October 15, 2012 A.D.
First up in this Year of Faith Journey at ACBlog is Lisa Graas. If you are a regular reader of our blog, you know Lisa…she has been one of our contributing angels since we began. Her generosity of spirit is an endless well and sooooo..she is first up! (she is also a consummate professional writer in the area of…Catholicism, ProLife issues and politics…)
What Vatican II Did and Did Not Say about Muslims, Christians and Jews
posted by Lisa Graas at her blog, CatholicBandita.com
October 11. 2012 A.D.
Note: This post originally appeared at NewsRealBlog on August 15, 2010. It was written during the controversy over the Ground Zero mosque but I am re-posting it here today because my views on the main topic remain the same and I thought it might be helpful to those who are unclear about this issue.
In response to my recent article Why Catholics Should Oppose the Building of a Mosque at Ground Zero, some Catholics on the Left took issue with what they call “intolerance” on my part. The Second Vatican Council is frequently cited as proof of my “intolerance“, so it’s important to take a look at what Vatican II said — and what it did not say — in regard to Catholicism’s relationship to non-Christian religions, but specifically Islam and Judaism, in order to shed some light.
Islam Mentioned Only Once, and In a Negative Tone
While Islam makes war on a global level against the non-Muslim world, there are unfortunately many who keep their heads comfortably (for now) buried in the sand or, worse, become apologists for Islam by maintaining that Vatican II recognized it as a legitimate religion. It may come as a surprise to the Left that within all of the documents promulgated in Vatican II, including Nostra Aetate, the word “Judaism” is never mentioned and the word “Islam” is mentioned only once,
…[Muslims] 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.
In stating that the “faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself” to Abraham, the Catholic Church has issued a hopeful denouncement. It’s helpful in seeking to understand this if one envisions the entire Ecumenical Council looking directly at Islam itself as a system and saying one thing only — “You take pleasure in linking yourself to Abraham” — then turning to address Muslims as individuals and indicating the beliefs we share in common with them. That is what happened in Nostra Aestate. Hence, the only mention of the word “Islam” in all of the documents of the Second Vatican Council has quite a negative tone. In pronouncing that Islam “takes pleasure in linking itself” to Abraham, while intentionally omitting any acknowledgement of a valid link, the Church has shown Islam to be claiming something that would be a good thing if it were actually true, but it’s not.
Pronouncement of Ties to the Jews
In stark contrast to what is said of Islam, we have this extraordinary statement in the first sentence of the passage addressing the Jews.
As the sacred synod searches into the mystery of the Church, it remembers the bond that spiritually ties the people of the New Covenant to Abraham’s stock.
Further, Nostra Aestate holds forth the belief of Catholics that the Church “draws sustenance from the root of that well-cultivated olive tree” which is the Jewish people. While Islam “takes pleasure in linking itself to Abraham”, albeit falsely, the Jews are “Abraham’s stock” and are a people from whom Catholics “draw sustenance”. Islam as a system can be interpreted as a farce, while Catholics are to consider themselves to be “spiritually tied” to the Jewish people.
One can only wonder how an otherwise reasonable person can read the words of Nostra Aestate and believe that the Catholic Church teaches that there is equivalency between Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Clearly, we would be nothing without the Jews and, just as clearly, Islam has done no more than borrow from the other two religions for the “pleasure” of its own existence.
Continue after the jump>>> to CatholicBandita for the rest of the story…