But the Holy Father is being chastised by guess who? Of course the right wingnuts that nitpick at everything His Holiness says or doesn't say. No wonder the divorce rate is so high. When spouses do this kind of senseless nitpicking with each other, we all know where that leads.
I suspect that is why some who comment here think divorce and remarriage is great after a truly sacramental marriage to up to two additional marriages although they draw the line at three! Of course it is to laugh. At least in the Catholic Church the annulment procedure declares there never was a sacramental marriage which thus allows a Catholic to marry again in the Church. There is no such decree in the Orthodox Church, it simply allows a second or third marriage in the Church (no more though, they draw the line on a 4th marriage that is adulterous, thank God) despite the fact that the first marriage has never been declared null. Thus there is institutional approval of adultery a novelty never experienced in the full Communion of the Catholic Church under Saint Peter and his successors.
In the south, our Catholic schools can be almost half or majority non-Catholic. We see our schools as evangelizing our young and their parents or guardians. We do no proselytize which means we do not try to convince our young people or their parents to become Catholic by denigrating their religious affiliation or suggesting that they should convert no matter what for the good of their soul if the "no matter what" is a form of coercion on our part.
In fact in the south the majority of our marriages are mixed marriages. The Church by canon law requires that each partner respect the conscience of the other. We ask that no pressure be placed upon the other to convert or change their religious affiliation. Converting to Catholicism is something that the person himself should want to do because he or she is attracted to the Catholic Faith, feels called by God and no one has denigrated him or her for not being Catholic.
With our young people in elementary and high school, we in fact do not allow them to convert to Catholicism unless a parent has made that decision to do so and is bring their child or children with them into the true Faith.
We do, however, evangelize. Non Catholics must take religion Class, attend Mass, know how to genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament, make the Sign of the Cross and learn the Rosary. Parents know this up front and thus have fully agreed to allow their children to be exposed to Catholicism in this way and to be evangelized by us.
Our non Catholic Children, though, are not allowed to receive Holy Communion. Forcing Holy Communion on anyone who not a Catholic is an act of proselytizing!
Rorate Caeili translates some of the Holy Father's off-the-cuff statements this way in order to be snarky about what His Holiness actually said:
Vatican City: Never proselytize in schools. Pope Francis said this in the Paul VI Audience Hall to seven thousand participants at the World Congress on Catholic Education organized by the Congregation in charge of Catholic Education.
"Christian education -- the Pope says -- is not only teaching catechism and proselytizing. Never proselytize in schools. Christian education is bringing up the young in complete reality with human values and one of these [values] is transcendence. Today there is a tendency to neo-positivism, which is education in immanent things, in countries of Christian tradition as well as those of pagan tradition. We are closed to transcendence but closure is of no use in education.”
Admittedly this translation into English of the Pope's Italian is very, very poor. The translator is to be castigated! I doubt that it sounded this bad in Italian. Be that as it may, this is what Pope Benedict said about Proselytizing:
In his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict stated:
Charity, furthermore, cannot be used as a means of engaging in what is nowadays considered proselytism. Love is free; it is not practiced as a way of achieving other ends. But this does not mean that charitable activity must somehow leave God and Christ aside [Deus Caritas Est 31].
Jimmy Akins at Catholic Answers says the following:
This is something I’ve written about before. In a relatively recent sense of the term, “proselytization” refers to using inappropriate tactics to get someone to convert, rather than allowing them to make a free choice for Christ.
The inappropriate tactics can take a number of forms, including deception, coercion, emotional manipulation, threats, and even bribery.
An explanation of this usage is found in the 2007 document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith titled Instruction on Some Aspects of Evangelization. According to that document:
The term proselytism originated in the context of Judaism, in which the term proselyte referred to someone who, coming from the gentiles, had passed into the Chosen People.
So too, in the Christian context, the term proselytism was often used as a synonym for missionary activity.
More recently, however, the term has taken on a negative connotation, to mean the promotion of a religion by using means, and for motives, contrary to the spirit of the Gospel; that is, which do not safeguard the freedom and dignity of the human person.
So that’s what Pope Francis means when he says that the Church grows by our witness, in words and deeds—rather than through proselytization.