Friday, December 11, 2015

ARE CATHOLICS SUPPOSE TO TALK OR COERCE NON CATHOLICS INTO CONVERTING? HELL NO!


The neo-traditionalists, new protestants, are at it again. They are complaining about the Vatican document which says that we should not try to convert Jews. 

In fact, these neo-traditionalists need to know that even in pre-Vatican II times the laity were warned not to try to convert anyone even their non Catholic friends, fiances and spouses.

I have never ever heard of parish priests trying to convert Protestants, Jews or any other non-Catholics. Yes, we told our own that we are the true Church with the fullness of truth. Yes, extremists in the pre-Vatican II Church believed that all non-Catholics were going to hell.

But if one reads the Baltimore Catechism it points out very clearly that if through no fault of one's own one is not a Catholic that person can still go to heaven. It speaks of the Church as a barque with lines running off its side that people can hold onto even in their own religion if that religion has elements of truth, such as loving God as they understand Him and neighbor. It also speaks of baptism of desire and of blood and in broad terms.

I was taught in my pre-Vatican II upbringing not to wear my religion on my sleeve, not to initiate religious discussions and enter into arguments about religion although we were taught to defend our faith against attacks when necessary, but not to convert, but simply to defend and help the ignorant understand who were are.

The best way to make Catholicism attractive to non-Catholics is the manner in which we live our lives and treat each other without wearing our religion on our sleeves. It means praying every day, going to Mass each Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation, observing the 10 Commandments and the Precepts of the Church and allowing our Catholic Faith to guide us in all things.

If people know us as good people and then only later come to know us as Catholics, that makes Cathoicism quite attractive! Then non Catholics might inquire into the Catholic Faith no matter their religion or non religious status.

I fear if a non Catholic were to read some of the comments I receive and the way commenters write to each other in comments on my blog, they would say to hell with Catholicism if this is what Catholics are like! Sometimes I feel the same way about comments I read on my blog!

CATHOLICS DO NOT PROSELYTIZE OR BEAT ANYONE OVER THE HEAD TO BECOME CATHOLIC!!!!

33 comments:

Bernard Fischer said...

How does that fit with the New Evangelization?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

All of us, especially the laity, have to make Catholicism attractive to others. We have at least 20 to 40 people each year inquiring into the Catholic faith and it usually the result of positive interaction with Catholics, not shrill, combative experiences or Catholics shoving the Catholic faith down the throats of others or condemning everyone to hell. Happy Catholics rather than angry ones gain converts.

Don said...

Father,

With all due respect, how do you reconcile that with Mt 28:19?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

You are asking how to do the following: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

The way to do this is the tried and tested way: Build Catholic parishes, schools, hospitals, social service programs. Have a vibrant RCIA, teach the faith in our institutions without proselytizing. Invite people to consider the RCIA if they show interest in the Church, assure them no pressure will be placed upon them to convert and emotionalism will be kept out of it.

The way not to do it is the video I posted of Muslims who say they are Christian entering a Catholic Church and demeaning everything that we are--doesn't work with us and when we try similar tactics though more sophisticated, it doesn't work well for us.

Don said...

I agree with all of what you said but I think there is a wrong-headed focus on dialogue and never going for the "ask." In fact, I don't think I've ever met an over zealous Catholic. How do we reconcile a complete rejection of missionary spirit with someone like St. Francis Xavier?



Anonymous said...

Who cares about Jews or Protestants what about the vast majority of people who identify as Catholic yet are anything but Catholic. Francis and his bishops needs to stop worrying about air conditioning and bowing to Mecca and becoming friends with every South American Communist dictator and reform the priesthood and Catholic education. They need to stop groveling at the feet of people who will never accept the Catholic Faith, abandon their lodges, stop demoralizing the few remaining faithful Catholics, kneel before the God who made them and actually live the Catholic Faith.

Don said...

I consider our Catholic Faith and the Holy Eucharist the greatest gifts bestowed to mankind. How can I be selfish and keep that to myself? I have never said, "convert or go to hell!" However I am clear that what I have is a tremendous gift and is to be shared with everyone.

If I own a beautiful home, is it more charitable to show my friends what it looks like from the outside or invite them in to share in my bounty?

Jan said...

Father, I am going to repeat my comments as it probably more to this post.

