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First the Protestants, Now the Cults: Will We (the Catholic Church) Be Ready?
Catholic Exchange ^ | May 29, 2008 | Mary Kochan

Posted on 05/29/2008 10:50:48 AM PDT by NYer

One of the most amazing works of the Holy Spirit over the past couple of decades or so has been the wave of Protestant converts coming into the Catholic Church.  Notable among them have been the Protestant ministers — the tip of the iceberg of whom have been the names that have become well-known in apologetics circles.  Though what they have been given by the Church surely dwarfs anything they have brought to her, it is also true that they have enlivened the faith of many a cradle Catholic with their enthusiasm and evident joy at discovering the truths of the faith.

Teaching Protestants who come into the Church is a challenge that any well-managed RCIA program should be able to meet. What has proved more difficult however has been finding ways to make use of the gifts and training that Protestant ministers bring with them and assisting them with their very special circumstance — that their conversion has met the end of their career.  The Coming Home Network, founded by Marcus Grodi, has served a very valuable role in helping these men (they are mostly men) make the difficult double transition into a new faith community and career at the same time.

What Marcus Grodi has found, as those who watch his show, The Journey Home, may have noticed, is that sprinkled among the converts from Protestant denominations have been here and there, converts, not merely from among our separated brethren, but from religious groups that deny nearly everything that we and the Protestants have in common.  At first it was rare and notable to see a former Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon being interviewed on his show. That has begun to change as converts from these groups become more common. Within recent weeks both a former Jehovah’s Witness and a deacon who was in The Way International appeared in separate episodes of The Journey Home.

These conversions from such high-control groups are often very dramatic and the choices these converts face may go well beyond the Protestant minister’s career upheavals to encompass cruel ostracism by close family members, shattering self-doubt, and difficult navigation through a socially alien terrain.

More and more, we are seeing converts whose backgrounds are much stranger, theologically and socially, than any former Baptist or Episcopalian. Have we noticed that they are coming in?  Are we ready for them?

One way we can get ready is by understanding more about what life in cult does to a person, the wounds that may be left from years of spiritual and emotional abuse, from years of living in existential terror of violating dehumanizing and arbitrary — and constantly changing — rules.  The people most equipped to convey this understanding to us are the people who have lived the experience of being in a cult, coming out, and coming into the Catholic Church.  The richness of their experience cannot be overstated any more than can the depth of their gratitude.  The one who has been forgiven much, loves much, and the one in whom the light itself has been darkness finds special joy in the true light.

So come and learn from these people whose amazing journey will inspire and educate you.  Come to the Welcome Home! Catholic Conference in Weirton, WV from August 1-3. The conference is sponsored by the Fellowship of Catholic Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Speakers include our own Mark Shea, Tom Cabeen, a former overseer at the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses and yours truly.  I will be giving an extended talk on the subject of cults on Friday evening. It is called “Hijacked Lives” and will cover how people get recruited into cults, what happens to them while they are in the group and what kind of help they need when they get out.

I especially urge Catholic social workers, counselors, and other mental health providers to come and learn how to effectively help people with this history. Priests, DREs, and catechists will benefit from understanding how to
meet the unique needs of this population as they enter the Catholic Church in increasing numbers — because whether we are ready or not, God is bringing them to us.

This conference will also be invaluable for anyone with a family member in this group — or in any similar group that wrecks havoc with family life. Come meet others who understand the deep sense of loss, the holiday turmoil, the walking on eggshells.

Weirton, WV is about 20 minutes from the Pittsburgh International Airport and 30 minutes from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Special early-registration rates are available now through June 30th.  To see the agenda and to register for the conference click here or follow the link on the website of The Catholic Fellowship of Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, www.catholicxjw.com.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic
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1 posted on 05/29/2008 10:50:48 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 05/29/2008 10:51:45 AM PDT by NYer (John 6:51-58)
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To: NYer

Is it within your world view to admit that the Holy Spirit can behind the wave of Catholics converting to Protestant denominations?


3 posted on 05/29/2008 10:56:10 AM PDT by DManA
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To: DManA

Let’s turn that around: Is it within your world view to admit that the Holy Spirit can [be] behind the wave of Protestants converting to the Catholic Church? And if so, why aren’t you yet on the path to conversion to the Catholic Church if you do believe the Holy Spirit is behind the conversions?


4 posted on 05/29/2008 11:05:31 AM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words". ~ St. Francis of Assisi)
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To: DManA

I would suggest you google the the name Richard Bennett and go from there.


