Pope Francis: What surprises Me about Missionaries

What surprises me most about missionaries is their ability to put themselves on the ground, respect cultures and contribute to their development. They do not uproot the people, on the contrary. When I see missionaries, and there are always some who do not succeed, I note that Catholic missionary outreach does not proselytise, but proclaims the Gospel according to the culture of each place. This is Catholicism, respect for cultures. There is no Catholic culture as such; yes, there is Catholic thought, but every culture is rooted in what is Catholic, and this is already experienced in the very action of the Holy Spirit on the morning of Pentecost. This is very clear. Catholicism is not uniformity, it is harmony, a harmony of differences. And this harmony is created by the Holy Spirit. A missionary goes forth, respects what is found in each place, and helps to create harmony, but (he or she) does not proselytise ideologically or religiously, much less with a colonialistic mindset. Some aberrations have occurred on other continents, for example the serious problem of the schools in Canada that I visited and spoke about. Missionary work must respect the culture of the people, living within that context and doing this service.

Source: Vatican News

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