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?




Quote AQuote BQuote CQuote DQuote E
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. Many of them also have a deep conviction that their life, in its entirety, is from God and for God. (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, no. 252)
In order to sustain dialogue with Islam, suitable training is essential for all involved, not only so that they can be solidly and joyfully grounded in their own identity, but so that they can also acknowledge the values of others, appreciate the concerns underlying their demands and shed light on shared beliefs. (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, no. 253)
Turning to mutual respect in interreligious relations, especially between Christians and Muslims, we are called to respect the religion of the other, its teachings, its symbols, its values. Particular respect is due to religious leaders and to places of worship. […] Finally, I send you my prayerful good wishes, that your lives may glorify the Almighty and give joy to those around you. (Message to Muslims throughout the world for the end of Ramadan, July 10, 2013)
And share our experiences of carrying the cross, so as to be cured of this illness of the heart which embitters our life: this is important for you to do in the meetings. It is important you do this when you meet. Those who are Christians with the Bible and those who are Muslims with the Koran, with the faith you have received from your fathers, a faith that will always help you move forward. Share your faith, because there is one single God, the same God. Some have spoken in one way, others in another…but move forward. Share. (Meeting with refugees at Sacred Heart Parish in Rome, January 19, 2015principal parts in English)
[Esma Cakir]: What was the significance of that moment of such intense prayer that you had in the Mosque? Was it, for you, a way of turning to God? Is there something in particular that you would like to share with us?
[Francis]: I went to Turkey as a pilgrim, not a tourist. And I went especially for today’s feast. I went precisely in order to celebrate it with Patriarch Bartholomew. It was for a religious reason. But then, when I entered the Mosque, I couldn’t say: now, I’m a tourist! No, it was completely religious. And I saw that wonder! The Mufti explained things very well to me, with such meekness, and using the Quran, which speaks of Mary and John the Baptist. He explained it all to me…. At that moment I felt the need to pray. So I asked him: “Shall we pray a little?”. To which he responded: “Yes, yes”. I prayed for Turkey, for peace, for the Mufti, for everyone and for myself, as I need it … I prayed, sincerely…. Most of all, I prayed for peace, and I said: “Lord, let’s put an end to these wars!”. Thus, it was a moment of sincere prayer. (In-flight press conference from Istanbul to Rome, November 30, 2014)

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

In the course of time, namely from the beginnings of the human race until the coming and preaching of Jesus Christ, He Himself taught man the duties which a rational creature owes to its Creator […] From which it follows that there can be no true religion other than that which is founded on the revealed word of God: which revelation, begun from the beginning and continued under the Old Law, Christ Jesus Himself under the New Law perfected. Now, if God has spoken (and it is historically certain that He has truly spoken), all must see that it is man’s duty to believe absolutely God’s revelation and to obey implicitly His commands; that we might rightly do both, for the glory of God and our own salvation, the Only-begotten Son of God founded His Church on earth. (Pius XI. Encyclical Mortalium animos, no. 7, January 6, 1928)


Reason and natural law indicate the Catholic Church as the only true Church

First, let us examine that liberty in individuals which is so opposed to the virtue of religion, namely, the liberty of worship, as it is called. This is based on the principle that every man is free to profess as he may choose any religion or none. […] And if it be asked which of the many conflicting religions it is necessary to adopt, reason and the natural law unhesitatingly tell us to practice that one which God enjoins, and which men can easily recognize by certain exterior notes, whereby Divine Providence has willed that it should be distinguished, because, in a matter of such moment, the most terrible loss would be the consequence of error. Wherefore, when a liberty such as We have described is offered to man, the power is given him to pervert or abandon with impunity the most sacred of duties, and to exchange the unchangeable good for evil; which, as We have said, is no liberty, but its degradation, and the abject submission of the soul to sin. (Leo XIII. Encyclical Libertas praestantissimum, no. 19, June 20, 1888)

Regard for religion as an indifferent matter is to bring about the ruin of the Catholic Religion

