Tuesday, October 03, 2006

CCC on Islam

Some Catholics, especially "traditionalists," find paragraph 841 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church disturbing, if not heretical: "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." (CCC 841). However, they needn't worry. The first sentence means that God wills that Muslims be saved and has made plans to direct them towards the One True Holy and Apostolic Catholic Church. The key word in the second sentence is "profess;" Muslims have an imperfect version of Abraham's faith. Although they wrongly deny the Trinity, Muslims are correct in saying that there is only one true God and that He is merciful, sovereign, righteous, and omniscient (from these attributes we can recognize that they refer to the one true God); God acknowledges everything true in the worship offered to Him despite possible imperfections. Muslims are right about God being "mankind's judge on the last day," despite various false ideas about the Millennium. The bottom line is that the Catechism does not teach that Islam is a saving religion and that Muslims do not need to become Roman Catholics.

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