Comparative Religions

The Catholic Faith claims to be the only religion that possesses the fullness of the means of salvation. This means that the fullness of the truth that God has revealed to humanity is only to be found in the Catholic Church. Such a claim causes many to mistakenly believe that Catholics think: a) that there is no truth to be found in other faiths; b) that they are better than non-Catholics; or c) that only Catholics can get to Heaven. Neither a), b) or c) is true. However, only the faith and morals taught by the Catholic Church are without error because they come from the Holy Spirit who is God. Jesus gave us this guarantee of INFALLIBILITY when He made St Peter the first of many Popes (Matt 16:18).

WORLDWIDE STATISTICS ON RELIGION (1 billion = 1,000 million)

1 billion of no faith

1 billion Muslims

.8 billion Hindus

.3 billion Buddhists

23 million Sikhs

15 million Jews

1 billion

Roman Catholics

.3 billion

Protestants

.2 billion

Eastern Orthodox

80 million

Anglicans

16 million Catholic non-Roman Rite

.2 billion

of tribal religions

[Ref. International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 1996/2000; Official Vatican Year Book Annuario Pontificio, 2003]

A good way of testing the truth of the Catholic faith is to see how its teaching on human sexuality compares with other modern-day faiths. If we consider the major world religions we see that 1) the teaching of Islam allows a man to marry up to four wives at any one time2) pre-marital sex can be regarded as ethical from a Buddhist point of view 3) Hinduism has no clear teaching on sexual ethics because of its differing treatment of people due to their caste status 4) in the Talmud of Judaism a foetus is not considered a person until birth and 5) before 1930 no major Protestant denomination supported the use of artificial contraception, now all do.

Only the Catholic Church has consistently taught a moral code that is without error. All other faiths lack the full teaching that contains 100% of the truth that God has revealed to humanity. However, God is a loving Father who sent His Son that we might have life to the FULL. He wants ALL His children to be in possession of 100% of the truth in order that they can be protected from: discrimination, exploitation, sexually transmissible diseases, attacks on the dignity and equality of people, the dangers to the sanctity of life from conception, and immoral doctrines that endanger our spiritual souls. The greatest misconception that society holds about the Catholic Church’s teaching on sex and marriage is that the Church is down on sex. But the Church is not down on sex " the Church’s teaching is not that society overvalues sex " the Church teaches that society does not value sex enough. Pope John Paul II has been responsible for a radical new approach to human sexuality known as the Theology of the Body. This new vision does not regard sex as something dirty, nor is it something beyond the reach of ordinary people. The Pope talks about two extremes that should be avoided where sex is concerned: animalism (indecency, shamelessness and indulgence) and angelism (prudery, puritanism and repression). Sex is holy. It is God’s idea. It should recognise the equality of spouses as well as their differences. The Pope stresses the love that each of us should have for each other as persons, not as objects. Rather than being a simple act of no more than bodily functions, the Pope regards sex as an opportunity for spouses to receive grace.

References:
Living Religion, 1997, p. 363 {NB " This book is written by adherents of each of the major religions.] Ibid. p. 120 Ibid. p. 297 Ibid p. 443 Life-giving Love, Hahn (tape series), St Joseph Communications Chris West (speaking on Pope JP II’s Theology of the Body during a talking tour in West Australia, 2003) For more on Pope JP II’s Theology of the Body, see Naked without Shame, John XXIII Co-op Ltd.

* Please note that this text should be read in the context of the whole work and in recognition of the appropriate paragraphs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church highlighted in the index.