Christian and Muslim values are fundamentally incompatible because, “Their gods do not partake in the same discourse, do not put forward the same values, do not propose for humanity the same destiny, and do not concern themselves with the same manner of political and legal organization in human society.”

Yet, the teachings of Allah, as they were allegedly revealed to Mohammed, are at wide variance with the teachings brought to us by Christ.  The turmoil and division that have characterized the history of Islam, have created tremendous confusion and discord among Islam’s own adherents, and brought violence, destruction, poverty, and denial of freedom wherever the religion has gained dominance.

What is called for, at this moment in history, is not some pointless search for common ground.  Christians and Muslims know that common ground exists.  There are principles we share, and issues of moral concern on which we find ourselves allied (the struggle against abortion, for one).  But, religious peace and human safety are not advanced by the willful blindness that goes by the name of tolerance—by agreeing to disagree.  We must, instead, focus on seeking truth.  I suggest we begin our search by considering the following topics.

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Editor’s note: This is an article that should be read and studied by everyone.

3 Comments

  1. Rarely have I read such a logical and authoritive and well-presented argument that is both clearly presented and yet so totally wrong. It is a marvellous piece of logic and presents the case it unfolds with almost devastating affect using both history and scriptural relevance to show that Islam is a danger to the free Christian world. It is quite stunning and yet sadly has failed to understand the mission of Christ’s Church.

    It is of little wonder as the author weaves into their argument fear of the Muslim stranger and the unknown particularly when these seem so hell-bent on burning our flag, killing us or just turning us into enslaved zombies. Of course perhaps recent media coverage has fuelled this notion and after all is said and done these wild eyed Muslims are “different” from civilized folk with their strange dress sense and crude legal structures of harsh inhuman laws. Their very religion appears to be based in demonic illusion and whilst we grudgingly accept that some of these people may not be as harmful as others the redneck anger in us grows with the sense of apparent hopelessness and loss of self-control as our culture is economically robbed of its affluence by them. How can we be expected in all truth to assist the accommodation of such a peculiar people within our own Christian society and western culture?

    Thus an almost xenophobic fury acknowledges that whilst many Muslims are not terrorists, the few extremists that are; represent the brutal reality of their alien belief system. A belief structure that was instigated by their vicious if not rabid prophet and this has led so much of humanity to disaster. To compound our powerlessness before such an avalanche of evil we are all offered a choice of either dialogue that some misguided churchman now advise or the last minute call to unity that we can hope for against such a false religion in what shall surely be a final apocalyptic war.

    But this should make us stop and think for a moment on the fundamentals of Christianity. That is: what does being a Christian mean and what are its implications in the modern world. It is not that the author fails to appreciate his neighbour but that he fails to appreciate our faith, our generosity implied by The Good Shepherd and what that must mean.

    Firstly the use of history is always a double edged sword in any argument. War seldom achieves any aim and we must avoid the constant attitude to fight and fight and fight. We maybe at war with spiritual evil but that war shall not be won in seeking all out conflict. Rather we must always seek peace and that is as Martin Luther King noted not merely the absence of war but a state of justice and peaceful intentions. Dialogue is always superior to violence and that is why the Church asks the faithful to be tolerant and to see the person of Jesus Christ in all our neighbours. It is not for us to divide humanity into the sheep and goats nor is it for us to slaughter our neighbour on some revelation of a better world just around the corner. Paradoxically, in a growing world but a smaller one also we are more inclined to meet our neighbour and differences in culture may result but we must try to learn as well as teach.

    Christ commanded the Church to be a missionary one and to go out and preach to the nations. We follow that command today and in the past it has sometimes brought us into great conflicts that were seldom something we may boast about. Yet as the Holy Father and the council of the church have advised whilst we are on a missionary journey it is also a pilgrimage that encounters others whom are on the same journey but may follow a different route. Yet the God of Israel, The Almighty Father of Jesus Christ, our lord is also recognizable in other cultures by other names. St Paul for example reminded the astonished Greeks that they had also been worshipping His God in their pagan temple to the Unknown God. This is not relativism nor does it imply that everybody’s version of Divinity is correct but it does allow for the salvation of the many rather than the few. It may be for example, that God chose to save Moses but the same God may also have saved Akhenaten. Our God may be recognized in many cultural forms that allow for the salvation of all peoples of good will. This fact was restated by the Late Pope John Paul the second again and again and particularly at Assisi when he invited many to come together to pray respecting each other’s cultures etc. The Catholic Church has learnt to appreciate dialogue and talking because it has come to understand that many of its ancient foes are in reality friends. Hence today we are encouraged to meet and talk to many religious people that once would have simply caused a frown or a turned back. Whether they are Protestant, Orthodox Christians, Muslim or Jew, Hindu, Buddhist or other they are our brothers and sisters and we must not grow to hate them anymore. Dialogue and tolerance are pleasing to Jesus and he will always help those that choose these rather than violence, fear and hate.

