Is it catholic doctrine to convert protestants?


#1

Hello,

Being from Scandivavia and non-catholic this question came to me when I opened an e-mail recruiting catholics to a cruise to Northern Europe and Karl Keating gave the purpose of the cruise in finding answers to these three queastions:

**Northern Europe is not strongly Catholic today, but it once was.

  1. How did it first become Catholic?

  2. Why did it cease to be Catholic?

  3. How can it become Catholic again?"**

Catholics acknowledge protestant baptism and do not hold protestants as pagans. Can you tell me if this position of Mr Keating is in line with catholic teaching or is it his idiosyncratic way of relating to protestants?


#2

in the first place, I did not see in OP any quote of KK’s that where he claims to be teaching any Catholic doctrine or practice. I see posted 3 legitimate historical questions, which could conceivably be studied by visiting the countries in question. Whether a cruise is the best way is open to debate, but I would certainly rather be on a cruise that features some study and other activities besides eating around the clock.

It is a historical fact the Northern Europe and Scandinavia in particular used to be strongly Catholic, but is not today, and it is a legitimate area of inquiry for Catholics to investigate the reasons for that historical reality. No where in your quote or in any of the material I saw about the cruise does KK call modern Scandinavians pagans.


#3

Yes a cruise like that is a legitimate way to make history living but the question he poses for reflection, namely “How can it [Northern Europe] be catholic again?” doesn’t make sense unless he wants it to happen. My question is is this a common attitude among catholics?


#4

Funny, but I just came back from Europe and everything was Catholic. There’s a church on every corner.


#5

…and they’re all empty.


#6

The Catholic Church holds unity of Christians as one of its foremost goals. Christ himself prayed that we all would be one. The Apostles Creed and The Nicene Creed both state the Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.

At the macro level the Church strives for unity through ecumenism. The Church has successfully brought numerous schismatic groups back into the Church. The various dialogs with Anglican, Orthodox, Lutherans, and others are all with the goal of reunion.

On the individual level, of course the Church preaches the gospel and hopes that individual Christians will seek union with Rome and the Fullness of Truth.

The Church does NOT engage in the types of tactics common among evangelical protestants, however, known as “sheep stealing”.


#7

…and they’re all empty.

I’ve been to several Catholic churches in Europe and they definitely were not empty. Went inside two Protestant churches and they were empty (I was the only there)!


#8

it is definitely a priority of the Catholic Church, expressed by all recent popes and Vatican II to restore Christian unity. that can hardly be accomplished until all the baptized are restored to full communion with the Church. that mission and intention come directly from Christ’s commandment on the night before he died.


#9

It is morning here in Europe and I return to the discussion I understand from the comments that it is catholic doctrine to try to get other christian groups to return to catholicism. I see same attitude in the Catholic Cathechism - # 811 through # 838.

I posed the question because I hoped to get points that would alleviate this attitude of superiority or make it somehow more understandable because I find it unnecessary and some wordings outright childish. F.ex. # 838 of the Cathechism: " Union with the orthodox churches is so deep, that they lack little from the fullness which justifies eucharistic communion with them". As if some kind of perfection is prerequisite for commmunion. Is there more un-christian thought? Jesus ate with sinners (and gave the orders for eucharist and shared it with Judas!) and came to save them. Nobody is perfect. We live in imperfect, sin-laden world, the churches included. Unity of the church is based more on new birth, Holy Spirit and cardinal beliefs, not details of doctrine,


#10

Good Morning. Since we don’t know what his answer to the 3rd question is (How can it become Catholic again?), it’s impossible to say if his view is in line with the typical Catholic view.

Every Sunday we pray that Catholics will return to the Sacraments. We don’t pray that Protestants will convert.

It’s not typical for Catholics to look for converts. It’s far more typical for Protestants to hope to pull Catholics away from their faith. That’s my experience IRL, anyway.


#11

You misunderstand the quote you posted. It isn’t about “perfection”, as you stated. It’s about agreement in doctrine. The “fullness” isn’t about being perfect people. It’s about the fullness of faith that is found in the Catholic Church. When you start dropping this and that, you lose the fullness of the faith. The Orthodox churches are the closest in doctrine to the Catholic Church.


