November 23, 2017 (Turning Point Project) — One of the big mysteries of our day is how so many supposedly enlightened Catholics have managed to get it so wrong about Islam for so long. It’s understandable that in the 1960s, when the Islamic world was relatively quiescent, Catholics might entertain the high hopes for Islamic-Catholic relations expressed in Nostra Aetate. But this is 2017 and in the intervening half century a lot of water has passed under the bridge.
Given all that has transpired in the interim—9/11, daily terror attacks, the accelerating Islamization of Europe, and the development of nuclear weapons by Pakistan and Iran—it seems that Catholics deserve to know more about Islam than the brief treatment presented in Nostra Aetate or the even briefer treatment in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Catechism’s forty-four words on the subject end with the reassurance that “together with us they [Muslims] adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day” (842). Unfortunately, that has been interpreted by a good many clergy and laymen to mean “go back to sleep and don’t worry about a thing.”