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 Proselytism 
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Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:22 pm
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New post Proselytism
Is it possible that the Novus Ordo is right in rejecting proselytism as coercive conversion against the will of a person?

I found the following in the 1899 eiditon of The Catechism Explained, Mixed Marriages, Point 3, pg. 666:

Quote:
The Catholic party is also bound to bring the non-Catholic to the knowledge of the truth, not by coercion or persuasion, for proselytizing only adds to the number of nominal Catholics, not of the loyal children of the Church, and is abhorrent to the Catholic Church, who only desires the erring to be brought to her fold of their own free will, and through full conviction. Let them be won by prayer and good example: Let the unbelieving husbands be won by the conversation of the wives (1 Pet. iii. 1).


This statement has me very confused. I thought proselytism was never viewed as coercive and forceful conversion against a person's will.


Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:05 am
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New post Re: Proselytism
Though every dictionary I consult seems to say that "proselytize" and "evangelize" are synonyms and I don't know what the actual words that are used in other languages that are translated as "proselytize", the connotation of this verb seems always to be negative. In fact, I cannot find any reference to "proselytize" that explicitly indicates that it necessarily includes or implies threats of force or promises of rewards (other than eternal rewards, of course) but in most cases it seems to me that the word "proselytize" is associated with barn storming Southern Baptist preachers giving "fire and brimstone" sermons and emotional appeals to conversion. The connotation of "proselytize", in English, seems to indicate a strictly emotional appeal rather than one based on faith and reason.

In Catholic books I've read, Protestants proselytize while Catholics evangelize. Protestants threaten evil in this world and promise rewards in this world, while Catholics give the truths of the faith. Protestants appeal to the emotions, Catholics appeal to reason. In short, though the dictionary definition of "proselytize" does not indicate force, it seems that this is the way this word is understood (at least in the United States).

Again, I don't know what the actual words are that are being translated into English as "proselytize" so I don't know if those words necessarily imply conversion by force in those other languages. If so, then, of course, they are correct in rejecting coerced conversions. But given everything they say about "dialogue", the "New Evangelization", denying the need of conversion, etc., it does not seem that Conciliar commentators are merely rejecting "forced" conversions. For them, conversion to the Catholic Faith is only acceptable when done for humanistic and social reasons--not because one believes it is True as opposed to another false "religious tradition".


Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:42 am
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New post Re: Proselytism
TKGS,

I agree with you. Consider the difference between the door-knocking heretic badgering people who would rather be minding their own business, and the immeasurably more serious - and effective - supernatural approach of the man who prays for his neighbour and constantly strives to set a good example. "Proselytism" is what the Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists do. They "sell" religion.

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Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:03 pm
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New post Re: Proselytism
John Lane wrote:
TKGS,

I agree with you. Consider the difference between the door-knocking heretic badgering people who would rather be minding their own business, and the immeasurably more serious - and effective - supernatural approach of the man who prays for his neighbour and constantly strives to set a good example. "Proselytism" is what the Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists do. They "sell" religion.


So when you're a layman, are you saying you should never go and speak to anyone? That you should never use words? Is that what this Catechism is saying?

Haven't other Popes used the word "persuasion" when speaking how people are to be converted?


Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:51 pm
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Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:53 am
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New post Re: Proselytism
That Catechism appears to use the word "proselytism" in the sense of "badgering". It also is speaking in reference to a married couple, where the Catholic is advised that kindness, virtue and the sincere practice of the faith, will do more to persuade the non-Catholic of the truth of the Catholic faith, than a constant discussion of the subject. I don't think this Catechism states the issue very clearly; as the Catholic in the marriage can also use persuasion and present to the non-Catholic the Catholic arguments in defense of one's religion. I've read several conversion stories of non-Catholics who were married to Catholics, and in most of them the non-Catholics credits their spouses for their patience, kindness, and the persuasive arguments that they employed in discussing the non-Catholic's objections.

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Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:28 pm
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New post Re: Proselytism
Don't forget our Jeho's Witnesses, they are truly the worst among the bunch. At the very least all the other ones believe in the Divinity of Jesus.

Jeho's Witnesses are the only people that preach a religion, where in potentio someone can possibly take your spot in heaven. Now why would I spread that faith around!

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:39 am
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