5 posted on 05/29/2008 11:09:37 AM PDT by Phantom4
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To: big'ol_freeper; DManA
Is it withing your world views to see people leaving RCC, EO and protestant denominations to a member of THE FLOCK?..

(John ch 10).. a few of the sheep come out of the sheep pens into the pasture to graze by the shepherd (Ps 23)..

6 posted on 05/29/2008 11:11:09 AM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: NYer
One of the most amazing works of the Holy Spirit over the past couple of decades or so has been the wave of Protestant converts coming into the Catholic Church.

????? There are still twice as many Protestants as Catholics in this country. The only thing keeping the Catholic population at its current levels is all the illegal immigrants coming into this country. It is not a major shift from Protestant to Catholic, although anecdotal evidence for any claim is always available.

7 posted on 05/29/2008 11:14:22 AM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: NYer

Does the author have any numbers of the Catholics converting to Protestantism? I suspect the weight is on the side of the Protestants!


8 posted on 05/29/2008 11:18:01 AM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: NYer

What is the number of Catholics who just sort of “deconvert” - period? I’m guessing that that is the biggest number of them all.


9 posted on 05/29/2008 11:20:30 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Here they come boys! As thick as grass, and as black as thunder!)
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To: hosepipe; DManA

You said: “Is it withing your world views to see people leaving RCC, EO and protestant denominations to a member of THE FLOCK?..”

My point was the the original question was just plain stupid. If you are Catholic (or Protestant) and someone is moving in the other direction then you have to believe that while the Holy Spirit may have moved the person, they did not respond the way the Spirit wished them to. I would caveat that though. For instance there are cases like this one: http://www.envoymagazine.com/backissues/4.6/diplomaticcorps.htm where the convert from Judaism originally became evangelical and then finally came to the fullness of faith in the Catholic Church. A Catholic would say that the Holy Spirit kept prompting her.

So to answer you. No it is not “withing” my world view to believe the Spirit wishes people to leave Christ’s Church...the Catholic Church... “to a member of THE FLOCK” whatever that means.


10 posted on 05/29/2008 11:21:42 AM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words". ~ St. Francis of Assisi)
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To: NYer

And the news is that the pope will be hosting Akma-nut-job at the Vatican soon. What’s up with that?

http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Politics/?id=1.0.2203931225


11 posted on 05/29/2008 11:30:40 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: DManA

Yes if they were lukewarm Catholics who truly held back their passion for God because of doubts about the Catholic faith and are now fully serving the Lord in their Protestant church.


12 posted on 05/29/2008 11:31:00 AM PDT by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
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To: DManA

There may be Catholic converting to Protestantism, but these are usually done by aggressive Proselytizing of Protestants who in many cases, missrepresent what the Catholic Church teaches when doing there preaching. This is particulary true in areas in the 3rd world.

Now, on the other hand, Catholics need to do a better job of clearly teaching the unwavering orthodoxy of the Catholic faith, so that is a “we problem”.

Now, while there may be many ex-Catholics in Protestant circles, many of those Catholics once they leave the Catholic Church will find themselves in a different Protestant Tradition every few years, always searching for the newest fad in Protestant Christianity.

The Protestants that have come into the Catholic Church includes many of the leading academics and theologians of the Protestant world, including man former Protestant clergy. For example, on a recent Journey Home program, an former Anglican clergyman stated that after the Anglican Communion voted to ordain women, he new that he, as an Anglo-Catholic, had to come to Rome. Since 1992, some 750 former Anglican clergy in England have come into full communion with Rome, and of those 450 were ordained as Catholic Priests, and some 180 of those were married.

In the U.S., some 100 former Anglican/Episopalian clergy have come into Rome and been ordained, including Fr. George Rutler, and Fr. Dwight Longeeker, who blogs and Standing on my head. In addition, one of the leading Lutheran Theologians, Fr. Richard Neuhas, editor of First Things, came into full communion in the late 1980’s. Other Lutherans have as well. Thomas Howard, a leader of the evangelical movement in the 1980’s, along with Prof. Scott Hahn, Prof. Francis Beckwith, just to name a few, have come back to Rome.

In summary, while there may be a few Catholic priests who leave Rome, for Protestant traditions, those are few and far between, vs. the number of Protestant Clergy that have, as the Anglicans say in England, decided to “swim the Tiber”.

Regards


13 posted on 05/29/2008 11:33:42 AM PDT by CTrent1564
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To: CTrent1564

I notice you didn’t answer my question.


