On today’s commemoration of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Church offers a specific prayer for all non-believers (i.e. non-Christians). QDVF would like to take this opportunity and reflect on what the Catholic Church thinks of the truth of other religions and the reason of why different religions exist.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth? (John 18:37-38)
According to Caldecott (2009) there are five common views on the existence of different religions:
1) All religions are false.
2) One religion is true, the others are completely false
3) One religion is true, the others are merely approximations to or distortions of it
4) All religions are true in what they agree about, but false wherever they disagree
5) All religions are true: any contradictions are only on the surface.
To what perspective do you feel more related to? Moreover, which perspective do you practice more often?
At QDVF we concur that option three corresponds best to the position of the Catholic Church. “We, Catholics cannot simply dismiss other religions as completely false” (Caldecott, 2009) as Nostra Aetate indicates:
“The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions”
Therefore, the Catholic Church searches to maintain and promote all the good things to be found in other religions. In this regard, Pope Benedict XVI has suggested 3 rules for religious dialogue:
a) No renunciation of Truth
b) Criticism of one’s own religion
c) Proclamation of the Gospel as a dialogue
-To be Continued-