“Our shared commitment to proclaiming the Gospel enables us to overcome proselytism and competition in all their forms,” Francis said. “All of us are at the service of the one Gospel!”
Although Francis has repeatedly called on Christians to invite others to the faith, he has also condemned “proselytism” on multiple occasions, by which he means coercive or aggressive missionary techniques.
The pope said that by answering the call to spread the Gospel, different Christian denominations will find a privileged setting for greater cooperation.
Christian unity, Francis said, won’t be achieved by subtle theoretical discussions in which each party tries to convince the other of the soundness of their opinions.
“To understand one another, and to grow in charity and truth, we need to pause, to accept and listen to one another. In this way, we already begin to experience unity,” Francis said. . . .
“A fruitful exchange of experiences,” Francis said, “can prove beneficial for the vitality of all forms of religious life.”
“To plumb the depths of the mystery of God,” said Francis on Sunday, “we need one another, we need to encounter one another, and to challenge one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who harmonizes diversities and overcomes conflicts.”
But John Allen thinks Francis is really singling out Pentecostal proselytism among Roman Catholics in South America. Even so, it’s the targeting of groups that seems to be behind the pope’s remarks:
Here’s something to think about: When Pope Francis blasts “proselytism,” he really may not be talking about, or to, Catholics at all.
In that regard, it’s important to remember that Francis’ primary frame of reference is as a Latin American pastor. There’s no part of the world that’s seen more organized and aggressive campaigns of proselytism in the last quarter-century or so, and for the most part Catholics have not been the architects of those efforts.
Instead, they’ve been more akin to the targets.
Arguably the most dramatic religious realignment of the late 20th century was the transition in Latin America from an almost homogeneously Catholic continent to a flourishing spiritual free market, with Evangelicals and Pentecostals posting massive gains.
Does make you wonder, though, if Francis knew about CtC would he be pleased? So the good news for us is that Jason and the Callers aren’t even on the pope’s global map. The bad news for them is that they’re out of sink with the officer who gives them the superior paradigm. Audacious. The pope doesn’t even care about them.
Word of advice to Jason and the Callers: indiscriminate Protestants prefer alliances to communion:
A high-profile alliance of conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants is set to issue a sweeping manifesto against gay marriage that calls same-sex unions “a graver threat” than divorce or cohabitation, one that will lead to a moral dystopia in America and the persecution of traditional believers.
“If the truth about marriage can be displaced by social and political pressure operating through the law, other truths can be set aside as well,” say the nearly 50 signers of the statement, which is to be published in the March edition of the conservative journal First Things.