Again, as all who offer themselves are received whatever may be their form of religion, they thereby teach the great error of this age-that a regard for religion should be held as an indifferent matter, and that all religions are alike. This manner of reasoning is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion, and especially of the Catholic religion, which, as it is the only one that is true, cannot, without great injustice, be regarded as merely equal to other religions. (Leo XIII. Encyclical Humanum genus, no. 6, April 20, 1884)

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

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

But at the same time Catholics are bound to profess that through the gift of God’s mercy they belong to that Church which Christ founded and which is governed by the successors of Peter and the other Apostles, who are the depositories of the original Apostolic tradition, living and intact, which is the permanent heritage of doctrine and holiness of that same Church. The followers of Christ are therefore not permitted to imagine that Christ’s Church is nothing more than a collection (divided, but still possessing a certain unity) of Churches and ecclesial communities. Nor are they free to hold that Christ’s Church nowhere really exists today and that it is to be considered only as an end which all Churches and ecclesial communities must strive to reach. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae, no. 1, June 24, 1973)

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

[The definition of faith] Since man is wholly dependent on God as his Creator and Lord, and since created reason is completely subject to uncreated truth, we are bound by faith to give full obedience of intellect and will to God who reveals [can. 1]. But the Catholic Church professes that this faith, which ‘is the beginning of human salvation’ [cf. no. 801], is a supernatural virtue by which we, with the aid and inspiration of the grace of God, believe that the things revealed by Him are true, not because the intrinsic truth of the revealed things has been perceived by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God Himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived [can. 2]. For, ‘faith is,’ as the Apostle testifies, ‘the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not’ (Heb 11:1). (Denzinger-Hünermann 3008. Vatican Council I, Session III, Dogmatic constitution concerning the Catholic Faith, April 24, 1870)

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

When Saint Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus declared to him that this revelation did not come ‘from flesh and blood’, but from ‘my Father who is in heaven’ (Mt 16:17; cf. Gal 1:15; Mt 11:25). Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him. ‘Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and ‘makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth.’ (Dei Verbum, no. 5) (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 153)

Saint Thomas Aquinas

The theological virtues surpass the nature of man; and makes him a partaker of the Divine Nature

Now man’s happiness is twofold, as was also stated above (q. 5, a. 5). One is proportionate to human nature, a happiness, to wit, which man can obtain by means of his natural principles. The other is a happiness surpassing man’s nature, and which man can obtain by the power of God alone, by a kind of participation of the Godhead, about which it is written (2Pet 1:4) that by Christ we are made ‘partakers of the Divine nature.’ And because such happiness surpasses the capacity of human nature, man’s natural principles which enable him to act well according to his capacity, do not suffice to direct man to this same happiness. Hence it is necessary for man to receive from God some additional principles, whereby he may be directed to supernatural happiness, even as he is directed to his connatural end, by means of his natural principles, albeit not without Divine assistance. Such like principles are called ‘theological virtues’. […] A certain nature may be ascribed to a certain thing in two ways. First, essentially: and thus these theological virtues surpass the nature of man. Secondly, by participation, as kindled wood partakes of the nature of fire: and thus, after a fashion, man becomes a partaker of the Divine Nature, as stated above: so that these virtues are proportionate to man in respect of the Nature of which he is made a partaker. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 62, a. 1)

The theological virtue of faith is above man’s nature…

That which is above man’s nature is distinct from that which is according to his nature. But the theological virtues are above man’s nature; while the intellectual and moral virtues are in proportion to his nature, as clearly shown above (q. 58, a. 3). (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 62, a. 2)

…and has as its object the First Truth

The object of faith is, in a way, the First Truth, in as much as nothing comes under faith except in relation to God, even as the object of the medical art is health, for it considers nothing save in relation to health. […] Things concerning Christ’s human nature, and the sacraments of the Church, or any creatures whatever, come under faith, in so far as by them we are directed to God, and in as much as we assent to them on account of the Divine Truth. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 1, a. 1)

Since it is based on the First Truth, nothing false can come under the infused virtue of Faith

