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Pope Francis in Morocco: no proselytism

Pope Francis urged religious communities in Morocco to practice an “ecumencism of charity,” calling for dialogue, not proselytism, in the Muslim-majority country Sunday.

“Charity, especially towards the vulnerable, is the best opportunity we have to keep working to build of a culture of encounter,” Pope Francis told the priests, religious, and seminarians gathered in Rabat Cathedral March 31.

According to Vatican News the pope pointed to the example of Saint Francis of Assisi, who “at the height of the Crusades went to encounter Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil” and Blessed Charles de Foucauld, the French missionary martyred in Algeria in 1916, who “wished to be a brother to all.”

“When the Church, in fidelity to the mission she has received from the Lord, enters into dialogue with the world and gives her message, she takes part in the advent of that fraternity whose deepest source is not in ourselves but in the fatherhood of God,” he said.

He twice warned against “proselytism,” which he said always leads to a cul-de-sac. “Being a Christian is not about adhering to a doctrine, or a temple or an ethnic group. Being Christian is about an encounter,” he said.

“We are Christians because we have been loved and encountered, and not as the result of proselytism. Being Christian is about knowing that we have been forgiven and are asked to treat others in the same way that God treated us,” Francis said.

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 19-20). 

It is hard to say whether this commandment of Jesus is about proselytism or not. But for sure it is active evangelization, it is “bringing the good news to all the nations”. 

Source and photo: Vatican News


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