14 posted on 05/29/2008 11:40:33 AM PDT by DManA
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To: lastchance
Fair statement, I believe it's all just traditional ... unless the Holy spirit intervenes.

Now Pope Benedict were to lay the Cat-of-Nine-Tails unto the bare backs of certain Southern California Bishops and a certain Cardinal or two :^)

Perhaps the Tiber would be seen a bit warmer.

15 posted on 05/29/2008 11:41:59 AM PDT by investigateworld ( Abortion stops a beating heart)
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To: NYer

I would think one of the best things someone could do to learn how to welcome people from very non-Catholic backgrounds would be to understand how they may speak with an entirely different theological language, and have very different cultural presumptions when it comes to religion, despite having so much culturally in common in other areas.


16 posted on 05/29/2008 11:47:25 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

As recently as five years ago, the largest religious body in the US was Catholic and the second largest ex-Catholic.

All the mainstream Protestant denominations are losing members; the Episcopalians are determinedly self destructing before our eyes and the Lutherans and the others are slowly fading.

Individual megachurches are coming and going. The Catholics would be slowly growing if it were not for the immigrants. But Catholicism world wide is growing fast, not just here.


17 posted on 05/29/2008 11:47:56 AM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: big'ol_freeper

Yes, it within my world view. I don’t feel the Spirit leading me there.


18 posted on 05/29/2008 11:50:03 AM PDT by DManA
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To: KeyLargo
And the news is that the pope will be hosting Akma-nut-job at the Vatican soon.

Hosting? According to your news link:

Tehran has also given the Iranian Embassy to the Holy See, instructions to ask for an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, said a report in Italian daily La Repubblica.

We will have to wait and see if the request is granted.

19 posted on 05/29/2008 11:51:17 AM PDT by NYer (John 6:51-58)
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To: Phantom4
Can you give me an inkling why I should do that?
20 posted on 05/29/2008 11:51:21 AM PDT by DManA
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To: NYer

>>Tehran has also given the Iranian Embassy to the Holy See, instructions to ask for an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, said a report in Italian daily La Repubblica.<<

Shhhh, don’t point out the facts, he’s on a roll.


21 posted on 05/29/2008 11:55:43 AM PDT by netmilsmom (I am Ironmom. (but really made from Gold plated titanium))
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To: MarkBsnr
Gallup polling seems to suggest that the percentage of religious adherents by major group in the USA, at least, has actually remained pretty stable - well within the margins of error - for a decade and a half now (granted, the data provided ends in 2001, but I can't see as how the trends since then would suddenly have gone haywire).

From what I've heard and seen, if any one group can claim explosive growth in Africa and other parts of the 3rd world, it would be the Pentecostals and like-minded non-denominational Charismatic groups. Baptists and like-minded baptistic groups are making huge inroads in Brazil, Guatemale, and other Latin American countries (there are some districts in Oaxaca and Guatemala where Baptists and Protestants now make up large minorities (say, above 30%), which is leading to quite a lot of persecution at the hands of the local Catholic establishments.

The Anglicans (who are jokingly referred to as "like Catholics, except without the congregation"), Lutherans, United Methodists, and other liberal-infested denominations are bleeding congregants like mad, mostly to more conservative bodies with lower standards of dress, music, etc., like the megachurches and the non-denominational churches. The Southern Baptists have picked up quite a number of disaffected mainliners, but have themselves lost quite a number to the Independent and Fundamental Baptists.

There's a lot of mixing and turning out there in the religious world of Christendom, but the general trends seem to be people moving from liberal to conservative bodies, and from formalistic, hierarchical bodies towards independent and "non-denominational" groups.

22 posted on 05/29/2008 12:00:39 PM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Here they come boys! As thick as grass, and as black as thunder!)
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To: big'ol_freeper
[ So to answer you. No it is not “withing” my world view to believe the Spirit wishes people to leave Christ’s Church...the Catholic Church... “to a member of THE FLOCK” whatever that means. ]

GOOD.. then you are condemned to be a member of the Roman Catholic sheep pen.. and according to me.. thats exactly where you are supposed to be.,, We are all exactely where we are supposed to be at a given time.. WHAT A PLAN... God is awesome in his ways..

"The FLOCK" was in reference to John ch 10.... thats what those that come OUT of the sheep pens are.. "the flock".. You know... according to the metaphor..

