104 – Christians and Muslims share the same Faith

At the end of the 16th century, an Archbishop of Valencia marked its history and that of the Church, for he was elevated to the altars by pope John XXIII in 1960. Saint John de Ribera was a true Shepherd. Not satisfied with merely caring for the faithful of his diocese, he also went in search of new sheep. One of his greatest concerns was to convert the followers of Mohammed to the Catholic Faith, and after having converted them, to instruct them well in the faith. Since Our Lord died on the Cross for all, he wanted all the souls under his care to be washed in the Precious Blood of the Redeemer. This mission was so important to him, that despite the numerous responsibilities inherent to his office; he himself went to preach to the converted Moors every Sunday. In his catechism, written specifically for the use of the priests that instructed these converts, he explains:
“It deals with all the topics necessary to instruct an unbeliever in the Faith of the Gospel; and particularly he who has followed the sect of Mohammed. For it not only shows with reasons and natural convenience and the moral purity and beauty of our holy Faith, it also demonstrates the erroneousness and absurdity of the sect of Mohammed. And it proceeds with such a clarity of reasons and concepts, and with such a clear style, that the care and diligence which was put into adapting and making the writing adequate for the capacity of those to be taught is easily perceived. But this in such a manner, that also the learned will discover therein the truths of our holy religion clearly presented, proven with citations from the Sacred Scriptures and declarations of the Holy Fathers.”
(Catechism. Letter from the Patriarch and Archbishop of Valencia Saint John de Ribera to the rectors, preachers and confessors of his Archbishopric, p. 2-3).
In the life and writings of the holy Archbishop, we do not find anything that may be interpreted as a desire to ‘share the faith’ of the Muslims. On the contrary, thirst for souls, a sincere brotherly love, and the seriousness with which he undertook his pastoral vocation, made the necessity of demonstrating the ‘erroneous absurdity of the sect of Mohammed’ very clear. Did he act wrongly? Can we construe that the desire to save others made him unaware of the ‘common convictions’ held by the followers of Mohammed and those of Jesus Christ? The teachings expressed by Pope Paul VI three hundred years later permit us to better understand the proceedings of this saint: ‘Our religion effectively establishes with God an authentic and living relationship which the other religions do not succeed in doing, even though they have, as it were, their arms stretched out towards heaven’ (Paul VI. Apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 53, December 8, 1975)

Are there any similarities to be found between this doctrine and the teachings of Francis? Is he truly working for the salvation of the followers of the ‘sect of Mohammed’…and for the good of the Church?

 

Francis

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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter in the various parts of our study

ContentsI – The Catholic Faith is unique and is not shared by other religionsII – The difference between the supernatural virtue of Faith infused by God and religious beliefsIII - The prayers and customs of the Muslims are not pleasing to GodIV- Some particularities of Islam
I – The Catholic Faith is unique and is not shared by other religions
A) Only the Catholic Church is true
B) Doctrinal clarification regarding the infused virtue of Faith
II – The difference between the supernatural virtue of Faith infused by God and religious beliefs
A) The Catholic Faith has no common convictions with Islam
III – The prayers and customs of the Muslims are not pleasing to God
IV– Some particularities of Islam
A) The ‘revelations’ posterior to Christ alleged by Islam
B) About the judeo-Christian elements in Islam
C) The attributes of the Creator and the ‘consideration of the mercy of Allah’ contrasted (with citations from the Koran)


I – The Catholic Faith is unique and is not shared by other religions


A) Only the Catholic Church is true


Pius XI

There can be no true religion other than what is founded on the revealed word of God

Leo XIII

Reason and natural law indicate the Catholic Church as the only true Church
Regard for religion as an indifferent matter is to bring about the ruin of the Catholic Religion

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Christ’s Church is not a collection of churches and ecclesial communities

B) Doctrinal clarification regarding the infused virtue of Faith


 “Share your faith, because there is one single God, the same God.” – Francis


Denzinger-Bergoglio note: Sharing the faith with the Muslims presupposes recognizing that they have faith. It is necessary to remember that faith is a supernatural virtue infused by God with sanctifying grace.


Vatican Council I (Ecumenical XX)

Faith is a supernatural virtue by which one believes that the things revealed by God are true

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Faith is a supernatural virtue infused by God making it easy for all to accept the truth – one must be moved by grace to have faith

Saint Thomas Aquinas

The theological virtues surpass the nature of man; and makes him a partaker of the Divine Nature
The theological virtue of faith is above man’s nature…
…and has as its object the First Truth
Since it is based on the First Truth, nothing false can come under the infused virtue of Faith
Science is not more certain than the infused virtue of Faith; nor is any other human thing
Unbelief is a sin as it arises from pride, since man is unwilling to subject his intellect to the rules of faith
The lack of Faith is the gravest sin
It is not possible for anyone who has a false opinion of God to know Him at all, because subjective opinion opposes the infused virtue of Faith
Those who lack the virtue of Faith cannot carry out meritorious supernatural acts that lead to eternal life, even though they can do certain natural good deeds

