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Furyoku Sakuruu wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm not Catholic but a follower of Islam; I'm Muslim.

I'm writing for a better understanding of what it means to be a Catholic. Show me everything that you can. Help me understand your religion in an in-depth manner and tell me how you view Islam.

Furyoku

  { How does a Muslim go about fully understanding Catholicism and how do Catholics view Islam? }

Mary Ann replied:

Dear Furyoku,

As you know, if I had asked you the same question you would say it would be impossible to give a short answer that covered everything. I will say this: "God is love." For what this means, and to answer your question more fully, I would recommend the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

God bless.

Mary Ann

Eric replied:

Furyoku —

Mike Humphrey, our Web Administrator, use to run a free program that sent Catechisms to seeking Protestants and non-Christians but no longer has the financial or operational means to do this anymore. Nevertheless, if you wish to go deeper, consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as faithful Catholics.

If the Catechism is too much — it can get a bit heady, especially if you're not familiar with Christianity — you might try the book:

The Catechism is an official book for teaching doctrine; the book by Fr. Barron is intended to draw people into exploring the faith in a more conversational fashion.

Unfortunately, I don't have a good resource at hand specifically for a Muslim. There are yawning chasms between Islam and Christianity.

I'll see if I can research some resources for Muslims.

Eric

Mike replied:

Hi, Furyoku —

I admire your desire to learn more about what we believe.

This is what the Church teaches on the Church and non-Christians:

The Church and non-Christians

839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."

The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People, "the first to hear the Word of God." The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ", "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."

840 And when one considers the future, God's People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.

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."

842 The Church's bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:

All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .

843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."

844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:

Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.

845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood.


I hope this helps,

Mike

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