Now it has been stated (a. 1) that the formal aspect of the object of faith is the First Truth; so that nothing can come under faith, save in so far as it stands under the First Truth, under which nothing false can stand, as neither can non-being stand under being, nor evil under goodness. It follows therefore that nothing false can come under faith. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 1, a. 3)

Science is not more certain than the infused virtue of Faith; nor is any other human thing

The Apostle says (1Thess 2:15): ‘When you had received of us the word of the hearing,’ i.e. by faith . . . ‘you received it not as the word of men, but, as it is indeed, the word of God.’ Now nothing is more certain than the word of God. Therefore science is not more certain than faith; nor is anything else. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 4, a. 8)

Unbelief is a sin as it arises from pride, since man is unwilling to subject his intellect to the rules of faith

Unbelief may be taken in two ways: first, by way of pure negation, so that a man be called an unbeliever, merely because he has not the faith. Secondly, unbelief may be taken by way of opposition to the faith; in which sense a man refuses to hear the faith, or despises it, according to Isaiah 53:1: ‘Who hath believed our report?’ It is this that completes the notion of unbelief, and it is in this sense that unbelief is a sin. If, however, we take it by way of pure negation, as we find it in those who have heard nothing about the faith, it bears the character, not of sin, but of punishment, because such like ignorance of Divine things is a result of the sin of our first parent. […] Unbelief, in so far as it is a sin, arises from pride, through which man is unwilling to subject his intellect to the rules of faith, and to the sound interpretation of the Fathers. Hence Gregory says (Moral.31, 45) that ‘presumptuous innovations arise from vainglory.’ (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 10, a. 1)

The lack of Faith is the gravest sin

Every sin consists formally in aversion from God, as stated above (I-II, q. 71, a. 6; I-II, q. 73, a. 3, ad 3). Hence the more a sin severs man from God, the graver it is. Now man is more than ever separated from God by unbelief, because he has not even true knowledge of God: and by false knowledge of God, man does not approach Him, but is severed from Him. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica II-II, q. 10, a. 3)

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

Nor is it possible for one who has a false opinion of God, to know Him in any way at all, because the object of his opinion is not God. Therefore it is clear that the sin of unbelief is greater than any sin that occurs in the perversion of morals. This does not apply to the sins that are opposed to the theological virtues, as we shall stated further on. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 10, a. 3)

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

Mortal sin takes away sanctifying grace, but does not wholly corrupt the good of nature. Since therefore, unbelief is a mortal sin, unbelievers are without grace indeed, yet some good of nature remains in them. Consequently it is evident that unbelievers cannot do those good works which proceed from grace, viz. meritorious works; yet they can, to a certain extent, do those good works for which the good of nature suffices. Hence it does not follow that they sin in everything they do; but whenever they do anything out of their unbelief, then they sin. For even as one who has the faith, can commit an actual sin, venial or even mortal, which he does not refer to the end of faith, so too, An unbeliever can do a good deed in a matter which he does not refer to the end of his unbelief. […] Faith directs the intention with regard to the supernatural last end: but even the light of natural reason can direct the intention in respect of a connatural good. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 10, a. 4, sol. ad. 2)

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

For this reason, the distinction between theological faith and belief in the other religions, must be firmly held. […] This distinction is not always borne in mind in current theological reflection. Thus, theological faith (the acceptance of the truth revealed by the One and Triune God) is often identified with belief in other religions, which is religious experience still in search of the absolute truth and still lacking assent to God who reveals himself. This is one of the reasons why the differences between Christianity and the other religions tend to be reduced at times to the point of disappearance. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Declaration Dominus Iesus, no. 7, August 6, 2000)

Council of Ephesus (Ecumenical III)

All heretics corrupt the true expressions of the Holy Spirit

[…] but should remember that the followers of every heresy extract from inspired scripture the occasion of their error, and that all heretics corrupt the true expressions of the Holy Spirit with their own evil minds and they draw down on their own heads an inextinguishable flame. (Council of Ephesus. Letter from Cyril to John of Antioch concerning peace, 431)

