Which religions lead to eternal life?

A survey from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has some interesting numbers on how Catholics view other religions. A substantial majority (62 percent) of white Catholics answered "yes" to the question of whether Islam can lead to eternal life, a figure well above the national average of 52 percent.The poll shows that just 11 percent of white Catholics consider their faith the only path to salvation - and the numbers are pretty much the same for weekly Mass-goers and other Catholics.What are Catholics expected to believe?This is how the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith addressed the issue when it critiqued the Rev. Jacques Dupuis' theology of religious pluralism:

It is consistent with Catholic doctrine to hold that the seeds of truth and goodness that exist in other religions are a certain participation in truths contained in the revelation of or in Jesus Christ. However, it is erroneous to hold that such elements of truth and goodness, or some of them, do not derive ultimately from the source-mediation of Jesus Christ.

Paul Moses, a contributing writer at Commonweal, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009) and An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians (NYU Press, 2015). Follow him on Twitter @PaulBMoses. 

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