Really "proselytizing is a solemn nonsense ', as said the Holy Father Francis? A few things to clear up “proselytism” and “Ecumenism”

REALLY THE "THE PROSELYTISM IS A SOLEMN TRIFLE" AS TOLD THE HOLY FATHER? SOME THINGS TO CLARIFY “PROSELYTIZING” ED “Ecumenism”

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In an interview in 2013 the Supreme Pontiff Francis said: "Proselytism is a solemn nonsense ' [cf. WHO]. Some Catholics accused the Successor of Peter to demolish the Catholic doctrine and to contradict the Gospel precept that commands: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, whoever does not believe will be condemned " [MC 16, 15-16]». Today, the same are relaunching these accusations while the Pope is about to travel to Sweden to participate in the celebration of 500 years of psuedo “reform” Lutheran …

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Authors:

Author John Cavalcoli OP
John Cavalcoli, OP
Author Father Ariel
Ariel S. Levi Gualdo

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Francesco gives goblet Lutherans
Pope Francis visits the Lutheran Community of Rome

In an interview in 2013 the Supreme Pontiff Francis said: "Proselytism is a solemn nonsense ' [cf. WHO]. Some Catholics accused the Successor of Peter to demolish the Catholic doctrine and to contradict the Gospel precept that commands: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, whoever does not believe will be condemned " [1]. Today, the same are relaunching these accusations while the Pope is about to travel to Sweden to participate in the celebration of 500 years of psuedo “reform” Lutheran; a visit that perhaps could also avoid, because nothing we Catholics have to celebrate before all'eresiarca Luther. The Vicar of Christ on earth does not need some of our Office defenses, But it is worth remembering that the proselytism, in its negative sense, He has not been convicted only by the Holy Father Francis, but by Jesus Christ Himself: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!, For you cross land and sea to make one proselyte, and, ottenutolo, ye make him a son of hell worse than you!» [2].

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Francis Pope Synod
Pope Francis during his opening address to the Italian Bishops

Several times the Holy Father Francis defined proselytism as contrary to ecumenism, perhaps explaining the troubles which in itself can create proselytism. Then we proceed to clarify, from the same term that could be misunderstood by those who do not first know the etymological root of the words. It derives from "proselyte", the greek Proselyte, lemma used in the New Testament to indicate the "converted", verbatim: He-who-is-approached [3]. The origin of the word has nothing derogatory or inappropriate. In "proselytism" originally simply means "proselytizing", which it is obviously a good work. Except that Christ already shows a completely wrong way to make converts:

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"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!, For you cross land and sea to make one proselyte, and, ottenutolo, ye make him a son of hell worse than you!» [4].

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Hence the negative sense of proselytism. so be careful about how we proclaim the Gospel, how we encourage people to repent and to come closer to Christ and the Church, by what means, by what method, with what feelings, for what purpose. We must also ask ourselves: is the true Gospel that we proclaim, or ideas are picked up on by impostors of trendy theology? The work of evangelization, We follow the signs that come from the Church or act to attract the sympathy of the world? In this work we want to state our ideas and attract disciples we applaud, or teach humbly and courageously what the Church teaches accepting suffering and adversities? We are moved by the authentic spirit of service and compassion for sinners, or simply by the desire to impose on others with our doctrinal novelties?

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francis the synod
Pope Francis during his opening address to the Synod on the Family

The tip does not proselytize on persuasion, but on the suggestion, It does not provide signs of credibility, but playing on sentiment, does not show things difficult, but only the comforts. It does not demonstrate the reasonableness of believing, but it stimulates the emotions, hides one hand the defects of their co-religionists, and exaggerates their quality, while on the other denigrates religion counterparty. Use dishonest means to convince, or exerts undue pressure, prospecting perhaps nonexistent benefits. It is silent on the difficulties of religion that proposes and tickles his passions, It does not stimulate the responsibility, but creates plagiarized persons. No form of free people, but creates, as in the case of Islamists, of lemmings and fanatics, ready if necessary to kill those who do not accept the forced conversion, unaware that the gift of freedom and free will is contained in the mystery of man's creation, to whom God has always offered during the whole of Revelation Mystery, You never have imposed, much less with violence.

