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By Fr. Shenan J. Boquet, Human Life International, May 3, 2021

Fr. Shenan J. Boquet has served as president of Human Life International since 2011. He was ordained in 1993 as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana. As HLI’s president, Fr. Boquet collaborates with fellow laborers in the pro-life and family movement in over 80 countries ….

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“Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”  ~ Pope St. Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 41

Fr. Shenan J. BoquetThroughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has repeatedly warned against the temptation to make the Church into just another non-profit organization. The Church, he said in 2013, “is not a shop, a humanitarian agency, an NGO.”

NGO stands for Non-Governmental Organization. The term designates a wide variety of non-profit agencies that advocate for various causes. In some cases, they resemble traditional charities, providing things like food and water to needy people. In other cases, however, they are highly bureaucratic organizations, employing academics, lawyers, and consultants, agitating on behalf of some cause.

Pope Francis’ frequent criticism of the idea of the Church as an NGO is spot on. Far too many people nowadays despiritualize the Church’s salvific mission, instead prioritizing worldly matters of “social justice.” Even the Church’s enormous charitable activities, such as providing healthcare and education, cannot be allowed to eclipse Her evangelical mission – to preach Jesus Christ crucified. …

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