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Are all religions equal? A Catholic priest responds

February 19, 2024 Catholic News Agency 5
Symbols of several of the world’s leading religions. / Credit: Shutterstock

ACI Prensa Staff, Feb 19, 2024 / 07:00 am (CNA).

Father Eduardo Hayen Cuarón, director of the weekly newspaper Presencia of the Diocese of Ciudad Juárez in Mexico, recently responded to the question of whether all religions are equal, good, and true.

Responding on X Feb. 4, the priest addressed the following question: “I am an open-minded person and I believe that all religions are equal; they are all like rivers that one way or another flow into the sea. As long as religions lead man to do good, any religion is good and true, right?”

Hayen responded that “it is good to have an open mind to try to perceive all that is good in religions. Without a doubt, Muslims are very observant in prayer and fasting; Buddhists also mortify the body, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are tenacious in promoting their magazine by knocking on doors.”

“But judging a religion by some good elements it may have is not a valid criterion to say that it is the true religion. Not all religions are true. No,” the priest said.

“If we affirm that there is only one God,” the Mexican priest continued, “then there is only one divine truth, and therefore one religion is the true one. So be careful not to be so open-minded, so open that you are eventually left in a frightening spiritual confusion. Chesterton said that ‘having an open mind is like having an open mouth: It’s not an end, but a means.’ And the end, he said, is to close your mouth on something solid.”

The priest also said that at one point in his life he also believed “the tale that any religion leads to God and that therefore we should not bother finding the true one.”

“Many religions teach things contrary to those of other religions, so not all of them are true. Don’t get confused. If there is only one God, only one religion is the true one,” he continued.

In conclusion, Hayen said that “always living with an open mind can be a problem in finding something solid on which you can base your life. I hope your search is sincere, because when it comes to discerning what the true religion is, you must go as deep as possible. If you find it, your life will have hit the nail on the head.”

Which is the true religion?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church recognizes the right of every person to religious freedom and states that it is a duty of Christians to inspire in every person the love of truth and good.

No. 2105 of the catechism points out in this regard that “the duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both individually and socially. This is ‘the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ.’” 

The catechism explains that “the social duty of Christians is to respect and awaken in each man the love of the true and the good. It requires them to make known the worship of the one true religion which subsists in the Catholic and apostolic Church.”

“Christians are called to be the light of the world. Thus, the Church shows forth the kingship of Christ over all creation and in particular over human societies,” the catechism teaches.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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