Other Religions - Augustine vs Vatican II?


It seems there are two positions that have been held by the Catholic Church with regard to other religions.

The one that Augustine held, it would seem St Paul also held, and that the Church seems to have favoured for most of its’ history, that all other gods, all pagan gods, are demons.

And the one promulgated by Vatican II that other religions are imperfect representations of the one true God.

Maybe these two aren’t so contradictory, would it be ok to say that, objectively (the view from nowhere), all other gods, including other monotheistic gods, such as the conception of god advanced by Islam or Sikhism, are objectively some spiritual force that is not God, and is less than Him, but demands glory for itself (a demon), but nonetheless subjectively (the view from a person), the individual who worships other gods does not seek after a demon, but honestly seeks God with integrity.

How do we reconcile this? Are those who honestly seek God, but are deluded by our fallen world into seeking Him in something that is less than Him, are they being drawn closer to the truth or further away. Is close good enough for God?


Let’s see. lets go back into the OT. how were the nations that worship anything but the God of Israel were viewed by God?

NT what did Jesus say? Go into all nations and preach all that i have commanded you to. then He also said if they hear you they hear me and my Father in Heaven, if they reject you they reject me and the One who sent me. He also said if that city does not hear you shake even the dust of your sandels.

That you have it.

:knight2: :knight2:


People are just mistaken, but some are not culpable. For example, the Muslims believe there is only one God who is pure spirit and all powerful and all good. That is correct. But they are mistaken about further aspects of God, namely, that He is Triune and Incarnate. THey believe that GOd is only One in Person and not Incarnate.

You might then say they are partially mistaken.

With regard to polytheists, they are just worshipping nonsense, things that are either dead material, or else fictitious entities, like Zeus.

Don’t know if that helps?


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.