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Christopher Edbert wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a simple question that needs further explanation.

I am a Catholic and one day I was eating with my Protestant friends. We were discussing world religions. I believed that all religions are right according to their own followers; therefore, it is important for us to respect other's belief however they started suspecting me as a person who doesn't believe in his own faith. After it happened, I didn't feel good so I want to ask this:

  • Is believing that other religions are right according to their followers a sin?

I am not sure about this matter.

Thank you very much.

Christopher

  { Is believing that other religions are right according to their followers a sin? }

Bob replied:

Christopher,

While you are correct that all religions are right to their followers, or at least one would hope they are, because no one would want someone to follow something they didn't believe was correct, you may have come across as someone who thinks that all religions are equally right.

If that is an opinion that you hold, then state it, and if not, make it clear that you don't.

So far your friends question you because you don't first articulate the absolute reality of Jesus Christ as the Sole Savior and then proceed to talk about the respect and dialogue between faiths so there is no sin in believing what you stated, but be careful that you don't cause scandal to other Christians who look to Catholics to see where they stand on the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the Only Savior, (cf. Acts 4:12)

If you believe that the Christian faith, as represented by the Catholic Church, is the true faith, and the authoritative voice to teach on Jesus' behalf, then you should know how to explain and defend that first, then look to find bridges to others in their faith, whether Protestant or non-Christian. You can find the commonalities and differences and use those distinctions to further clarify why you believe as you do, thus becoming a witness to Christ and His Church.

If you aren't prepared to do that, become able.

Consider how Pope John Paul II has such a strong voice in defending our faith, yet was so respectful and sensitive to other religions. He is a great model of how we can be, bold yet compassionate. Be strong and know your faith.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Hi Chris,

I just wanted to add to Bob's comments.

You said:
I am a Catholic and one day I was eating with my Protestant friends. We were discussing world religions. I believed that all religions are right according to their own followers; therefore, it is important for us to respect other's belief . . .

While I would agree that all religions are right according to their followers, because we do not all believe in the same faith, we can't respect the tenets or teachings of other faiths if they hold on to erroneous teachings.

  • We can respect their sincerity.
  • We can respect any openness to dialogue they have; something we should also have;
    but we can't respect errors in their teachings.

One of my colleagues Eric, in previous answers has said, paraphrasing: we shouldn't belong to a faith because:

  • we feel good there
  • there are great sermons
  • we are challenged, or
  • they have great ministries.

It's certain our hope and just expectation that any Catholic parish has these qualities but we should belong to a Church parish because we believe is it a truth-telling Church on issues of faith and eternal salvation.

Bob said:
Be strong and know your faith.

I agree. For that reason check out our book and periodical pages. I highly suggest Karl Keating's book on Catholicism.

I hope this helps,

Mike

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