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Brother 13th January 2015 08:01 PM

Opinions of the Saints vs. Magisterial Teaching
When there seems to be a conflict between the personal opinions of Saints and a Teaching that comes from the Magisterium, where should we go to? (the question itself is disobeying or “la pregunta es necia” as it’s said in Spanish).

Jesus has said:

{16:18} And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.

{7:24} Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and does them shall be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock.
{7:25} And the rains descended, and the floods rose up, and the winds blew, and rushed upon that house, but it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
{7:26} And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them shall be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand.
{7:27} And the rains descended, and the floods rose up, and the winds blew, and rushed upon that house, and it did fall, and great was its ruin.”
{7:28} And it happened, when Jesus had completed these words, that the crowds were astonished at his doctrine.
{7:29} For he was teaching them as one who has authority, and not like their scribes and Pharisees.

Yet, hardened heads still go to whatever source that agree with their limited understandings when they disagree with the Pope, teaching of the Magisterium or body of Bishops in communion with the Pope.

Now that the world mourns due to acts of violence of terrorism under the guise of religious belief, it is good to remember the teaching of the Church regarding our relationship with, not only Muslims, but people of other faiths.

As Catholics, I hold that our Faith is the truest one and that all those who contradict our doctrine are in error.

However, what does the Magisterium, the Pope, and Bishops in communion with the Pope teach in regards of Islam and our relationship with them?:

3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; 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. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

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. - Nostra Aetate by Pope Paul VI

253. Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence. - Evangelii Gaudium by Pope Francis

Notice the bolded statement. Do you think the Pope ignores what the Koran says in light of all if its content in order to say that declaration in a Magisterial document? Do you think that the Pope is ignorant regarding the “violent” verses of the Koran, and only knows the “peace” verses? Or do you think that he is lying, which is worst? No, the Pope is well aware of all of the content of the Koran in order to say that statement.

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." – CCC

Also, here is a link from the USCCB regarding our dialogue with Muslim:

Since the Pope (and actually Popes in this case) is my Shepherd entrusted by Jesus Himself to me, I take his words seriously and not like any ignorant dude who happens to say something about Islam.

I particularly have not read the Koran, but I know of the “violent” verses, and yes, they are violent; but I also know of the “peace” verses which promote peace, works of charity and mercy even to non-believers of Islam who do not wish to convert but want to be at peace, so is there a contradiction? – Faithful Moslem agree with the recent Popes that the Koran does not promote violence or terrorism (this is sinful in fact!), that happens only when the verses are read out of context, or as a misinterpretation to blatantly promote unjust wars or unjustified terrorism. Only self-defense is justified.

But sadly, many fellow Catholics do not heed the teaching of the Church in this regard, even priests. A priest said in a homily, that the true Moslem are the extremists, that the peaceful Moslem are not truly Moslem.

Brother 13th January 2015 08:10 PM

It has become very common over the internet that whenever a "Catholic" does not agree with the Pope or teaching of our current bishops in communion with the Pope, they take the sources of old Saints (and in many cases they misinterpret them) in order to support their idea.

Here is an example, a website where its author apparently agrees with alleged opinions of some Saints in order to promote schism with our current Pope and Magisterial teaching on the matter:

Even if the alleged opinions of those Saints are true, their personal opinions are not over Magisterial Teaching. A person cannot be at the peak of holiness all the time, a person may be less holy at times, or not holy at all at other times. Also, a person may be very holy and yet ignorant on a subject matter because the fact that a person is ignorant about something, does not mean that he is sinful. And a person can be very holy and yet fallible for we are all fallen creatures.

The Magisterium is here to teach and correct us. Before the Church teaches on a subject matter, we can have our opinions on open questions, but once the Magisterium has spoken a teaching, case closed.

That site says nothing about the experience that St. Francis of Assisi had with the Moslem.

St. Francis walked across Muslim lines unarmed in order to meet Sultan Malik al-Kamil of Egypt for a peaceful dialogue. Did the Sultan beheaded Francis for being an ‘infidel’? No, a good relationship began to rise between them. St. Francis never told the Sultan that he was going to convert to Islam, no; he kept his Catholic Faith all the way during and after the peaceful conversations with the Sultan so that the Franciscans (yes, non Muslim believers) were granted permission to get in and out those grounds taken by the Muslim whenever they please. Sultan Malik al-Kamil of Egypt was a true follower of his faith.

I also have personal experiences with followers of Islam at a previous job and now in my current job.

They interact with me in a friendly manner, they don't hide that they are Moslem and I don't hide that I'm Catholic, we joke around, have fun, dialogue, I notice that women in particular are very humble, and I'm not making this up. This is my real experience with them.

So what the Popes and the Magisterium teaches us in the matter must be true! I believe them.

