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Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Converts to Catholicism

In this excellent interview, Struggles of Today's Converts to Catholicism, Father Charles Connor mentions three points that tended to bring converts to the Catholic Faith in the 19th Century:

1. unity and completeness of doctrine,
2. the real presence of Our Lord in the sacrament, and
3. the doctrine of papal supremacy.

These three also brought me in. The last one, and by extension the doctrine of papal infallibility, was my final stumbling block, but having overcome it, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Father Connor describes the situation of converts today, whom he describes as "even more remarkable" than those of the 19th Century:

    Today the potential convert witnesses the Church in disarray, including theological variation from Church doctrine, dissent from within, generations of Catholics who have lost their way morally, etc.

    Therefore, it is all the most poignant when one enters the modern day Catholic Church. It's still the one sure foundation, still the Church established by Christ, still the ecclesial body where the fullness of truth may be found, but subject nonetheless to the turmoil that has followed every general council in Church history.

As someone new to the Catholic Faith, I have always found it poignant to meet Catholics whose familes have been Catholic since time immemorial but who seem to lack an understanding of the completeness and fullness of their Church. Many converts share anecdotes of Catholics reacting to their desire to convert with sheer bewilderment, as if to say, "Why on earth would you want to become Catholic?"