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Relations between the Catholic Church and Islam deals with the current attitude of the Catholic Church towards Islam, as well as the attitude of Islam towards the Catholic Church and Catholics, and notable changes in the relationship since the 20th century.
In the 7th century text Concerning Heresy , Saint John of Damascus named Islam as Christological heresy, referring to it as the "heresy of the Ishmaelites" (see medieval Christian views on Muhammad ).The position remained popular in Christian circles well into the 20th century, with Hilaire Belloc terming it "the great and enduring heresy of Mohammed."
and other religions
The question of Islam was not on the agenda when Nostra aetate was first drafted, or even at the opening of the Second Vatican Council. However, as in the case of the question of Judaism, several events came together again to prompt a consideration of Islam. By the time of the Second Session of the Council in 1963 reservations began to be raised by bishops of the Middle East about the inclusion of this question. The position was taken that either the question will not be raised at all, or if it were raised, some mention of the Muslims should be made. Melkite patriarch Maximos IV was among those pushing for this latter position.
Early in 1964 Cardinal Bea notified Cardinal Cicognani, President of the Council's Coordinating Commission, that the Council fathers wanted the Council to say something about the great monotheistic religions, and in particular about Islam. The subject, however, was deemed to be outside the competence of Bea's Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity. Bea expressed willingness to "select some competent people and with them to draw up a draft" to be presented to the Coordinating Commission. At a meeting of the Coordinating Commission on 16–17 April Cicognani acknowledged that it would be necessary to speak of the Muslims.
The period between the first and second sessions saw the change of pontiff from Pope John XXIII to Pope Paul VI, who had been a member of the circle (the Badaliya) of the Islamologist Louis Massignon. Pope Paul VI chose to follow the path recommended by Maximos IV and he therefore established commissions to introduce what would become paragraphs on the Muslims in two different documents, one of them being Nostra aetate, paragraph three, the other being Lumen gentium , paragraph 16.
The text of the final draft bore traces of Massignon's influence. The reference to Mary, for example, resulted from the intervention of Monsignor Descuffi, the Latin archbishop of Smyrna with whom Massignon collaborated in reviving the cult of Mary at Smyrna. The commendation of Muslim prayer may reflect the influence of the Badaliya.
In Lumen gentium, the Second Vatican Council declares that the plan of salvation also includes Muslims, due to their professed monotheism.
The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world. The Council, through the Holy See, was formally opened under the pontificate of John XXIII on 11 October 1962, and was closed under Paul VI on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1965.
Supersessionism, also called replacement theology, is a Christian doctrine which asserts that the New Covenant through Jesus Christ supersedes the Old Covenant, which was made exclusively with the Jewish people.
Dominus Iesus is a declaration by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, approved in a Plenary meeting of the Congregation and signed by its then Prefect, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, and its then Secretary, Archbishop Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, later Cardinal Secretary of State. The declaration was approved by Pope John Paul II and was published on August 6, 2000. It is subtitled "On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church". It is most widely known for its elaboration of the Catholic dogma that the Catholic Church is the sole true Church of Christ.
Lumen gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, is one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. This dogmatic constitution was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 21 November 1964, following approval by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,151 to 5. As is customary with significant Roman Catholic Church documents, it is known by its incipit, "Lumen gentium", Latin for "Light of the Nations".
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 28 October 1965 by Pope Paul VI. It is the shortest of the 16 final documents of the Council and "the first in Catholic history to focus on the relationship that Catholics have with Jews." Similarly, Nostra aetate is considered a monumental declaration in describing the Church's positive relationship with Muslims. It "reveres the work of God in all the major faith traditions." It begins by stating its purpose of reflecting on what humankind has in common in these times when people are being drawn closer together. The preparation of the document was largely under the direction of Cardinal Augustin Bea as President of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, along with his periti, such as John M. Oesterreicher, Gregory Baum and Bruno Hussar.
Christianity and Islam are the two largest religions in the world, with 2.4 billion and 1.9 billion adherents respectively. Along with Judaism, they both are considered Abrahamic religions, are monotheistic, and originated in the Middle East.
Christian−Jewish reconciliation refers to the efforts that are being made to improve understanding and acceptance between Christians and Jews. There has been significant progress in reconciliation in recent years, in particular by the Catholic Church, but also by other Christian groups.
