The following statement was posted at the website of the Saint Benedict Center cult (Richmond, New Hampshire): "There are those who consider us at Catholicism.org truculent for wishing to convert our nation to the true faith. Such talk nowadays is not exactly au courant. Neither does it resonate sympathetic vibrations with the ascendancy of the liberal Comintern whose manual dictates public discourse. But we philosophers tend to transcend all that hokum. (Heck, we don’t even watch Oprah!) Hence, we occasionally have to drink the hemlock."
Nothing could be further from the truth. People do not view the SBC cult as truculent for wishing to convert this nation to Catholicism. Rather, it is the SBC's approach to evangelization which is both truculent and truncated. Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint, reminds us that, "The capacity for 'dialogue' is rooted in the nature of the person and his dignity. As seen by philosophy, this approach is linked to the Christian truth concerning man as expressed by the Council: man is in fact 'the only creature on earth which God willed for itself'; thus he cannot 'fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.' Dialogue is an indispensable step along the path toward human self-realization, the self-realization both of each individual and of every human community...Dialogue is not simply an exchange of ideas. In some way it is always an 'exchange of gifts.' For this reason, the Council's Decree on Ecumenism also emphasizes the importance of 'every effort to eliminate words, judgments and actions which do not respond to the condition of separated brethren with truth and fairness and so make mutual relations between them more difficult."*
Authentic Catholics know what SBC cultists refuse to acknowledge: that true ecumenism is impossible without true conversion; a turning away from one's own selfish attitudes and sin toward the Lord Jesus and His holy will. Vatican II emphasizes that the first duty of Catholics is to renew the Catholic Church - beginning with themselves:
"Catholics, in their ecumenical work, must assuredly be concerned for their separated brethren, praying for them, keeping them informed about the Church, making the first approaches toward them. But their primary duty is to make a careful and honest appraisal of whatever needs to be done or renewed in the Catholic household itself, in order that its life may bear witness more clearly and faithfully to the teachings and institutions which have come to it from Christ through the apostles. For although the Catholic Church has been endowed with all divinely revealed truth and with all means of grace, yet its members fail to live by them with all the fervor they should, so that the radiance of the Church's image is less clear in the eyes of our separated brethren and of the world at large, and the growth of God's kingdom is delayed. All Catholics must therefore aim at Christian perfection (cf. Jas 1: 4; Rm 12: 1-2), and, each according to his station, play his part that the Church may daily be more purified and renewed. For the Church must bear in her own body the humility and dying of Jesus (cf. 2 Cor 4: 10; Phil 2: 5-8), against the day when Christ will present her to himself in all her glory without spot or wrinkle (cf. Eph 5: 27). (Unitatis Redintegratio, No. 4).
Put simply: If we want to convert others to the fullness of truth which is found in the Catholic Church, we must first see to our own conversion. If we are not living what we preach or at least making a sincere effort to do so, how can we expect others to be attracted to our message?
Meditation: Matthew 7: 3-5
* See here and visit Russell Provost's Blog SBC Watch to read what SBC cultists have had to say about other Christian communities.