Evangelistion: Ecology, economy, politics

Ecology, economy and politics have everything to do with evangelisation. They are not an alternative to it, Pope Francis says.

The topics will be discussed at next month’s Synod of Bishops on the Amazon.

Francis’s mainly conservative, traditional Catholic critics say these topics distract from evangelisation.

“What do ecology, economy, and politics have to do with the mandate and mission of the Church?” German Cardinal Walter Brandmüller asks.

From Francis’s perspective, these subjects are essential to evangelisation, not a distraction from it.

When Christians stand with people as they face such struggles, Francis believes they’ll eventually wonder why we’re doing it.

That’s when the conversation begins, he says.

He spoke of his vision of evangelisation in a recent audience with members of a charismatic group called the Community of Abraham.

The meekness that the Holy Spirit gives us makes us witnesses, because the path of the Holy Spirit isn’t proselytism [trying to convert people to their beliefs] it’s witness,” Francis told them.

“If someone comes to proselytise, that’s not the Church, it’s a sect.”

“The Church the Lord wants, as Pope Benedict XVI said, doesn’t grow through proselytism but by attraction, meaning the attractiveness of witness, and behind that witness there’s always the Holy Spirit.

“This is the methodology we’re called to live in the work of evangelisation.

“We need to walk together with the people of our time, listen to what they carry in their hearts, in order to offer them the most credible response with our lives, that is, the life that comes from God through Jesus Christ.”

Francis says he is guided by advice St. Francis of Assisi gave his brothers when they started to evangelize:

‘Go, preach the Gospel, and, if necessary, use words.’”

“Start with witness, and then they’ll ask you: ‘Why are you like this?’ That’s the moment to speak.”


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News category: World.

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