What was the pre-Vatican II attitude/policy towards Protestants? Were there attempts to bring them back into the fold?


I know we (Catholics) were to not go to their services without permission from our Parish priest. We were to pray that they would become Catholic.

Many other rules maybe we can each mention one?


Yes. It was called conversion back then. It’s been replaced by ecumenism and endless dialogue.


It is better for them to convert to Catholicism and do away with Bible Alone and Faith Alone.

If you want to know what the Church actually said about them read these quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

817 In fact, "in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame."269 The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ’s Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism270 - do not occur without human sin:

Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.271

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276



Before Vatican II Catholics and protestants pretty much ran in different groups, at least on the level of people who worked for a wage. Many Catholics were first, second, or maybe third generation
European immigrants who huddled together both ethnically and religiously. This really started to change after WW II, but the change was not instant. Some change had occurred after WW I, but our engagement in that war was much less.I think that being in the service forced the men to live and deal with all sorts of nationalities and religions and on coming home the social interaction between families began to change. Intermarriage of different nationalities became more common, but mixed marriages between protestants, Jews, and catholics were still relatively rare. These really picked up after Vatican II when many Catholic Schools closed and many young folks met their mates in the public school system. It seemed to me like the will of Catholics to support parochial schools and also may taxes for public died to a marked extent.
As a product of the old system, I find myself much happier with the increased tolerance and acceptance of the others, but sad about some of the results where many Catholics live by the lowest common denominater when it comes to morals and divorce etc.


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