Giving to Non-Catholic Missionaries

Is it appropriate for a catholic to give money to a non-catholic missionary in another country?

My brother left the church shortly after college and joined a fundamentalist church and is now a missionary in a country not the USA. He is asking for donations for his missionary work.

Ask him point blank if the money you donate is for the conversion of non-Christians, and if it will also be used to convert Catholics. If he says yes to both, tell him you will pray for his safety, but that you cannot in good conscience donate money for him to try and convert your brother-sister Catholics.

That is my 2 centavos opinion.

If it’s for non-conversion work (feeding the hungry, helping build houses, medical aid, etc) that doesn’t violate Church teaching (some people classify abortions as medical aid) I don’t see any issue. If it’s for conversion work I suggest you talk to your priest for clarification.

My own opinion is identical to that of oldcatholicguy.

I make these judgements on a case-by-case basis. Sadly, there is too much need and misery for the Catholic Church to do it all (I am counting lay and clergy alike). Since I can only donate so much, I am very picky about who I give to - be it a religious or secular cause.

Having spent 8-9 years as a member of a fundamentalist church, I would make you aware of the following:

  • Many fundamentalists believe that the Roman Catholic Church is apostate. Even those who do not hold this extreme believe generally believe that it is not a spiritually healthy place to be. This being said, it is likely that a fundamentalist evangelist would preach to as many people as possible in a given area (including Catholics) and would not hesitate to convert them to the fundamentalist Protestant position.

  • If the missionary work is being done in an area with no Catholics/Orthodox Christians, the missions work is at least introducing non-Christian people to Jesus, which places them in a better position to attain their salvation (from a Catholic perspective).

Thanks for all the replies. For some more perspective, my brother is “church planting” in an area of the world with no christians what so ever.

Let me put your question another way; Is it ok to help a heretic to spread heresy?
No! Maybe some good would come of it but I think your intention would be evil. Can we, for instance, support the spread of Islam to atheists and pagans, because Islam is closer to the truth than atheism and paganism? If you have money to spare, give it to a Catholic missionary society.

Great idea.

No. This is obviously an evil thing.

This goes both ways. Many Catholics view non-Catholics as apostate or heretics, or atleast not as good as they could be.

I would be okay supporting some Catholic mission trips, but it really depends on what the purpose of the mission trip is and where it is going. If it is to build a hospital or a school in the middle of nowhere, I’d probably give some. Building a church is a bit trickier; depends on what the target country is like. Is it some locked down country that had no Christian influence and somehow a Catholic group got a way in? I’d consider supporting it. But if it was a place with a non-Catholic mission in progress, probably not.

I wouldn’t. There are Catholic missions that are preaching the Catholic faith to those who have not needed. There are also organisations that support churches in poor areas such as India and Africa. If money is going to teaching the Christian faith, we have a duty to ensure that it is the Catholic faith that is been taught.

Whilst your brother is not attempting to convert Catholics, he is teaching people an incomplete faith and this faith will influence them in the future. It will influence them on whether or not they will be open to the fullness of truth in our Church when it does become an option for them. In the hear and now, it looks like a good thing. It’s impacts in the future are unknowable.

Better to support Catholic faith teaching.

Would you care to be more specific? There are very few places like this, where some mission hasn’t already been planted.

Where would that be?

Somewhere in the 10-40 window, I would presume. Someplace where organized religion, especially something with a visible hierarchy, is not permitted to exist by a government that uses religious coercion as a matter of habit. Somewhere that Catholic clergy are not legally permitted to go in any official capacity, but laypeople doing missionary work in the broad sense while keeping the urge to flat-out proselytize in check can go and do a lot of the things they want to do.

Does that sound about right? OP?

I would not give money to non Catholics who are trying to convert others. My experience is with a couple who were very close to me, in fact, at one time before they converted to a non denomination church, they were Episcopalian.

They asked me several times to donate money to them so they could go to other countries to evangelize people. It turns out they were trying to evangelize Orthodox and Catholics, and at one time were in an area where there were many Muslims. They would not evangelize them, only the Orthodox and Catholics. Also they only stayed for a week or two and didn’t speak the language, their guide did the talking. Actually from what she told me it seemed like a vacation rather than missionary work.

I know that there are non Catholics that do evangelize, however, it seems most are converting those who are already Christians, just that they are Catholic.

In the early Church from reading, I find that there were many Catholics who did evangelize non Christian countries and many died for their faith.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary


What was their justification for Evangelizing Catholics/Orthodox and not Muslims?

I gathered from their attitude towards me, that once they became “born again” I was no longer a Christian in their eyes. It actually completely changed our relationship.

I think they felt it was much easier to convert Catholics and Orthodox than to endanger themselves by approaching Muslims.

Also the fact that they had to approach others for financial help so that they could become “missionaries”.

Their view of a missionary and mine are very different. I believe that true missionaries live with the people for long periods of time and do more than pass out Bibles, have someone give a sermon or two and then leave the people on their own. The missionaries I know of lived among the people and stayed for years, showing them Christ’s love daily.

Of course I am speaking on one church and there were other strange doctrines they taught, that were harmful to my friend, i.e. her husband was dying and she and others prayed over him, when he did die, one of the pastors blamed her for not having enough faith and that is why he died. The main pastor is now very wealthy as it is a mega church and he and his brother (also a pastor) have not spoken in years as the one wanted to start his own church and his brother warned him to make sure the church was far away and that he not take any of his flock with him.


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