Nostra Aetate

Hello everyone,
I thought I’d pose this question to everyday Catholics.
The Nostra Aetate says that we all worship the Same God…for simplicity lets just say that ‘all’ is just Christians and Moslems.
Our most glorious God is indivisible, of course, God the Father cannot be divided/separated from God the Son. But the Nostra Aetate says that Moslems worship God the Father, but they clearly reject God the Son; this means that God the Father can be divided from His Son. Seeing as Moslems can worship Him while rejecting Him. But that is ridiculous!
I see this as a massive problem for the ruling of the Vatican, so what explaination does the Vatican have to clear up this problem?

Also in regards to the Nostra Aetate, the Vatican has stated that Moslems venerate (in their own way) the Theotokos. But they obviously don’t (they reject God the Son) and instead venerate an imaginary ‘prophettokos’. But in the Nostra Aetate it clearly says, that Moslems venerate our lady Theotokos, “They also honor Mary…at times they even call on her with devotion.”
Could I get these two questions cleared up please? God bless you all, and may He keep you all in His peace.

I doubt it says they are correct in doing so. I think it’s a way of starting a dialogue of peace, to establish a common ground (though not truly common ground)

I, as you, don’t understand how rejecting part of God isn’t total rejection of God. Can you accept Christ but not His divinity? I would think Christ would say “NO!”

What is Nostra Aetate?

I think Noatra Aetate is english for ‘in our age’

I am yet to be convinced, forgive my hardness, that this is not a soul corrupting evil.

Thanks. I just clicked on it and read item 3. :eek::confused:


The Church is involved in a constant daily struggle over freedom of religion in the Muslim countries, in the Communist countries, and, indeed, in the Secular Humanist countries. I would not judge the Church for expressing a few conciliatory words to the Muslims.


What’s a Bible Christian like me to do now! The Nostra Aetate paragraph above strikes me as a very odd statement.

I didn’t know this was part of the Roman Catholic church. I don’t think Ethiopian Orthodox could agree. I’m studying Anaphora of St. John which is definitely a powerful hymn to God the Holy Trinity, 3 persons in one God.

I don’t even think Moslems say God Divine Father is Divine Person? Don’t Moslems specifically say God is not a person?

Certainly in the time of Jesus Christ there were many competing gods.

**The Anaphora and the Creed seem to be very carefully written to make clear to all that the Christian God is the ** God in 3 Persons God, The Most Holy Trinity.

In fact, it seems very obvious that the early Creeds of the church are Hymns to the Holy Trinity! Just as is the Anaphora of St. John (Son of Thunder).

Thanks for pointing out Nostra Aetate! Is it Catholic doctrine?

Whew! That’s a relief. So Nostra Aetate is like an ‘olive branch’ or ‘ice breaker’ letter from the Pope to the pagan religions.

Was it a letter to a Moslem leader or a speech given at some public gathering?

It could be said that God is just less fully known and clearly defined by them.

A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew all travel back in time to Ur of the Chaldees where they meet Abraham.

Abraham greets the sojourners with typical hospitality. They all sit down to share a meal together and before they start, Abraham offers up a prayer of grace and thanksgiving to the Lord before the meal.

All four of them know there is only One God. All four of them pray together to the One True God who speaks words they have all heard before. (Count the stars if thou be able… go to the land I will show you… all the people on earth will be blessed through you… Melchizedek brought out bread and wine… the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great)

Now, even if the Muslim can’t fully grasp the Christology of “Isa bin Miriam” and the Jew cannot grasp the prerogative of God the Father to grant power to some One God calls His beloved Son - The Messiah. And even if there are probably infinite numbers of facts about God which the (child-like) Christian cannot comprehend, that does not mean they are all incapable of worshipping the so-called “same God”.

Atheists love to apply the counter-apologetic about the differences between Catholics and Protestants or Christians and Jews, etc. etc. and they argue that such differences imply that all religions are therefore false.

But notwithstanding the clear and substantial differences in doctrine, between ‘people of the book’, if you take Islam, Judaism and Christianity, line them up together and then compare them with atheism, then these three Abrahamic monotheist religions may as well be IDENTICAL.

I’m afraid not… It was a declaration of the Second Vatican Council, the 21st ecumenical council of the Catholic Church.

Islam is a made up religion, It’s takes references from other religions at the time of it’s writing to add credibility to it self. It is a religion and political system rolled up into one that not only try’s to control every aspect of it’s followers lives but those of none believers as well. Take a look at how muslims treat each other and most importantly how they treat none muslims and then compare this to our Christian teachings. Give me one example in the Bible that would justify a christian getting onto a bus packed with people and blowing themselves and the bus and all the people on it up? Islam is an evil religion regardless of the fact that a large proportion of it’s members appear passive.

This is simply mud slinging and an unworthy way to talk about other faiths. Your first ciritique is one that could be applied to us as we take inspiration from Judaism. It is indeed true that Islam does attempt to meld various faiths into one and draws on numerous texts to do so, but the way you have stated it is one that is liable to become a double edged swrod and turn and cut you in a debate.

Secondly, I would bear in mind there are plenty of people who have claimed to act for the Church and carried out acts just as barbarous as suicide bombings. They have been rightfully condemend for doing so but they did and do exist. Certainly due to numerous factors terorrism carried out by Muslims is a real concern and it does appear to have deep seated roots and to be fostered by demagogues in many parts of the Muslim world but I would be very cautious about making sweeping statements about a whole group of people.

As to the last bit about appearing passive well that was a charge levelled at we Catholics for a long time in British history was it not?

Muslims worship the one true God but in a manner that does not reflect the fully revealed truth we have access to as Christians and specifically as Catholics. But nevertheless they do worship the same God.

The replies I’m getting, and thank you for the replies in the first place, are off topic to my objection. The replies in defence of the Nostra Aetate are grounded in the though that Moslems simply do not know what they worship. However, they do know what they don’t worship; and that is God the Son, and by result we must conclude the entire Godhead. So, in that line of reasoning where does the Catholic Church makes it’s objection so as to justify it’s doctrine?
God bless all of you

What of the Jews? Do you apply this line of reasoning to them also?

It is important to note that Judaism before the incarnation of our Lord was legitimate Judaism…’salvation is from the Jews’ . However, since the Jews today reject Jesus Christ they are not Jews in the true sense. I will put it like this, if I accept God the Father then I’ve already accepted Jesus Christ (as He said something like, ‘I am the only way to the Father’) and in the same way if I reject Jesus Christ then I also completely reject the Godhead. The Jews know what they don’t worship; God the Son and by result we must conclude the entire Godhead.

You pressed the alarm button without cause. They do not reject Jesus, but they revere Him as a prophet. In this respect, they are what the Church calls “invincibly ignorant” and unable to come to faith about this at the present time. It is no different for persons of other faiths who do not believe in the Real Presence, as we do. They can be said to be invincibly ignorant.

What would you pefer to see in this document? We hereby declare that Christians everywhere should ostracize and denounce all Muslims? Is that the Catholic way?

The poster is not Catholic, many Orthodox hold that what Jews and Muslims worship is something that we cannot determine and the Catholic position that they worship the one true God is hereticial.

Thanks, Jharek. I did not notice his denomination.

There is only one God creator and Lord of us all, regardless of how we may have different understandings and beliefs about God. As NA states, “One is the community of all peoples, one their origin, for God made the whole human race to live over the face of the earth.” and “From ancient times down to the present, there is found among various peoples a certain perception of that hidden power…”

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