841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."
This paragraph essentially proclaims that "the plan of salvation" includes all faiths that acknowledge the true creator. The reasoning given is that since the Muslims claim the faith of Abraham, and worship the one true God, they are not only among the saved, but are at the top of any such list.
In preceding paragraphs (839, 840) the Jews are discussed, and parallels drawn between Christians and Jews. Both it is said, are awaiting the advent of the Messiah, though the Jews do so in unbelief relative to Jesus.
Footnote 330 directs one to Lumen Gentium, (DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH), POPE PAUL VI, November 21, 1964, section 16:
16. ... But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.
Footnote 330 also directs one to NOSTRA AETATE, (DECLARATION ON THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS), POPE PAUL VI, October 28, 1965, section 3:
3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
These statements regarding the Muslims also apply exactly and identically to the Jews. The implication made in paragraph 841 of the catechism is that in addition to the Muslims, which are just the first example, the Jews also are saved by their recognition and worship of the true creator and their Abrahamic faith.
This has a very obvious flaw if you believe in the Bible at all. I will quote just three of the applicable passages:
Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Acts 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
1 John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
For both those of the Jewish and Muslim faiths, this element of faith in Jesus Christ as the raised Son of God is decidedly lacking. However, the Roman Catholic Church has taken it upon themselves to boldly proclaim that faith in Jesus Christ is not required, one only needs to believe in the creator and have Abraham's faith.
According to the opening letter of approval from the Pope, this new Catechism was six years in the making, and was drafted by a commission of 12 Cardinals and Bishops and reviewed by all the Bishops of the Catholic Church. I have to conclude that paragraph 841 is not misworded or a typographical error of some kind.
Essentially, what the Roman Catholic Church is doing in paragraph 841, is denying that Jesus Christ is the only way to Salvation, in direct contradiction to the Bible. If this is true then I ask you, can anything be more Antichrist than this? Note what then follows in the Catholic Catechism:
"Outside the Church there is no salvation"
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.
847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church: Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.
So, according to the Catholic Catechism, Muslims and Jews will be saved despite their rejection of Jesus Christ as the Savior (839-841), and the ignorant can be saved despite their ignorance of Jesus Christ (847), but Protestant Christians who are dedicated Christians that know and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, yet stubbornly and "knowingly" refuse to become Catholics, are heretics and cannot possibly be saved!
See also: Outside The Catholic Church There Is No Salvation?
Here is the above portion of the Vatican's Catechism of the Catholic Church online.
Here is the entire new Vatican Catechism online.