Catholic World News

Muslims must be converted, says Vatican cardinal

May 23, 2016

Christians are called to seek the conversion of all Muslims, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity told an audience at Cambridge University.

The imperative to seek conversions applies even-- perhaps especially-- to militant Muslims, Cardinal Kurt Koch said. 

Speaking at an interfaith meeting, Cardinal Koch said that the duty to evangelize applies to all Christians, in their relations with all other faiths except Judaism. He acknowledged that Christians share with both Jews and Muslims a reverence for the traditions of faith handed down from Abraham. But he said that "we cannot deny that the view of Abraham in Jewish and Christian tradition and the Islamic tradition is not the same."

While Christians acknowledge the covenant God made with the Jewish people, the same cannot be said of the Islamic faith, the cardinals said. Thus "we have only with Jewish people this unique relationship that we do not have with Islam."


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  • Posted by: ILM - May. 24, 2016 8:30 PM ET USA

    Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote a book titled: "The World's First Love, Mary the Mother of God" in 1952. In it there is a chapter entitled "Mary and the Muslims". He explains in that chapter that the Koran has many passages about the Blessed Virgin including some that recognize her Immaculate Conception. Islam ranks Mary above all women including Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed. Sheen suggests that Mary's appearing in the Village of Fatima in the 20th century was sign of hope for Muslims.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - May. 24, 2016 6:01 PM ET USA

    Are we to leave the Jews ignorant, as did pastors to Catholics in the pews during the 1970s-1990s? CCC n. 848: "“Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men." I suppose we are to accept the Vatican's most recent position in accordance with Romans 8:24, "In hope we were saved" (NAB).

  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - May. 24, 2016 9:27 AM ET USA

    According to Sharia (Islamic law) apostasy is a capital crime. So, to convert a Muslim to Christianity is to condemn him to death. Is that what Cardinal Koch wants? Viz. "In the Hadith Ibn Abbaas said : The Messenger of Allah said, 'Whoever changes his (Islamic) religion, kill him.' Al-Bukhary (number 6922)"

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - May. 24, 2016 1:02 AM ET USA

    I didn't expect to hear such a clear call to the task of conversion anytime in the current pontificate. I'm glad I was wrong.

  • Posted by: R. Spanier (Catholic Canadian) - May. 23, 2016 8:21 PM ET USA

    Thank you Cardinal Koch for having the best interests of the Muslim people at heart. How joyful they would be to discover the true Jesus, God the Son.

  • Posted by: John3822 - May. 23, 2016 7:56 PM ET USA

    we were given a mandate by Jesus for all people, not excluding the Jewish people. Our Lord didn't weep over Muslims but did weep over those in Israel that didn't recognize him. We do no service to Our Lord's chosen people when we exclude them from evangelization as if we know better than Jesus. This is so sad and devoid of love. It is also not what the Church teaches: see CCC 849.