99 – Those who are Christians with the Bible and those who are Muslims with the Koran, with the faith you have received from your fathers. There is one single God, the same God

Some of the most beautiful pages of the History of the Church are doubtlessly those written with the blood of the Martyrs who, giving their lives for love of Jesus Christ, received from the hands of their executioners both the death of their mortal bodies and the everlasting glory of immolating themselves for the One who had rescued them on the Cross. Defenseless children, heroic virgins, robust men, venerable ancients, throughout the ages and in all places, have heard the summons to give a resplendent and moving testimony to the power of the Gospel.

A memorable page of Church History was written in the lands of Andalucia, around the year 850, when the Iberian Peninsula was suffering under the yoke of the Crescent. A certain priest, Perfecto by name, who had been born of Christian parents in Cordoba, was questioned by two Muslims regarding his opinion of Mohammed and of Christ. The valiant priest clearly proclaimed his faith regarding Christ, the Son of God, but preferred to withhold any comment on Mohammed. At the insistence of his listeners, and receiving their word that he would be saved harmless, he finally told what he thought (and what they would have preferred not to hear) about Allah’s prophet. In a short time, Perfecto was denounced, arrested, and after two months of torture, condemned to death by decapitation.

The date chosen for the execution was the solemn Muslim feast which follows Ramadan. Perfecto reached the banks of the Guadalquivir River led by his assassins, and used the platform where he would be executed as his pulpit for a last sermon about Jesus Christ and the truth regarding Mohammed and the Koran. History followed its course, and Perfecto received the palm of martyrdom. But let’s imagine that at the moment the executioner was to give the mortal blow, a shout from the crowd were to stop the deadly scimitar in mid-air, and someone were to rush forward and say: ‘Perfecto, think it over, what are you going to die for? Say that you adore Allah, and that you accept his prophet, and everything is solved. Don’t Catholics and Muslims adore one and the same God, who is just and the creator of all things? Isn’t he the same God?’

What would our martyr have thought of such words? Could the holy, just and merciful God that his parents had taught him to love, and whose marvelous deeds he had learned about in Bible History be the same as the one in whose name he would now be killed? Were all of his sufferings because of his fidelity to the true God in vain? Was he dying merely because of a question of names? Is it true that Catholics and Muslims adore the same God?

The answer to these questions was immediate for Saint Perfecto, who, closing his eyes to this vale of tears, and opening them to eternity understood everything when he beheld his glorious Redeemer awaiting him to reward him for his courageous witness. It will be the same Jesus who answers these questions for us, through the voice of the Magisterium, the Fathers and the Doctors of the Church.

Francis

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And share our experiences of carrying the cross, so as to be cured of this illness of the heart which embitters our life: this is important for you to do in the meetings. It is important you do this when you meet. Those who are Christians with the Bible and those who are Muslims with the Koran, with the faith you have received from your fathers, a faith that will always help you move forward. Share your faith, because there is one single God, the same God. Some have spoken in one way, others in another…but move forward. Share. (Meeting with refugees at Sacred Heart Parish in Rome, January 19, 2015 – principal parts in English)

Teachings of the Magisterium

Table of contents

I – To deny the Trinity is to deny the One True God
II – To deny Jesus is to deny the Father
III – There are vast differences between the true God and Allah: God is neither irrational nor immoral
IV – Brief doctrinal appendix on the question of evil and God vs. Allah
V – Some passages of the Koran, clearly proving everything that has been presented


I – To deny the Trinity is to deny the One True God


a) In His infinite goodness, the One true God revealed Himself to man in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit


 Paul VI
– God revealed Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Lateran Council IV (Ecumenical XII)
– Revelation that was begun in the Old Testament and reached its fullness in Christ

Catechism of Trent
– The Trinity was clearly revealed to us by Christ

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– God is three Persons

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the mystery of God in Himself

Synod of Rome
– The salvation of Christians, is by believing in the Trinity


b) Denying the Trinity after revelation is an affront to the divine wisdom and goodness, it is to call God a liar


