That Takeover Of Europe

See the source imageI was noticing on social media some comment about a Muslim takeover of Europe. Falling birthrates, immigration, sadness over the fading influence of Christianity. Stuff like that. It seems that every so often, a commentator drops in on this site to suggest Muslims worship a different god from Christians.

For the “faithful” Catholic, the starting point is to look at Church teaching. That is not what some internet guru says. It is not what I say. It is this section, the third from Nostra Aetate, what Vatican II taught through its two-thousand-plus bishops and two popes. We begin with a position of respect to people not of our tribe:

The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems.

Why would we do that? Because we follow the same God. This is a fact of history and theology. The Church’s language here, the first verb used is adore. This is not an action of intellectual assent, or of worship or of political association. The root of the English word is Greek, and it involves love. Muslims and Christians share something deeper than outward practice. And we each do so with undeniable self-sacrifice and commitment:

They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(Cf St. Gregory VII, letter XXI to Anzir (Nacir), King of Mauritania (Pl. 148, col. 450f.)) who has spoken to (people); 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.

Note the common ancestor of Christianity and Islam: the Jewish Patriarch Abraham.

The Church honestly admits the most significant difference, how we view Jesus:

Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet.

The document pivots to a point of commonality, how we view the mother of Jesus:

They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion.

Another point of intersection, awaiting the time when God will judge the living and the dead:

In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts (?sic) to all those who have been raised up from the dead.

The last point is that Islam is a religion of morality and worship:

Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

The three pillars. Get it? What we Catholics focus on in Lent is a regular practice for the committed Muslim.

Section three concludes with this paragraph, first urging a setting aside of the past:

Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.

Is forgetting a good thing? I would think forgiveness is a better aim, and I consistently see on social media reminders of military victories and defeats. I would ask: is this the cause for the Christian in the world today? I would suggest not so. The common cause with Muslims is no less relevant today as it was in the 1960s:

  • social justice
  • moral welfare
  • peace
  • freedom

Let’s work on that whenever and wherever we can.

On that note, we’re open for comments.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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9 Responses to That Takeover Of Europe

  1. nassauny says:

    Some 2020 statistics from the Republic of Ireland: #1 infant boy’s name was Jack, with 597. Twelve received Mohamed, plus more with spelling variations. In France of 2015, Gabriel was #1, Mohamed #10. In the United Kingdom, 2019 tops were Olivia and Oliver! Sophia and Muhammad were #7. In Spain 2020, #1 was Isabella and variations of Elias. I did not see Mohamed or variations on top 50 in Spain.

  2. Truly says:

    Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah(T)
    27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

    28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist;(U) others say Elijah;(V) and still others, one of the prophets.”

    29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

    Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”(W)

    30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.(X)

    Jesus Predicts His Death(Y)
    31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man(Z) must suffer many things(AA) and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law,(AB) and that he must be killed(AC) and after three days(AD) rise again.(AE) 32 He spoke plainly(AF) about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

    33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!”(AG) he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

    The Way of the Cross
    34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.(AH) 35 For whoever wants to save their life[b] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.(AI) 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man(AJ) will be ashamed of them(AK) when he comes(AL) in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

  3. Truly says:

    cf st. gregory vii, letter xxi to anzir (nacir), king of mauritania (pl. 148, col. 450f.)

    The letter by Pope Saint Gregory holds no weight. It is not doctrine of faith. Whatever a pope says, which holds no official doctrine of faith requirement, can be respected or, as Jesus Christ Himself taught us by leadership (while addressing the first Pope and Saint of the Catholic Church), can be rebuked and place behind our Peace and Conscience in union with Jesus Christ King and Lord, it, the letter for pleasing the princess of the world, can be kicked to the curb with Satan and his tricks, snares and lies! The Holy Church backs me on this!

    • Well, it holds weight as the writing of a saint and a pope. What does hold even more weight is the Vatican II teaching on non-Christian religions. The Holy Church backs anyone who adheres to this teaching.

      • ECi b2b says:

        I beg to differ, it really just holds theory weight, not doctrine of faith… holds no weight beyond politics and human philosophy, and gossip… just like what Peter said to Jesus when he was told to get behind him with his Satanic theory…

  4. I see you have entered a comment under a different pseudonym. A few words on that:
    – I believe honesty is the best policy. A motto, not a commandment (unless you interpret it according to Exodus 20:16), but polite nonetheless.
    – I do not hide my identity, to the occasional discomfort and worry of my wife. It doesn’t seem untoward to request real names in kind.
    – You won’t be banned for persistence in using a pseudonym, but I will continue to discourage its use. If you must use it, be consistent.

    As for the notion that Jews, Muslims, and Christians share the same God, that is indisputable.

    • Truly says:

      The assumption of honesty or hiding is really unfounded. The change was due to the automatic recognition of my email for use as synonym, it neither makes my response less valid or ethical. My real name I can give to you, but not publicly because it does not matter, it doesn’t change the truth.

      The same God being shared is questionable if one adores The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, and neither the Jews nor Muslims adore the Holy Trinity. I believe they can adore the True God if they want to and God gives them the faith to believe. We all share the same God because there is only one God and what we believe makes little difference, we are insignificant, with or without our real names or confused email evoked inconsistent pseudonyms. Simon can be Peter, it is just a name. I do not mind sharing my name with you in private, but I prefer to remain anonymous publically because many people believe in killing for their false godly beliefs if you disagree with them. I would rather not take the risk of defending myself.

      • The wordpress comment system is clear. There are three lines: e-mail, name, and website. I am aware that there is a 25-year online tradition of pseudonymity. Personally, I reject it. I find it an encouragement to my meaner inclinations. I think if more people placed their names and locations on their online writings, the internet would be slightly more courteous. That is a good aspiration. It certainly matters for the greater good.

        As for the question of God, check back for a later post to peel out that issue.

  5. Pingback: Which God? | Catholic Sensibility

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