    In the past Our Catholic Church has sometimes failed to be everything it should be and in advancing political and economic realities it has failed to shine out for the good of all people but in time it has learnt to seek peace and justice over these distractions and today its more understanding approach to the human condition is for the common good of all.

    The fact that some Muslims however, still commit acts of terror and choose violence over understanding and mutual respect is hardly of a surprise. Satan is as active in Islam as he is within Christianity and people that use religion to shield their violent nature are as wolves in sheep’s clothing. There are many Christians that still use violence against their fellow man in order to bring about what they desire. The path of such zealots cannot be consistent with the Nature of any vision of a Loving Benign God and as Christians we must reject all and any attempts to lead us along the path of violent reaction. It is not good enough that we simply argue that evil must be fought against as a duty with little if any regard for our brothers and sisters.

    A god of Infinite Love and Mercy, a god of kindness and gentleness, a god of Justice and goodness, a god that is swift to forgive and slow to anger, a god of peace and tenderness is our Christian God but he is also beyond our understanding. He remains a mystery and reveals himself as he sees fit. As C.S Lewis noted many times the Christian God is present and behind many belief systems.The Vatican also agrees that in tradition the God of Islam does hold many attributes that we understand are accepted as virtues within our notion of goodness, particularly Justice. Such virtue is revealed by our own identified understanding of God the father. Hence the burning of the sacred book of Islam as some so called Christians have involved themselves with is an act of blasphemy against that religion and against Gods spirit. It is a mortal sin and unrepented will lead to hell.

    Again we as Catholics appreciate that the Church has many enemies but we must also appreciate that the Church is Christ Jesus in the world and we are expected to bring his spirit of love to all our neighbours. We do so in open friendship and dialogue and do not doubt that such openness will be welcomed and recipicated by those we meet on our pilgrimage. To imply that our Christian world is thus in danger of annihilation because we have misunderstood this sacred duty is to fail our heavenly master and his cross. We reject the original argument because it basically chooses to reject Love and is formed in fear and hatred of differences that it does not understand.Therefore, as Catholics we must have a greater dialogue with Islam and protect its members that will surely be attacked if ignorance replaces tolerance and understanding. No matter how attractive the apple of national purity may appear we must reject such deceptions as evil and respond to violent men with a better spirit of love and discourse so that they too, may seeing their error turn back from the course they travel. Many of the falsehoods presented to us within our own Catholic faith come from well-meaning people that have good intentions to enlighten us to dangers that we may encounter. Yet such good intentions are a slippery road to disaster and when illuminated by Love rather than distrust are shown to be false pathways and not worthy of Christ’s followers.

    • Tuesday, February 22, 2011
      WHAT DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TEACH ABOUT ISLAM: VATICAN COUNCIL II INDICATES THE PROPHET AND MUSLIMS ARE LOST

      The Church teaches in Magisterial documents that Islam has ‘good and holy ‘things but the religion is not a path to salvation. Muslims need to convert to avoid Hell.

      According to Vatican Council II the Prophet was not saved. This is same the message of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus, Dominus Iesus and other Church documents based on the Bible, Tradition and the Magisterium. So according to the official teaching of the Catholic Church the prophet was oriented to Inferno at the time of death.

      According to Vatican Council II, Ad Gentes 7 all people need Catholic Faith and the baptism of water for salvation I have mentioned in an earlier post on this blog. This includes the Prophet.

      Therefore, all must be converted to Him, made known by the Church’s preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church which is His body. For Christ Himself “by stressing in express language the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), at the same time confirmed the necessity of the Church, into which men enter by baptism, as by a door.-AG 7
      Ad Gentes 7 and Lumen Gentium 14 also state that those who know about the Church and its necessity for salvation and yet do not enter are on the way to Hell. The Quran shows that the prophet knew about Jesus and the Church.
      Therefore those men cannot be saved, who though aware that God, through Jesus Christ founded the Church as something necessary, still do not wish to enter into it, or to persevere in it.”-Ad Gentes 7

      Therefore those men cannot be saved, who though aware that God, through Jesus Christ founded the Church as something necessary, still do not wish to enter into it, or to persevere in it.”-Lumen Gentium 14, Vatican Council II.
      The ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus says the same.