Fr McDonald, unfortunately, what you were taught is certainly different from what I as a pre-Vatican II Catholic was taught at school and heard from the pulpit. I am not surprised, though, because America was already ahead of most other countries and was in the vanguard of those pushing to modernise the Church before Vatican II. While it is true that we shouldn't be going door to door, or preaching on street corners, at the same time it is our duty to pass on the Faith and encourage others.

Haven't you ever heard, for example, of the Miraculous Medal and the miracle conversions that were wrought through that? The most famous being a Jew, Alphonse Ratisbonne. If what you say was correct then those miracles would not have occurred. Our Lord Himself told the apostles to go forth and convert the nations. Why are you telling us something different?

As regards non-Catholic spouses they had to sign a paper to bring their children up Catholic before they could marry in the Church. Did that happen during your time? It certainly did in my country.

And this latest Vatican document is saying more than that we shouldn't convert the Jews, it is implying that they have their own pathway to heaven, which is not correct because for one thing they are not baptised. You can join with Fr Kavanaugh and say that is simply just a literal interpretation of scripture but in fact it is the correct teaching of the Church prior to the watering down that has gone on since Vatican II. There is only one Church founded by Jesus Christ and if the Jews had their own pathway to heaven there would have been no need for Our Lord to have been baptised by John the Baptist in the Jordan. The more you think about it the more ludicrous it is: no need for missionaries, etc.

Jan said...

Fr McDonald, I am not a member of the Legion of Mary but I know that they go visiting people, most probably what would you would regard as prosletizing. But here in their handbook is the positive proof that Catholics were and are expected to pass on the Faith and in here is very similar to what I was taught. On the other hand you were obviously taught the half-circle of Catholicism:

TO BE IN A SENSE ALWAYS ON DUTY

As far as prudence will dictate, the legionary must aim at bringing the spirit of the Legion to bear on all the affairs of daily life, and must ever be on the alert for opportunities to promote the general object of the Legion, that is, to destroy the empire of sin, uproot its foundations, and plant on its ruins the standard of Christ the King.
"A man will meet you in the street and ask you for a match. Talk to him, and in ten minutes he will be asking you for God." (Duhamel.) But why not make sure of that life-giving contact by first asking him for the match?
So commonly as to tend to harden into custom, Christianity is understood and practised only in a partial sense, that is as an individualistic religion directed exclusively towards the benefiting of one's own soul and not at all concerned with one's fellow-man. This is the "half-circle Christianity" so reprobated by Pope Pius XI. Evidently the Command that we must love God with our whole heart and with our whole soul and with our whole mind; and our neighbour as ourself (Mt 22:37-39), has fallen on many ears that are determined to be deaf.
It would be evidence of this gravely incorrect point of view to regard the legionary standards as a sort of sanctity, intended for chosen souls only. For these standards are only elementary Christian ones. It is not easy to see how one can descend much below them and at the same time claim to be rendering to our neighbour the active love which is enjoined by the Great Precept, and which is part of the very love of God; so much so, that if it be omitted the Christian idea is mutilated. "We must be saved together. We must come to God together. What would God say to us if some of us came to Him without the others?" (Péguy)

The Legion of Mary aims simply at the living of normal Catholicism. We say 'normal'; we do not say 'average'. In these days there is a tendency to think that the 'normal' Catholic is one who practises his religion altogether for his own sake without taking any active interest in the salvation of his brethren. To judge thus would be to caricature the real Catholic, and indeed Catholicism itself. Average Catholicism is not normal Catholicism. It would seem to be necessary to subject to a close scrutiny, to a process of revision, this prevalent notion of 'good Catholic' or 'practising Catholic'. One is not a Catholic if one falls below a certain apostolic minimum, and this indispensable minimum, on which will depend the Last Judgement, is not being reached by the mass of so-called practising Catholics. Therein is a tragic situation; therein lies a fundamental misunderstanding." (Cardinal Suenens: La Théologie de l'Apostolat)"

What Don says is correct. We have something we love which we wish to pass on and advertising in a newspaper doesn't cut it.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

You don't target Jews or Protestants and I doubt that the Legion of Mary coerced those they knocked on the door to make them enter so they could share the Catholic Church with them--it was/is low keyed and they moved on if there wasn't interest.

I doubt that the Legion of Mary would enter a synagogue or Baptist Church or wait outside and leave leaflets with people or place these on windshields.

