Does the Catholic Church send missionaries to spread the gospel?


Full Question

I was recently reading about a Protestant organization that sends out missionaries to teach the faith to illiterate populations, making Bible translations for them and teaching them to read them. Do we have any programs like this in the Catholic Church?

Answer

Catholic missionaries have been traveling the globe for centuries educating other cultures about the Christian faith as well as all the other things needed for the improvement of people’s spiritual and physical lives. And they have, in fact, also provided Bibles when they can in the people’s own languages. But since we know that the word of God is also spoken, missionaries tell people about Christ first in word and action.

A logical outcome of the "Bible alone" theology is that everyone in the world must be able to read and have a Bible. But as Catholics we know that we can immediately begin to tell anyone who will listen about Jesus and invite them to repentance and baptism. They can lead a full Christian life in the Church even though they are illiterate. This is not to say that we should not strive to encourage literate societies, but being literate is not necessary for salvation, nor is owning a Bible.


Catholic Answers Staff