Catechism of the Catholic Church
– God cannot lie

Pius IX
– God can neither deceive nor be deceived

Vatican Council I (Ecumenical XX)
– The human reply to God who reveals Himself can only be full obedience of the intellect and the will in faith

Catechism of Trent
– To doubt the word of God is the extreme of folly and misery

Council of Constantinople II (Ecumenical V)
– Anathema upon those who do not confess one God in Three Persons


c) To speak of monotheism without the Trinity is to create another ‘god’


Catechism of the Catholic Church
– There is no other God other than the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

Saint Augustine of Hippo
– The only true God is Trinity

Council of Florence (Ecumenical XVII)
– There is one true God, three in Persons

Synod of Toledo I
– Outside of the Trinity, there is no nature which may be believed to be God


d) The fact that ‘Allah’ can be translated as ‘the god’ does not mean that he is the true God. It would be like affirming that ‘Baal’ is the ‘Adonai’, for both can be translated as ‘Lord’


Pius XI
– Beware to not abuse the name of God as a meaningless label: God is one in the Trinity of Persons

Saint John Damascene
– Mohammed does not accept the Trinity

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– The Mohammedans ridicule the Trinity, and think we are insane for professing three persons in God

Saint John Damascene
– The superstition of the Ishmaelites is an error that is a forerunner of the Antichrist

Pius XI
– Those who say that all religions are good and praiseworthy distort the idea of true religion

Pius X
– To consider all religious experiences as true is the Modernist error what believes all religions are truly equal

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– True adoration requires the truth of faith
– Since God is absolutely simple, there cannot be false knowledge of him – he who denies that God uis triune neither knows God nor adores Him

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
– Theological faith in the Triune God is distinct from belief in Allah


II – To deny Jesus is to deny the Father


a) To deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, is to deny the Father


Sacred Scriptures
– No one goes to the Father except for through the Son
– No one who denies the Son has the Father
– Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him
– Who hates the Son hates also the Father
– No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– Christ is the fulfillment of Revelation

Saint John of the Cross
– In giving us His Son, God spoke to us all together, once and for all – to seek other revelations is an offence to God

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem
– The Father has indignation on behalf of his only-begotten Son – let them worship the Son, since otherwise the Father accepts not their service offence to God


b) It is, therefore, to deny the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob


Saint Thomas Aquinas
– It is not only necessary to believe in one God, the Creator, but also that God is the Father and that Christ is the true Son of God

Sacred Scripture
– They are in the True God, who are in his Son Jesus Christ

Benedict XVI
– To believe in God and to believe in Jesus are not two separate acts but one single act of faith
– Believing in God means accepting Jesus of Nazareth

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– Believing in God cannot be separated from believing in the One he sent, his ‘beloved Son’

John Paul II
– No one can enter into communion with God except through Christ

Saint Augustine of Hippo
– The faith the holy patriarchs and prophets received preaches that the Trinity is but one God

Sacred Scripture
– Only those who belong to Christ are Abraham’s descendants and his heirs

Saint John Damascene
– Mohammed denies that Christ is truly the Son of God
– Mohammed says that it was sinful men who wrote that Jesus said: ‘I am the Son of God and God’

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– Muslims ridicule us for holding that Christ is the Son of the living God since they are carnal

Saint John Damascene
– The muslims end up with an idea of God that is mutilated


III – There are enormous differences between the true God and Allah: God is neither irrational nor immoral


a) God cannot act against his supremely good nature: He cannot, therefore desire evil nor do that which contradicts reason


Saint Thomas Aquinas
– God is the highest good
– For God does things because He wills so to do, according to His nature
– Voluntarism is an error – The end of the divine will is its goodness
– God cannot will evil
– God cannot will something that is opposed to the nature of being as such – He cannot will anything implying a contradiction

Benedict XVI
– Acting unreasonably contradicts God’s nature

Saint Augustine of Hippo
– Truth cannot be contradicted by God – His omnipotence does not mean that he can make good evil or make true what is false

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– It is incompatible with God to cause anyone to sin
– God preserves the order of justice and of nature