23 posted on 05/29/2008 12:06:59 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: NYer
One of the most amazing works of the Holy Spirit over the past couple of decades or so has been the wave of Protestant converts coming into the Catholic Church.

Hopefully, these 'waves' of converts are not liberals coming into the church to try to get it to change it's positions.

24 posted on 05/29/2008 12:08:36 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall cause you to vote against the Democrats.)
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To: LiteKeeper; Always Right

Fifty years ago, America was about 70% Protestant and 20% Catholic. Today, it’s about 25% Protestant and 25% Catholic. By “Protestant,” I mean to include all Christians who are members of churches founded during and after the Reformation, including Baptists, Anglicans, Non-denominationalists, and Restorationists. By “Catholic,” I mean only those who have maintained current enrollment in their church; contrary to presumption, this does not mean all baptized Catholics, but it does include significant numbers of “A&P” (”Ashes and Palms”) Catholics.

I’ve seen many Protestants claim that their churches have such vast proportions of Catholics among them. If so, that only means that the apostasy rate among Protestant churches is o-so-much higher.


25 posted on 05/29/2008 12:09:44 PM PDT by dangus
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To: CTrent1564
There may be Catholic converting to Protestantism, but these are usually done by aggressive Proselytizing of Protestants who in many cases, missrepresent what the Catholic Church teaches when doing there preaching.

So you're saying these Catholics didn't have a clue what their church taught? That indicates this has less to do with the Protestants aggressively proselytizing and more to do with the individual not being engaged in the Catholic church in the first place.

26 posted on 05/29/2008 12:11:45 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall cause you to vote against the Democrats.)
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To: big'ol_freeper
My husband and I spent 6 months living in Costa Rica. We were attending language school, and lived with Costa Rican families.

It seems to me that the Catholic Church in Costa Rica is hemorrhaging members and they are joining the Mormon church ( especially), Seventh Day Adventists, and other fundamentalist Pentecostal and evangelical churches.

These people would all claim to have been moved by the Holy Spirit.

27 posted on 05/29/2008 12:15:26 PM PDT by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid.)
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To: CTrent1564
missrepresent what the Catholic Church teaches when doing there preaching.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

If the deliberate, vicious, and malicious anti-Catholic and anti-Mormon misrepresentations found here on Free Republic are any example, then I believe this is likely happening.

Gee! What motivates people to do that?

28 posted on 05/29/2008 12:17:59 PM PDT by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid.)
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To: big'ol_freeper
Apparently civil conversation is not within your world view.

My point was the the original question was just plain stupid.

29 posted on 05/29/2008 12:18:32 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Always Right

Besides... the article was mainly referring to Protestant preachers and theologians converting. Very few priests, and to my recollection zero bishops, have swun the Tiber the other way. And most of those priests were simply opting for less moral rigor (such as found in the Episcopalian church), not acting from a greater faith.

As for Richard Bennett’s books, they are pure rubbish. The videotape about the Inquisition claiming 50 million Protestants killed by the Inquisition should be your first tip off. (There were less than 3,000.) If his “witnesses” are real, why are so few unidentified? For complete impeachment of Bennett, consider his book claims 100,000 priests left the Catholic Church... which means that TWO hundred percent of them left. I guess they all left, came back, and left again?


30 posted on 05/29/2008 12:22:15 PM PDT by dangus
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To: DManA

Well, I don’t think the Holy Spirit is the author of confusion, so at one level, I would say it is not the will of God to move people away from the fullness of the Catholic faith. In other words, those who are in Full communion with the Catholic Church. Now, if someone had already fallen away into atheism or agnosticism, and by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, a person finds himself in a Protestant confession, that is a different matter.

So again, if the question is it better for someone to leave the Catholic Church, the answer is no. The best thing for them is to embrace Catholic orthodoxy. If someone has fallen away completely, then yes, it is better for them to be practing the Christian faith in a Protestant Church, and I would add, one that holds to historic Creeds (e.g. Traditional Anglicans, Lutheran or Reformed), would be the best ones, IMO.

So, there is only One Church, as Christ has only One Body and One Bride. So, all that who are Baptized, whehter they no it or not, are in some way related, to the “One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church”.

It is Catholic ecclessiology that Christ’s grace if most fully present in the Catholic Church by virture of Apostolic Succession. For as St. Paul stated, the Church and the Apostles and their co-workers were the “stewardships of God’s grace” (c.f. Eph 3:2) and “stewards of the mysteries of God” (c.f. 1 Cor 4:1). The Greek word mysterion (mystery) was translated into Sacrament by St. Jerome, and is thus the normative means through which God’s gives us Grace.

