may be saved – through Christ! – even though he does not have true explicit knowledge of Christ and His Gospel.
My problem with this line of reasoning is that followers of Islam know
Jesus , yet deny His Deity, deny the Trinity and devoutly claim that Mohamet was THE Prophet. And since this religion wasn’t founded until the 600,s, how can they claim to worship the same God when our Lord said
In St. John ch. 14, ver. 6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father save by Me. ? And this was said by our Lord around a.d. 30. How can Islam, created in the 600’s worship God the Father? It is different with the Jews, since they were chosen by God, had a covenant with God, and had the promise of a Messiah, whom unfortunately they did not recognize. Then the gentiles wete grafted into the covenant, but again all of this occurred well before mohamet created Islam. I cannot get to this explanation of “we all worship the same God”.
Keep in mind that the assertion in the catechism isn’t saying that Muslims are saved through their beliefs in Allah…! Their understanding of God and of Jesus is clearly in error. If they are saved, it isn’t through the merits of their belief in Islam; rather, it would be purely through the gratuitous grace of God and His application of that grace to include them in the salvation won by Jesus.
So, the notion that “we all worship the same God” has nothing to do with whether, or how, Muslims might attain to heaven.
The simple idea is that All three faiths claim to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God of the prophets. However the Muslims have an erroneous understanding of who that God is, a serious one at that. However they still strive to worship him as we do too.
“Know” in this case does not mean simply “know,” but “understand and accept as true but reject anyway” or “should understand and accept as true but remaining willfully ignorant in order not to have to reject (which in fact is a rejection in itself).”
We as Christians only acknowledge one God as recited in the Creed. I believe in God, if you believe in One God you cannot reasonably believe there is another who others worship. As far as their understanding or “knowing” as OCG mentioned above. Its biblical that Romans quotes Isaiah; “I appeared to those who did not seek me and I was found by those who did not ask for me.”
If you amend that to say “…they may go to heaven”, you are basically correct in your summation.
The only way we know we can be saved is through Baptism (i.e. the work of Jesus). We hold out hope that the grace won for Christ can be applied in ways known only to God to those who strive in their own limited way to do the right thing. We can only know for certain what has been revealed, and that is that salvation comes through Christ. But knowing that God is all powerful and all merciful, we still hope for the salvation of even non-Christians.
Does that make sense? This is all elaborated on a little bit further on in the Catechism, CCC 846-848.