Evangelize or Proselytize?

Here is my article for Aleteia on the Evangelize-Proselytize question. The article affirms the necessity for love in action when it comes to Evangelization, but I will write in more detail later on the need to also positively summon men and women to be converted to Jesus Christ and to come into full communion with the Catholic Church.

One of the reasons so many Catholics of the Vatican II generation say that explicit evangelization is un necessary is because they are still living and being formed in cultures that are predominantly Catholic. In Argentina or Italy one can assume that most of the people have a residual Catholicism if not an actual history of being educated, formed and sacramentalized in the Catholic faith. So for pastors in that situation it is a case of drawing them closer to the Catholic faith they already know.

In non-Catholic countries like the United States the climate is different. People don’t understand Catholicism. More explicit evangelization is needed. In addition to the “reach out and love people” approach the gospel of Jesus Christ and his saving love also need to be shared and people need to be invited to respond with repentance and faith.

More on this in the days to come.


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