Thus, the Catholic Church (and Eastern Orthdox, for that matter), by virture of Apostolic Succession and valid priesthood, has valid 7 sacraments, so that Christ, through his body, the Church and the sacraments, sanctifies humanity. Accordingly, the fullness of Grace is present in the Catholic Church.

Does that at least get at what you are asking.


31 posted on 05/29/2008 12:22:44 PM PDT by CTrent1564
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To: KeyLargo

Read the article you posted. Ahmadinejab is SEEKING an audience with the pope. That doesn’t mean he’ll get it.


32 posted on 05/29/2008 12:24:08 PM PDT by dangus
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To: investigateworld

>> Fair statement, I believe it’s all just traditional ... unless the Holy spirit intervenes. Now Pope Benedict were to lay the Cat-of-Nine-Tails unto the bare backs of certain Southern California Bishops and a certain Cardinal or two :^) Perhaps the Tiber would be seen a bit warmer. <<

See, ecumenical agreement!


33 posted on 05/29/2008 12:25:22 PM PDT by dangus
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To: CTrent1564

Yes. We must agreeably disagree.


34 posted on 05/29/2008 12:30:06 PM PDT by DManA
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To: MEGoody

I did state that Catholic catechesis needs to be improved, which is a “we problem”.

And lets be honest, when it comes down to it, the Catholic Church is not about “what I want”, or how I feel. Catholic worship, to use the Eastern Orthodox terminology of “Divine Liturgy’, is something that we receive, we do not create it on our own. Thus, if one reads the Liturgy as recorded by St. Justin Martyr in 155 AD, one sees a clearly Liturgical worship. The Creeds are part of the Liturgy on Sunday. Again, it is a faith that is received, not one that is created to fit my personal tastes.

Many Catholics have been impacted by two forces, secularism, which elevates the individual, and Protestantism that in many ways is also “radically individualistic”, so that one then chooses a religion based on preaching style, music style, what doctrines are stressed, which ones are not, etc, and then finds the church that suits “me”.

To be blunt, this is a form of “idolatry” and nothing more than “worshipping the mirror”, i.e. ones own ideas, etc.

Catholicism is rooted in the Apostolic Tradition, as attested to in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition as recorded in early Liturgy, the Church Fathers, and the teachings and Creeds from the early Councils (Nicea 325 AD, Constantinopile 381 AD, Ephesus 431 AD, and Chalcedon 451 AD).

The Catholic faith that is, is the faith that was, and is the faith that will be as the Creeds bind us to orthodoxy whereas Protestantism, and there are some faithful orthodox Christians in the Protestant Churches, don’t have the authority to deal with the challenges as each group can use the “Bible alone” to justify what “they believe” is what the Holy Spirit is telling them.

Now, with respect to the Mormons and Jehovas Witnesses, I will never pass judgment on anyone in terms of ones eternal destiny, but from the Catholic Church’ view, both of those groups are not within orthodox Christianity in terms of Trinitarian and Christological doctrines. Thus, if Catholics leave for those groups, one has to question whether they have put there salvation in jeopardy. The Historic Protestant Churches (Anglicans, Lutherans, Reformed, Presbyterians), at least the Traditional expressions of those Churchs, still hold to orthodox doctrines with respect to the Holy Trinity and Christ and thus while it would be leaving the fullness of the Catholic Church, it would not be a rejection of orthodox Christianity, per se.

Regards


35 posted on 05/29/2008 12:39:22 PM PDT by CTrent1564
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To: NYer
These conversions from such high-control groups are often very dramatic and the choices these converts face may go well beyond the Protestant minister’s career upheavals to encompass cruel ostracism by close family members, shattering self-doubt, and difficult navigation through a socially alien terrain.

Gee! Catholic families don't shun? Well, some do.

Some Catholics who have converted to my religion have testified that their families have given them a very hard time about it. One young man was disinherited, and thrown out of the house. ( Literally!)

By the way, the author mentions Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses and then in the next breath talks about shunning.

To my knowledge neither Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses preach or teach shunning. It is not part of their doctrine. It isn't part of Catholic doctrine either but some Catholics do it. If Catholics, as individuals can do it, I suppose Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses, as individuals, may be found doing it too. It bet all leaders ( Catholic, Mormon, and Jehovah Witness) would counsel their members that this is highly uncharitable behavior.

I have **personal** experience with Catholic shunning.