Paul VI

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

The Church holds that these multitudes have the right to know the riches of the mystery of Christ – riches in which we believe that the whole of humanity can find, in unsuspected fullness, everything that it is gropingly searching for concerning God, man and his destiny, life and death, and truth. […] In other words, 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)

Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office

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

No one will be saved who, knowing the Church to have been divinely established by Christ, nevertheless refuses to submit to the Church or withholds obedience from the Roman pontiff, the vicar of Christ on earth […] [Pius XII] mentions those who ‘are related to the Mystical Body of the Redeemer by a certain unconscious yearning and desire’, and these he by no means excludes from eternal salvation, but who, on the other hand, as he states, are in a condition ‘in which they cannot be sure of their own eternal salvation’ since ‘they are deprived of so many and such great heavenly gifts (and) helps that can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church.’ With these wise words he condemns both those who exclude from eternal salvation all united to the Church only by implicit desire and those who falsely assert that men can be saved equally well in every religion. (Denzinger-Hünermann 3867.3871-3872. Letter of the Holy Office to the Archbishop of Boston, August 8, 1949)

Pius XI

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

For since they hold it for certain that men destitute of all religious sense are very rarely to be found, they seem to have founded on that belief a hope that the nations, although they differ among themselves in certain religious matters, will without much difficulty come to agree as brethren in professing certain doctrines, which form as it were a common basis of the spiritual life. For which reason conventions, meetings and addresses are frequently arranged by these persons, at which a large number of listeners are present, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission. Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little. turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion. (Pius XI. Encyclical Mortalium animos, no. 2, January 6, 1928)

John Paul II

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

There are no lack of those who wish to interpret the missionary action [of the Church] as an attempt to impose on others one’s own convictions and options, in contrast with a certain modern spirit, which boasts, as though it was a definitive conquest, of an absolute liberty of thought and personal conscience. According to this perspective, evangelizing activity should be substituted with an interreligious dialogue, which would consist in an exchange of opinions and information, whereby each party would expose his own ‘creed’ and be enriched by the thoughts of others, without any preoccupation of arriving at conclusions. […] Consequently the path that each one wishes to follow according to one’s own education and religious tradition would be respected. But this conception is irreconcilable with the commandment of Christ to the Apostles (cf. Mt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15), transmitted by the Church […] [The Council] confirmed at the same time the role of the Church, in which it is necessary that man enter and persevere, if he wishes to be saved (Ad gentes, no. 7) […] This traditional doctrine of the Church exposes the inconsistency and superficiality of a relativistic and irenic attitude, regarding the way of salvation in a religion other than that founded in the faith in Christ. (John Paul II. General Audience, no. 1-2, May 10, 1995)

A) The Catholic Faith has no common convictions with Islam

John Paul II

The theology and anthropology of Islam are very far from Christianity

Whoever knows the Old and New Testaments, and then reads the Koran, clearly sees the process by which it completely reduces Divine Revelation. It is impossible not to note the movement away from what God said about Himself, first in the Old Testament through the Prophets, and then finally in the New Testament through His Son. In Islam all the richness of God’s self-revelation, which constitutes the heritage of the Old and New Testaments, has definitely been set aside. Some of the most beautiful names in the human language are given to the God of the Koran, but He is ultimately a God outside of the World, a God who is only Majesty, never Emmanuel, God-with-us. Islam is not a religion of redemption. There is no place for the Cross and the Resurrection. Jesus is mentioned, but only as preparatory prophet for the last prophet, Mohammed. Mary, his virginal Mother, is also recalled: but she is entirely absent from the drama of the Redemption. That is why not only theology, but also the anthropology of Islam is very far from the Christian. (John Paul II. Crossing the Threshold of Hope, 1994, pg. 92)

