On Relevant Radio’s Drew Mariani Show on August 10, 2016, Msgr. Stuart Swetland, President of Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas, and I engaged in a lively discussion over whether Islam is a religion of peace or of violence.
Notice how, right at the end of the show when I had no opportunity to reply, Msgr. Swetland essentially reads me out of the Catholic Church for not believing that Islam is a religion of peace, and claims, falsely, that this was not only the view of Pope Francis, but of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II. He claims that these popes’ statements on Islam being peaceful are authoritative and guided by the Holy Spirit.
In reality, while the Catholic Church claims to be guided by the Holy Spirit in defining what is and isn’t the Christian Faith, it does not claim some special power or authority to define the nature or teaching of other religions as well. Thus I doubt that Msgr. Swetland is correct in suggesting that papal statements on Islam being peaceful are authoritative for Catholics; what is interesting, however, is that he was suggesting that there is no place in the Church for people with a realistic view of Islam.
If the view that Islam is a religion of peace wins out altogether in the Catholic Church, and it certainly prevails at the highest levels in the Church today, and if it is imposed somehow upon the faithful, then the Church will have enshrined falsehood as official policy. And it is getting very, very close to doing just that.