My brother married a Methodist girl in a Methodist church in 1959. My mother's entire family refused to attend the wedding, claimed that they were not married and were living in sin, and refused to speak to my brother and his wife, or step foot in their house for many years. They also shunned my mother and her children ( me) for many years because we attended the wedding. Nice folks there. ( sarc)

My mother never went back to church, although she insisted that we go to Mass. As soon as I left home, I left the Catholic church too. Today, I do not blame the Catholic Church for the cruel behavior of my mother's family.

Basically, I support the Catholic Church, although I am not a member, and I disagree with them on some doctrinal points, however, I would like to see the Catholic Church grow. For those who are Catholic I would be pleased if they practice their religion ( ALL of it). Our nation would be stronger, more peaceful, more prosperous, families and children happier if we had **more** believing Catholics ( and Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses.)

For the most part it is better to focus in on all the commonalities between religions than make mountains out of molehill doctrinal issues.

36 posted on 05/29/2008 12:46:06 PM PDT by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid.)
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To: DManA

A bit thin-skinned. A stupid question is a stupid question regardless of who asks it.


37 posted on 05/29/2008 12:46:45 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words". ~ St. Francis of Assisi)
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To: MarkBsnr
But Catholicism world wide is growing fast, not just here.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

It isn't in Costa Rica. The loss of members by the Catholic Church is at hemorrhage levels. As for the rest, most Costa Ricans who claim to be Catholic are Catholic in name only.

38 posted on 05/29/2008 12:51:41 PM PDT by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid.)
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To: hosepipe

>> Is it within your world views to see people leaving RCC, EO and protestant denominations to a member of THE FLOCK?.. <<

Frankly, Protestant churches sometimes seem useful to me as training wheels for fallen-away Catholics to draw closer to the Catholic Church while they aren’t yet ready to make the plunge. I’ve known so many Catholics who fell away from the faith, dabbled in Protestantism, and eventually came home to Catholicism, it’s funny.

Naturally, Protestant preachers don’t see their mission as serving as training wheels for a better faith, which is probably why so many of their sermons are subtly preoccupied with attacking Catholicism. When I moved to Virginia, I found I could turn on any given Christian radio station, and hear them endlessly talk against worshipping false idols, to the point I might have suspected Paganism was more common in Virginia than in 1st-century Greece. Of course, the much quieter, private follow-up was that “worshipping” Mary was this sort of idolatry. But someone could listen to these preachers to hours and never suppose they had spoken one word against Catholicism.

And so therein lies the tightrope every Protestant ministry to ex-Catholics must make: be anti-Catholic enough to keep people from going Catholic, but not so blatant as to come off as a bigot, or make the falsehood obvious.


39 posted on 05/29/2008 12:55:38 PM PDT by dangus
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To: greyfoxx39; svcw; SolidWood; i_dont_chat; P-Marlowe; porter_knorr; dorben; WhyisaTexasgirlinPA; ...

non denominational ping


40 posted on 05/29/2008 1:00:48 PM PDT by Revelation 911
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To: big'ol_freeper

Not thin skinned at all. No skin off my nose if you can’t keep a civil tongue.


41 posted on 05/29/2008 1:06:09 PM PDT by DManA
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To: CTrent1564
Catholicism is rooted in the Apostolic Tradition, as attested to in Sacred Scripture

That can certainly be debated.

. . .and Sacred Tradition

Which is easy since the Catholics developed it.

42 posted on 05/29/2008 1:23:28 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall cause you to vote against the Democrats.)
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To: CTrent1564
Catholicism is rooted in the Apostolic Tradition, as attested to in Sacred Scripture

I'm sure you know that many do not agree with that assessment.

. . .and Sacred Tradition

Which is easy since the Catholics developed it.

The Catholic faith that is, is the faith that was, and is the faith that will be

Hmmm. . .I guess it depends on what you mean by that. I know that the Catholic church has changed it's position on some things, like whether priests can marry, whether Mary was eternally a virgin and was assumed into heaven rather than dying a human death, whether the apocrypha was divinely inspired. Maybe you aren't counting those things as part of what you mean by 'faith'.

43 posted on 05/29/2008 1:28:22 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall cause you to vote against the Democrats.)
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To: NYer

**Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses**

One of my best friends — I do cooking with her for certain things in our parish — is an ex-JW. she is a very strong Catholic.

Another personal friend is a former Mormon. What a story he has to tell!


