Would I be compromising my beliefs by living with Muslims?


I’m thinking about living with a Muslim exchange family to learn more about Islam. I would still go to Mass on Sundays, but I would also like to be able to pray the same as everybody else on Friday at the mosque. I would not make the declaration of faith (that Muhammad is the final prophet), but I would follow the Muslim way of life in every other aspect.

My question: Would that be compromising my Catholic beliefs?


It is possible to learn more about Islam without essentially living as a Muslim. Such immersion into the Muslim life, particularly by a non-Muslim who is unfamiliar with Muslim beliefs, is indeed quite likely to endanger your Catholic faith. Studying other religions can be profitable, but not until you are firmly grounded in your own religion through study of your Catholic faith and immersion into the Catholic life. I can only recommend concentrating on learning more about your own religion and becoming more deeply committed to it by devoutly practicing it. Only with such grounding in your own faith are you less likely to endanger your faith by studying what others believe.

Look at it this way: After his conversion to Christianity, the apostle Paul – who was commissioned by Christ himself to preach to the Gentiles – spent time in his hometown of Tarsus immersing himself in his newfound faith before he took up the challenge of evangelizing others (Acts 9-11). If Paul himself needed time to learn and practice his faith before he became secure enough in it to share it with others, how much more do we need that same grounding in our faith through devout practice of it and immersion in it before it is safe for us to explore the beliefs of others?

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