Pope Francis : "God willed the plurality of religions"


No, sanctioning is the wrong word to describe what the text says.

Two things need to be noted, one about this document, and the other about what the Pope’s authority is regarding other religions.

The document was also signed by a leading Imam in Egypt. So it’s not just a declaration from the Pope about other religions, but also a declaration from a leading Imam about other religions.

As this document indicates, the Pope doesn’t have the authority to “sanction” other religions. That is a matter of religious freedom. But his role is to guide the faithful in their treatment of other religions.


As our Catechism states that there is no salvation outside the Catholic church, our evangelization efforts are most definitely to get people to join the Catholic Church wherever possible, and if that’s not possible, to get them into as much communion with the Catholic Church as we can. It is not always “in vain” as you see right on this forum people who do convert, and I’m sure there are others converting off the forum.

We don’t go around doing fuzzy “let’s make you a new creation in Christ” stuff.

If some non-Catholic wants to still reject the Church after hearing its teaching and hopefully seeing good examples by its followers, that’s their problem, and they can take it up with the Lord.


If God wills a person to become Catholic, God will reveal Himself in Jesus Christ and transform the person into becoming Catholic.

Religion that doesn’t help transform a person toward holiness, is useless religion,



I agree with that statement Jim.


I think so, yes. Isn’t it self-evidently true that if there were a privileged route to salvation that it would be better to be a part of that route than any other? It’s just acknowledging that it isn’t the only route. It may be the best but not the exclusive one.


I have no problem with saying that treating people who believe errors with charity, respect, and tolerance is God’s will (it should be noted that public authority has the right and duty to repress false religious activity when it is harmful to the common good, properly understood–see CCC 2109).

Again, the problem is the document equates God’s will with regard to religious diversity to God’s will with regards to other forms of human diversity. It is not like those things, but rather where religions divert from the truth is a consequence of sin (not necessarily one which the erring person is personally guilty). We would never say, in His wisdom, God wills us to be divided by sin (what other religions possess that is good and true is considered a preparation for the Gospel, not an end in itself.). The Catechism sums up God’s actual will in this regard.

845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.334

On this trip, Pope Francis even used this same imagery–the ark that can safely navigate the stormy waters–but instead of pointing to the Church as the ark where men find true unity and peace, he came up with a new “ark of fraternity.” Again, it’s good to acknowledge the unity of the human family with reference to our common origin, but we cannot fail to acknowledge that common destiny that God wills for us all too.


But at the same time, it is God’s will to lead that person to where they will be fed the best and often, it’s not in Catholicism.



Right but wants the route of Catholicism for all. Because he loves us.


Just to be clear…so do I agree with that statement.


I can’t agree with that statement. Although in general your right, in the whole picture one can be saved even if another religion, but that’s not the path God wants here and now, he wants all to come to the Truthnof Jesus Christ and his Church.


God’s Church (Catholicism) teaches that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. While we take a broad interpretation of that to mean that some other faiths may have enough commonality with the Catholic Church for their members to have the possibility of salvation, God is not going to lead somebody to a non-Catholic religion. The mere existence of non-Catholic religions is due to the sins of mankind. People end up as members of them either because of their own sins, or the sins of their forebears who started the other religion, joined the other religion, and wouldn’t become Catholics instead.

I understand “God’s will” in this situation as permitting other religions to exist on earth, not wiping them out.

God does not will people to go pick a church where they will be “fed the best”. I’m not a fan of that expression because I don’t see religious practice as some passive exercise where people “get fed”; they need to take responsibility for their own spiritual development and not sit there like an open mouthed helpless baby bird.


Thanks, all. this makes more sense now.
Not trying to bash Papa, but rather just trying to understand things better


This is well said Bear.


This is the statement I meant to agree with.


From the CCC

843* The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.”



Whenever folks get worked up about this issue, I feel the need to quote the relevant portion of Lumen Gentium to clarify the Church’s understanding. So, here goes…

Blockquote16. Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God.(18*) 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.(126) But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, 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.(128) 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.(19*) 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.(20*) 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”,(130) the Church fosters the missions with care and attention. LG

Noteworthy from the above are the following: The savior wills that all be saved, the plan of salvation includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the absence of religion, conscience can provide a guide to God, and God enlightens all men for the end of giving them Life…


169 Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: “We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation.” Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith.

Bold is my emphasis



Hi Tis, sorry if I offended. 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come.”


Wrong when you’re following your own will, not God’s.



Loving fathers do indeed want the best for their children. But, they also acknowledge that not all of their children will accept that best option, yet those children are nevertheless loved every bit as much.

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