44 posted on 05/29/2008 1:33:23 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer
What has proved more difficult however has been finding ways to make use of the gifts and training that Protestant ministers bring with them and assisting them with their very special circumstance — that their conversion has met the end of their career.

This is far from being true. There is a very lucrative business for ex-Protestant ministers who have converted to Catholicism in their conversion story itself. There are numerous ex-prot ministers writing books and articles and doing speaking engagements about their conversions and about Catholic apologetics from a (supposedly) Protestant point of view. Catholics never seem to tire of these stories of how they "came home" through serious Bible study, studying the Church fathers, logic and reason. The more intellectual they are in presenting the Catholic case, the better.

45 posted on 05/29/2008 1:40:20 PM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: All
I guess some of you are not keeping up with the Catholic Convert numbers. Here are some FR threads.links:


First the Protestants, Now the Cults: Will We (the Catholic Church) Be Ready? [Open]

A TRIUMPH AND A TRAGEDY [James Akin]
Alex Jones: the evangelical who became a Catholic deacon
Mary and the Problem of Christian Unity [Kenneth J. Howell, Ph. D.}
How the Saints Helped Lead Me Home [Chris Findley]
Who is Mary of Nazareth? [Kenneth J. Howell, Ph. D.}

A story of conversion at the Lamb of God Shrine
EWTN - Journey Home - 4/7/08 - Rosalind Moss - Former Jew & Evangelical Christian
Our Lady’s Gentle Call to Peace [Joan Tussing]
Coming Out of Sodom (Reversion Experience of Once-Active Homosexual) [Eric Hess]
Our Journey Home [Larry and Joetta Lewis]

Book on Mary turns runaway youngster immersed in drugs and crime into a priest
Dr. Robert C. Koons (former Lutheran) - Journey Home - Monday 3/31 - Conversion Story
The Story of a Convert from Islam – Baptized by the Pope at St. Peter's [Magdi Cristiano Allam]
How Do We Know It’s the True Church? - Twelve Things to Look For [Fr. Dwight Longenecker]
"Have you not read?" The Authority behind Biblical Interpretation [Robert Sungenis]

New faith pulls Hot Springs family together (Baptists join Catholic Church at Easter Vigil) [Danny Morrison and family
SciFi Writer, John C. Wright, Enters Catholic Church at Easter Vigil (conversion story)[John C. Wright]
"What is Truth?" An Examination of Sola Scriptura [Dwight Longenecker’family]
LOGIC AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF PROTESTANTISM [Fr. Brian Harrison]
Pope baptizes prominent Italian Muslim [Magdi Allam]

My Journey of Faith [Marco Fallon]
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church [Robert Koons]
Thousands in U.S. to Join (Catholic) Church - Many Feel They Have Found a Home
TURN ABOUT (Carl Olson, former Evangelical and Monday's guest on EWTN's Journey Home)
Former Southern Baptist Pastor Now a Traveling Crusader for the Catholic Church [Michael Cumbie]

All Roads Lead To Rome (A Southern Baptist's Journey into the Catholic Church)[John David Young]
Allen Hunt, Methodist Minister ...Journeys Home (Catholic, Re: Real Presence)
The Challenges and Graces of Conversion [Chris Findley]
An Open Letter...from Bishop John Lipscomb [Another TEC Bishop Goes Papist]
Unlocking the Convert's Heart [Marcus Grodi]

His Open Arms Welcomed Me [ Paul Thigpen}
Why I'm Catholic (Sola Scriptura leads atheist to Catholic Church)
From Calvinist to Catholic (another powerful conversion story) Rodney Beason
Good-bye To All That (Another Episcopalian gets ready to swim the Tiber)
Bp. Steenson's Letter to his clergy on his conversion to the Catholic Church

Bishop Steenson’s Statement to the House [of Bishops: Episcopal (TEC) to Catholic]
Bp. Steenson's Letter to his clergy on his conversion to the Catholic Church
Bishop Steenson Will Become a Roman Catholic
Married man considers turn as Catholic priest
Pavarotti returns to the Catholic faith before dying

Searching For Authority (A Methodist minister finds himself surprised by Truth!)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality (Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope(Al Kresta)
The Hail Mary of a Protestant (A true story)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar(Al Kresta)

Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church (Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts (Al Kresta)
Conversion Story - Rusty Tisdale (former Pentecostal)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness(Al Kresta)
Conversion Story - Matt Enloe (former Baptist) [prepare to be amazed!]
THE ORTHODOX REVIVAL IN RUSSIA

