Here is an excerpt of an interview with Cardinal Arinze, during a group discussion of religious leaders from around the world, held at the Thanksgiving World Assembly in Dallas, Texas, March 1999. Cardinal Arinze addresses various questions; I have quoted the relevant portion below.
"Tyson: It seems to me that one of the barriers to interreligious dialogue, at least on the Christian side, is the kind of exclusivistic claim that, in fact, if you don't believe in Jesus Christ, you will not be in the right with God.
Arinze: "Nostra Aetate" (a document from the Second Vatican Council) says that God's grant of salvation includes not only Christians, but Jews, Muslims, Hindus and people of good will. That is, a person can be saved, can attain salvation, but on the condition that the person is open to God's action.
Robert Ashley, news director at a Dallas radio station: So was Jesus wrong when He said He was the way, the truth and the life?
Arinze: He was right. He IS the way, the truth and the life. If you believe that, you will become a Christian (audience laughter). Only God knows to what extent a person is sincere, what opportunities the person has, and how the person used those opportunities. Only God can assess all that, and He never appointed any of us part of that advisory council (more laughter).
If a person were to push what you said a little further and say, if you're not a Christian, you're not going to heaven, we'd regard that person as a fundamentalist … and theologically wrong. It is quite another matter to say that one religion is as good as another. That is, it doesn't matter to what religion you belong. Religion is not put together that way: You change the rules and change the goalposts if you can't score. No, no, no. (But we do) believe that every religion has elements that are true and noble and good. How will it work out? I can't tell you. But we know that Christ, who says, "I am the way, the truth and the light," died on the Cross for everyone.
I met in Pakistan a Muslim. People would go to him. He had a wonderful concept of the Koran. We were like two twins that had known one another from birth. And I was in admiration of this man's wisdom. I think that man will go to heaven. But I am not the one who opens the door (audience laughter).
There was a Buddhist in Kyoto, in Japan. This man, a good man, was open, listening, humble. I was amazed. I listened to his words of wisdom, and I said to myself, "The grace of God is working in this man." I noticed that the more they were devoted to their religion and I to my religion, the more we met one another even though I didn't know their language. There is a language of the heart. So if you meet a person, if both of you are devoted to God, both of you will be nearer to one another than two professors of two religions who don't practice what they preach but can elucubrate from morning till evening.
Ashley: So you can still get to heaven without accepting Jesus?
Arinze: Expressly, yes. (He laughs with audience.)"
I think there was a topic on this at Pasc's place.
These men do not appear to share my faith, and I'm having a hard time with that.
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That last bit, about not explicitly ("expressly") accepting Jesus and getting into heaven is complete and utter baloney (to put it nicely). That's like saying a person could be in heaven who didn't want to be there, or had no idea how he got there. There is not some Buddhist/Muslim/et. al. in heaven who says to himself "I love God, but I'm not too sure about that Jesus stuff"... Nonsense!
He certainly won't convert them.
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tornpage wrote:These men do not appear to share my faith, and I'm having a hard time with that.
He's definitely not dribbling at "center count"; question is if he is "in bounds" or not. To answer your question from another thread, a "Feeneyite" is, from my perspective at least, someone (a Catholic, of course), who is of the theological opinion that whomever the One and Triune God predestines to the eternal beatitude, His elect, are also predestined by Him (due to His Sovereignty, Providence, and Perfection) to receive Sacramental Baptism in Water. (If you hold to this opinion, then, yes, you are a "Feeneyite.") Given the Muslim and Buddhist friends whom Cardinal Arinze met, perhaps they were sacramentally baptized, unknown to them, in their infancies, and perhaps, at "death's door," they will both receive salutary repentance, allowing them to pass into Purgatory, escaping Hell.
To answer your question from another thread, a "Feeneyite" is, from my perspective at least, someone (a Catholic, of course), who is of the theological opinion that whomever the One and Triune God predestines to the eternal beatitude, His elect, are also predestined by Him (due to His Sovereignty, Providence, and Perfection) to receive Sacramental Baptism in Water. (If you hold to this opinion, then, yes, you are a "Feeneyite.")
Well then, I guess I am a "Feeneyite" - according to Jehanne.
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