Do Catholics teach that the world must be made Christian?

I’ve been reading the Catholic Missal and found this:

The world in which I work must be made Christian. For that task I must work; at Mass I pledge myself to achieving that task- p.100 Catholic Missal

One of the things I’ve heard again and again over the years is that the catholic church is not a gospel preaching evangelical church. One of my observations is that I’ve not seen catholics out there preaching.

Yet I found the above quote in the Catholic Missal.

Question:

**Do Catholics teach that the world must be made christian? **

It says so in the bible to do so and I was wondering if the catholic church really believes this?

There’s more than one way to preach. One is in your face challenge to believe–a method most Catholics don’t employ, it’s true. The other is to live one’s life in a Christ-like manner, doing right, being holy, and helping those in need. We believe in leading by example more than the spoken word, although we do speak when asked, but we don’t push our faith onto those not disposed to receive it because doing so can do more damage than good. So, we do believe in making the world Christian, by our witness in the way we live our lives and conform to God’s will for us.

It’s not a worldwide trend, but Catholicism in the US has a pretty feeble and unimpressive track record of evangelizing (at least among the laity). I was 22-years-old before I ever heard the word “Eucharist”, and that was only because some guy mentioned it on a bodybuilding forum in a miscellaneous thread. I thought it was a shiny cross or something. The US was traditionally a strongly predominately protestant nation, and not only protestant, but aggressively protestant (as opposed to the more stale & lethargic state protestant churches you would have found in Europe in the 19th/20th century), and this meant a lot of Catholic immigrants hunkering down and adopting a siege mentality in their faith. There was/is a spirit of timidity in the Church. That’s not as true as it once was, but you can still see it in effect today. A strong motive for the spreading of Catholic schools in the first place was for Catholics to shield their children from the thick protestant atmosphere of the country. But yes, evangelization is one of the central missions of the Church. You can see this with its strong & consistent growth in Africa & Asia. Very exciting things are happening there.

My neighbor’s son goes to a Catholic college and went to 12 years of catholic school. I just saw him outside and talked to him a bit. He got straight A grades including religion.

Since I just learned about persona Christi I asked him about it. He said he never heard of it. I asked him if they taught him about it in Catholic school religion classes. He said no.

How could something so important and central to Catholicism not be taught and emphasized in its own schools? I mean the connection between the martyrs, the priest, and the new covenant is one of the key reasons for my interest in catholicism.

Every time I think I’m close to understanding the catholic church, it seems I just hit another brick wall.

How effective is street preaching in a secular world? The point of evangelisation is not to make the preacher feel good about the fact that he’s out there preaching. The reality is that most non-believers will simply walk on by and think, “Bible-bashing nutter”. So what’s the point?

There are better ways of evangelising in our world today than staning on street corners preaching. Evangelisation through witness is far more powerful. Through setting an example in how we live our lives, we can have a more powerful effect, and we avoid the hurdle of having the people we want to evangelise thinking, “Religious nutter”.

In my opinion, evangelisation is best done in a quiet way as we mix amongst our non-believer friends and work colleagues, trying to live our lives as Christ would want us to, trying to set an example for others, and by being open about our faith without trying to shove down the throats of others.

My neighbor’s son goes to a Catholic college and went to 12 years of catholic school. I just saw him outside and talked to him a bit. He got straight A grades including religion.

Since I just learned about persona Christi I asked him about it. He said he never heard of it. I asked him if they taught him about it in Catholic school religion classes. He said no.

How could something so important and central to Catholicism not be taught and emphasized in its own schools? I mean the connection between the martyrs, the priest, and the new covenant is one of the key reasons for my interest in catholicism.

Every time I think I’m close to understanding the catholic church, it seems I just hit another brick wall.

I’m not a cradle Catholic by the way (I’m going through the process this year), so that partially explains why I didn’t hear of it, but the point I’m demonstrating is that went through 22 years of my life before I ever heard of perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic that separated Catholics from the reformist churches, and even when I did hear about it, it was by accident. Never a flier. Never a Catholic Bible. Never a peep from any of my Catholic buddies in school. Nothing. I had encountered plenty of stuff from other Christians.

