Muslims and Catholics: ‘We believe in the same God’

In the woods of southern Indiana at a Catholic youth summer camp, teenagers prepared themselves to pray after a day of canoeing and rope courses. But these young people were not Catholics; they were Muslims.

In the summer of 2018, the Catholic Camp Rancho Framasa opened its cabins and mess hall to Muslim campers for a week. It was a gesture of hospitality that emerged from the camp’s Catholic identity and faith.

Jordan Denari Duffner is the author of “Finding Jesus Among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic.” She is currently studying for a doctorate in theology and religious studies at Georgetown University, where she focuses on Catholic-Muslim relations. (CNS photo/courtesy Jordan Denari Duffner)
But it might never have happened without an event the occurred more than 50 years before: the Second Vatican Council, when the Catholic Church, among other things, sought to forge a new, positive relationship with people of other faiths around the world.

Though previous church councils had mentioned Muslims (sometimes pejoratively referred to as “Saracens”) in passing, Vatican II was the first time a council spoke about Muslims in a concerted way.


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