I teach 6th grade CCD using a very well-known publishing company’s CCD book.
My father teaches 8th grade CCD using the same company’s 8th grade version.
Both have the papal imprimatur in the front cover.
I came across some striking text which seems to contradict my understanding of the Roman Catholic faith and of what I have previously read.
From the 6th grade book:
“Jesus Christ, through his grace, can still save people who are not members of the Church. Jews respond to God’s revelation in the Old Testament. Muslims - followers of Islam - believe in one God of Abraham and his descendants. As Catholics, we recognize and respect the value of other religions. As Catholics we recognize and respect the value of other religions.”
From the 6th grade teacher’s manual:
“These two religious groups - Jews and Muslims - are especially important to us. Jews follow the same faith practiced in Israel in Old Testament times. Abraham is their father in faith. Muslims practice Islam. Abraham is their father in faith too. Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the God of Abraham…We’ve read about some people who have different views of Christ, but they may still seek God with a good heart. The Church tells us that those good people will be saved too. All people who seek the truth with good hearts can be united to God.”
From the 8th grade book:
The Church is catholic or open to everyone, because it has been sent by Christ to the whole human race. So even those who don’t believe in Jesus are related to the Church.
The Jewish people have already given a positive response to God’s call in the Old Testament. Muslims are included in God’s plan of salvation because with us they adore the one, merciful God. Because it is catholic, the Church has a bond with all people through God, who created the world and everyone in it.
“We know that Jesus died for our sins, and we know that he died for everyone. But what if you don’t know about Jesus? Or what if you know about Jesus but you believe something different? What if you are a Muslim and you believe that Jesus was a prophet but not God? Maybe you are a Hindu, and you worship the divine in the form of gods and goddesses that resemble humans, animals or natural forces such as wind, water, fire, sun and believe in the goddess Takanaluk who is part human and fish. Can you receive salvation if you don’t believe in Jesus like we do? The Church says yes. In the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, #22, the Church teaches that the grace of salvation through Jesus Christ is offered to every person in ways known only to God.”
Quote (from book):
“There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic.” - Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, foundress of the Missionaries of Charity
Can you please help me to reconcile what this text wants me to teach with the following:
Pius VIII, Traditi Humilitati, 1829, #4
Among these heresies belongs that foul contrivance of the sophists of this age who do not admit any difference among the different professions of faith and who think that the portal of eternal salvation opens for all from any religion…
Indeed this deadly idea concerning the lack of difference among religions is refuted even by the light of natural reason. We are assured of this because the various religions do not often agree among themselves. If one is true, the other must be false; there can be no society of darkness with light. Against these experienced sophists the people must be taught that the profession of the Catholic faith is uniquely true, as the apostle proclaims: one Lord, one faith, one baptism
Pope Pius IX, Qui Pluribus, 1846, #15
Also perverse is that shocking theory that it makes no difference to which religion one belongs, a theory greatly at variance even with reason. By means of this theory, those crafty men remove all distinction between virtue and vice, truth and error, honoral and vile action. They pretend that men can gain eternal salvation by the practice of any religion, as if there could ever be any sharing between justice and iniquity, any collaboration between light and darkness, or any agreement between Christ and Belial.
Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, 1950, #32
They allege…the contemporary mind must look to the existence of things and to life, which is ever in flux. While scorning our philosophy, they extol other philosophies of all kinds, ancient and modern, oriental and occidental, by which they seem to imply that any kind of philosophy or theory, with a few additions and corrections if need be, can be reconciled with Catholic dogma. No Catholic can doubt how false this is.
Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio, 1832, #3,5
Some…misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life.
(Further Quoting Pope St. Gregory the Great)
“The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in her and asserts that all who are outside of her will not be saved.”
Thus, in the decree on faith which Innocent III published with the synod of Lateran IV, these things are written: “There is one universal Church of all the faithful outside of which no one is saved.”
Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors, 1864, #16,17
Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation …Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ- CONDEMNED