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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

Does the Catholic Church send missionaries to spread the gospel?

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.

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