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Pope again condemns proselytism

May 29, 2023

» Continue to this story on Vatican Press Office

CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis renewed his denunciation of “proselytism,” and repeated a story about his rebuke to a woman for converting children, during a May 29 audience with members of the Barnabite order.

“Be careful to distinguish apostolic action from proselytism; we do not proselytize,” the Pope said.

The Pope recounted a story that he has told in the past, about a woman who introduced him to two young people who had entered the Catholic faith. He said: “I was angry, you know, and I said, ‘You haven’t converted anyone, you lack respect for these people: you have not accompanied them, you have proselytized, and this is not evangelizing.’”

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  • Posted by: feedback - May. 29, 2023 12:00 PM ET USA

    According to Merriam-Webster, the first known use of the word "proselytism" was in 1649. It defines "proselytize" as "to induce someone to convert to one's faith." Francis still needs to explain how exactly is that opposed to the Great Commission: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."