Why does the church "accept" Islam?


I am a converting Catholic and agree the Catholic Church is the way to go. With that being said and in light of Pope Francis’ attitude toward islam, I’m wondering why Catholics have traditionally been more open to Islam and Judaism than protestantism. CCC 1-2-3-9 States that Muslims can be saved but also goes against salvation outside of the church. Muslims reject Christ as the son of God while Protestants do not. I guess what my question is is why throughout history and today has the church been more harsh toward Protestants than Jews and muslims?


How has the Church been more harsh to Protestants?


What possible evidence do you have that the Church accepts Islam over, say, Protestantism? If anything, the history of the Catholic Church has been anti-Islam. Have you studied the Crusades, for example?
The Church today recognizes that God created and loves all people, and that we are to respect our brothers and sisters of other faiths. But we also have to invite them to know Jesus Christ and his true Church.


The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day."330

For one how can anyone say that Muslims adore the one true God if they reject his ultimate plan of salvation?

Second Pope Francis has prayed alongside Muslims several times and even on this site I’ve read that Catholics should never enter a Protestant service so what makes praying with Muslims ok? Also why did the Pope bless Muslim refugees? Do not take my comments or questions as if I’m saying these things are wrong, wuiet the opposite, I simply want to know what makes them ok.


Who says you can never attend a Protestant service? Obviously you shouldn’t do it in lieu of Mass, but if you have a Protestant friend getting married you can obviously attend.


Because they’re suffering human beings. They have a flawed understanding of God but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve compassion.


I am 60 years a Catholic and never once heard I couldn’t enter a Protestant Church. Where did you get that? Lots of misinformation here.
Yes, recent popes have prayed with people of all different faiths. Look up JPII’s ecumenical prayer at Assisi, for example.


People of the same faith tend to turn on people of the same faith that are of another denomination. This is true even among Muslims and Jews as well. Many Jews dislike Hasidim, while the Hasidim dislike non-Hasidic Jews and that’s just one of many examples. Among Muslims, the Shi’a and Sunni have been killing each other for 14 centuries or so. It’s certainly true among the Protestants hating Catholics, while all the while they could be said to almost worship the state of Israel; I’m sure some among them would prefer Muslims to Catholics, but not many because they tend to be in opposition to Islam in greater numbers than other religions.


Praying together is different than praying something that you think is false.


After 1500 years Protestants broke away from the Church and caused disunity and heresy amongst Christianity. The Church was being attacked internally by Protestants and these actions and the further bastardization of Protestant Christianity over the years (the reason you’re correcting your ancestors’ errors and returning to the Church) have have arguably ruined the culture of the west. Before that, Islam took much of Africa and the Middle East by the sword over hundreds of years and Christians only responded with the sword, for better or worse, when the threat got close to Europe.


A good example was Fred Phelps, the Calvinist pastor of “God hates FAQs” fame. If you thought he hated Gay people, you should have heard him talk about Arminians, the other branch of Reformed theology. Scary to the extreme.

Proximity does indeed sharpen antipathy.


“Frequently Asked Questions?”


If humankind is evolving in a positive direction at all (and I have my doubts at times), much of humanity sees that hitting our non-believing neighbor over the head with a Bible, or killing him with a sword, doesn’t work for conversions. What works? Respecting someone, getting to know them, finding common ground (ie. Abraham as our father in the faith) and moving from there. There is nothing wrong with praying with people of other faiths. This is NOT the same as praying to their particular notion of God.


Because since Vatican II much has changed. There is no example, that I know of, of this happening prior to that. Of course there was occasional cooperation but cooperation is not the same as praying with people that reject your faith. There had to be occasional cooperation because there were centuries of conflict between Muslims and Christians and I don’t want to cause any terror tantrums but the Christians weren’t always the aggressor in these encounters, in fact, the Muslims started this conflict 14 centuries ago, which seems to go on without end. Prayers for Muslims and vice versa also obviously happened but nothing like what is happening now.


He didn’t like them, for some reason. :grinning:

I sorta find them useful. Even this forum has one.


Well said!


Thank you. Maybe I did have misinformation. I appreciate the responses.


It’s not that Judaism and Islam are somehow more acceptable than Protestantism. It’s more that there are concentric circles of similarity that we can rely on when we dialogue with others.

  • Fellow Latin Catholics
  • Eastern Catholics (fully Catholic, but with some different practices — they would presumably say the same about Latins)
  • Orthodox Christians (true churches, ancient and sacramental, but not in communion with us at present)
  • Protestant Christians (followers of Christ, united by baptism, at varying distances in terms of belief and practice)
  • Jews (worshippers of the God of Abraham, our spiritual forebears; we include their Scriptures in our own)
  • Muslims (worshippers of the God of Abraham, though a later offshoot that claims to be a “correction” of Judaism and Christianity — but we have many honored figures and stories in common)
  • Hindus, Buddhists, neopagans, and others that are not historically connected to us at all

When Church documents speak favorably of Islam, or any other religion, they are doing so in this context — that they have similarities, pieces of the truth if not the whole picture. Note that the Church does not anywhere claim that Islam is true in all particulars, or worshipping God acceptably, or actually revealed by God, or salvific in and of itself (though individual Muslims, like others, may be saved if they are acting in ignorance of the full truth and are sincerely trying to do God’s will as they know it). Only that, historically speaking, it is “aiming” for the true God, even if it has wrong ideas about Him. In this it is similar to Judaism (which, despite its very close ties to us, was treated very poorly in Christian rhetoric of past ages) and different from other, more distant non-Christian religions.

The fact that, these days, we tend to emphasize similarities and the pieces of truth that other belief systems do have, rather than focusing on differences and errors, is indeed a change from past practice — but it seems to be a Spirit-led and welcome one. Heck, within Christianity itself, we’ve started to heal a schism that goes back to the early ecumenical councils, by ceasing to call each other heretics long enough to discuss what each side actually believes; and what do you know, after 1500 years or so we’ve figured out that both sides were trying to defend the same truth, but each thought the other’s choice of language was inadequate to do so! If only we had conducted such dialogue far sooner!


How would you expect Pope Francis to handle Islam “better”? Angry tweets in all caps?


My thoughts exactly, we are all men of faith with just a different interpretation of God.

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