Roman Catholic teaching on the Islamic Faith

There are three great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.

Pope Benedict XVI: “Jerusalem is the cross-roads of the three great monotheistic religions, and its very name “City of Peace” expresses God’s plan for humanity: to make it one great family. This design, announced to Abraham, was completely fulfilled in Jesus Christ, whom St Paul calls “our peace”, because through his Sacrifice he forcefully broke down the dividing wall of hostility (cf. Eph 2: 14). Thus all believers must leave behind them their prejudices and desire to dominate and must in harmony obey the fundamental Commandment: in other words to love God with all one’s might and to love one’s neighbour as oneself. It is to this that Jews, Christians and Muslims are called to bear witness, in order to honour with acts that God to whom they pray with their lips.” (General Audience on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, 2009)

Vatican II: “the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohammedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God” (LG 16)

Vatican II: “The Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.” (NA 3)

Pope Benedict XVI: “Gathered beneath the walls of this city, sacred to the followers of three great religions, how can we not turn our thoughts to Jerusalem’s universal vocation? Heralded by the prophets, this vocation also emerges as an indisputable fact, a reality irrevocably grounded in the complex history of this city and its people. Jews, Muslims and Christians alike call this city their spiritual home.” (Homily at Jerusalem, 2009)

Pope John Paul II: “Praise to you, followers of Islam in Azerbaijan, for being open to hospitality, a cherished value of your religion and your people, and for having accepted the believers of other religions as brothers and sisters.

“Praise to you, Jewish people, who, with courage and constancy, have kept your ancient traditions of good neighbourliness, enriching this land with a contribution of great value and depth.

“Praise to you, Christians, who have given so much, especially through the ancient Church of the Albans, in shaping the identity of this land. Praise especially to you, Orthodox Church, witness to God’s friendship with man and a hymn extolling his beauty. When the fury of atheism was unleashed in this region, you welcomed the children of the Catholic Church who had lost their places of worship and their pastors, and put them into contact with Christ through the grace of the holy Sacraments.

“Praised be God for this testimony of love, borne by the three great religions!” (Address, May 2002)

Pope John Paul II: “I wish to reaffirm the Catholic Church’s respect for Islam, for authentic Islam: the Islam that prays, that is concerned for those in need. Recalling the errors of the past, including the most recent past, all believers ought to unite their efforts to ensure that God is never made the hostage of human ambitions. Hatred, fanaticism and terrorism profane the name of God and disfigure the true image of man.” (Address, Sept. 2001)

Can unbaptized believers in God be saved by sanctifying grace? Yes.

Pope Pius XII: “Above all, the state of grace is absolutely necessary at the moment of death; without it, salvation and supernatural happiness — the beatific vision of God — are impossible. An act of love is sufficient for the adult to obtain sanctifying grace and to supply the lack of baptism.” (Address to Midwives, n. 21a.)

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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3 Responses to Roman Catholic teaching on the Islamic Faith

  1. jbbt9 says:

    ref. Pope Pius XII quote above: “An act of love is sufficient for the adult to obtain sanctifying grace and to supply the lack of baptism.”
    what is meant by this
    is he saying that an act of love on your death-bed is sufficient, even without confession and absolution from grave sin

    thank you

    • Ron Conte says:

      He was not speaking about perfect contrition, sorrow for sin out of love for God, which forgives all sin and returns the person to the state of grace (even without confession, if it is unavailable).

      He was referring to an implicit baptism of desire, in which the unbaptized person obtains the state of grace for the first time by an act of true sincere selfless love of God or neighbor, in full cooperation with grace.

  2. MICHAEL says:

    i feel at this time of unrest and anti christian protests springing up around the world,all true christians and muslims must come together and put aside any difference and focus on what unites us,that being god the father , the most high,and not to let those who use religion as a cover for there own unholy ends to win so i ask all true christians and muslims to pray for unity in god.

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