Jenny said...

I certainly understand that we shouldn't spend time proselytizing Jews. Their religion is more than just that. I was on scholarship at a university in the NYC area that was 76% Jewish. I was the only Catholic I knew. I learned a lot about them; I learned that being Jewish is history, family, culture, mores (moraz), religious observance all rolled into one. No one tried to proselytize me. I was merely an outside observer. Respect is key.
Sooo, let's get back to all those "Nones". Surely we serious Catholics need to pitch in with that group, and the Holy Father would agree?

DJR said...

The article is not apt, as Catholics don't "proselytize" in such a manner.

Most Catholics, including many of the clergy, don't believe that anyone needs to convert to the Catholic Faith to begin with. The pope also apparently falls into that category. His interaction with Anglicans is on record, and his statements to them about not converting are a matter of public knowledge, attested to by the very people involved.

The Church has always sought conversion of others, by all proper methods. There is a section of Sacred Scripture which advocates force, which would explain mass baptisms of a sovereign's subjects in the past.

The incident between Blessed Pius IX and Edgardo Mortara comes to mind as well. Something like that would never happen in our day, but to say it was wrong is to malign Blessed Pius IX. Mortara became a priest and ended up "proselytizing" Jewish people.

It appears that many Catholics, perhaps most, are infected from the very lowest to the highest echelons in the Church. Our forebears had a word for such an attitude: "apostasy."

TJM said...

I think what would help this discussion is to have a common understanding of the word, proslyetize.

Jan said...

Fr McDonald, what Catholics do that, knock on doors and push their Catholicism down people's throats? I certainly don't know of any. But we are certainly meant to be a lot more active than you suggest and the pre-Vatican II Church taught that - even though you were taught half-circle Catholicism.

The real damage is in the document that has come from the Vatican, which you say is fine. The document apparently says "Christianity and Judaism are intertwined and God never annulled his covenant with the Jewish people, said the document from the Vatican’s commission for religious relations with Jews." That is a mere repetition of what Pope Francis said in his first encyclical, which as has been pointed out contradicts Church teaching. The new covenant replaced the old covenant and to deny that is to deny the Faith. The Jews themselves broke their covenant with God. Basic kindergarten stuff.

The Church is staggering on but how much longer under this papacy? So many Catholics are now very concerned with the breaking down of Catholic teaching. This latest document for me and for many will be the last straw. I think for the sake of the Church, for the sake of truth, the branches have to be pruned from the tree so it can grow up strong and vigorous again.

DJR said...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said... You don't target Jews or Protestants...

Saint Francis de Sales "targeted" Protestants and risked his life in doing so. So did many of the early Jesuits.

Saint Francis Xavier targeted pagans.

Father Edgardo Mortara (Jewish by ethnicity) targeted Jews; Father Marie Alphonse Ratisbonne (Jewish by ethnicity) targeted Jews; David Moss and his sister, Rosalind Moss (both converts from Judaism), along with the Association of Hebrew Catholics, target Jewish people.

"Target" isn't a proper word to use when speaking about the mission of the Catholic Church because the entire world is the Church's "target."

Catholics usually speak in terms of "concentrated missionary outreach" or "special charisma" or other such terminology which is more appropriate for the things of God than "target."

Dan said...

I remember going forward at a Billy Graham crusade in 1969. Later I met the man. He never "shoved religion" down anyone throats, but preached the Word of God with such conviction in the power of the Spirit. He was not afraid to call people to repent of their sins and come to Christ. He was simply doing God's bidding, living out the gift he was given Fr. you create a straw man argument that embarrasses me to read. You leave no room for the gifts of the Spirit and the many anointed preachers who have spread the Catholic faith through the centuries. Why is Catholic preaching today so often legalistic and banal? Why the huge losses of the Catholic faith to protestants in South America and here? For one reason, many protestants are not afraid to preach Christ and Him crucified, and to exhort (parakaleo). Yet doing the work of an evangelist is for you a mean-spirited "proselytizing," without love or respect. That is an insult to God, the Scriptures, and to those who are trying to live Romans 12. I have never, and I mean never, met a Catholic who was interested enough about his/her faith to tell me about it. And if such a person arises, would you crush him/her with your version of Catholicism? If the Catholic faith is the fullest expression of the christian faith, then the best evangelists would be Catholic for that very reason.