John Paul II
– It is the Trinity who guarantees the intelligibility and reasonableness of the natural order of things


b) Allah, on the contrary, is considered so ‘transcendent’ that his will is not linked to anything, not even reason. Thus, he can command evil to be done, act against reason, and even contradict himself, since he is not bound by his word. In this way, Islam confesses extreme voluntarism, which also includes fatalism


Benedict XVI
– Allah’s will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality
– This extreme voluntarism leads to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness
– Allah can contradict himself, as he does with regard to ‘holy war’
– Allah is not bound even by his own word. He can even order sin. Were it his will, he could even command us to practice idolatry…

Saint John Damascene
-…or even command that adultery be committed

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– Because of the uncontainable will of Allah, what is left to man? Fatalism

Benedict XVI
– In face of the ways that God’s image can be destroyed, it is important to state clearly the God in whom we believe


c) The true God ‘cannot deny himself’, because he is faithful, his Will is immutable


Benedict XVI
– The true God is He who acts in harmony with reason

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– God is not subject to caprice or impulse; His will is entirely unchangeable

Sacred Scripture
– God cannot deny himself
– God is faithful


d) Another difference which proceeds from the previous: the concept of the true God about morality. Muslim matrimony and the heaven Allah promises are contrary to the teachings of the Church


Saint John Damascene
– Mohammed prescribed polygamy and divorce

Sacred Scripture
– The true God established indissoluble and monogamy matrimony

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– Human felicity is not in bodily pleasures, which the followers of Mohammed seek as their reward

Sacred Scripture
– When they rise from the dead, humans neither marry nor are given in marriage
– For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness
– The impure will not inherit the kingdom of God

To help to understand the topic:


IV – Brief doctrinal appendix on the question of evil and God vs. Allah


a) If the will of Allah is linked to nothing, not to the truth, nor to goodness, he can desire evil per se, since the criteria of good and evil is his supreme will. The true God, on the other hand, permits evil, but does nor desire it. Therefore per accidens He can permit something evil, but per se derive something good from it


Catechism of the Catholic Church
– God is in no way, the cause of moral evil but He permits it

Saint Augustine of Hippo
– Almighty God only permits any evil among His works so as to bring good out of it

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– The good that God derives from an evil he permits is always greater than the privation of good by the evil permitted

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– From the greatest moral evil ever committed, God brought the greatest of goods


b) Regarding a possible objection: the use of violence in the Old Testament


Saint Thomas Aquinas
– If the health of the whole body demands the excision of a member, it will be both praiseworthy and advantageous to have it cut away
– Inasmuch as He wills the good of justice or of the order of the universe, God is said to hate the things whose punishment or corruption He wills

Saint Augustine of Hippo
– The punishment of the wicked is among God’s good works

Sacred Scripture
– Nations exterminated for ingrained malice – even these were often spared and given space for repentance

Benedict XVI
– The Lord was prepared to forgive, but the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were locked into a totalizing and paralyzing evil


V – Some passages of the Koran, clearly proving everything that has been presented


a) On the Trinity and the Divine Filiation of Jesus Christ


Koran
– It is a blasphemy and merits grievous penalty to speak of a Trinity
– Say not ‘Trinity’: God is far exalted above having a son
– It is most monstrous to say that God had a Son
– Those who profess the divinity of Jesus are condemned to hell
– Jesus did not preach his own divinity, but rather that of Allah, his Lord
– Before Allah, Jesus is as Adam…
– …with no distinction between Jesus and the prophets
– …and no more than an apostle as those that passed away before him


b) Other passages of the Koran. As shown earlier, each phrase manifests the imperious will of Allah


– Allah cannot be questioned for His acts
– Allah has power over all things
– For those whom Allah has thrown out of the Way, never shall they find salvation
– Kill the unbelievers wherever you overtake them
– Fight them until justice and faith in Allah prevails
– Those who reject Allah shall be thrown into fire
– Punishment of execution, or crucifixion, or amputating hands and feet, or exile
– Strike their necks with a sword, and cut off their fingertips
– Those who fight in the cause of Allah, for them is the forgiveness of sins and a generous provision
– Fight and slay. Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful
– Fight the unbelievers and let them find firmness in you
– Allah will admit to Paradise those who fight the unbelievers

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