The magisterium of the Catholic Church is the church's authority or office to give authentic interpretation of the Word of God, "whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition." According to the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church, the task of interpretation is vested uniquely in the Pope and the bishops, though the concept has a complex history of development. Scripture and Tradition "make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God, which is entrusted to the Church", and the magisterium is not independent of this, since "all that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is derived from this single deposit of faith."
The relationship between the Catholic Church and Judaism deals with the attitude of the Catholic Church towards Judaism and Jews, the attitude of Jews toward Catholicism and Catholics, and the changes in the relationship since World War II.
Louis Massignon was a Catholic scholar of Islam and a pioneer of Catholic-Muslim mutual understanding. He was an influential figure in the twentieth century with regard to the Catholic church's relationship with Islam. He focused increasingly on the work of Mahatma Gandhi, whom he considered a saint. He also played a role in Islam being accepted as an Abrahamic Faith among Catholics. Some scholars maintain that his research, esteem for Islam and Muslims, and cultivation of key students in Islamic studies largely prepared the way for the positive vision of Islam articulated in the Lumen gentium and the Nostra aetate at the Second Vatican Council. Although a Catholic himself, he tried to understand Islam from within and thus had a great influence on the way Islam was seen in the West; among other things, he paved the way for a greater openness inside the Catholic Church towards Islam as it was documented in the pastoral Vatican II declaration Nostra aetate.
Michael Louis Fitzgerald is a British cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and an expert on Christian–Muslim relations. He has had the rank of archbishop since 2002. At his retirement in 2012, he was the papal nuncio to Egypt and delegate to the Arab League. He headed the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue from 2002 to 2006. Pope Francis raised him to the rank of cardinal on 5 October 2019.
Monsignor John Maria Oesterreicher, born Johannes Oesterreicher, was a Catholic theologian and a leading advocate of Jewish–Catholic reconciliation. He was one of the architects of Nostra aetate or "In Our Age," a declaration which was issued by the Second Vatican Council in 1965 and which repudiated antisemitism.
Subsistit in is a Latin phrase which appears in Lumen gentium, the fundamental document on the church from the Second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church. Since the Council the reason for use of the term "subsists in" rather than simply “is” has been disputed. Generally, those who see little or no change in church teaching in Vatican II insist on the equivalence of subsistit in and “is”. Those who point to a new, ecumenical thrust in Vatican II insist that the term was introduced as a compromise after much discussion, and acknowledges new elements in the Council's teaching.
Augustin Bea, S.J., was a German Jesuit priest and scholar at the Pontifical Gregorian University specialising in biblical studies and biblical archaeology. He also served as the personal confessor of Pope Pius XII.
Kurt Koch is a Swiss prelate of the Catholic Church. He has been a cardinal since November 2010 and President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity since 1 July 2010. He was the bishop of Basel from 1996 until 2010.
Catholic ecumenical councils include 21 councils over a period of some 1900 years, which met for the purpose of defining doctrine, reaffirming truths of the Faith, and extirpating heresy. While definitions changed throughout history, in today's Catholic understanding ecumenical councils are assemblies of patriarchs, cardinals, residing bishops, abbots, male heads of religious orders and other juridical persons, nominated by the pope. Participation is limited to these persons, who cannot delegate their voting rights. Council decisions, to be valid, are approved by the popes.
The Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews is a pontifical commission in the Roman Curia tasked with maintaining positive theological ties with Jews and Judaism. Established on 22 October 1974, it works alongside the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) is a pontifical council whose origins are associated with the Second Vatican Council which met intermittently from 1962 to 1965.
The relations between Pope John XXIII and Judaism are generally thought to have been among the best in the bi-millennial history of Christianity. The Pope initiated a policy of Christian–Jewish reconciliation after his election to the papacy in 1959, which focused on the Second Vatican Council producing a document on the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jews. During his earlier career in the diplomatic service, especially during World War II, he had taken a series of actions that demonstrated his solidarity with victims of anti-Semitism.
Catholic ecclesiology is the theological study of the Catholic Church, its nature and organization, as described in revelation or in philosophy. Such study shows a progressive development over time. Here the focus is on the time leading into and since the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965).