Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

So is political proselytism OK, your Holiness?

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Sep 27, 2019

Here’s what Pope Francis did NOT say, speaking to a group of Jesuits in Mozambique:

Today I felt a certain bitterness after a meeting with young people. A woman approached me with a young man and a young woman. I was told they were part of a slightly leftist movement. She said to me in perfect Spanish: “Your Holiness, I am from South Africa. This boy was an oil-company executive and converted to environmentalism. This girl was a conservative Republican and is now against the death penalty.” But she told me in a triumphant way, as though she was showing off a hunting trophy. I felt uncomfortable and said to her, “Madam, evangelization yes, proselytism no.”

(The words in italics have been changed; the rest comes verbatim from the Civilta Cattolica account.)

When the Pope speaks out on political topics, I doubt he would object to someone who instantly accepted his guidance. Why is he so suspicious of religious conversions, when hungry souls rush in to Christ’s banquet?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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