The thorny issue of Islam and Christianity

**With Islam being on the news so often, the question of its alleged violent nature needs to be discussed. However, Aquinas is still held up as the highest Catholic theologian in the Church, even said to be materially infallible by Pius XI. However St. Thomas says things like the following:

“On the other hand, there are unbelievers who at some time have accepted the faith, and professed it, such as heretics and all apostates: such should be submitted even to bodily compulsion, that they may fulfil what they have promised, and hold what they, at one time, received” “ought to be compelled to keep it,” “whereas keeping the faith, when one has received it, is a matter of obligation,” and therefore “Heretics should be compelled to keep the faith.” Summa Theologiae>, II-II, q. 10, a. 8. "Church altogether forbids unbelievers to acquire dominion over believers, or to have authority over them in any capacity."q. 10, a. 10.

If Christians went around following these rules, we would be seen as no different from the Islamics.

St. Thomas Aquinas also discusses bodily mutilation (ST, IIa IIae 65, 1) approvingly, which is unfortunately supported by the Bible: Ex. 21: 24, Lv 24: 19-20. However, the Church now teaches that torture is against human dignity (so when Jesus says sinners will be beaten, he is contradicting human dignity?)

Finally, Father Brian Harrison supplied me with the following

Ecumenical Council of Vienne (1311-1312).
“However, the bishop without the inquisitor or the inquisitor without the bishop or his representative . . . may not consign anyone to harsh and cruel imprisonment, which would be punishment rather than custody, or subject anyone to torture” Canon 13 of the Council’s disciplinary decisions. Cf. H. J. Schroeder, O.P., Disciplinary Decrees of the General Councils (London: Herder, 1937)

These are all frightening issues, but my basic questions is: is Islam really different than Christianity, and for that matter, Judaism??

If you think the problem with Islam is that it’s intolerant, then you’ve unfortunately thoroughly imbibed liberalism.

St. Thomas Aquinas is correct that baptized persons may be compelled to keep their obligations and fulfill the external obligations imposed by the Church except in the matter of receiving sacraments. Although the Church has since expressly prohibited this in her positive law, as regards baptized individuals who have never been part of the Catholic Church.

Regarding the matter of bodily mutilation, Aquinas seems to have been incorrect. Although it would seem that the prescripts of the Mosaic law dispensed from the general moral law for the time which they were issued for.

I’m not sure what you’re issue is with the Council, are you saying bishops or inquisitors alone should have been able to imprison people?

Interesting topic - thanks for bringing that up.

Some people don’t like the idea, but religion also changes, it ‘evolves’. Think of the Galileo debacle 400 years ago. Slavery was fully acceptable if you go back in time far enough, etc. etc.

Borders on relativism.

It seems to me that your issues are twofold.

(1) You are disturbed by the prospect that the Catholic Church may have proclaimed as a matter of faith and morals that it is okay to use force and violence to keep people in the Church against their will.

(2) You are disturbed by the prospect that the Catholic Church may have implicitly condoned torture in an infallible Ecumenical Council, provided that both a bishop and an inquisitor are present to administer it.

If so, I would recommend you do some Internet research on the many apologies of Pope St. John Paul the Great, especially using the phrase, in quotation marks in the search engine, “use of force in the service of truth”. You have to put the whole phrase in quotes, otherwise you’ll have a hard time finding anything relevant.

The above article might help you a little.

I just try to simplify as much as I can because that way I don’t get a headache thinking or delving too deep. I read an article on the Big Pulpit about what the early saints had to say about Islam. It was very enlightening. Whether or not you agree with this doesn’t matter. It is just a record of what they said…basically, Mohamad was the antichrist and extremely evil and he swayed many, many ignorant, uneducated, totally unknowledgable people WAY back then and it worked. Look it up - what the earliest saints have said about Islam throughout the ages.
Nothing divine nor spirit filled could be attributed to him. It was just what he said, and wrote. Kinda a nut case, I think.

The difference is that the Catholic Church started and blossomed peacefully, had a relatively brief violent period (the Crusades were defensive and mainly in reaction to Muslims attempting to take over the world by conquest with the sword), and has since been peaceful. But Islam started out with war and extreme violence (the battle of this and the battle of that), and that’s always been a major driving force in that religion. Compare the life and teachings of Muhammad to the life and teachings of Jesus. The difference is like black and white.

Your xelection of quotes from St. Thomas, if indeed they are quotes, seem to be a selection of short snippets of statements given out of context. Why do you choose such a carefully distortingmethod to begin your discussion?

Even if Thomas is an authority in the church on many things, he isnot infallible, hence does not speak for Christianity.

Our “book” is the New Testament and not the Summa.

You need to quote tne Bible whenyou put words into Jesus’ mouth.

You are comparing our faith to Islam, or the Koran, or the current islamist violence?

Or, are you a troll?

How was the Spanish Inquisition different from Muslim torture and murder?

The Spanish Inquisition isn’t a threat to anyone today. That’s the difference.

How was the Spanish Inquisition different from Muslim torture and murder?

How convenient to forget the manipulation of the Spanish Inquisition.
My parish priest told us that the church never changes

I am struggling with this
Are you?

Good write up from this website.

Do you blame American slavery on all the white people of today? Unlike how you must cherry pick one time in the 2,000 year history of the Church, one need not cherry pick a time when Islam was violent because violence has always been a major driving force in it. Try to compare Muhammad to Jesus.

It is equally true that, despite what we consider the Spanish Inquisition’s lamentable procedures, many people preferred to have their cases tried by ecclesiastical courts because the secular courts had even fewer safeguards. In fact, historians have found records of people b.aspheming in secular courts of the period so they could have their case transferred to an ecclesiastical court, where they would get a better hearing.

Separate again was the infamous Spanish Inquisition, started in 1478, a state institution used to identify conversos—Jews and Moors (Muslims) who pretended to convert to Christianity for purposes of political or social advantage and secretly practiced their former religion. More importantly, its job was also to clear the good names of many people who were falsely accused of being heretics. It was the Spanish Inquisition that, at least in the popular imagination, had the worst record of fulfilling these duties.

I believe apologetic books go more into this.

White people have repented of slavery

Do you have any evidence of the church repenting, by way of saying that we were wrong?

The fact that you had to reach back hundreds of years to the Inquisition is proof in itself that the Church has changed since then.

It may be a thin line, but the Spanish Inquisition was actually done by Spanish Royalty and not the Church.

The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition (Spanish: Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición), commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition (Inquisición española), was established in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile.

Do you have any evidence of the church repenting, by way of saying that we were wrong?

May I guess that the church hasn’t apologised?

Does Jesus forgive my unconfessed sin?

You guessed wrong. St. Pope John Paul II apologized for whatever wrong was done by Christians in the past. Why don’t the Muslims apologize for all the lands they took from the Christians (the Middle East, Turkey, and parts of Africa) and give it all back to us?

Christians aren’t required to confess sins that we did not commit.

Do they have the same standards as Catholics?

The Spanish Inquisition murdered Jews and stole their money
How do you think the church should go about restitution?

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