Rome, Italy, Sep 17, 2019 / 14:18 pm
St. Robert Bellarmine, whose feast is celebrated Sept. 17 on the General Roman Calendar, was a Jesuit and a cardinal who used his incredible intellect to defend Catholic teaching, largely through responses to the Church's opponents in the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation.
In all his writings, St. Bellarmine "maintained a charitable disputation that kept the focus on the theological issues," according to Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
After the reformation, "for the most part, the Catholics and the Protestants responded to each other with vitriol," he said. "They threatened each other, ridicule was typical of the debate."
"And in that context, St. Robert Bellarmine never used ridicule or anger or opprobrium or reviling or any such thing. He always treated his opponents with great respect and charity. He was convinced that charity with the opponents of the Church would win them over much more readily."