I was recent told by a Protestant friend that Catholics are persecuting Evangelicals in Mexico. This is very alarming because it goes against the teaching of the Catholic Church. So I get my google FU out and start researching and fact checking, and here’s what I found.
Lets start with what the Church has to say on the matter and Catholic Answers has a great article on the subject.
Does the Catholic Church approve of forced conversions?
No. In his encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, Pope Pius XII stated,
It is absolutely necessary that conversion should come about by free choice, since no man can believe unless he be willing. . . . That faith without which it is impossible to please God must be the perfectly free homage of intellect and will.
Should it therefore at any time happen that, contrary to the unvarying teaching of this Apostolic See, a person is compelled against his will to embrace the Catholic faith, we cannot in conscience withhold our censure.
Vatican II’s decree on religious liberty, Dignitatis Humanae, reaffirmed this:
Although in the life of the people of God in its pilgrimage through the vicissitudes of human history there has at times appeared a form of behavior which was hardly in keeping with the spirit of the gospel and was even opposed to it, it has always remained the teaching of the Church that no one is to be coerced into believing.
For the full article continue here
So the Catholic Church rejects forced conversions. So any Catholic guilty of this is doing so against the will and teachings of the Church.
Next let’s look at what Fox News reported as far as who’s guilty of these persecutions.
First off, the group is identified as hybrid faiths in the headline
“Mexico’s Christians face beatings, forced conversions at hands of hybrid faiths“
Opening paragraph again identifies the persecutors as hybrid faiths
Evangelical Christians in Mexico are facing increasing persecution at the hands of rural followers of a hybrid faith who demand submission, say advocates, who are calling on the government to protect religious freedom.
In the third paragraph we’re given a bit more information as to who these persecutors are.
“….The perpetrators are allegedly synchretists, who consider themselves Christian but practice a blend of mythologies, faiths and traditions.”
What is a syncretism:
[sing-kri-tiz-uh m, sin-]
the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion.
So they consider themselves Christian but mix in other faiths and theologies. Nortice still no mention of the Catholic Church yet.
Paragraph 4 we see the first mention of the word Catholic and it’s simple a stat that is being stated here. The most interesting part of this paragraph is that Fox News points out that syncretist identify as being part of the 80% and than clarifies them as being a distinct group and not Catholic.
While Mexico is considered more than 80 percent Catholic, the nation’s syncretists count themselves in that majority even though the faith they practice incorporates a baffling stew of spiritual beliefs.
Fox News than goes on to describe what syncretism is and notice that there is NO mention of Catholism!!
Around the world, synchretism describes any faith that incorporates two or more religions or philosphies and includes such beliefs as Rastafarianism, Unitarian-Universalism Santeria and blends of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism practiced widely in China.
So in the entire article the word Catholic is used once and used to give a demographic statistic. Also like to point out that in the same paragraph the writer points out that the group doing the persecutions may identify as being part of the 80% catholic population, they are not Catholic.
Lets move onto a so called Christian source Christianpost.com. When I did the google search the Fox News article and the Christian Post articles where the top two. Also Christian Post wrote there’s 2 days after the Fox News article and they so called quote the article. You’ll see what I mean by so called quote.
Let’s start with the headline:
Evangelical Christians Facing Persecution in Mexico for Refusing to Convert to Catholicism
We haven’t even gotten into the article and Catholicism is being accused of being the persecutors. Can’t wait to see this non bias reporting!
I was going to put up paragraph one and two together but I needed to comment separately. Here the group is identified as being a blend of Catholicism and other faiths. Again hammering away at their agenda driven journalism.
Evangelical Christians in Mexico are being targeted by local groups that represent a blend of Catholicism and other faith traditions, say advocates, who are calling on officials to protect the country’s religious minority.
In the second paragraph things are worse than the first. Not the are making things up to blantantly push their agenda. No where in the Fox News article did it mention “Roman Catholicism”, not once did Nate Lance mention “Roman Cathoiclism”, he didn’t even mention Catholics at all.
International Christian Concern’s Advocacy Manager, Nate Lance, told Fox News that evangelicals, who are a minority group in Mexico, continue to be targeted for their beliefs and for refusing to convert to Roman Catholicism.
The next paragraph is also a gem for CP reporting. Fox News reported that “More than 80%” NOT 82%. If you are going to quote an article it should be what the article actually says. Also notice how they inject their own speculation into the paragraph by claiming “significant” portions of them practice…. as soon as you start blending other theologies you are no longer Catholic! Also notice how the CP article identifies the adherents of this “blend of mythologies,faiths and traditions” as being Catholic and using Fox News quotes to give the appearance that it’s coming from them, when Fox News in fact did the opposite.
Fox News reports that although the majority of Mexicans, or over 82 percent, identify as Catholics, significant portions of them practice a “blend of mythologies, faiths and traditions,” which incorporates a “baffling stew of spiritual beliefs.”
from here the article starts blending ending in other reports and quotes from other sources all the while still injecting quotes from the Fox News article.
Here’s another gem of so called Christian reporting from Baptist Press . Here the writer is trying to say that syncretists are “traditionalist” Catholics. In my reading I found that in 2002 St John Paul II told this dioceses to stop ordaining Decans because the teachings have become crupted and were no longer in line with the teachings of the Church. Therefore not Catholic!!
In villages in four Mexican states, syncretists or “traditionalist” Catholics, who have blended Catholicism with their indigenous pagan practices, have persecuted evangelicals at least since the 1970s, said ICC advocacy director Isaac Six, who noted more than 150 instances of persecution just in recent years.
Are Catholics perfect? No we are not. Do some Catholics do bad things? Yes we do. But the same thing can be said about Evangelicals, and to claim that what is going on here is a persecution by the Catholic Church is wrong and bigoted. The Catholic Church is not purcecuting Evangelicals in Mexico or anywhere else.
Cheers and God Bless