And this isn’t just a coincidence in my own life. Catholicism in the US in general simply hasn’t performed well with this against the outnumbering wave of competing denominations. Its existence has been mostly survivalist. If you’re curious about the faith, you just need to set that aside and study what the Magisterium teaches. Hopefully you will be satisfied with what you find.

Being a Catholic is about having faith in Christ, it is not necessary for a Catholic to have an in-depth knowledge of the all ins and outs of doctrine, or being able to quote chapter and verse. It’s not an intellectual pursuit, it’s about having faith in Our Lord and bening obedient to the Church He established on Earth.

I am not sure what happened in Catholic schools in the US because I know so many people who went to Catholic school in the 1990s and into the 2000s who knew nothing about the faith. I had one friend at Notre Dame claim that since Jesus was wrong about the end times He could be wrong on other things like abortion and she was taught this in school.

I disagree. I just discovered the greatest most amazing find of my life! The holy sacrifice of the Mass! It is the rite of martyrdom of the self through the consecrated vow of the priest which unites him to the New Covenant of Jesus Christ!

The congregation unites to the Mass through the offering of oneself in the day to day works and affairs of life.

I now find at least some Catholics never heard of this view of the Mass, the priest, the martyrs. This is the most powerful thing I’ve ever read in my life. It ties together the sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary with the last supper, the apostles martyrdom, the early church martyrdom, monasticism, the rule of monks, the vows of priests, and explains the way the believers tied themselves to the way of the cross.

From the Catholic Missal:

Quote:
My daily work in the world is a continuation of the offering made to God at the altar during Mass - p.47 Catholic Missal
Quote:
The suffering and fatigue of my daily work have been offered to God in the Mass offertory - p.61 Catholic Missal
Quote:
At Mass I give my life to God in union with Christ. I give, too my daily tasks, my occupation - p.74 Catholic Missal
Quote:
Joined to Christ, as a member of His Mystical Body I give meaning to my act of love at Mass, by bringing truth’s light to others - p.87 Catholic Missal
Quote:
The world in which I work must be made Christian. For that task I must work; at Mass I pledge myself to achieving that task- p.100 Catholic Missal

As I said earlier, being a Catholic is not an intellectual pursuit. You do not need to know all the ins and outs of doctrine in order to be a Catholic. Faith in Our Lord and obedience to the Church He set up on Earth are all that are required.

Well I can definitely relate to that!

I just meant to say you’ve got the greatest treasure! It has to be shared with everyone in the world!

Yes we have, but how many people would listen if we stood on a street corner preaching this to a secular world of non-believers who are at best apathetic and often hostile? It might make us feel good doing this, but I doubt many non-believers would even stop to listen. Evagelisation through witness is much more powerful, in my opinion.

I respectfully disagree. In Matt 28:19-20 * "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”*

Although it is also important to be Christ like in our daily living, we can’t stick our heads in the sand and do nothing. As far as the comment ‘but we don’t push our faith onto those not disposed to receive it because doing so can do more damage than good.’ How can we damage someone who’s already damaged and needs the message? Kind of sounds like an excuse rather than just saying “I don’t want to do it”.

But I realize that going out into all the world doesn’t fit everyone. We are all one body of Christ and we all have different parts. So I’m not putting your answer down, just adding to it. Thanks.

Yes, He did say this, but he didn’t specify that this must be done by standing in the street and preaching. What is important is that we make disciples, not the manner in which this is done.

In the secular world we live in, evangelisation by witness is far more powerful as it is readily received and less likely to be ignored. In order to engage and evangelise an unbeliever we must find a position of common ground upon which to build. If we stand and preach the Bible to an atheist, there is no common ground and the atheist will simply walk away.

Paul spoke to this, as he wrote to the Corinthians. Each of us has a different role, given us by God, in the faith:

1 Corinthians 12:27-31
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

Yet, the Catholic Church has embarked on a time of “New Evangelization” in which each of us is being called to action. Street preaching can be a part of this. Some go door to door to counter the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Some Franciscan Friars in England took our Lord to the streets.

Sadly, the greatest job we face is evangelizing those who are already Catholic. As much as we lament the teaching failings of the Church in the recent past, it does no good to complain without taking action. Of course, this means mission to the rest of the world and outreach to those non-Catholic Christians, as well.

I don’t know what the OP’s missal is or anything about it but “the world must be made Christian” is not right. We are to share the good news, not “make” the world Christian. Jesus never forced anyone to do anything.

