Pope Francis told Christian high school students this weekend they should respect people of other faiths and not attempt to convert them to Christianity, insisting “we are not living in the times of the crusades.”
The pope went on to say that a Christian should never try to convince others of the truth of Christianity, but should simply give a testimony of consistency and wait for others to ask about the faith.
“You must be consistent with your faith,” he said. “It never occurred to me (and nor should it) to say to a boy or a girl: ‘You are Jewish, you are Muslim: come, be converted!’ You be consistent with your faith and that consistency is what will make you mature. We are not living in the times of the crusades.”
“The last thing I should do is to try to convince an unbeliever. Never,” he said. “The last thing I should do is speak. I should live my faith with consistency. And it will be my witness that will awaken the curiosity of the other who may then ask: ‘But why do you do this?’ And yes, then I can speak.”
“But listen, the gospel is never, ever advanced through proselytism,” he continued. “If someone says he is a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, he is not a disciple of Jesus. Proselytism is not the way; the Church does not grow by proselytism.”
Junipero Serra is not a saint. You can’t credit him with all the good stuff that happened in the missions and then say “all that other stuff, he’s not responsible for, that was OTHER people not him.
He knew what was going on. He was okay with what was going on. He was the leader of what was going on. He set up the system. I’ll bet he even knew it was wrong. He just didn’t care. That’s not a saint, that’s an arrogant jerk with no morals.
Forcing Native people into slavery and working them to death. They were required to build the missions. If they died while building the mission, they would be buried in mass graves (yup, this process required MASS graves) and the building would go on.
Beating Native people with (sometimes) over one hundred lashes. Sometimes with a wooden club. Sometimes with a “Cat-o-nine tails” or a wooden club with ropes and knots tied at the end of it.
Starvation of Native people. Feeding them as little as 400 calories a day, rationing their water intake and forcing them to work.
Forcing Native people to procreate. There is one story about a woman who was not getting pregnant. The padres brought her in and demanded to know why she wasn’t with child. They forcibly did a vaginal exam of her.