Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The USCCB on proselytism...
Proselytism, or the deliberate targeting of another Christian or group of Christians for the sole purpose of getting them to reject their church to join another, is not allowed. Some people may feel called in conscience to change from one tradition to another, but “sheep stealing” is unacceptable. USCCB
The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith does not equate proselytism with “sheep stealing,” but with coercion. In its 2007 Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization, the Congregation teaches:
The term proselytism originated in the context of Judaism, in which the term proselyte referred to someone who, coming from the gentiles, had passed into the Chosen People. So too, in the Christian context, the term proselytism was often used as a synonym for missionary activity. More recently, however, the term has taken on a negative connotation, to mean the promotion of a religion by using means, and for motives, contrary to the spirit of the Gospel; that is, which do not safeguard the freedom and dignity of the human person. It is in this sense that the term proselytism is understood in the context of the ecumenical movement. - Catholic Culture