      1. “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215). Ex cathedra.

      2.“We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.).Ex cathedra.

      3.“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) Ex cathedra – from the website Catholicism.org
      The same message is repeated in Dominus Iesus.

      This doctrine must not be set against the universal salvific will of God (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); “it is necessary to keep these two truths together, namely, the real possibility of salvation in Christ for all mankind and the necessity of the Church for this salvation”.-Dominus Iesus 20
      If there is an objection with reference to Lumen Gentium 16 it is a straw man. LG 16 does not say that we know any case of invincible ignorance in the present times.
      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.-Lumen Gentium 16, Vatican Council II.

      So Lumen Gentium 16 does not contradict extra ecclesiam nulla salus or Ad Gentes 7, Vatican Council II.

      If there is an objection that Fr. Leonard Feeney was excommunicated for affirming extra ecclesiam nulla salus, this is a falsehood. The dogma referred to in the Letter of the Holy Office to the Archbishop of Boston 1949 indicates that all Jews in Boston need to convert into the Church to avoid Hell.

      Now, among those things which the Church has always preached and will never cease to preach is contained also that infallible statement by which we are taught that there is no salvation outside the Church.

      However, this dogma must be understood in that sense in which the Church herself understands it. For, it was not to private judgments that Our Savior gave for explanation those things that are contained in the deposit of faith, but to the teaching authority of the Church…-Letter of the Holy Office 1949 to the Archbishop of Boston (Emphasis added)
      So the Letter of the Holy Office supported Fr.Leonard Feeney on doctrine.The dogma(above) indicates all Jews in Boston need to convert into the Church to avoid Hell. This was exactly what Fr.Leonard Feeney taught.

      It indicates also that all Muslims are on the path to Hell. According to the official teaching of the Catholic Church the prophet was oriented to Hell at the time of death. It is said that the Church does not say that any one is in Hell, not even Judas. However the Church does teach that there are some sins that orient a person to Hell at the time of death. It is a grave sin for a non Catholic to have had the Gospel preached to him, to know about Jesus and the Church and yet to reject the Holy Spirit guiding him in his heart. The Church also teaches that all of us know what is right and wrong deep within our heart Conscience can be good or bad. We need to follow our good conscience. Someone who follows his good conscience would be led to Jesus and the Church.’

      This is not just a personal view but the official teaching of the Church before and after Vatican Council II.

      The Church is saying that salvation is open to all Muslims and other non Catholics but if they do not respond they have chosen damnation. If there is anyone among them in invincible ignorance etc it will be known only to God.

      A Muslim can be saved if he gives his life for Jesus and the Church (baptism of blood) . Similarly a Catholic who dies a martyr, goes straight to Heaven.

      Some theologians say that the Church does not claim anyone is in Hell. They hold this illusion since they do not know or believe in the ex cathedra dogma Cantate Domino, Council of Florence(above). It says Hell has fire. It indicates millions of non-Catholics are there.

      Others say that the Church does not say that Judas is in Hell. We know that the Church also does not say that Judas is in Heaven.

      What about the ‘theology of religions’? The Church has rejected it in the Notification issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican (2001) to Fr. Jacques Dupuis S.j. It indicates that ‘there is no theology’ which can say that Islam is a path to salvation.

      We accept the possibility of non Catholics in invincible ignorance etc, being saved (Lumen Gentium 16) and they are known to God only. However the Lumen Gentium 16 text does not say that we know of specific cases in the present times and so this contradicts the dogma.

      So there is no text from Vatican Council II for supporting a heresy. It is heresy to reject or change an ex cathedra dogma even after being informed.

      The hermeneutic of continuity, is that for centuries popes, Councils and saints taught that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Church formally to avoid Hell.

      The hermeneutic of rupture was when the Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Richard Cushing, said that there could be people in invincible ignorance etc who are known to us in the present times and so this contradicted the dogma and Fr. Leonard Feeney. This is irrational. We can never know any such case. The Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Richard Cushing held the heretical belief that there were non Catholics saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire in the present times and they were known to us. So for him this contradicted Fr. Leonard Feeney and the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

      The hermeneutic of rupture was when Fr. Hans Kung said that Lumen Gentium 16 indicates that people in invincible ignorance etc can be specifically known to us in the present times and so this contradicts extra ecclesiam nulla salus (and Ad Gentes 7, Vatican Council 2).

      We do not know who is joined to the Church in partial communion or invisible bonds. We do not know who has perfect contrition or a conscience Jesus will judge as good on the day of Judgement. No specific case can be known.

