As Catholics, we’re called to help bring our beloved Protestant brothers and sisters into the one true Church. But there are right and wrong ways to go about this.
Some otherwise well-meaning Catholics bring up topics that cause Protestants to think twice about joining the Church.
Here are some of them.
If your Protestant friend wedded a Catholic who failed to get a dispensation from Church authorities for the marriage, don’t point out that the marriage is invalid.
The implications of this statement are enough to make a Protestant decide not to join the Church. Sure, the topic needs to be addressed, but not at the start.
Timing is everything. People can only digest so much information at a time. That’s why the Church has a lengthy period of instruction before new members are baptized.
You may be tempted to exclaim to a Protestant, “How could you have walked away from the Eucharist?! From our Blessed Mother?!”
The truth is, there are many reasons why people leave the Church. Sometimes it’s due to psychological issues no one helped them resolve or the example of bad Catholics. Such cases require a gentle approach, not shame.
Your frustrations with Pope Francis
The pope is not perfect, but a Protestant considering the Church doesn’t need to hear how much you dislike him. They are probably not in a position to properly understand the theological intricacies involved. Most likely, you’ll end up discouraging them from continuing their journey to Catholicism.
So, how should you talk to a Protestant considering Catholicism?
Base the conversation on questions they ask. Share how the Lord has transformed your life through the graces made available through the Catholic Church — especially through the Eucharist. Refer them to good sources if you’re unable to answer their questions. Avoid Church politics as much as possible.
Above all, don’t forget that conversion is ultimately the Holy Spirit’s job. We’ve mentioned that many times, but it’s easy to lose sight of this key truth. We plant the seeds. The Holy Spirit helps them grow. You should spend more time praying for Protestants.