More of a steady little stream. I am refer to the article in the National Catholic Register by Tim Drake, “The Lutheran Landslide”. Tim is himself a former Lutheran and the editor of the great collection of Lutheran conversion stories, “There we stood, Here we stand”.
Nevertheless, it is a joy to see that the two ex-Lutherans quoted by Drake in his article are aquaintances of mine. Paul Quist I can call a friend, for it was a joy to get to know him and his wife Carol while they were here in Melbourne studying at the John Paul II Institute. It was actually here at St Patrick’s Cathedral that they were received into the Church at Easter about five years ago (if I remember correctly) by Archbishop Hart. Dr Michael Root, the other quoted ex-Lutheran, is a reader and commentator on this ‘ere blog, so we are glad to see him featured too.
Also mentioned is the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church (ALCC) which, by happy chance of the term “Anglo-” in their title seem to be in line to be included in the provisions for Anglicanorum Coetibus. I am happy to count among readers of this blog one of their bishops, Edward Steele, and Deacon Paul Gustafson. We wish them all the best on the journey into full communion with the Bishop of Rome.
And for a ex-protestant who tried the Catholic Church and found it too murky by far, there is this piece by Rod Dreher. Rod writes:
The main reason why Orthodoxy is so attractive to converts, at least to this convert, is its seriousness about sin. I don’t mean that it’s a dour religion – it is very far from that! – but rather that Orthodoxy takes the brokenness of humankind with appropriate seriousness. Orthodoxy is not going to tell you that you’re okay. In fact, it will require you to call yourself, as St. Paul described himself, the “chief of sinners.” And Orthodoxy is going to tell you the Good News: Jesus died and returned to life so that you too might live. But in order to live, you are going to have to die to yourself, over and over again. And that will not be painless, and cannot be, or it’s not real.
Well, that’s as it should be in the Catholic Church too. Converts to the Catholic Church mustn’t forget that the outcome of the Donatist controversy was to affirm the holiness of the Church even and especially when its priests and members fell below the bar. At the same time, we must keep in mind that these converts were brought up in traditions that did take sin seriously. The teaching regarding sin in the Orthodox Church as Dreher describes it is certainly the teaching of the Catholic Church too. Perhaps we need more converts to remind the cradle-Catholics of this fact…
Actually the comments to the NCR article make interesting reading – as they cover a lot of this – if you have the time.
[HT to Tighe for all these links]