      We know for sure that some sins lead to Hell. Some sins orient a person to Hell.

      The Bible tells us that some sins will prevent people from seeing the Kingdom of God. There are also mortal sins of Faith.

      ‘Being oriented to Hell’ does not mean ‘condemned to Hell’. Correct. Neither does it mean not being condemned.

      If you think someone is an exception to the rule then again I would ask you how would you know? How would you know specific cases?

      If you believe the exception makes the rule (as says Fr. Charles Curran etc) then this is not the teaching of the Church.

      Every non-Catholic who achieves salvation it is said is nevertheless saved because of the graces radiating from the Catholic Church as the “sacrament of universal salvation”. True and this does not conflict with the teaching that everyone with no exception in the present times needs to formally enter the Church to be saved.

      Liberal theologians affirm that the necessity of the Catholic Church for salvation is absolute. Correct. However they need to mention that it is necessary to be a formal member. Many liberal theologians leave this issue vague.

      Liberal theologians say this union is not confined to the status of actual and explicit visible membership in the Catholic Church. It’s here where they go off the track since they assume that we know cases in the present times who are saved with invincible ignorance etc and so every one does not have to be a formal member of the Church to be saved.

      We cannot name a specific individual person as being in Hell, not with our human abilities. However the Church does tell us that there are some sins whixh orient a person to Hell. If one dies with mortal sin and without absolution in the Confessional, your on the way to Hell. The Catechism indicates all it takes is just one mortal sin for a soul to go to Hell. One mortal sin without Confession. To reject an ex cathedra dogma is a mortal sin according to the Church. Your on the way to Hell.Pope John Paul II excommunicated Fr.Tissa Balasuriya, OMI, the Sri Lankan priest, for rejecting the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady.

      If you die without the Sacraments I would assume that you were oriented to Hell, gone to Hell and are there still. If there was an exceptional reason for not being damned it would be known to God only.

      Muslims are lost unless they accept Jesus’ great Sacrifice and respond.

      We love all Muslims in Jesus, who also, in charity asks to tell them about the condition of their soul. In John 3:5 we are reminded of the necessity of the baptism of water for salvation, in John 6 we are told about the importance of the Eucharist for salvation. In Mark 16:16 we know that those who do not believe will be condemned.
      In October this year there will be an inter faith meeting at Assisi,Italy the birth place of St.Francis of Assisi who believed it was necessary for all Muslims and the Sultan to convert for salvation. He taught the rigorist interpretation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus and believed that all Muslims like other non Catholics were damned unless they enter the Church. This was the will of God. God wants all people to be united in the Catholic Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church CCC 845), the Church is like the Ark of Noah that saves in the Flood (CCC 845), all people need to enter the Church as entering through a door (CCC 846).

      • Thank you for your long reply. I have read it and got the gist I think?

        Firstly, I have not said/written anything against the Catholic Church as it is today. I have written an article that attempted to show that My Lord as revealed in my understanding of the Church is first and foremost about Mercy. This is even at the expense of what some perceive as Justice. That is Mercy over-rides final justice and reveals God as a God of Love and not a condemning tyrant!
        Whilst many declarations have been made in the past very few are actually dogma and whilst papal encyclicals are important they do not constitute questions of dogmatic faith.

        I often read and hear people say they agree that God is Love but this fact is not reflected in their writing. The lack of tolerance and humility alarm me as much as vociferous hate and the spouting of wicked speech of any false prophet.

        I absolutely refute your central argument therefore against the Muslim. Where you are willing to condemn I am not. Where your understanding of Scripture and the Teaching of Mother Church narrows the field of possible salvation to a few Catholics, or those that have adopted the faith mine does not. Rather I understand that “all people of good will” may be redeemed by the Sacrifice of Christ. That their professed credo is of only secondary source and faith by itself is utterly useless. That is Unlike the Pharisee that still hold that a formula can bring salvation I do not. I raised the argument above because the writer appears to suggest that Catholics have little in common with their Islamic brethren. That appears from our understanding to be not just incorrect but woeful in modern appreciation of the world today.

        The spirit of Vatican 2 and as suggested by latter day popes has insisted that tolerance of our neighbour is a good thing to be seeked out. Therefore any person that denies this virtue is in danger of grave error.