Denzinger Bergoglio note: Having clarified what is the supernatural virtue of faith and that it brings us to believe in that which is revealed by God, we ask: may one say that we ‘share the faith with the Islamics’? They are not baptized and therefore sanctifying grace and the infused virtues do not dwell in their souls. Some of their beliefs even constitute an evident opposition to the Catholic Faith. They deny the Trinity, the Divinity of the Incarnate Word, the saving value of the Cross. Even in that which they believe and does not openly oppose our faith, such as the existence of only one God, the historic truth of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, we discover that they have a defective vision of the same.
Therefore, all of this makes it impossible to embrace Islam without ipso facto accepting grave errors in that which refers to the faith, and in consequence, morality. Even if we may find some natural good deeds in some individuals – and in this case, it would be despite Islam – it is still true that in general the muslims lack supernatural virtues. This is because they lack the assistance of grace. Consequently, neither the totality of Muslims possesses natural virtues, nor may an individual practice them in their totality.


II – The difference between the supernatural virtue of Faith infused by God and religious beliefs


Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

The distinction between theological faith and belief in the other religions must be firmly held

Council of Ephesus (Ecumenical III)

All heretics corrupt the true expressions of the Holy Spirit

Paul VI

The other religions do not succeed in establishing an authentic relationship with God

Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office

It is false to assert that men can be saved equally well in every religion

Pius XI

The false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy rejects the true religion

John Paul II

It is necessary that man enter the Church and persevere if he wishes to be saved

A) The Catholic Faith has no common convictions with Islam


John Paul II

The theology and anthropology of Islam are very far from Christianity

Denzinger-Bergoglio note: Saint John Damascene, acknowledged as the greatest Father of the Eastern Church, wrote about Islam with true knowledge of the facts: he had personal experience with Islam when Damascus was seized from the Byzantine Empire by the Muslim Caliphate.


Saint John Damascene

We have the prophets that announced Christ but the unbelievers do not have testimonies and Mohammed received the book while he slept…

Denzinger-Bergoglio note: Canonized by John XXIII, Saint John de Ribera, Archbishop of Valencia and Patriarch of Antioch, worked forty-two years in his diocese, leading the flock entrusted to him along the right path. Among other works, he wrote a catechism for converted Muslims.


Saint Juan de Ribera

Islam does not deserve the name of religion

Lateran Council V (Ecumenical XVIII)

The Muslims treat the Cross and Salvation with complete contempt

III – The prayers and customs of the Muslims are not pleasing to God


It is admirable to see how Muslims both young and old, men and women, make time for daily prayer and faithfully take part in religious services. – Francis


Denzinger-Bergogolio note: We had seen in a previous study that prayer which fails to invoke Jesus is not pleasing to God. And in the Gospel we find Our Redeemer saying: ‘When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them.’ The Muslim custom of invoking ‘Allah and his prophet’ five times a day seems to be the sort of prayer that Jesus censured. Is this worthy of our respect and approval?


Council of Vienne (Ecumenical XV)

The public invocation of the sacrilegious name of Mahomet is expressly forbidden - it displeases the divine majesty

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Non-Christian rituals constitute an obstacle to salvation

Pius XI

The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Those who do not act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, can neither pray habitually in his Name

Paul VI

We cannot agree with various forms of religion

Pius X

According to modernist theories, the Islamic religious experiences are true

John Paul II

No one can enter into communion with God except through Christ

Leo XIII

Differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict cannot all be equally acceptable to God

Catechism of Trent

The practice of praying in spirit is peculiar to Christians and not used by infidels

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Prayer in not meritorious without sanctifying grace

IV- Some particularities of Islam


A) The ‘revelations’ posterior to Christ alleged by Islam


Denzinger-Bergoglio note: Besides certain Jewish-Christian elements, Islam claims revelations posterior to Christ. Regarding these statements, one must note:


Catechism of the Catholic Church

To desire any vision or revelation even after God has given us His Son would be to offend Him

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

We now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ

Saint John Damascene

It was ‘revealed’ to Mohammed that Jesus denied being the Son of God

B) About the judeo-Christian elements in Islam


Denzinger-Bergoglio note: Besides what we have already considered, it is also fitting to recall that in his treatise Summa Contra Gentiles, which he wrote to help his Dominican brethren in their attempt to evangelize the Muslims, Saint Thomas Aquinas presents Islam as a complete rejection of the Old and New Testaments: ‘Some of them, such as the Mohammedans and the pagans, do not agree with us in accepting the authority of any Scripture (Book I, Ch. 2).