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Proselytism is contrary to ecumenism not because proselytism wants to persuade the other party of the goodness of the values ​​that the proposed, This is also in ecumenism; nor because the proselytizing does convince the separated brother to enter the Catholic Church - even though this rather the ultimate goal of ecumenism -, but because the proselytizing refuses to admit that the other party retains certain values ​​of Catholicism, or because they do not want to admit certain historical errors of the Church, or because the proselytizing is his brother with contempt or arrogance. proselytism, therefore, It is an excess of zeal, the very uno sleale, by its bitter and aggressive nature in doing a work in itself important and doverosissima: evangelization. It has no reason and supernatural purpose and is based on methods and purposes merely human, unclean or dishonest, sometimes only nationalistic, political or power. It is a job in itself good, but performed poorly, so that you get results illusory or counterproductive: or brother is deceived, or embracing Catholicism of bogus foundations, or embracing a false Catholicism. In these cases the "converts" are not true converts, but people who pretend to believe in order to obtain temporal advantages, or not to be persecuted or marginalized.

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Pope Francis dialogue
Pope Francis during a catechesis

The Second Vatican Council teaches at No.. 3 of Bond : "To the only body of Christ on earth" - the Catholic Church - "they should be fully incorporated who already belong in any way to the People of God", ie non-Catholic Christians, belonging to "not small communities, who became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church ". So they must rejoin the Catholic Church. these communities, although sometimes the "deficiencies" serious - heresies - that "constitute impediments to the full ecclesiastical communion", however maintain "a certain communion, though imperfect, with the Catholic Church ". In fact, they, though "not enjoy that unity, that Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who have regenerated and made alive together for one body and a new life ", However "they retain some elements and even many and reported" - dogmas -, "By which the Catholic Church itself is built up and vivified. All these things come from Christ and lead to Him, that they belong to the one Church of Christ ", that is the Catholic Church, which he possesses "the fullness of grace and truth", that "only by means of the Catholic Church of Christ, which it is the universal help toward salvation, you can get all the fullness of the means of salvation ". However, "the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using these communities as means of salvation", useful tools but not sufficient.

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The non-Catholic communities therefore possess some means of salvation and why, for them all, They must enter the Catholic Church, which alone possesses the fullness of the means of salvation.

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Pope thoughtfully francis
Pope Francis during a general audience

From this it appears that the Council document, although there are divisions among Christians, this does not mean that the Catholic Church is divided against itself, or that the current conflict between the Catholic Church and other churches will be resolved in the union of all in a supposed "Church" broader and higher, that embraces all, because this is false ecumenism. This supposed "Church", supreme and superior to the Catholic Church, does not exist, because the Church, the only one founded by Christ, is none other than the Roman Catholic Church, one and indivisible, therefore, in this sense, a Catholic Church separated from the others or herself, that should merge with others in a super-Church, It never existed, nor ever will exist.

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The non-existence of Christian communities separated from Rome It is not a sign that the Church's unity is broken, that the Church is as it were "shattered", to which the parties or the Church pieces - the various Churches - should be led back to unity, in the likeness of a vase, that it must be reconstructed by bringing together between them the pieces, why things, as it is also apparent from the n. 3 of this document, not the case. The image that instead it suggests - "came off" - is that of the branch that is detached from the vine [5]. The phenomenon of non-Catholic community is not the sign that the screw is torn, is not a sign that it is, as it were, went into shreds: it is obvious that in these conditions the screw may not even live, but it presupposes a very much alive and strong lives, from which They came off the branches. An account is in fact the separation between A and B and an account is the separation of A from B. The phenomenon of the dissident community is of the second type and not the first. Are the branches that can not live without the screw, not vice versa. And if the community separated brethren They are still living, it means that you are not totally detached, but they retain a certain union with the screw. It is that what the Council wishes, when he says that the dissident communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church.

