A new study from Georgetown University indicates that only a very small minority of Catholics view those of the Islamic persuasion in a positive light. According to the survey, when asked about their general view of Muslims, 30% responded with either somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable; while only 14% held a favorable opinion.
Political persuasion also seemed to be a contingent factor in determining these responses as well; shifting depending on their preferred cable TV news source. Fox News fans held a significantly less favorable view of Muslims than their CNN and MSNBC watching counterparts.
These negative views persist even though official church documents proclaim to hold the Islamic faith in “high esteem;” and despite efforts from leadership. Pope John Paul II was even quoted as saying that Catholics and Muslims worship the same God.
“We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection…”
Why such a negative opinion by the laity then? Do Catholics and Muslims worship the same God? Has the Islamic religion earned these negative opinions? Is some form of ancient bigotry or rivalry persisting within the laity of the church? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or in the comments below.