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…

There are many other extraordinary and quite ridiculous things in this book which he boasts was sent down to him from God. But when we ask: ‘And who is there to testify that God gave him the book? And which of the prophets foretold that such a prophet would rise up? They are at a loss. And we remark that Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai, with God appearing in the sight of all the people in cloud, and fire, and darkness, and storm. And we say that all the Prophets from Moses on down foretold the coming of Christ and how Christ God (and incarnate Son of God) was to come and to be crucified and die and rise again, and how He was to be the judge of the living and dead. Then, when we say: How is it that this prophet of yours did not come in the same way, with others bearing witness to him? And how is it that God did not in your presence present this man with the book to which you refer, even as He gave the Law to Moses, with the people looking on and the mountain smoking, so that you, too, might have certainty? They answer that God does as He pleases. This we say, ‘We know, but we are asking how the book came down to your prophet. Then they reply that the book came down to him while he was asleep. Then we jokingly say to them that, as long as he received the book in his sleep and did not actually sense the operation, then the popular adage applies to him (which runs: You’re spinning me dreams.) (Saint John Damascene. On Heresies, no. 105, PG 94, 766)

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

But that which has already been written is sufficient as the conclusion of this article, which is so important for your salvation; which is to say, for the destruction of the perverse sect of Mohammed. Because if we have proven that the finality that it proposes is entirely bestial, and unworthy of the authority of man; and if its author was an adulterous man, a perjurer, a thief, a murderer, a blasphemer, and most ignorant in human and divine letters; and if all the things contained in this his law were fables in philosophy and errors in theology, even for those who do not possess the light of reason, and the customs he teaches are a school of bestial vices; and he did not prove this his new sect with any motive, neither supernatural with miracles nor natural with reasons, but solely spread it by the force of arms, violence, fictions, lies, and carnal license, what remains other than it is a sect that is impious, blasphemous and vicious, an invention of the devil, and the direct way to the fires of hell, and that it does not even merit the name of being called a religion. (Saint John de Ribera. Catechism for the Instruction of the New Converts of the Moors, 1599 AD)

Lateran Council V (Ecumenical XVIII)

The Muslims treat the Cross and Salvation with complete contempt

[…] the Turks and other infidels […] They treat the way of true light and salvation with complete contempt and totally unyielding blindness; they attack the life-giving cross on which our Saviour willed to accept death so that by dying he might destroy death, and by the ineffable mystery of his most holy life he might restore life; and they make themselves hateful enemies of God and most bitter persecutors of the Christian religion. Strengthened by defences not only spiritual but also temporal, we may be able, under God’s guidance and favour, to oppose the bitter and frequent sallies by which, in wild rage, they move savagely amidst Christian blood. (Lateran Council V. Session XII, March 16, 1517)

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

It is an insult to the holy name and a disgrace to the Christian faith that in certain parts of the world subject to Christian princes where Saracens live, sometimes apart, sometimes intermingled with Christians, the Saracen priests commonly called Zabazala, in their temples or mosques, in which the Saracens meet to adore the infidel Mahomet, loudly invoke and extol his name each day at certain hours from a high place, in the hearing of both Christians and Saracens and there make public declarations in his honour. There is a place, moreover, where once was buried a certain Saracen whom other Saracens venerate as a saint. A great number of Saracens flock there quite openly from far and near. This brings disrepute on our faith and gives great scandal to the faithful. These practices cannot be tolerated any further without displeasing the divine majesty. We therefore, with the sacred council’s approval, strictly forbid such practices henceforth in Christian lands. […] [We enjoin on catholic princes] They are to remove this offence altogether from their territories and take care that their subjects remove it, so that they may thereby attain the reward of eternal happiness. They are to forbid expressly the public invocation of the sacrilegious name of Mahomet. (Council of Vienne. Decree, no. 25, January 13, 1313)

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Non-Christian rituals constitute an obstacle to salvation

Indeed, some prayers and rituals of the other religions may assume a role of preparation for the Gospel, in that they are occasions or pedagogical helps in which the human heart is prompted to be open to the action of God. One cannot attribute to these, however, a divine origin or an ex opere operato salvific efficacy, which is proper to the Christian sacraments. Furthermore, it cannot be overlooked that other rituals, insofar as they depend on superstitions or other errors (cf. 1Cor 10:20-21), constitute an obstacle to salvation. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Declaration Dominus Iesus, no. 21, August 6, 2000)

