What's the Catholic view of Islam?Throughout the Middle Ages, the church taught that Islam was some kind of Christian heresy Heresy, as a blanket term, describes a practice or belief that is labeled as unorthodox. Christian heresy refers to unorthodox practices and beliefs that were deemed to be heretical by one or more of the Christian churches. bent on Adj. 1. bent on - fixed in your purpose; "bent on going to the theater"; "dead set against intervening"; "out to win every event"
bent, dead set, out to undermining the true faith and destroying Christian culture. How else could it understand a religious movement that accepted Jesus as a great prophet and messiah born of the Virgin Mary Virgin Mary: see Mary.
immaculately conceived; mother of Jesus Christ. [N.T.: Matthew 1:18–25; 12:46–50; Luke 1:26–56; 11:27–28; John 2; 19:25–27]
See : Purity , but that also vehemently denied his divinity as well as the reality of his Crucifixion? How else could it understand a civilization that was eclipsing Christendom in the very lands of its birth?
In fact, it was just this teaching that in the 11th to 13th centuries became the ideological basis for the infamous Crusades, those bloody wars of conquest and slaughter in the name of Christ that marked some of the darkest chapters of church history.
Unfortunately, especially in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of our current international crisis, some still attempt to breathe new life into these age-old ways of looking at Islam. They argue that inherent incompatibilities between Christian and Muslim civilizations can only result in a great clash. They warn that if Christians value their culture and their religion, they must be prepared to do battle on multiple levels--with Islam and Muslim peoples.
Fortunately, these are no longer the voices of authentic Catholic teaching. From at least the time of Pope Saint Gregory VII Gregory VII, Saint Originally Hil·de·brand 1020?-1085.
Pope (1073-1085) who sought to establish the supremacy of the pope within the Church and the authority of the Church over the state.
Noun 1. , who wrote a friendly letter to the Muslim king of Mauretania (c. 1076), the church has been aware of the bonds of shared Abrahamic belief and morality of Christians and Muslims. These bonds could one day become the foundation of enduring mutual understanding and respect between the two peoples.
It was nor, however, until the Second Vatican Council Noun 1. Second Vatican Council - the Vatican Council in 1962-1965 that abandoned the universal Latin liturgy and acknowledged ecumenism and made other reforms
Vatican Council - each of two councils of the Roman Catholic Church that the church began to consciously reject its former approach to Islam and embrace a new agenda. In its document Nostra Aetate Nostra Aetate is the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council. Passed by a vote of 2,221 to 88 of the assembled bishops, this declaration was promulgated on October 28, 1965, by Pope Paul VI. , the council called upon the faithful to recognize and explore the rich spiritual heritage common to Christianity and Islam The historical interaction between Christianity and Islam, in the field of comparative religion, connects fundamental ideas in Christianity with similar ones in Islam. Islam and Christianity share their origins in the Abrahamic tradition though Christianity predates Islam by six so that the future of Christian-Muslim relations may no longer center around violent confrontation but rather around peaceful and mutually enriching exchange and dialogue.
Not long after the tragedy of September 11, my sister-in-law was distressed over the backlash against Muslims and Sikhs living in the U.S. She asked me what she, as a Catholic, could do. After our talk she decided to call her local mosque. When she got the answering machine, she began to leave a simple message of sympathy and solidarity. When it became clear that this was not a harassment call, the secretary at the mosque picked up and the two women spoke together for quite some time. They shared laughter, tears, stories about their children, and plans to meet at an open house the Muslim community was planning for the immediate future.
So what is the Catholic view of Islam? On the basic level of everyday experience, it is the view embodied by my sister-in-law. On a more philosophical level, a meaningful Catholic view of Islam can only be the fruit of earnest and broad-based dialogue between Catholics and Muslims. That dialogue has only just begun. What's important for Catholics of this new millennium is that, like my sister-in-law, we take deliberate steps in the direction of understanding and appreciating Islam, rather than in the direction of hostility and conflict. Such were the steps taken by Pope John Paul II Pope John Paul II (Latin: Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Italian: Giovanni Paolo II, Polish: Jan Paweł II) born last May when, out of great love and respect, he removed his shoes and made history by entering the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria. His example beckons us all to reject ignorance and prejudice, and to follow the paths of dialogue in our own interreligious journeys, wherever they may take us.
By SCOTT ALEXANDER, associate professor of Islam and director of the Catholic-Muslim Studies Program at Catholic Theological Union The Catholic Theological Union of Chicago is one of the largest schools of theology in the world and trains men and women for lay and clerical ministry within the Roman Catholic Church. in Chicago.