October 22, 2017


I like the following idea: “the historic religions of the world are given not to compete with each other, but to complete with each other.” So, if that is true why are we at odds with other religious beliefs?

God is beyond human comprehension so it is impossible to know God completely. Organized religions attempt to acquaint us with God’s presence in our world. Many of the religions have Holy Books as we Catholics have the Bible. Some of the religions honor their Scriptures as we honor ours. They also believe their pages are inspired.

We, as Christians, believe that Jesus personifies God in a way that no one else does. That is why we model our lives after him and call ourselves his disciples. I have no desire to be another religion, but 

I surely respect each of them as I hope they respect Catholicism. I don’t use the word “tolerate” when I speak about other faith traditions because that word I consider demeaning, as if I am doing them a favor.

The God that I have come to believe in accompanies each of us on our life journey and is very aware of how we make our life choices. That God is the essence of all life and realizes that everyone does not come from the same cultured or life experiences and so people encounter God in many ways.

I do believe that the Catholic Church has a lot to teach the world, and a lot to learn from the world. But once you decide that you have total knowledge, you cease learning. I believe that was the impression our Church gave in the past and it really led to stagnation. Now we seem to be more open to conversation, dialogue and communication with other religions and faith traditions. That is the Spirit of the Second Vatican Council. We have to remind ourselves that the Council spoke of the Church in the world, and not the Church and the world.

Not to get into politics, but I hope our country also is realizing that we are not the only ones interested in the betterment of society. Many of the countries with whom we struggle, have very different cultural and religious beliefs than the majority of Americans. Cutting off communication can only lead to further alienation. We need to work together to continue to discover how God’s presence and the celebration of that presence not only makes each of us spiritually healthier, but leads to world peace.

Enjoy Life!
Fr. Coyne


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