Reply To: What does the Catholic Church teach about Islam?

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Once I saw the canned postings, I did a Google search of Lionel’s name. He pops up all over, with the same postings which as he has posted here. Some forums have banned him because he posts his distortions of the teachings of the Catholic Church and his excommunications of Popes and prelates on threads that have nothing to do with his pet pseudo dogmas. On others the subject is officially banned before he starts using up bandwidth.

What the Church does teach is that Non-Catholic religions can have some of the truth which is found in it’s fullness in the Catholic Church. As an example Muslims believe in one God, and that God is the God of Abraham. The term Allah, is an arabic word meaning God, and it was used by Arab Christians before Islam, and still used by Arab Catholics and Orthodox. The Church also teaches that false religions do not bring someone to salvation, but that we are redeemed through the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. It is not their religion that dispenses that salvation but the Catholic Church which was founded by Christ which is the means that those graces are dispensed to all persons here on earth. Now we must remember the graces come from Christ, and through the Church, as Christ intended.

As to the redemption of the Unbeliever…. Pope Pius IX and Pope Pius XII were the two Popes who wrote most prolifically about the subject. Pope Pius XII explained that the normal manner we enter into the Church is through baptism by water. There are those who have learned the Truths of the Faith who have not been baptized and are martyred for the Faith, (Baptism of Blood) Others who die before they can be baptized. (Baptism of Desire) they too are members of the Catholic Church. There are Catholic saints who never recieved water baptism but were incorporated into the Church by the Baptism of Blood. The Holy Innocents (male babies killed by Herod when he was trying to kill the Infant Jesus) are considered saints by the Church, as just one example.

Pope Pius XII also taught that there are those who through no fault of their own have either never heard of the Teachings of Christ and His Church, or have been so tainted by falshoods they have learned about the Catholic Church that they will not listen to reason, or believe the truth. God will judge them based on natural law. While the standards they are held to are not in many ways as rigorous as those we as Catholics are held to, (ie they do not have the obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days) they do have to obligation to worship God as they understand Him. Now once again, it is very important to stress that the salvation afforded to those who do not have the opportunity to learn the truth is still based on the sacrifice of Christ, and the graces God dispenses through His Church,which is why we as Catholics have the obligation to preach the Truth not only through sharing the teachings of Christ and His Church, but through our examples of Charity and Holiness. This Pope Pius XII and others have referred to as Invincible Ignorance, because someone is ignorant of what the Church teaches through no fault of their own.

Now Lionel and those who follow Fr. Feeney’s teachings will tell you that the Church dogmatically teaches that you must be a member of the Roman Catholic Church, through water baptism to be saved. Even when they admit that Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood are Catholic teachings, they do as Lionel does, and say that we cannot know of anyone who was saved through those means, so they discount it as never used, which is a form of dispair of God’s mercy.

The Church does not say that everyone will be saved, or that someone who has never heard of the teachings of the Church will be saved because they never had the chance to hear the message of Christ, after all it is not a free ticket, but simply God in his Mercy has made provisions for those who have not heard the truth. He will deal with them according to their capacity, and actions. Again I must stress, the graces to live a good life, and follow natural law come to them from Christ and the Church, not from their pagan, or Islamic beliefs.