Monday, 16 June 2014

Why Do People Convert To Catholicism?

Image courtesy of Terra

Each year around 3,500 adults are received into the Catholic Church in England and Wales (see <here>). This is a significant number, especially given the headlines which often claim we live in an increasingly secular society. 

John Beaumont, author of The Mississippi Flows into the Tiber: A Guide to Notable American Catholic Converts to the Catholic Church, recently gave a lecture that summarised eight common reasons that people gave in his research:

1) Visibility - Church buildings, the clergy, religious orders... all remaining distinctively recognisable in the modern world.
2) Universality - "Catholicism is catholic" and it spans the whole globe; it is unifying rather than divisive.
3) Endurance - Despite all the tests and tribulations of the Church, it still remains faithful to it's 2000 year old doctrines.
4) Authority - People see individualism as a false freedom and instead want guidance on what is right and what is wrong.
5) Beauty - Music, artwork, architecture, literature... 
6) Hierarchy - This brings about dignity, and ultimately an ascent to God.
7) Saints -  Witnesses and teachers who give living examples.
8) Moral Witness - High standards that give people high moral goals to aim for.

Read the full article <here>

Do you think these reasons are the appeal of the Catholic Church? Do you think that some of these reasons are exactly the opposite of the 'appeal'? Do you think that this is still only an appeal for the minority?

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