If the pope says not convert people must one obey?

if the pope tells us to sin or dont try to convert people does he have to be obeyed?

No. The special blessings on the Pope do not keep him from being wrong or from offering very bad advice. They keep him from establishing such wrongs as incontrovertible teachings of the Church. Individually he is as fallible as the rest of us.


But what if the declares this (don’t try to conver people) ex-cathedra ?

Why would you listen to anyone who goes against God’s teachings?

Besides from my understanding we dont convert people, we tell the about God, about His love and the truth. People convert themselves by what they believe.


When did the Holy Father tell us this? There was another thread on this subject that made the same claim a couple of weeks ago and it was shown that he said no such thing, he told us how to convert people.


The Holy Spirit would prevent him from doing so. That’s the whole point of the doctrine of infallibility.

Yes these WHAT IF scenarios are often never going to happen… but WHAT IF?

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There is no “what if” question associated with something that cannot happen.

What if I suddenly grew two additional arms on my body and an elephant trunk on my face? I’m not going to ponder that because it cannot happen.

We cannot answer a nonsensical what ifs.


What prompts this question?

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Please link the source where you read this.

Hold that thought and ask again if he ever does it.

There was a report a few weeks ago that during a homily or an address Pope Francis said it is sinful to proselytize. Pretty much every commentator agrees that by which he meant “forced conversion”

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He NEVER said dont convert people. It’s the way we go about it that he talks about. Using force or pressure is what he speaks against.

The “what if” question is a negative doubt. We are supposed to reject negative doubt.

If we start entertaing negative doubts we quickly lose our peace of soul. That’s what the devil wants. Plus there is no way to ever resolve negative doubt. It’s an endless spiral towards despair . As soon as one doubt leaves another takes its place.

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Yes, True! Exactly like I said on another thread … I need to see the great log in my eye before I notice the splinter in my brother’s eye… :slight_smile:

A Christian group I’m a part of on Facebook blew up about this. Of course, this sort of thing is exactly what fundamentalists long to hear from the Pope, so it might be too good to be true. I think Patheos posted the entire quote of his, where our Holy Father contrasted proselytism from discipleship, in which we live our lives according to the gospel in order to attract others (and he seems to believe that proselytism, on the other hand, pushes people away- and I would consider “street preachers” to be an example in favor of this).

Maybe the problem is using an Italian word and putting it into an similar looking English word (proselitismo to proselytizing or some such). Perhaps the Italian has more forceful connotations. I have never associated proselytize with force. Just with people doing things like making invitations or sharing their story or giving out brochures. But perhaps he means just those very things. That seems unlikely, though, since the translation I read from his December remarks sounds like he mentions pressuring people. Pressuring people would be a poor way to nurture faith in people.


The term was, at one point, synonymous with evangelization in most languages. But most Christian theologians nowadays distinguish between the two, with evangelization as the free witness of the Gospel and proselytism as the opposite.

I’ve also noted the tendency in some contexts (like Orthodox-Catholic dialogue) for proselytism to essentially mean “sheep stealing”, that is, attempting to convert baptized Christian’s from one community to another.

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That would cause some serious wardrobe problems.


…which isn’t the common English definition, hence the confusion.

Follow what Jesus said -

“18. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19. Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20. and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.’”
[Matthew, 28](

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