The changed 'role' of Catholic Missions since Vatican II


Prior to Vatican 2, Catholic Missions were run by Monks who sought to convert and evangelize the world to the Catholic faith.

Today, contemporary missions on a global scale are geared primarily toward Social Justice issues, and are run by a mixture of clergy and lay Catholics.

…Now I’m not saying that there is any wrong in contemporary mission work, but must we fully abandon the old style completely? Is there any evidence that having done so up until this point has actually caused a decline in Catholic faithfulness?

(the catholic world mission is nothing like the old ones that used to exist here in California)

Oh, also has this changed the way Catholics view the clergy and the religious among us?


It’s definitely not a good thing to focus just on social justice, while adandoing efforts at conversion. They should go hand in hand, with the corporal works of mercy being a complementary witness to preaching, etc.

To neglect efforts at conversion goes against the teaching of Vatican II (See, for example, Ad Gentes) and subsequent Magisterial interventions have warned against it (see Evangelii Nuntiandi and Redemptoris Missio, as well as this note from the CDF).


…but the Church has abandoned its efforts at converting through Missions though, hasn’t it?

…Are the Franciscans, Dominicans, Jesuits, etc., still doing the same works that their predacessors did?


Perhaps the Church has abandoned those members of the Clergy to a certain extent?


Being Anglican, I can tell you this issue has not done the Episcopal Church well. Social justice is important in the teachings of Christ and the Scriptures, but it is not the Gospel. St. Francis said preach the Gospel and use words if we must… A wonderful quote, but I think people often overlook that we might actually use our words at times, yeah? Although the RCC is doing much better than western Anglicanism is at combating liberalism, there are many members, even Bishops, who have been tainted by Liberalism. Therein lies the problem: liberalism. The type of liberalism that alligns itself with universalism, relativism, and pluralism. Many religious orders have become increasingly liberal. I’ve heard that the Jesuits, ironically and quite sadly, has been grossly infilitrated by liberalism. This is the biggest threat to the Church at large today. In any case, this does seem to be a grave issue for orthodox Christians of every sort. I think many questionable changes stem from this dilemma.


Some orders, or at least members of those orders, may have neglected their charims and the spirit of their founders (contrary to the express command of Vatican II in Perfectae Caritatis), but not all have. There are still missionaries who care about seeking conversions. A while back a member of a missionary order (I forget which one...) came to my parish to ask for donations as part of World Mission Sunday, and he spoke about the number of Baptisms and the need for catechetical materials, etc. The focus was definitely on spreading the faith.

Anyway, I don't think the Church has abandoned those who would be missionaries--I believe such endeavors would receive a great deal of support if the support were requested. The abandoning is done more by those who should be evangelizing, but aren't.

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