Is the Catholic Catechism's view on the Muslim god wrong?
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,1 paragraph 841, Muslims together with the Catholics, "adore the one, merciful God." This cannot be true. The Muslims and Catholics do not adore the same God. In order to provide sufficient context for the quote from the Catechism, I have cited 2 paragraphs before and after paragraph 841.
- 839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways." The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People, "the first to hear the Word of God." The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ", "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."
- 840 And when one considers the future, God's People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.
- 841 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."
- 842 The Church's bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race: All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .
- 843 "The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as 'a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.'
If the Catholic Church is stating in paragraph 841 above, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that there are those within the Muslim community who may find salvation by becoming Christians and not remaining Muslims, then I would agree. But, it does not appear to be saying this.
What is disturbing is the statement that "together with us they [Muslims] adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day." So, Catholics and Muslims both "adore the one, merciful God." Quite frankly, it would seem that the Roman Catholic church has a faulty understanding of the God of Islam.
Islam acknowledges that it serves the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But in so doing it is stating that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were Muslims! Furthermore, Islam denies that God is a Trinity.
- "They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them," (Quran 5:73, Yusuf Ali).
- "They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the third of three; when there is no Allah save the One Allah. If they desist not from so saying a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve," (Quran 5:73, Pickthal). See Chapter five of Online version of Quran.
Since the Trinity is the true biblical doctrine of God, how can the Muslims who deny the Trinity "adore the one, merciful God"? They cannot. Furthermore, in Christianity, Jesus is divine in nature (John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9). Yet, the Quran states that Jesus is not divine:
- "They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say: Who then can do aught against Allah, if He had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? Allah's is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He createth what He will. And Allah is Able to do all things," (Quran 5:17, Pickthal).
- "And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they!" (Quran 5:30, Pickthal)
Obviously, the Muslims do not adore the one, true, merciful God because they serve a false god. They deny the Trinity and the deity of Christ. Quite simply, they deny the true God and are not capable of adoring the true God as long as they hold to the false teachings of Islam. Therefore the paragraph in the CCC cannot be correct.
"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).
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- 1. CCC is an abbreviation used for means Catechism of the Catholic Church. The CCC is an official Catechism released by the Roman Catholic church. "This catechism aims at presenting an organic synthesis of the essential and fundamental contents of Catholic doctrine." An online version of it is at this Catechism search engine.
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