If I'm incorrect on something I have said here, or if I'm missing something, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Best regards.

Ron Conte 13th January 2015 11:53 PM

moderate peaceful Muslims interpret the "violent" passages of the Quran as figurative in meaning, similar to NT passages:
[1 Timothy]
{1:18} This precept I commend to you, my son Timothy, in accord with the prophets who preceded you: that you serve among them like a soldier in a good war,
{1:19} holding to faith and good conscience, against those who, by rejecting these things, have made a shipwreck of the faith.

My position in salvation theology is that Muslims who love God and neighbor have the state of grace by a baptism of desire, and they will have eternal life in heaven (as long as they do not die unrepentant from actual mortal sin).

Objectively, everyone should convert to Catholic Christianity. But if a person does not know this (invincible ignorance), and he is in good conscience, he can be saved without converting.

However, the violent extremists cannot be in good conscience. Some deeds are so horrific that no sane person could have a sincere but mistaken conscience in committing such acts.

js1975 14th January 2015 12:39 AM

The only aspect of this that I am not was covered, is how Islam teaches to read the Koran, specifically in cases of conflicting passages. If two passages conflict in message, the later scripture overrides, or abrogates the earlier scripture passage.

The problem here is that Muhammad wrote throughout his life in what became the Koran. If you follow his life, he started in Mecca and was professing a peaceful message. He left in 622 and traveled to Medina. In Medina he turned towards war and violence, and his scripture writings reflected his actions. After conquering in Medina, he and his followers returned to Mecca and conquered there as well.

As a result, the violent and later written scripture passages abrogate the earlier and peaceful written scripture passages. I wrote a paper in college on Islam, and I have yet to find anything that disagrees with this information but am not professing to be an expect or that I am even correct.

Here is more information with examples.


Ron Conte 14th January 2015 01:02 AM

Just as Christians don't agree on many different points of controversy, so also Muslims do not agree. A Muslim does not have to believe that later passages outrank earlier ones.

The main problem is that a fundamentalist reading of the Quran implies violence. So fundamentalism becomes dangerous. By comparison, a fundamentalist reading of the Bible, while incorrect, does not lead to violence.

Brother 16th January 2015 03:07 PM

Muslim who truly worship the One and same God we worship are the ones who follow the same basic precept for us all: "Love God above all and neighbor as self".

Anyone who do not love and is not subject to the Eternal Moral Law which is higher than any limited written law that looks contradictory to any loving moral act (which is the will of God), have become idolaters of strange rules, personal interpretations, or things above the One true God who is Goodness Himself. God is Light, so He cannot be darkness. God is Love, so He cannot be hate.

So, the Muslim who worship the same God who has told us "There is no other commandment greater than to Love God above all and neighbor as self.", are truly God worshipers.

Ron Conte 16th January 2015 03:09 PM

The same can be said of Catholics. If any Catholic does not truly love God and neighbor, then he is not a faithful worshiper of God, but an idolater.

js1975 16th January 2015 03:50 PM


I agree with you, however I don't believe it says that anywhere in the Koran. (I couldn't find it, but that just means I may be lacking in my googling skills)

Even if abrogation is not believed, which was first introduced not long after Muhammad's death, there are still an estimated ~109 violent passages in the Koran, as written by Muhammad. (Not like the Old Testament)

one example:

Quran (8:12) - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

I agree that there are very good and holy Muslims. What I believe though, is that they are good because they only acknowledge the good passages or what is right in the Koran.


Brother 16th January 2015 04:41 PM

Hi Jay,

I haven't said that that "Love God above all and neighbor as self is the greatest law of all" is written in the Koran. I did not explain it well. What I'm trying to say is that those who worship the same God in spirit and truth follow this same precept as the eternal moral law because is the SAME GOD we worship. This same God has told us this in the Bible, He may have not told with the same wording in the Koran, but this doesn't mean that He has changed His mind for Muslims. Since the one true God of all of humanity is Love, He can not be so just for Christians, hate for Muslim or immorality for Jewish, etc. God is Love and His love applies to all of us regardless of the religion people follow.

Actually, it doesn't have to be written in the Koran, for it's already "written" in our hearts. For example, when Cain killed Abel, Cain knew that murdering his brother was wrong and the Ten Commandments were not written yet, and because of this reason, it doesn't mean that Cain was exempted from his fault. So, for us reasonable humans, we know what an immorality is, even when nobody is watching or nobody has told us that it is wrong.

Here is a basic information from Wickipedia explaining how the Muslin seeking peace and love interpret the Koran, and those who don't:

Now, any one who, for example takes that particular passage from the Koran 8:12, and takes it 'by the letter' and do it "because it's written there", at that specific point, and does not take other considerations (also written in the Koran) and of even other Muslims seeking peace, then he is an idolater, not a true worshiper of God.

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