Saint Benedict Center's main site is An online Journal edited by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Richmond, New Hampshire.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Our Desire to Convert America

Those associated with Saint Benedict Center make no secret of the fact that we want to convert America to the Catholic Faith. This, of course, includes Richmond. Somehow, the idea that we believe very strongly that ours is the true Church, outside of which nobody can be saved, when taken in tandem with our desire to convert people, has led some folks to conclude, wrongly, that we wish to force conversions, or would countenance violent means to convert people.

The assertion not only has no correspondence with our way of doing things; but it is a classical non-sequitur: The conclusion simply does not follow from the premises.

The traditional Catholic social teaching we embrace does not remotely resemble Moslem Sharia Law; neither is it a totalitarianism of any sort. Those interested in learning more about the kind of Catholic political thought we embrace are invited to consult the book Framework of a Christian State by Fr. E. Cahill, S. J.

Whenever, in the history of the Church, there were those who incorrectly sought to force conversions, the pope or the bishops generally were there to issue a reprimand. That’s not the Catholic way and its not our way. Even when it comes to dealing with outright, self-professed enemies of the Church, the Catholic way is to live in peace with them as much as possible, while seeking to protect the liberty of the Church and her children from any harm that the Church’s enemies may seek to do to them. This last part, protection of bodily welfare and civil rights, is the job of the state.

That said, it is also to be noted that seeking the conversion of one soul from error to truth is an act of charity, that is, of divine love.