Pius XI

The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship

‘The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this the house of Faith, this the temple of God: if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation. Let none delude himself with obstinate wrangling. For life and salvation are here concerned, which will be lost and entirely destroyed, unless their interests are carefully and assiduously kept in mind’ (Divin. Instit. Iv, 30. 11-12). (Pius XI. Encyclical Mortalium animos, no. 11, January 6, 1928)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

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

Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort. The great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and he himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle. Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither can we pray habitually in his name. The ‘spiritual battle’ of the Christian’s new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2725)

Paul VI

We cannot agree with various forms of religion

Obviously we cannot agree with these various forms of religion, [Judaism, moslem religion and Afro-Asiatic) nor can we adopt an indifferent or uncritical attitude toward them on the assumption that they are all to be regarded as on an equal footing, and that there is no need for those who profess them to enquire whether or not God has Himself revealed definitively and infallibly how He wishes to be known, loved, and served. Indeed, honesty compels us to declare openly our conviction that the Christian religion is the one and only true religion, and it is our hope that it will be acknowledged as such by all who look for God and worship Him. (Paul VI. Encyclical Ecclesiam suam, no. 40, August 6, 1964)

Pius X

According to modernist theories, the Islamic religious experiences are true

[For the Modernist] In the religious sentiment one must recognize a kind of intuition of the heart which puts man in immediate contact with the very reality of God […] It is this experience which, when a person acquires it, makes him properly and truly a believer. How far off we are here from Catholic teaching we have already seen in the decree of the Vatican Council. […] Here it is well to note at once that, given this doctrine of experience united with the other doctrine of symbolism, every religion, even that of paganism, must be held to be true. What is to prevent such experiences from being met within every religion? In fact that they are to be found is asserted by not a few. And with what right will Modernists deny the truth of an experience affirmed by a follower of Islam? With what right can they claim true experiences for Catholics alone? Indeed Modernists do not deny but actually admit, some confusedly, others in the most open manner, that all religions are true. That they cannot feel otherwise is clear. For on what ground, according to their theories, could falsity be predicated of any religion whatsoever? (Pius X. Encyclical Pascendi Dominici gregis, no. 14, September 8, 1907)

John Paul II

No one can enter into communion with God except through Christ

Christ is the one Savior of all, the only one able to reveal God and lead to God. […] No one, therefore, can enter into communion with God except through Christ, by the working of the Holy Spirit. Christ’s one, universal mediation, far from being an obstacle on the journey toward God, is the way established by God himself, a fact of which Christ is fully aware. Although participated forms of mediation of different kinds and degrees are not excluded, they acquire meaning and value only from Christ’s own mediation, and they cannot be understood as parallel or complementary to his. (John Paul II. Encyclical Redemptoris missio, no. 5, December 7, 1990)


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

To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God. (Leo XIII. Encyclical Immortale Dei, no. 14, November 1, 1885)

Catechism of Trent

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

The manner of praying is also a matter of the highest moment. Though prayer in itself is good and salutary, yet if not performed in a proper manner it is unavailing. Often we do not obtain what we ask, because, in the words of St. James, we ask amiss. […] This practice of praying in spirit is peculiar to Christians, and is not at all used by infidels. Of these Christ the Lord has said: When you pray, speak not much, as the heathens; for they think that in their much speaking they may be heard. Be not ye, therefore, like to them, for your Father knoweth what is needful for you before you ask him. […] Neither do the prayers of the hypocrite proceed from the heart; and against the imitation of their example, Christ the Lord warns us in these words: ‘When ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites that love to stand and pray in the synagogues, and corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Amen I say, to you they have received their reward. But thou, when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee’. (Catechism of Trent, no. 4000)

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Prayer in not meritorious without sanctifying grace

Neither prayer nor any other virtuous act is meritorious without sanctifying grace. And yet even that prayer which impetrates sanctifying grace proceeds from some grace, as from a gratuitous gift, since the very act of praying is ‘a gift of God,’ as Augustine states (De Persever. 23) (Saint Thomas Aquinas. II-II, q. 83, a. 15)