Saint Thomas Aquinas

Mohammed perverted the Old and New Testament and forbade his followers to read them

C) The attributes of the Creator and the ‘consideration of the mercy of Allah’ contrasted (with citations from the Koran)


Denzinger-Bergoglio note: Through the beauty of the universe, with its diversity and order, the Church teaches that God is known by the just man. But for the followers of Islam, Allah is so transcendent that he does not fit into human categories. ‘Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine’ (Koran. Surah 5, 116)


Vatican Council I (Ecumenical XX)

God is known through the created universe

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Our human understanding can understand what God tells us by means of the wisdom and order of his creation

Sacred Scripture

The just find God in the beauty of the universe
God’s invisible attributes are perceived in what he has made

Denzinger-Bergoglio note: God is our Father. One of the greatest consolations and sources of hope for Christians is that God is our Father, a truly loving Father of whom we are truly children. In Islam, Allah has more than 900 names, but not one of them is ‘Father’, and Allah never calls his followers children. (Koran. Sura 7:180)


Catechism of Saint Pius X

God is the Father of all men

John Paul II

The true name of the God is Father

Denzinger-Bergoglio note: God cannot make creatures suffer for no reason. He is not cruel, He always takes good from any evil; Allah is not concerned about the suffering that his creatures may undergo, and inclusively seems to take pleasure from them, for it is written: But the Messenger of Allah said to them: “It is a She-camel of Allah. And (bar her not from) having her drink!” Then they rejected him (as a false prophet), and they hamstrung her. So their Lord, on account of their crime, obliterated their traces and made them equal (in destruction, high and low)! And for Him is no fear of its consequences.’ (Koran. Surah 91:13-15)


Saint Thomas Aquinas

God takes good from the evils we suffer

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

God would not permit evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil

Denzinger-Bergoglio note: One may expect that God rewards and chastises with justice, for he is a just judge. Allah, however, is so transcendent that he ‘is above human categories’ and so is not ‘compelled’ to treating people according to their comportment – consequently he may chastise one who behaved well, just as he might reward an evil person…‘ye are but men,- of the men he hath created: He forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and He punisheth whom He pleaseth.’ (Koran. Surrah 5: 18)


Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Christians have the right to confide in God, contrary to the followers of Mohammed

Sacred Scripture

The just Susana was rewarded and the wicked old men chastised
The chastisements of God are always just

Denzinger-Bergoglio note: God loves purity and virginity and promises a heaven with peace and happiness in the Holy Spirit. In his treatise on virginity, Saint Ambrose declares that ‘God loves this virtue so much that he did not wish to come to the world without being accompanied by it, born of a Virgin Mother.’ A great number of the first saints received the palm of martyrdom for refusing to stain their purity in the least. On the other hand, for vile and impure men, Allah created a hedonistic and voluptuous ‘heaven’ promising delights proper to animals: In gardens of pleasure, on thrones, facing each other; a bowl shall be made to go round them from water running out of springs, white, delicious to those who drink. There shall be no trouble in it, nor shall they be exhausted therewith. And with them shall be those who restrain the eyes, having beautiful eyes; as if they were eggs carefully protected. Then shall some of them advance to others, questioning each other. (Koran, Sura 37:43-50)

 And for him who fears to stand before his Lord are two gardens. […] Reclining on beds, the inner coverings of which are of silk brocade; and the fruits of the two gardens shall be within reach. […] In them shall be those who restrained their eyes; before them neither man nor jinni shall have touched them.[…] As though they were rubies and pearls. (Koran, Sura 55:46-58)


Saint Thomas Aquinas

Islam permits all kinds of impurity, giving free rein to carnal pleasure

Saint Alphonsus Liguori

The Mahometan Paradise promises sensual pleasure

Sacred Scripture

In heaven men and women will be like Angels
Impurity attracts the wrath of God

Leo I the Great

A stained life can never contemplate God

Denzinger-Bergoglio note: The universe is a reflection of God, created by Him according to his wisdom and goodness. Therefore, there are intrinsically good things, and other evil things. On the contrary, for the followers of Mohamed, the universe could have been created the contrary of what it is – that is, there is nothing that is intrinsically good or evil – evil murder, rape, or anything else could be good if Allah were to wish it so. Good and evil depend on the will of Allah. That which is good may cease to be so if Allah wishes, for it is written… ‘Allah does what He intends’ (Koran. Surah 2: 253).


Saint Thomas Aquinas

One of the errors of the Saracens is to believe that all things follow without any rational plan, from God’s pure will

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is ordered

Denzinger-Bergoglio note: Vatican Council II reaffirms that which the Church has always taught; according to the words of Saint Paul, God ‘wills that all men should be saved and come to the acknowledgment of the truth’ (Vatican Council II, Dignitatis Humanae, no. 11) However, the Muslims believe that Allah only loves the Islamic people: ‘That He may reward those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous good deeds, out of His Bounty. Verily, He likes not the disbelievers.’(Koran. Surah 30:45)


Sacred Scripture

God wills everyone to be saved

John Paul II

God loves all men and women on earth

Discover another innovation:

Can good will replace Theology?

 

 

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