EG 252-253: Islam

Vasnetsov_Maria_MagdalenePope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium, speaks of our Muslim sisters and brothers:

252. Our relationship with the followers of Islam has taken on great importance, since they are now significantly present in many traditionally Christian countries, where they can freely worship and become fully a part of society. We must never forget that they “profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day”.[Lumen Gentium 16] The sacred writings of Islam have retained some Christian teachings; Jesus and Mary receive profound veneration and 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. They also acknowledge the need to respond to God with an ethical commitment and with mercy towards those most in need.

Praying five times a day: what can Christians take from that? What does prayer like that mean for Muslims in the world? Only monastics bring that kind of intensity to their daily spiritual and religious routines.

253. 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. We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition.

Does the ejection of Christians from nations and regions in Muslim lands affect this, or our willingness to put real intent and feeling behind it?

I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.

Not an easy path, to be sure.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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One Response to EG 252-253: Islam

  1. Atheist Max says:

    I am not here to be angry and argumentative. I am determined to be respectful of everyone’s right to their religious beliefs even though I do not share them.

    The Pope is right to make this request.
    Let us hope it is welcomed by Islamic leaders:

    “I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”

    But it seems to me this is like asking Republicans and Democrats to stop arguing. In fact, it seems to go further and argue for a detente. But is this realistic?

    The Christian platform is: “Convert to Christ or die in sin”
    The Islamic platform is: “Convert to Islam or die in sin”

    Hard to see how religion can resolve this within its own logic.
    When “Love thy neighbor” means ‘save their soul’ that is a recipe for conflict which religion can only fuel.

    Am I wrong?

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