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

In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word — and he has no more to say. . . because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behaviour but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty (Saint John of the Cross. The Ascent of Mount Carmel 2, 22, 3-5). (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 65)

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

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

The Christian dispensation, therefore, as the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away and we now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1Tim 6:14 and Tit 2:13). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum, no. 4, November 18, 1965)

Saint John Damascene

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

And so down to the time of Heraclius they were very great idolaters. From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy. […] He says that there is one God, creator of all things, who has neither been begotten nor has begotten. He says that the Christ is the Word of God and His Spirit, but a creature and a servant, and that He was begotten, without seed, of Mary the sister of Moses and Aaron. For, he says, the Word and God and the Spirit entered into Mary and she brought forth Jesus, who was a prophet and servant of God. And he says that the Jews wanted to crucify Him in violation of the law, and that they seized His shadow and crucified this. But the Christ Himself was not crucified, he says, nor did He die, for God out of His love for Him took Him to Himself into heaven. And he says this, that when the Christ had ascended into heaven God asked Him: Jesus, didst thou say: ‘I am the Son of God and God?’ And Jesus, he says, answered: ‘Be merciful to me, Lord. Thou knowest that I did not say this and that I did not scorn to be thy servant. But sinful men have written that I made this statement, and they have lied about me and have fallen into error.’ And God answered and said to Him: ‘I know that thou didst not say this word.’ There are many other extraordinary and quite ridiculous things in this book which he boasts was sent down to him from God. (Saint John Damascene. On heresies, no. PG 94, 766)

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

Nor do divine pronouncements on the part of preceding prophets offer him [Mohammed] any witness. On the contrary, he perverts almost all the testimonies of the Old and New Testaments by making them into fabrications of his own, as can be. seen by anyone who examines his law. It was, therefore, a shrewd decision on his part to forbid his followers to read the Old and New Testaments, lest these books convict him of falsity. It is thus clear that those who place any faith in his words believe foolishly. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Contra Gentiles, Book I, ch. 6)

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

[Against those denying natural theology]. If anyone shall have said that the one true God, our Creator and our Lord, cannot be known with certitude by those things which have been made, by the natural light of human reason: let him be anathema. (Denzinger-Hünermann 3026. Vatican Council I, Session III, Dogmatic constitution concerning the Catholic Faith, April 24, 1870)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

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

Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is ordered: ‘You have arranged all things by measure and number and weight.’ (cf. Wis 11:20.) The universe, created in and by the eternal Word, the ‘image of the invisible God’, is destined for and addressed to man, himself created in the ‘image of God’ and called to a personal relationship with God (cf. Col 1:15, Gen 1:26). Our human understanding, which shares in the light of the divine intellect, can understand what God tells us by means of his creation, though not without great effort and only in a spirit of humility and respect before the Creator and his work (cf. Job 42:3). (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 299)

Sacred Scripture

The just find God in the beauty of the universe

For they search busily among his works, but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair. But again, not even these are pardonable. For if they so far succeeded in knowledge that they could speculate about the world, how did they not more quickly find its Lord? (Wis 13:7-9)

God’s invisible attributes are perceived in what he has made

For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. (Rom 1: 19-20)

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

Why do we call God the Father?
We call God the Father because by nature He is the Father of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, that is to say, of the Son begotten of Him; because God is the Father of all men, whom He has created and whom He preserves and governs; finally, because by grace He is the Father of all good Christians, who are hence called the adopted sons of God. (Catechism of Saint Pius X, no. 3, The first article of the Creed)

John Paul II

The true name of the God is Father

And so we learn that the true name of God is Father! The name which is beyond all other names: Abba! (cf. Gal 4:6). And in Jesus we learn that our true name is son, daughter! We learn that the God of the Exodus and the Covenant sets his people free because they are his sons and daughters, created not for slavery but for ‘the glorious liberty of the children of God’ (Rom 8:21). (John Paul II. Homily, no. 4, February 26, 2000)

