In today’s edition of The Catholic Thing, Dr. Eduardo J. Echeverria authors an article on Pope Francis and proselytism. He begins…
In a recent interview arranged by Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., the editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, prior to the trip to Sweden for an ecumenical gathering anticipating next year’s 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Pope Francis expressed something that he has voiced several times during his pontificate: “to proselytize in the ecclesial field is a sin.” He added: “Proselytism is a sinful attitude.”
This is strong language and deserves careful attention, because many think the pope is saying the Catholic Church should no longer evangelize other Christians. That’s a large question that would take extensive treatment. Here, I’m going to limit myself to the “ecclesial field,” in the pope’s phrase, of ecumenical dialogue. Unfortunately, Francis did not define what he means by proselytizing, and did not distinguish it from evangelizing. He simply states that proselytism as such is a sin. But he doesn’t tell us why. Nor does he distinguish between unethical and ethical means of proselytizing. Read the entire article »
Dr. Echeverria has authored for us a scholarly book entitled Pope Francis, The Legacy of Vatican II (256 pages, $29.95). Learn more, download sample ePub, or buy now »
You may also like Fr. Leon Strieder’s recent publication, Evangelization: Building and Rebuilding the Kingdom: Issues of Language, Culture, and Conversion (492 pages, $46.95).
Learn more, download sample ePub, or buy now »