Monday, April 27, 2015

Seeking converts is solemn nonsense? The Council implicitly taught so.

Our Lord emphatically used the active verb “preach;”  he did not call for some kind of passive evangelization, yet this is what our recent Popes have embraced.

"Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us."

"The Church does not engage in proselytism. Instead, she grows by “attraction”:
On the other hand, this unity [of all Christians] does not mean what could be called ecumenism of the return: that is, to deny and to reject one's own faith history. Absolutely not!”

courtesy of

Vatican II scrupulously avoided language such as “a return to Peter's fold.”

As explained by Cardinal Avery Dulles, “the Council implicitly taught that the united church of the future” will not result from the submission of other churches to Roman Catholicism. 

“Vatican II . . . distanced itself in two important aspects from the type of Catholic ecumenism now described [that is, the effort to bring other churches and communities to the obedience of Rome]. First, it linked the concept of union to that of reform. Scrupulously avoiding language such as a 'return to Peter's fold,' the Council recognized that in its present form, Catholicism suffers deficiencies in behavior, ecclesiastical discipline and even the formulation of doctrine, and that, therefore, the Catholic Church, as a human and earthly institution, needs a continual reformation.

“Second, Vatican II recognized that the life and truth of Christ are acting in other communities and that, consequently, these should not consider abandoning anything that the grace of the Holy Spirit has wrought in their hearts. On the basis of these two principles, one may sustain that the Council implicitly taught that the united church of the future will not emerge from the submission of the other churches and their absorption by Roman Catholicism.

“The longed for Una Sancta can be a joint creation that simultaneously completes and transforms all the churches that rejoin it. The Catholic Church, without dissolving herself in any way, would modify herself by entering this more encompassing unity.”

American Cardinal Avery Dulles (1918-2008), “Ecumenismo: problemi e possibilita per il futuro,” quoted on page 303, in Will He Find Faith? (Inveniet Fidem?), by Atila Sinke Guimarães.

Posted 04/27/2015 by Frank Rega,


  1. The poor old Council. But it *does* teach that all men are called to join Catholic unity, in communion with the Successor of Peter, and, that if one is sufficiently enlightened, and refuses to join the Church, he cannot be saved.

    1. " Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it. (CCC 846)" However, it seems that our last two popes are soft on this issue, as quoted at the beginning of the blog article. Protestants are not called to return to the Catholic Faith?