Fundamentalist Victor said...

Does this mean I can now convert to Judaism, deny Jesus as the Christ, and still be saved? May St Isaac Jogues and companions pray for us and for the Church.

Jusadbellum said...

Shoving religion down our throats is what the PC culture warriors do. It's what the creeping Shariah does. It's not what me or anyone else are talking about.

I would ask everyone to grab your New Testament, crack it open to Acts of the Apostles and quickly grab every sermon listed therein to see how the Apostles preached to Jews and pagans.

It was neither a harangue nor a watered down I'm OK, you're OK, we're all going to heaven anyway syncretism. They spelled out clearly that humanity is sinful, that we're wounded and bound up by sin and that consequently we all need a savior and that the various religious systems or belief in gods were not capable of saving humanity but this man, Jesus Christ, who preached, did miracles, suffered and died, has risen and has given his followers real power to help bring all of humanity to salvation.

Thus they clearly stated that the Jewish scripture was fulfilled in Jesus and consequently they couldn't find salvation through the Law now that the Law giver has come. They clearly understood that while there was a dispensation for ignorance (cf. book of Wisdom and Paul's letter to Romans) that now that we know the Savior, we must let go of paganism to be saved.

It was an either/or not a both/and proposition. And this sort of preaching DID infuriate people and lead to pogroms and persecutions. It did lead to Jewish and Pagan mobs howling for bloodshed. But the early Christians kept at it until the whole Roman empire was converted.

Have I ever called for any different type of missionary zeal? No. Since my earliest posts I have called for missionaries to go into the world of Muslims (and gaystapos) and call them out to conversion and healing via the power of God's healing, exorcism and Word. But I have also pointed out that we can't send missionaries to the degree that we ourselves are crumbling and self-centered.

If we can't even share this "good news" with the Protestants around us, how can we share it with Jews and Muslims?

Mark Thomas said...

The latest controversial document in question about Jews acknowledged that the document is "not a magisterial document or doctrinal teaching of the Catholic Church."

That ends the controversy right there. The document did not and cannot not overthrow the Church's mandate from Jesus Christ to preach the Good News to the world...to Jews and all mankind.

The document in question is akin to the 2002 A.D. "Reflections on Covenant and Mission" document that certain United States Catholic bishops and Jews involved in Catholic-Jewish "dialogue" produced. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was forced to issue a note to clarify the nonsense that "Reflections on Covenant and Mission" had put forth.

In 2009 A.D., Brother André Marie at Catholicism.org had written about that:

http://catholicism.org/us-bishops-note-ambiguities-on-the-churchs-mission-and-the-jewish-people.html

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Regarding "targeting the Jews" for conversion, I recall attending a National Jewish-Christian Dialogue that was held in Stamford, CT, in the fall of 1996. Earlier that year the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) had passed a resolution in which they announced they were going to seek to convert Jews, specifically.

Although the program had long been in place, the planners asked if the SBC would send a representative to the Stamford gathering to "explain" the resolution and to answer questions and hear comments from those attending. It was a very tense and emotional and long evening, as you can imagine. I credit the SBC and the individual, whose mane I do not recall, for responding to the invitation, knowing that audience of Christians and Jews were not, by and large, in support of the resolution.

I recall two of the individuals who spoke to the SBC representative. The first was an older Jewish woman. Her emotions were just under control as she stepped to the microphone in the ballroom of the Stamford Sheraton. As she spoke to the SBC spokesman, her voice grew louder and she began to shake with anger. After a few moments, she rolled up her sleeve, revealing her concentration camp tattoo. She asked, "When will you leave us alone? That's all we want from you - to be left alone!"

The two rabbis with whom I was sitting, one from NYC and one from, I think, Long Island, and I were in tears at this point, as were many in the room. The atmosphere was one of the most oppressive I have ever experienced. The SBC spokesman did not respond.

The next person in line, the last of the evening, was, if I recall correctly, Msgr. Royale Vadakin (yes, his real name). He began, "I want to speak now as an elder brother to a younger, a much younger, brother in Christ." His words were direct and clear and had a calming effect on those attending. He did not try to tell the SBC that it must not proclaim the Gospel, but that it must recognize the harm that had been done to individuals by the manner in which this resolution had been presented and promulgated.