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

Justice and mercy appear in the punishment of the just in this world, since by afflictions lesser faults are cleansed in them, and they are the more raised up from earthly affections to God. As to this Gregory says (Moral. 26, 9): ‘The evils that press on us in this world force us to go to God.’ (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, I, q. 21, a. 4, ad. 3)

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

Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil. This was realized in a wondrous way by God in the death and resurrection of Christ. In fact, from the greatest of all moral evils (the murder of his Son) he has brought forth the greatest of all goods (the glorification of Christ and our redemption). (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 58)

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

A priest of the Society of Jesus, who during life devoted a great deal of time to the conversion of sinners, died with joy and confidence of salvation; this some considered to be excessive. Hence he was told that at death we should entertain sentiments of fear as well as of confidence. He answered: Have I served Mahomet? I have served a God who is so grateful and faithful; why, then, should I fear? (Saint Alphonsus Liguori. Dignity and duties of the priest: or, Selva, pg. 172)

Sacred Scripture

The just Susana was rewarded and the wicked old men chastised

‘O eternal God, you know what is hidden and are aware of all things before they come to be: you know that they have testified falsely against me. Here I am about to die, though I have done none of the things with which these wicked men have charged me.’ The Lord heard her prayer. […] They rose up against the two elders, for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury. According to the law of Moses, they inflicted on them the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor: they put them to death. Thus was innocent blood spared that day. (Dan 13:42-44.61-62)

The chastisements of God are always just

Blessed are you, and praiseworthy, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and glorious forever is your name. For you are just in all you have done; all your deeds are faultless, all your ways right, and all your judgments proper. You have executed proper judgments in all that you have brought upon us and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our fathers. By a proper judgment you have done all this because of our sins. (Dan 3:26-28)

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

The point is clear in the case of Mohammad. He seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh goads us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa contra Gentiles, Book 1, ch. 6)

Saint Alphonsus Liguori

The Mahometan Paradise promises sensual pleasure

The Mahometan Paradise, however, is only fit for beasts; for filthy sensual pleasure is all the believer has to expect there. (Saint Alphonsus Liguori. The History of Heresies and their Refutations, no.2, p. 93)

Sacred Scripture

In heaven men and women will be like Angels

At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven. (Mt 22:30)

Impurity attracts the wrath of God

Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person, that is, an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. (Eph 5: 5-7)

Leo I the Great

A stained life can never contemplate God

Rightly is this blessedness promised to purity of heart. For the brightness of the true light will not be able to be seen by the unclean sight: and that which will be happiness to minds that are bright and clean, will be a punishment to those that are stained. (Leo I the Great. Sermon XCV, A Homily on the Beatitudes, no. VIII)

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

Thus, a double error is set aside by the foregoing points. There is the mistake of those who believe that all things follow, without any rational plan, from God’s pure will. This is the error of the exponents of the Law of the Moors, as Rabbi Moses says; according to them, it makes no difference whether fire heats or cools, unless God wills it so. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. Summa contra Gentiles. Book III, ch. 97)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is ordered

Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is ordered: ‘You have arranged all things by measure and number and weight’ (Wis 11:20). The universe, created in and by the eternal Word, the ‘image of the invisible God’, is destined for and addressed to man, himself created in the ‘image of God’ and called to a personal relationship with God (Gen 1:26) […] from God’s goodness, it shares in that goodness – ‘and God saw that it was good. . . very good’ (Gen 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 31). (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 299)

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

This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. (1Tim 2: 3-4)

John Paul II

God loves all men and women on earth

At the dawn of the new Millennium, we wish to propose once more the message of hope which comes from the stable of Bethlehem: God loves all men and women on earth and gives them the hope of a new era, an era of peace. His love, fully revealed in the Incarnate Son, is the foundation of universal peace. When welcomed in the depths of the human heart, this love reconciles people with God and with themselves, renews human relationships and stirs that desire for brotherhood capable of banishing the temptation of violence and war. (John Paul II. World Day of Peace, no. 1, January 1, 2000)

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