Cardinal Burke: ‘Highly questionable’ to say Islam worships Christian God and is therefore peaceful

Cardinal Burke: ‘Highly questionable’ to say Islam worships Christian God and is therefore peaceful

Claire Chretien

ROME, Italy, August 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — It is “highly questionable” to say Catholics and Muslims worship the same God and Islam is a religion of peace, Cardinal Raymond Burke said on a call with reporters [including Catholic World Report’s Carl Olson] Monday.

Burke, an American, is the former Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court. He is now the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Burke was speaking to the media about Hope for the World: To Unite All Things in Christ, a newly-published book-length interview with French journalist Guillaume d’Alançon in which the prelate weighs in on a host of controversial topics such as contraception and its relationship to abortion, transgender bathrooms, Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried, and problems within the Catholic Church.

Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council’s declaration on the Catholic Church’s relationship with other religions, “is not a dogmatic document,” Burke said.

Burke was responding to a question about whether Catholics and Muslims worship the same God and whether Catholics are bound to believe Vatican II’s definition of Islam.

“The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems,” Nostra Aetate says. “They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God … they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.”

The recognition that Nostra Aetate is not dogmatic may lead the Society of St. Pius X, a traditionalist group with an irregular canonical status, to full Communion with Rome. Many Catholics view the contentious Vatican II document as unclear or even at odds with Church teaching on Catholicism being the one true faith.

Whether Catholics must embrace Islam as a religion of peace or be considered dissenters was a recent topic of debate between Robert Spencer of and Monsignor Stuart Swetland of Donnelly College. The former claims that Spencer’s position that Islam is inherently violent is at odds with the magisterial teachings of recent popes. Supporters of Spencer point out that popes have had varying opinions about Islam throughout the years and that affirming a certain nature of Islam is not related to Catholic faith and morals and therefore is not binding for Catholics. They also say that Catholics should consult Islam itself to determine its nature.

Burke said much of today’s response to Islam is influenced by a religious relativism and holds “we’re all worshiping the same God” and “we all believe in love.”

If “God is love,” how can He be “the same God that commands of Muslims to slaughter infidels and to establish their rule by violence?” Burke asked.

“I don’t believe it’s true that we’re all worshiping the same God,” said Burke. “To say that we all believe in love is simply not correct.”

“Everything that I’ve said about Islam, including especially what’s in the book, is based on my own studies of the texts of Islam and also of their commentators,” the cardinal said. The religious relativism that equates Catholic and Muslim teaching on the nature of God doesn’t “respect the truth” about what each religion teaches, he said. “This is not helpful.”

“Let’s examine carefully what Islam is and what our Christian faith teaches us,” said Burke, because they’re not the same thing.

“Nothing has changed in the Islamic agenda from prior times in which our ancestors” had to defend Christendom from Muslim attacks, Burke said. “They saw that Islam was attacking sacred truth.”

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2 comments on “Cardinal Burke: ‘Highly questionable’ to say Islam worships Christian God and is therefore peaceful

  1. [aka.Catholic’s take on His Eminence’s teleconference]

    The latest from Cardinal Burke

    Louie August 31, 2016

    On August 30, Cardinal Raymond Burke held an international teleconference with media members in anticipation of the release of his book, Hope For the World: To Unite All Things in Christ.

    Writing for Catholic World Report, Carl Olson, who participated in the call, provided some interesting details.

    Among the cardinal’s most noteworthy comments in my view were those on Islam. As reported by Mr. Olson:

    Cardinal Burke first said he thinks the common response in the West to Islam is “deeply influenced by a relativism of a religious order, with people telling me, ‘Well, we all worship the same God. We all believe in love.’” Such an approach, however, fails to really study and understand what Islam is and what Christianity is.

    Noting the fact that Christianity involves the ability to live according to the law inscribed in reality, Cardinal Burke insisted, “this is not true in Islam” as it has no natural law tradition.

    According to Olson:

    The key point, he said, is “I don’t believe it’s true that we worship the same God, because the God of Islam is a governor; in other words, fundamentally, Islam is sharia … and that law, which comes through Allah, much dominant [sic] every man eventually.” This law is not founded on love, he added, even if individual Muslims are gentle and kind people.

    Cardinal Burke went on to ask rhetorically, “How can the God we know, who is fundamentally a God of love as St. John says, be the same God that commands and demands of Muslims to slaughter infidels and to establish their rule by violence?”


    These are unpopular but incredibly important truths that few are willing to speak aloud.

    At this, Cardinal Burke was asked to comment on Nostra Aetate of Vatican II; a document that has led many to believe that Muslims and Catholics do indeed worship the same God.

    He responded just as one might expect; he went about splitting hairs by suggesting that a distinction must be made between saying that Christians and Muslims acknowledge the same Creator (as Nostra Aetate does) and saying that we worship the same God.

    The reality is (and I say this based on my own experience), Nostra Aetate, like much of the conciliar text, is so deeply flawed that no responsible censor librorum would ever grant it a nihil obstat.

    If pressed in private, Burke himself may even admit that the text of Nostra Aetate doesn’t merit his own imprimatur, but being that it is part and parcel of the Almighty Council, he instead chooses to make excuses for its flaws; thus assuring that it will continue leading souls straight to Hell.

    In other words, this is classic Cardinal Burke.

    So too is the following, also from Olson’s report:

    The core drive in Islam to to [sic] govern and control the world, whereas Christianity, relying on right reason and sound metaphysics and true faith, “we make our contribution to society,” mindful that the Church is not intend [sic] on governing and controlling the world.

    What the observant Catholic cannot help but recognize in this is the denial of the Social Kingship of Christ.

    It is true that the Church does not intend to govern and control the world, but only if this is understood to mean that the Church does not intend to usurp the role that is proper to the State.

    What the Church was commissioned to do (and should intend to do, though in our day it does not), however, is to make it known to all, including those who exercise legitimate civil authority in the various nations, that Jesus Christ is the Sovereign and King to Whom all authority rightly belongs, from Whom all authority comes, and to Whom all obedience is due, and furthermore, that He speaks and reigns through His Holy Catholic Church.

    In other words, the intention of the Church should be to Christianize the entire world.

    Does Cardinal Burke believe this?

    If so, it’s not apparent as he seems to imagine that the Church should be content simply to “make a contribution to society” (just as the heathens, heretics and Jews also do).

    * * *

  2. Louie wrote: “The reality is (and I say this based on my own experience), Nostra Aetate, like much of the conciliar text, is so deeply flawed that no responsible censor librorum would ever grant it a nihil obstat.”

    And that little point explains exactly why V2 was NOT a Council and all the BS ever since has been just that – 100% unadulterated BS.

    Nostra Aetate is the lynch pin to understanding who ran the council and has been running the “official church” ever since.

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