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Francis with his finger raised
Pope Francis during the greetings in St. Peter's Square

But there are also false ecumenicalists they say: we should not put it so tragically. This is not torn or anything like that. The so-called "separate community" from Rome are not really separate, but simply "different". Now, diversity is an asset, It is not a defect. Therefore should not be removed, but respected and promoted. For this, Rome, It can not expect that all other communities are equal to itself. It is therefore, according to their, a positive phenomenon, a phenomenon of pluralism and diversity, of different ways, equally legitimate, to live the Gospel and to be Christians. Hence the "many faiths" and the prevailing interest for diversity at the expense of the truth, as one who appreciated the sufferer because it is "different" from the healthy. They conceive of faith as if it were an opinion: as there are many opinions, so there are "many faiths". But faith is the truth and the truth as adherence to the object is a single. If Jesus is God, deny that Jesus is God is not a different faith, but it is a false faith. If God is Triune, deny that God is Triune is not a different faith, It is a falsehood and so on. But there are many truths of faith, in the sense that there are many dogmas; but for each of them it gives only one interpretation, that given by the Church, outside of which there are no other.

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They conceive the unity and pluralism of the Church on the model of the Swiss Confederation: no one flock with one shepherd, but a federation of folds in a college of pastors. But if Jesus speaks here about the future - "become" - it did not mean that the unity of the Church under him is an eschatological goal, but simply referred to the fact that the time Jesus was calling, She was collecting the sheep - "I have other sheep" - because it was the time of the formation of the Church. but it, to St. Paul's day is already formed, It is already "one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism " [6], even if it is like an organic body with many different functions under one head, Christ, whose Vicar on earth is Peter [7].

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General Audience of Pope Francis
Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square

How the Council presents ecumenism, Instead we see how false those conceptions that ecumenism would like to introduce as an interpretation of the doctrine of the Council and would like to call "proselytism" just what the council instead prescribes. This false interpretation, indeed, ecumenism demands that it means simply taking note of the positions of the separated brother in the idea that they simply reflect a "different" way of salvation, that must be respected in its diversity, so the presence in those positions is lost sight, of errors that need to be refuted and then you neglect to open the entrance to his brother in the Catholic Church.

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Vice by default in the field of ecumenism, typical of modernism, It is given by the negligence, effect in turn indifference and relativism, which it is a false ecumenism. The false ecumenist confuses the value of truth with that of diversity. The modernist ecumenist not care objectivity and universality of truth in its absolute opposition to the false, but be careful only to diversity and makes it an absolute, an idol, which sacrifices the distinction between true and false, reducing everything to the subjective, all'opinabile and "different". For him, one who has fallen into heresy, It is not the victim of false, but it is simply a "different", as well as simply a Franciscan is different from a Dominican. The separated brother It should therefore not be correct, but he left in his idea, as well as to any Dominican we can think of to say to a Franciscan who to save himself must be a Dominican, although the Thomists do not always agree with Scotists.

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Today, with the excuse of ecumenism, pluralism and freedom of thought, We do not notice the endangered brothers, of those who live "in darkness and the shadow of death", so nothing is done to save them. He responds to God asking his brother account: "Am I my brother's keeper"? [8]. Here then per slack, negligence, skepticism, fear, opportunism or acquiescence to sin, It does not understand or will not understand that admonish the sinner in a correct manner and at the right time is not a fight, a convict, a bother him or violence, is not one tear to his right beliefs, but it is to be a caring doctor who provides care, is a work of mercy.

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Pope chrism
Pope Francis during the Chrism Mass

Another misconception of ecumenism It is one that conceives it as a simple "meet halfway" between Catholics and non-Catholics, as if the one and the other part were to leave something to meet the other. Now this may be true and proper to the human level and charity, but not in relation to the demands of the truth, which they are those that most characterize Ecumenism. Indeed, to stop the only relationship with the Lutherans, which it is the greatest problem of ecumenism, these brothers must realize that it is not Rome that must allow correct Luther, but it is they who must leave correct from Rome. So Rome can and should meet them in charity, but the path of truth They must do everything their way to Rome, waiting for them with open arms, we certainly can not be the ones to go to celebrate Luther, as if he had really been a reformer.