Our efforts to evangelize anyone, non-Christians, Christians of other denominations, fallen-away Catholics, are best accomplished in the manner that Fr. McDonald describes in his post of Dec 11 at 7:14 a.m. We have to "make Catholicism attractive to others." No, we don't do this by watering down the message of the Gospel. We are to make it attractive, not simply palatable. We do this by living lives of generosity, of compassion, of mercy, of integrity, and of respect for others. We do this by being exemplary Catholics.

This approach reflects the "tone" or the "style of discourse" that was adopted by the Council Fathers at Vatican Two. "It is what the Roman authors called the 'ars laudandi,' the panegyric..." "Panygeric is the painting of an idealized portrait in order to excite admiration and appropriation." "Its goal is the winning of internal consent, not the imposition of conformity from the outside." (Quotations from "What Happened at Vatican Two" by Fr. John O'Malley, SJ)

The circumstances of our times are not those of the times of St. Isaac Jogues or St. Francis de Sales or St. Francis Xavier. Regarding the Jewish people, our appreciation of them as sharers in God's promise of salvation has changed dramatically from the sad days during which we accused them of being "Christ killers," when we ghettoized them, expelled them from "Catholic" countries, or initiated pogroms against them. Contemporary times call for contemporary thinking and action.

George said...

The biggest evangelical challenge facing the Church today is the bringing back into the fold, through a "spiritual re-patriation", and a renewing of the covenantal relationship with Christ, those Catholics who have fallen away from the Faith. And as Jenny alludes to above, this would include the "Nones", or those of no faith, or belief in God, or membership in a religious denomination. Of course it is imperative on the part of faithful Catholics to offer their prayers, sacrifices, and almsgiving to this endeavor.

A good example, a kind deed, a work of mercy are often the most effective in converting others.


John Nolan said...

There are a number of articles on Fr Hunwicke's 'Mutual Enrichment' blog concerning the conversion of the Jews. These were prompted by a recent attempt on the part of the English and German hierarchy to have Benedict XVI's 2008 prayer for the Jews (EF, Good Friday) replaced on the grounds that it does not accord with Nostra Aetate. Fr Hunwicke convincingly demolishes this argument.

Nostra Aetate is a short document and only a quarter of it is concerned with Judaism. To get a fuller picture of the Church's position regarding the Jews it is useful to consider the various drafts of the 'Decretum de Iudaeis', first promulgated by Cardinal Bea in 1961. It does not represent a doctrinal change; what is (arguably) ground-breaking is the positive language it employs. In 'Evangelii Gaudium' Pope Francis uses similar language but adds, significantly, 'the Church cannot refrain from proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Messiah'.

It is legitimate to pray for the conversion of the Jews; indeed there are prayers in the Office to this effect. We also pray for the conversion of England. But this won't be achieved by going round telling Jews and Anglicans they are wrong. The encouragement of converts can be seen as a form of proselytizing. Anglicanorum Coetibus didn't go down well with the CofE and many of the Catholic bishops were lukewarm. But if the Catholic Church is not welcoming, she is failing in her mission.

To say that the Old Covenant has not been revoked is not heretical. The New Covenant, however, completes and supersedes the Old.

Jan said...

We're virtually all agreed that Catholics do not go out and prosletize and so what is the reason for this document being published by the Vatican at all? Is it just a PC move to placate the Jews? The situation is no different from the time Our Lord walked this earth. The apostles were Jews and they converted to Christianity through baptism. Our Lord said that "Unless you are born again of water and the holy spirit YOU SHALL NOT ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN".

The Jews on the Day of Atonement used to select two goats, one for sacrifice and one called the scapegoat, a scarlet wool thread was placed on the door of the sanctuary. It was said that this thread turned white when the live goat was set free. But, beginning on the Day of Atonement in 30 A.D., this thread never turned white again. See Yoma 39b, Babylonian Talmud and pages 166, 170 Mishnah, by Danby.

That can be found in the Talmud - proving that the Jews no longer have a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. So all those Catholics who want to go around smiling and thinking that is sufficient to covert people, go ahead. As for me, I don't know any Jews but if a Jew ever comes to me and talks about the difference in our faith I will have no hesitation in telling them that Baptism is necessary for salvation and I will certainly say it in the kindest benevolent way possible. But I am not having on my conscience the failure to tell the truth to those who seek the truth.