#12

I think we have different views of what “unity” means. Unity means more than warm fuzzies and sharing a pot-luck supper. Unity means coming to the fullness of the faith. We can be friendly and warm, but if you don’t believe in the true fullness of the faith, if you prefer to drop this or that belief, there isn’t true unity, is there.

Unity is more than community friendliness. Why do Protestants seem to reduce everything to feelings? It’s as if they think that if we can all just feel warma and fuzzy about each other, and we can get along socially, that will be good enough to call it true unity of faith?

What does “unity of faith” really mean to you?

To Catholics it means much more than people believing that “Jesus is our lord and savior.” and feeling warm toward our non-Catholic neighbors. Heck, we feel warm towards all of our neighbors, Christians and non-Christians. That doesn’t mean that there is unity of faith with the Hindus or Muslims, or Methodists for that matter.

"Jesus ate with sinners (and gave the orders for eucharist and shared it with Judas!) and came to save them. Nobody is perfect. We live in imperfect, sin-laden world, the churches included. "

Again, it’s not about reaching human perfection. It’s about the fullness of the faith. We can have supper, if that’s what you think it’s really about.:slight_smile: But what does Jesus’ eating with sinners have to do with some Christians’ choosing not to accept the fullness of faith in the Catholic Church? What does it have to do with true Christian unity? Are you thinking that Catholics don’t admit sinners to the Church?


#13

That’s a horrible stereotype that lacks little truth.

Unity is more than community friendliness. Why do Protestants seem to reduce everything to feelings? It’s as if they think that if we can all just feel warma and fuzzy about each other, and we can get along socially, that will be good enough to call it true unity of faith?

I can’t even begin to say how horrible a stereotype that is - and an affront to my faith.

Again, it’s not about reaching human perfection. It’s about the fullness of the faith. We can have supper, if that’s what you think it’s really about.:slight_smile:

Not a bit funny; but I’m glad you think it is.


#14

I’m sorry that you think I was making fun of your faith with that comment. It was meant to be funny, especially because we’re on different continents and it’s pretty impossible to do.

It was the OP who brought up the image of Xians’ sharing a meal. Apparently, the OP believes that that is what true unity is about–all of us sharing a meal. She used Jesus’ sharing a meal with sinners to show that that is all that’s required for unity of faith.

In a stranger aspect of the OPs posts, it seems that the OP believes that Catholics expect non-Catholics to be “perfect”.

" ‘Again, it’s not about reaching human perfection. It’s about the fullness of the faith. We can have supper, if that’s what you think it’s really about.’

Not a bit funny; but I’m glad you think it is."

"Unity is more than community friendliness. Why do Protestants seem to reduce everything to feelings? It’s as if they think that if we can all just feel warm and fuzzy about each other, and we can get along socially, that will be good enough to call it true unity of faith?

I can’t even begin to say how horrible a stereotype that is - and an affront to my faith."

Can you asnwer the question I posed? What does true unity of faith mean to you, as a Protestant? Please fill us in.

I have to say, though, that it (the opinion I’ve posted above) is exactly what I see IRL. I’ve spent plenty of time in Protestant churches, and I know what the people there say. They believe that they are in full communion with other churches, even though they disagree on many doctrinal points. They disagree vehemently at times on very important beleifs, and yet they are in full communion with each other. It’s the Catholic Church that (we both agree) they aren’t in full comminion with, because Catholics believe that it’s more than about being freindly with each other and sharing a meal (the OP’s point about sharing a meal). It’s about the fullness of faith.

To them, no matter what the different churches profess as their faith, they share that meal. And to them, that is true unity.

I know that it seems to be a slap in the face to non-Catholic Christians when they learn that they can’t receive Communion in the Catholic Church. They believe that they should be able to come to Communion in the CC if they can in any other Christian Church. They beleive that we (they and the Catholic Church) should be in true unity already, because we all beleive in Jesus. But it’s simply not true!

True unity is more than than sharing a meal!!