-Tim-

I could not disagree more. It is essential that every person who calls himself a Catholic know why he is a Catholic. What does ‘having faith in Christ’ mean if someone calling himself a Catholic doesn’t know the rudiments of the Faith? Protestants have faith in Christ. If that’s all it takes, why are there so many denominations claiming knowledge of Christ.

The fact is, Catholic education, from kindergarten to college is pitifully inept. I blame our bishops, many of whom spend a lot of their time making themselves feel important while ignoring a principle facet of their job, which is to teach. When was the last time you heard a letter from your bishop, teaching one or another element of Catholic doctrine, read from the pulpit at Mass? Or even your parish priest, for that matter?

We are in at least the third generation of poor instruction in the faith. Now even the teachers are ignorant of authentic Catholic doctrine.

Again, Brendan, I must disagree. It may not be necessary for a faithful Catholic to have an intellectual approach to the faith, but Catholicism is, by far, the most intellectual of all Christian faiths. She is the Mother Church of Christianity and, as such, is the repository of all Christian truth. That involves a lot more than pray, pay and obey, which, no offence intended, seems to be your approach.

Every Catholic has an obligation to pursue as much knowledge of the faith as possible; to know why the Church teaches what she does as opposed to settling for ignorance. It is precisely ignorance of the faith which allows non-Catholics to ridicule Catholics and the Faith itself.

Hello Amos,
Historically, the Catholic Church taught the Faith at home, not in Church. It has always been the parent’s responsibility to teach their children about the Faith, not the Church’s.

“Sunday School” was started by Protestants, with the Catholics who could would send their children to Catholic School (which used to be taught by all nuns). As secularization of the 20th century started taking hold on western civilization, the number of nuns began to shrink. Soon, Catholic Schools were forced to hire Lay teachers.

After a while, Catholics started to do things like CCD for children who didn’t Catholic School (which today is the majority of cradle Catholics now). But CCD was never intended to replace parents teaching the Faith at home. When I took CCD years ago, Lay women taught us lessons about Christ, but not about the teachings of the Church. I had never even heard of the Catechism until I was in college (from a friend who was in the Seminary).

After the World Wars, migration from Catholic Countries like Ireland, Poland, Italy, etc stopped. Catholics in America no longer would rely on old World family/community members who were strong in the Faith. As time went on, between Protestant teachings, less and less Nuns, etc. the quality of Catholic education at home began to erode.

Today, the US Bishops are recognizing that they much Evangelize the people and do a better job to both Evangelize and Catechize our children and adults. One of the major initiatives that Dioceses I grew up in (not where I currently live) is working on is to revamp and drastically improve the Child Faith programs.

But I think the irony in today’s parishes is the following: The very Evangelized and/or Catechized run the parish councils, etc. They are often the ones who were Catechized by their parents, and are Catechizing their children. They like the idea of teaching their Children about the faith. While the un-catechized or un-evangelized parents assume that their kids are learning the faith at CCD or in Catholic School (and what kids do learn at home is often wrong or misunderstood).

The Bishops are realizing this, and are working to fix it by using the technology that exists today (like Catholic Answers, mycatholicfaithdelivered.com, KofC Luke E. Hart Series Course and the CIS Faith Formation Course, Catholic Home Study Service, etc.) to provide much better faith training. But then the new technology takes money, and people don’t like to start paying more, especially the un-evangelized. It will also take time for a large organization like the Catholic Church to get all of these missions and services working better together in harmony.

So while I don’t know your neighbor’s son, I’m sure that the above has played a part in why he can’t answer your question.

If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me.

God Bless.

Hang on a minute. That is not** my** approach. I do keep myself reasonably well informed. I’m a Catholic teacher, am currently studying a course in Catholic theology, and have become a parish catechist. So please don’t make assumptions like that about me.

However it is my personal choice to study in that fashion, but not all Catholics are required to have an in-depth knowledge of all the ins and outs of Catholic doctrine. We all journey on our path to God in different ways. It is wrong to imply that a Catholic who does not have a deep knowledge of doctrine is somehow less of a Catholic.

If a Catholic has faith in Our Lord and is obedient to the Church, they are not under any obligation to study the doctrine of the Church in detail. If there is such a requirement, then please point me to the appropriate Canon Law that states that.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.