How is this not heresy?

First, two points:

  1. The belief that God is a Trinity is orthodox.
  2. Claiming that a non-Trinitarian “god” (whether the Arian god, or the Sabellian god, or any other) is the true God is heresy.

By those two points, how is this statement as written not objectively heretical?

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, 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.
(Vatican II, Nostra Aetate, Section 3)

The god that Muslims adore (Allah) is not the Holy Trinity - how on earth does it say that he is “merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth” ?!

Please note: I’m asking you to respond to the exact words and phrase here - this document is the focus of this thread, not things written elsewhere.

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Was Father Abraham a heretic? He had no idea that a Son would take flesh and redeem the world. The Islamic and Judaic understanding of God (as we know Him) is incomplete.

Do we win converts by castigating and condemnation, or by the sweet aroma of Christ’s light?


He did know.
Didn’t you read what Jesus said in John’s Gospel? “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it , and was glad.”


Yes by Christ’s light, but if you’re offering them a heresy, you’re not offering anyone sweet aroma.

The Early Christians took such great pains to define the faith precisely, not allowing a single letter to be added incorrectly. Imagine how they would react if you say “The Muslims adore the all-powerful God” which is literally what this document says!


Muslims are monotheists. Philosophically they understand God quite similarly to how we do, as the origin and first principle of all reality. They are neither monists nor do they see God as some type of genus of creature among many other gods as the ancient Pagans did. There is a glorious truth to this shared belief. To deny the Trinity is to deny an essential self revelation of God about who he is, but it’s not a denial that God exists. It’s a grave misunderstanding of him, but not a denial of him.

This doesn’t mean Islam as a faith is wholly true or that it is equal ith Christianity. They still teach heresy.


Nobody is claiming that they don’t believe in a higher power (as did the Arians and Monists), but to say that their “higher power” is "the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth - is patently false, and worse, heretical.


Muslims don’t claim to be Christians. That, I think, is what excludes them from the “heretic” category, although (speaking from memory) Chesterton includes them as heretics and Dante placed Mohammed in Hell as a schismatic.


You’re Orthodox right? You do realise that Allah is just the Arabic word for God, said by millions of Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants throughout the entire world? By the way, someone can hold a heresy and not be a heretic, Jehovah’s Witnesses for instance, are Arians as you mentioned , but they do not have a valid baptism so are not Christian so cannot be considered Heretics

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Why is it patently false?

Sorry if it was vague, but the part I believe is heresy is the Catholic church (Vatican 2) saying that the (non-Trinity) god they adore is nevertheless " the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth"

Hi Adam - please see directly above (my response to Bartholomew)

Yes, but if the Catholic Church is declaring (through Vatican 2, ratified by the Pope) that the non-Trinitarian god they adore is “the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth”, how is that not a heretical statement from the Catholic Church?


That the “god” they adore - Allah, not the Holy Trinity - is “the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth”. Yet that’s exactly what the document says

Allah isn’t a name. It’s just the Arabic word for God, which Christians speaking Arabic use, too.

Do you believe Jews worship the same God as Christians?

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I know, but what does that matter? Many neo-pagans use the word “God” too. Heck, many heretics (like Arius) even used the word Christ. But if their conception of God is different than ours (i.e., not the Holy Trinity) then they are heretics, and no church has the right to say that they adore the Creator of Heaven and Earth.


Islam is a heresy.

Read Belloc’s The Great Heresies


How can they? Do they worship Christ? The sine qua non for knowing the Father, is the Son: He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me (St. John 14:6, 9). St. John the Apostle, Evangelist, and Theologian, the Apostle clearly affirms: Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father (I John 2:23).

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Could he see this before the Incarnation? If so, why not a peep about “Jesus of Nazareth”? All of Israel was waiting, century upon century, for the Messiah. Did they have a realistic concept of Him? No.

That is my point, and that is why Christ had to be revealed. If we condemn others where they are, their heels will only be dug in more deeply, and we will have lost them. I’d rather not answer for that.

If we seek fault, by the power of our egos we can find fault everywhere and in everything. Is that the life of love which Christ preached? Are we smarter than the Church which Christ founded?

The reformers thought they were…

Okay, I get your point. But doesn’t Vatican 2 say something similar – possibly even identical – about Judaism? And in the Curia relations with Judaism are dealt with under the aegis of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. We recognize that the God of the Old Testament is the same God we worship, though there is no Trinity in the OT.

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Of course he did.

Isn’t that what we believe? We believe in one God. The Father Almighty maker of heaven & earth.

We believe in the Trinity, but the three is one. One God.

Read the edit.

I am not here to argue. Life is far too short. You are well advised to read and ponder the responses you receive and to read your cut and pastes within context.

I’m out.

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