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Another form of ecumenism wrong is to those Catholics who, on the basis of their studies they consider more advanced, They allow themselves to be accused of injustice and excessive severity convictions against Luther uttered by Pope Leo X and the Council of Trent, as if the Church has not noticed that on certain issues it considered heretics Lutherans, he was not a heretic, but Catholic. Now, if such judgment may be worth against certain opponents of Luther passionate, hasty, indeed unjust and overly strict, that they have misunderstood some of his intentions and positions, This judgment is completely senseless and gravely insulting and presumptuous, when referring to the interventions made by the Church, especially by scholars who call themselves Catholics, who forget that the Church, if it is infallible in teaching us the truth of faith, It is infallible also in directing what is contrary.

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Pope Francis
Pope Francis during his address to members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See

True ecumenism It is framed with all its consequent difficulties in the broader evangelization accomplished in charity, justice and mercy. Therefore, it takes some evangelical paradigms, as the following: it is headed first to the parables of the prodigal son and his lost sheep, without forgetting the parable of the king who gave a wedding feast for his son and sends his servants to call those invited to the wedding [9]. The Catholic Church is this banquet and the guests are separated brethren. We know that many of them do not feel at all prodigals the lost sheep, but the great theologians and biblical scholars. And they do not see in the Catholic Church no banquet, but only bleak and food gone bad, or at least one of those meetings where student to be able to eat you have to bring along their own. But that means then that initial and indispensable task of ecumenism is that Catholics do understand these brothers, with all charity, skill and patience, in need of conversion and that the light of the world are not theirs, but the light comes from Rome.

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Blessed Pope Pius IX, imminence of the Second Vatican Council's call, He wrote the Apostolic Letter Now you all [10] Protestants to invite them to join the Roman Church. A similar initiative also took the Venerable Pope Pius XII in the Encyclical mystical body [11] of 1943. Unfortunately the response was very weak. In the meantime there were frequent ecumenical meetings between non-Catholics, but the Papacy, at the moment, was not conducive to that they will participate Catholics too, for fear that it could somehow spread the idea among the dissidents that Rome had given up his primacy. Meanwhile, however, he was growing among many Christians, Catholics and non-Catholics, perhaps as a reaction to the horrors of the recent World War, the desire to gather together in the common values. It so happened that the Second Vatican Council went to meet this desire with the Decree on Ecumenism, in which, however, it is stressed very clearly the value of papal primacy and the Catholic Church itself.

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francis and bishops
Pope Francis with some members of the Italian Episcopal Conference in San Pietro

Ecumenical activities belong to all Christians desirous of unity and communion, but it is clear that the Supreme Pontiff, as the Vicar of Christ, common father of all Christians, beginning, ensures, guardian and promoter of unity of all the sons of God, It can not help but feel supremely desire that all the disciples of Christ is currently separated or dissidents enter fully into the Church founded by him and not feel involved in the first person to operate all we can for this purpose. The frequent visits that the Popes by the end of the Council are in their travels to separated brethren, express and embody the hope of all Catholics that these brothers, as the Council says, 'Be fully incorporated "to the Catholic Church.

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Ecumenism theologians of both parties play an important role in the clarification and proposed solutions always open disputes. Catholic theologians operate effectively against the non-Catholic party showing the points of Catholic doctrine absent in their theology, while addressing the objections against Catholicism. But it is clear that the points that most concern the Doctrine of the Faith, only the Roman Pontiff can have the last word, for ribadirli, or to clarify them or to correct or to address concerns. These points engage the faith and not simply theology, They can then be treated with definitive authority only by the Supreme Pontiff.

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francis-ball-001
Pope Francis during the launch of a baseball

The separated brother, therefore, It is not simply a "different" to respect and leave as is, to "let free", as some say, because this is a convenient excuse for shirking their responsibilities. The separated brother It is an erring brother, in good or bad faith, which it is in danger of being lost, so it should be helped, warned and corrected, always naturally that you leave correct. Certain, to rebuke or expose the superb it is just to pull him his hatred with the result that the face of more and worse. A Jesus himself was costly rebuke the Pharisees, but on the other hand, we should not follow his example? And they did not do so all the saints? What is the saint who has not pulled on him the hatred of the world and false brothers? Who does not care about the sinner and not reproaches, being able to do it, She says she loves him, but really he hates him and himself. Do not forget that even the reproach made in a correct manner is charity, this is also ecumenism. It is not only the charity Mercy, but also the severity.

