Hello. I was listening to Brother Michael on"Coast to Coast am" last night and wanted very much to
ask a question. Brother said that the church proseletyzes for the purpose of saving souls. That this
is a charitable thing to do. All well and good. However, what is the take on the Catholic Church using a heavy handed approach to converting indigenous peoples to the catholic faith - especially when it involves cruel means to do so. Is this charitable? I am thinking mostly of converting the Indians of Latin America. There was unconscionable brutality and coersion used - torture and killings. Yet out of this came the spreading of the faith throughout South America. Please comment.
The Catholic Church teaches that all who die as non-Catholics will not be saved, but it also teaches that no one should be forced to embrace baptism, since belief is a free act of the will.
Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei (#36), Nov. 1, 1885: “And, in fact, the Church is wont to take earnest heed that no one shall be forced to embrace the Catholic faith against his will, for, as St. Augustine wisely reminds us, ‘Man cannot believe otherwise than of his own will.’”