As Mark Thomas says this document from the Vatican carries no authority then we don't need to worry about any PC document that fails to tell the truth about what the Church teaches. But at the same time the fact that such a document is allowed to be published at all shows there is a serious problem with the Vatican and obviously there is no oversight going on.

Gene said...

The line between evangelization and proselytizing is somewhat blurred. We are commanded to spread the Gospel...there are many ways to do that. Haranguing people is not one of the best...besides, it makes you an harangue-o-tang.

Anonymous said...

Jan, Actually... one of the best representation we have of God's revelation on this point is "ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω σοι, ἐὰν μή τις γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ πνεύματος, οὐ δύναται εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ."

And, as for the "necessity" of Baptism..."Yet Christians have also always realized that the necessity of water baptism is a normative rather than an absolute necessity. There are exceptions to water baptism: It is possible to be saved through "baptism of blood," martyrdom for Christ, or through "baptism of desire", that is, an explicit or even implicit desire for baptism.

Gene said...

The means of Baptism do not matter, it is the act of obedience itself that is important. Paul tends to downplay it, a passage upon which protestants quickly seize.

George said...

We can be God's willing, intentional instruments in bringing about conversion of others but it is His grace which converts. In fact, it can happen that God can use us as His instrument even without any intention on our part. St Paul was converted by a direct action of God and he then became an instrument in God's hands for the conversion of others.

Jan said...

Anonymous 10:54, yes, there are the means you suggest but those means are extraordinary. Who, if they knew the truth, would wants to take the risk of waiting to be martyred baptised by blood or hope that they may get baptism of desire at the last?

The great majority attain heaven through the sacraments of the Church, the first being baptism of water and it is that that washes away the stain of original sin - but then of course how many Catholics still believe in original sin these days? The Church baptises in accordance with the teachings of Christ. He who was born without any stain of sin still subjected Himself to baptism in the Jordan. The Jews of Our Lord's time were baptised and it is no different for those Jews living in our time - except we're living in a PC world where the truth cannot be spoken for fear of offence. While I don't agree with door knocking, etc, I have to say I admire the protestants in this. They are way ahead of us on this issue and all credit to them - They are not afraid to state the truth like we are.

Jan said...

Reading the Catechism of the Church it is easy to see why the latest Vatican document is a departure from Church teaching:

" VI. THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM

1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,"64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism."

Jan said...

Interesting that the Jews for Jesus group has roundly criticised the Vatican document:

"David Brickner, executive director of Jews for Jesus, finds their position “…egregious, especially coming from an institution which seeks to represent a significant number of Christians in the world.”

Brickner went on to say, “How can the Vatican ignore the fact that the Great Commission of Jesus Christ mandates that his followers are to bring the gospel to all people? Are they merely pandering to some leaders in the Jewish community who applaud being off the radar for evangelization by Catholics? If so, they need to be reminded that they first received that gospel message from the lips of Jews who were for Jesus.

“The title of this new document, ‘The Gifts and Calling of God are irrevocable,’ is taken from Paul’s words in Romans 11:29. We believe that the Apostle Paul, whose name is invoked frequently in the Vatican document, would be horrified at this repudiation of the words with which he started his letter in Romans: ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.’”

Jews for Jesus is the largest Jewish mission agency in the world and has, at its core, the goal of proclaiming the message that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world. They have branches in 13 countries and 25 cities."

Charles G said...

Talking someone into converting is not the same thing as coercing. There seems to be a campaign by the Church against spoken evangelization. How completely contrary to the apostles and the New Testament witness.

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

As this post shows, the only proselytism allowed these days is that of converting putative proselytizers out of their Catholic snobbery into the limpid aridity of the Gospel of Polyhedral Non-Conversion.

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...


This approach reflects the "tone" or the "style of discourse" that was adopted by the Council Fathers at Vatican Two. "It is what the Roman authors called the 'ars laudandi,' the panegyric..." "Panygeric is the painting of an idealized portrait in order to excite admiration and appropriation." "Its goal is the winning of internal consent, not the imposition of conformity from the outside." (Quotations from "What Happened at Vatican Two" by Fr. John O'Malley, SJ)


And we all know how successful the Vatican II "tone" and "style of discourse" has been at convincing others to become Catholic as well as keeping Catholics in the Church.

With more "tone" and "style of discourse" like we have had lo this past half century, the Church will be gone before you know it.