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Ecumenism has two purposes. It has as its immediate end and more specifically to do so, through dialogue and a joint search, that all Christians are found together in the sharing of the same fundamental truths, that were common to all, even after breakage. Must here know each other better, with greater benevolence and with a historical-critical method more effective than that of the past, dispel some misconceptions or correct some errors in interpretation of the past., illustrate common truth.

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Francis Pope Holy Door-001
Pope Francis at the opening of the Holy Door at St. Peter's

This being together in the same truth, It is already a great achievement, It is a high and beautiful destination, source of harmony and peace; but, It is not an end in itself, there is still some way to go, because it is only the basis for the continuation of a fruitful and constructive dialogue, whose goal further to put on the table frankly, objectivity, serenity and hope the controversial points. It is at this point that we need more than ever to invoke the Holy Spirit. This is the most difficult point, where dialogue today is jammed and was sometimes even falsified. We must have the courage to go beyond, toward the final goal. Indeed, while Catholics make too much respect, They seem intimidated, without taking apostolic initiatives in front of the rigid positions and exhibitions of non-Catholics, the latter - we think especially the Protestants - theologians seem rather have tacitly or explicitly made a wicked pact, one dangerous liaison, with modernist theologians, in order to penetrate the Protestant ideas among Catholics, in a subtle form and masked, under color of "progressivism", so that Catholics become Protestants in fact without realizing and believing that they remain Catholic, thereby giving rise to a colossal falsification of ecumenism.

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Let's take an example of this deadlock in which clearly it appears the resistance of the dissidents and the weakness of the arguments and took the position of Catholics, which often, instead of supporting the papal authority with good reason, refuting the Protestant positions, showing little respect for the Pontifical Authority or despising the post-conciliar exercise, as do the Lefebvrians; or weakening its doctrinal strength, like the modernists. But here is an example: truth of faith accepted by all Christians is that Christ is the head of the Celestial Church, but, outside of Catholics, all others believe to be the truth of faith that Christ's earthly governments Church by means of a Vicar established by him, ie the Supreme Pontiff, Successor of Peter, as the visible head of all Christians on this earth, but the government in person through the Holy Spirit.

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Pope signature
Pope Francis during the signing of the Post-Synodal Exhortation The joy of love

The idea of ​​the Roman Pontiff as head of the Church and representative of Christ on earth, the eyes of non-Catholics would be a human invention, an injustice in Rome, desire to dominate, longing of the Roman Empire, misleading and dangerous, because the Supreme Pontiff, that man is fallible like everyone else, instead lead us to Christ, could stand against Him. The Supreme Pontiff, at maximum, It will be the Bishop of Rome, or a bishop like everyone else, Peter's successor just because Peter was bishop in Rome, but he can not claim to be the Bishop of the Universal Church. For them, Christ, He would not want to be his Vicar visible head, but the earthly Church would be well enough organized as a set of communities united under the leadership of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Such as infallible guides of these? would this, according to their, the true will of Christ. Here's an important issue, about which we Catholics are called to give evidence and to show separated brethren, with all charity and wisdom, but also with sure competence and unswerving firmness and clarity, the way to get closer to Rome and, as the Council says, for you to, under the prompting of the Holy Spirit, 'They are fully incorporated "in the Church. We do not have to, on a point like this, resign ourselves to their unbelief, or give them the impression that we give them reason, or we are going to celebrate, instead of correcting them.

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Ecumenism also involves two levels of implementation. They are the doctrinal and charitable, which will involve and support each other. It is based on the first to move to the second. The second one, however, It is of immediate and easy implementation, while the first, at least in its final fullness, It is very difficult to achieve and has not yet been fully achieved. The doctrinal level is the most specific, and is nothing more than an application of the general duty of evangelization in the field of the relations of Catholics with non-Catholic Christians. the evangelization, in general, It is the proclamation of the Gospel, by means of which, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we lead the world to obey Christ.

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Pope and ciotti
the Holy Father Francis in bad company

With l'ecumenism, Catholics, based on the common acceptance, together with separated brethren, of those truths of faith that we have in common with them, we work so that they, freed from "impediments" and those "deficiencies", which act as obstacles to their taking the "fullness of that truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church" can, under the prompting of the Holy Spirit, be "fully incorporated" in the Catholic Church [12].