#15

No, not all the RC churches are empty, but many are, particularly considering how many of them there are!

The Protestants made a big mistake in nationalizing their religion, at least in the Scandinavian countries and England. Religions always do better when they’re persecuted.


#16

Kalt says:

"I think we have different views of what “unity” means. Unity means more than warm fuzzies and sharing a pot-luck supper. Unity means coming to the fullness of the faith. We can be friendly and warm, but if you don’t believe in the true fullness of the faith, if you prefer to drop this or that belief, there isn’t true unity, is there.

Unity is more than community friendliness. Why do Protestants seem to reduce everything to feelings? It’s as if they think that if we can all just feel warma and fuzzy about each other, and we can get along socially, that will be good enough to call it true unity of faith?

What does “unity of faith” really mean to you? "
(sorry I haven’t figured how to quote the better way):

ANSWER:

I consider to have enough theological unity to have communion (Euharist) with a person who can say the Apostles’ Creed believing it. Actually I think that the whole ecumenical movement should begin with a common feast of Eucharist! That’s the starting point for everyone: equal sinners before God receiving grace for all our sins and our churches’ sins. It is not a fuzzy warm feeling that counts but true humility and sense of proportions of things.

Why should I commune only with those who have “the true fullness of faith”? Children and young people often dont’ have fullness of faith but the faith they have is genuine. Frail old people same thing. Second, why should I commune only with those whose church gives them the opporturnity to grow to “the fullness of faith”? Since when is a lack of some good spiritual thing been an prohibition to fellowship? I only can imagine bad reasons for it.

I understand that if a person doesn’t “believe in the true fullness of the faith” the way you do, you don’t feel same unity with him or her you would with somebody who does. But isn’t this only everyday social psychology? It works so between any two groups of people.

PROTESTANTS:

I agree that protestant do more “sheep stealing” and my own experience here in Finland has been that the catholics don’t do it. Thats why I was suprised by KK’s formulation.


#17

As a Catholic, I think it’s a big mistake to lump all non-Catholic Christians into one pile and call it “Protestant”. There is tremendous diversity among non-Catholic Christians. Some, like the Traditional Anglicans, Lutherans and United Methodist are very historically Christian and agree with us about many things. At the other end of the spectrum are Evangelical, fundamentalist, non-denoms and AOG Churches that share very little doctrine or practice with Catholicism.

Is is patently unfair and inaccurate to assume they are all the same.

Paul


#18

It is true. For instance Lutherans do not sheep steal but the various groups outside traditional churches do. On the other hand all of it is not really “Sheep stealing” but people who change affiliation on their own initiative.


#19

In answer to the OP.

Actually, it is Catholic doctrine to convert everyone. That includes Catholics as well.

The idea being that we all need conversion of the heart.

I firmly believe that real faith in Christ commits us to constant seeking of the fullness of truth. I have found that to be the Catholic faith.

I am still open to truth and will examine and discern anything offered, but IMO faith sharing is a two-way street and one who seeks to evangelize me opens the door for my counter evangelism. If they cannot or will not accept that then as the Lord commanded us in Luke 9:5, I’m outta there. :slight_smile:


#20

"I understand that if a person doesn’t “believe in the true fullness of the faith” the way you do, you don’t feel same unity with him or her you would with somebody who does. But isn’t this only everyday social psychology? "

Again, it’s not about feelings or about a social gathering. It’s about beliefs. The fullness of the faith isn’t about a person’s age–you mentioned the very young and the old.

It’s not about being social or anti-social. Unity can’t begin with Communion. You see Communion as a social thing–all sharing in our sinfrulness, I guess.

In the Catholic Church, the Eucharist is the real body and blood of Jesus. This isn’t a social gathering akin to a dinner party. It’s not as if this is a peace conference, and if you could only get the Protestants and Catholics together for this meal, we would all get along just fine.

It’s not about getting along. It’s not about being social. It’s about beliefs.

If you haven’t received your First Holy Communion (a Sacrament that requires you to believe tha the Eucharist is the true body and blood of Christ), you can’t receive Communion at Mass.

Is there true unity when you don’t agree with that?


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