        The Bible does not tell us that anyone is on the way to hell or that they are predestined for damnation. Indeed the very idea of hell as understood by Christians is not a Jewish one. Whereas Christians understand that God the Father sent his Son and we have the revelation of that incarnation etc. the Jewish people do not officially accept this and not in the Old Testament. The Torah does not hold the Christian Hell as a reality but awaiting the Messiah holds men to be asleep in death. The New Testament tackles the notion of hell as a place of fire which is often compared to rubbish dumps outside the city walls where rubbish was destroyed etc. Yet several versions of hell are thus presented and much relies upon the dialogue of the day. Jesus himself saves his strongest condemnation for his own people and those that assumed they were Just and Holy and preached accordingly.

        Secondly, what hell is or who goes there is not for us to imagine or suggest. We mysteriously understand it is full of the fallen angels and the “wicked” but we are in charity bound not to assume that any individual has gone to hell or is suffering the eternal loss of heaven or has a bent towards it. To do so is to commit serious and grave error and may imply in extreme cases mortal sin which is to be avoided. The Prophet of Islam is just one of many that we simply have no understanding about their eternity BUT we can say that if we spent more time worrying about our own sins and less about imagined ones of our neighbour we would rise in grace. The Catholic Church does not advance any notion that mortal sin in itself condemns a soul to hell but it understands that firstly the sin against the Holy Spirit and secondly unrepented sin are subject to Gods justice and may hinder salvation. Happily we know of no such condition on any individual as I have just written above and we also have the presumed path of purgatory. Neither Pontiff, Bishop, cleric, council nor personal revelation may disturb the overriding truth that Jesus loves us more than we deserve or assume. That should inspire us to greater grace also.

        Vatican 2 does not contradict dogma and you are right to acknowledge this. It does however present it in new ways to a new world. The old certainties of by-gone days simply did not stand up in the modern world i.e. a globe plagued by unspeakable wars etc. the like of which had never been imagined in past ages. The council was already being considered or some such requirement as early as Benedict 15th and Pius 12th undoubtedly was aware that such an opening in Church thinking would be called very soon. The Spirit of the Council calls for all the faithful to grow up and take more responsibility (not less) for the Kingdom of God.

        I am uncertain why you raised the suggestion that Pope John Paul 2 excommunicated those that denied dogma such as The Immaculate Conception. Excommunication is about Church law and the Pope is right to use it especially when clerics imagine themselves superior to papal or Council Authority. Indeed as the heretic Lefebvre was also excommunicated by his refusal to bow before his brother bishops etc. Kung was investigated and at the time was halted from his teaching office.

        I also remain alarmed as I often am by your writing and the final paragraph seems to contradict your argument stated above that we love Muslims in Jesus. No, rather I assert we shall love Jesus in the Muslim! It is a subtle but important difference that I here suggest. Your argument sees Muslims as being outside Jesus whereas I put it to you that we shall do better to see Jesus inside them.

        I hope that you understand that St Francis was alive in his medieval world and that whilst it seems shocking to many conservative Catholics (I am using the title in ironic mode as you do appear to think me some irrational liberal heretic) the world today is not a medieval one. In the years since, as before St Francis, the church grows and its understanding also. Hence we cannot simply exist in the Council of Trent (which was itself certainly as controversial and disliked as Vatican 2 today) or in the centuries past. Much of what Catholics did in the past was incorrect as the Council reminds us in its document Unitatis Redintegratio (1964) and we are bound to change accordingly to meet the new grace revealed.

        If Jesus calls us it is not that we shall be destroyed it is that we shall go on the pilgrimage of faith that brings us salvation and on that journey we are allowed to embrace other faiths in a spirit of humility and hope. Jesus is first about our humanity and then about our faith to him in the Church. Whilst notions of the ark are absolutely correct (indeed much of the architectural vernacular understanding confirms the church is a boat, a ship on the sea etc) it is far more. It must be alive and not written on stone but in our hearts and minds. If it is alive then it moves and grows and we must do the same. Change may mean that we suffer but that in itself brings us closer to the cross.

        I am sad that on re-reading your testament above I am left feeling empty of understanding or faith. Simply the historical Church is only part of our journey but it is a small part. The greater part is about Love and charity and the writing presented whilst in many ways historically accurate seems to lack any real emotion or feeling. Common charity and humility and self-awareness must surely make us care not just in word but deed and that should shine through our commentary. If all we have is a barrage of out dated proclamations then where is love? To imagine the greater part of humanity destroyed by the lack of creed is to fall short of the real desire of The Holy Spirit. In presenting my original argument I tried to impress upon the readers that we today in The Catholic Church simply do not accept the eternal loss of paradise by the failure of professed creed and that whilst all peoples (that are saved?) are saved by the Church this is a mysterious and Holy (all one) body and centres around the greater mystery of Love itself.


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