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the Catholic, in the exercise of this delicate appearance or level of ecumenism, It must be very careful to distinguish the doctrine Catholic in itself, in its divine fullness, unerringly and perfectly preserved by the Magisterium of the Church, which must always be the head with total fidelity, from his personal Catholic culture, which, however pure and orthodox, It can not be infallible, for which it can, on some points, be incomplete or erroneous, without his being aware of it. For this, while a non-Catholic can not afford to correct or supplement the Catholic doctrine as such, may very well, by virtue of his knowledge of the truths of the Christian faith, correcting or instructing a Catholic, that lacks on a given point.

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The other level of ecumenism It is an application of the general virtue of charity to the specific field of ecumenism. And here it is clear that if in the Catholic doctrine will guide the non-Catholic, and will help him to correct his mistakes and to fill the gaps, as the Council teaches, in this aspect of charity is a must reciprocity, Since the Catholic as the non-Catholic does not escape the common condition of sinners, sons of Adam, with the same time of mutually complementary gifts from God, which must be put to good use for the benefit of each other. And though the Catholic in principle have more and better means of grace that no dissident, it is not inconceivable that these are more virtuous and less sinful, through increased goodwill and a better use of supernatural means at its disposal.

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Francis white
the Holy Father Francis in bad company

L'ecumenism, undoubted expression of brotherly love, It encloses its profound benefits and is a good rule of peaceful coexistence between Catholics and non-Catholics. Now, brotherly love is moving in two directions: do good and remove evil. There is therefore a charity promoter and a corrective charity. Both have their application in ecumenism. Indeed, in the promotion of good, Ecumenism encourages humility, loyalty, the Onesti, I love the truth, mutual understanding and solidarity, the shared commitment to works of justice and mercy, for the public good and human rights, for the promotion of science, arts and culture, a common Christian witness, where there are common values.

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There are two ways to remove the evil in his brother: or compassion, thanks to which we free his brother from the evil of punishment, ie from suffering, or correction or admonition, for which we free him from the evil of guilt, from sin and error. In one and in the other case, order for the operation to succeed, must the brother put us the good will. There are none so ill that does not heal and there is no greater sinner than you does not repent.

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Francesco in the chair 2
Pope Francis sat there before which all discussion must die: on his throne

In this field of charity, is the compassion that the correction should push the Catholic zeal to lead the separated brother towards the fullness of truth and of communion with the Church. the dissident, on the other hand, He must listen to the impulses of the Spirit of truth and love, that led him to abandon his mistakes and bad habits, not conform to the fullness of Christian virtue and to seek full communion with the Church.

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From the island of Patmos, 19 October 2016

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NOTE

[1] MC 16, 15-16

[2] Mt 23,15

[3] CF. Mt 23,15; At 2,11; 6,5; 8,27; 13,26; 13,43.

[4] CF. Mt 23,15.

[5] CF. GV 10,16

[6] Cf Ef 4,4-5

[7] CF. RM 12, 4-8;The Cor 10,17; 12, 12-31; With the 3,15

[8] CF. There 4,9

[9] CF. Mt 22,3

[10] Denz. 2997-2999

[11] Denz. 3821-3822.

[12] CF. n. 3 Unitatis redintegratio.

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One thought on "Really "proselytizing is a solemn nonsense ', as said the Holy Father Francis? A few things to clear up “proselytism” and “Ecumenism”

  1. To want to defend at all costs you can also defend the indefensible! Why in two thousand years of missions to convert or to proselytize,with martyrs and sacrifices, today to defend a clear thought of the pope, supported by a series of acts, of words, of initiatives that should make your hair stand to you too, now all of a sudden they go to do the fleas to those who now obeys the command of the Lord, scrutinizing the intentions ( in the article all negative) to which, moreover, the pope did not refer. You tell me what's the point that you make to the faithful bewildered? Remember that the fire has devoured almost the stairs, and we all gathered on the floor and when we will collapse you too will, unless we jump on another boat, that because ” another” It will not be that of Christ! I expect a charitable response!

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