Conversion Story - David Finkelstein (former Jew)
Conversion Story - John Weidner (former Evangelical)
12 Reasons I Joined the Catholic Church
Conversion Story - Tom Hunt
The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism: The Converts

John Calvin Made Me Catholic
Journey Home - May 21 - Neil Babcox (former Presbyterian) - A minister encounters Mary
Going Catholic - Six journeys to Rome
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
A Convert's Pilgrimage [Christopher Cuddy]

From Pastor to Parishioner: My Love for Christ Led Me Home (to the Catholic Church) [Drake McCalister]
Lutheran professor of philosophy prepares to enter Catholic Church
Patty Bonds (former Baptist and sister of Dr. James White) to appear on The Journey Home - May 7
Pastor and Flock Become Catholics
Why Converts Choose Catholicism

From Calvinist to Catholic
The journey back - Dr. Beckwith explains his reasons for returning to the Catholic Church
Famous Homosexual Italian Author Returned to the Church Before Dying of AIDS
Dr. Francis Beckwith Returns To Full Communion With The Church
laetare (commentary on ordination of married Anglican convert to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles) Father Bill Lowe
Catholic Converts - Stephen K. Ray (former Evangelical)

Catholic Converts - Malcolm Muggeridge
Catholic Converts - Richard John Neuhaus
Catholic Converts - Avery Cardinal Dulles
Catholic Converts - Israel (Eugenio) Zolli - Chief Rabbi of Rome
Catholic Converts - Robert H. Bork , American Jurist (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Converts - Marcus Grodi
He Was an Evangelical Christian Until He Read Aquinas [Rob Evans]

The Scott Hahn Conversion Story
FORMER PENTECOSTAL RELATES MIRACLE THAT OCCURRED WITH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
Interview with Roy Schoeman - A Jewish Convert

46 posted on 05/29/2008 1:41:16 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: wintertime

***It isn’t in Costa Rica. The loss of members by the Catholic Church is at hemorrhage levels. As for the rest, most Costa Ricans who claim to be Catholic are Catholic in name only.***

I wasn’t able to find much in the way of hemorrhaging mentioned in the Costa Rican related website; I will grant that a lot of cradle (whatevers) are in name only and are ripe for picking by outsiders.


47 posted on 05/29/2008 2:07:31 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: CTrent1564

I donno. Many Anglicans are already so close to the Catholic tradition that it is not a huge step. especially as their church is moving towards paganism.

What about Baptists and Methopdists? Is there a huge wave of them?


48 posted on 05/29/2008 2:09:32 PM PDT by chesley (Where's the omelet? -- Orwell)
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To: wintertime

The doctrinal issues are not “molehills”. but define the belief.


49 posted on 05/29/2008 2:16:18 PM PDT by chesley (Where's the omelet? -- Orwell)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

***Gallup polling seems to suggest that the percentage of religious adherents by major group in the USA, at least, has actually remained pretty stable - well within the margins of error - for a decade and a half now (granted, the data provided ends in 2001, but I can’t see as how the trends since then would suddenly have gone haywire).***

Agreed.

***From what I’ve heard and seen, if any one group can claim explosive growth in Africa and other parts of the 3rd world, it would be the Pentecostals and like-minded non-denominational Charismatic groups.***

Well, the fun is in the numbers, not the percentages. If you have a total of 1000 of a denomination this year and they recruit 1000 more, they’ve doubled. If you have 100 million and they recruit 10 million more, they’ve only gone up 10%.

***Baptists and like-minded baptistic groups are making huge inroads in Brazil, Guatemale, and other Latin American countries (there are some districts in Oaxaca and Guatemala where Baptists and Protestants now make up large minorities (say, above 30%), which is leading to quite a lot of persecution at the hands of the local Catholic establishments.***

Unlike, say, the fine treatment of Catholics in places like Northern Ireland :). It is true, though, that the Catholics did not make as great inroads to the natives, Indians and the most native-appearing mulattoes as many people had thought.

***There’s a lot of mixing and turning out there in the religious world of Christendom, but the general trends seem to be people moving from liberal to conservative bodies, and from formalistic, hierarchical bodies towards independent and “non-denominational” groups.***

I think that this needs to be looked at a little more closely. Rick Warren and Robert Schuller and Joel Osteen and the like have picked up large congregations, yet I would call none of them conservative. I think that a lot of people who call themselves Christian basically have left a church and moved to either semi-solitary practice or to a small fellowship group that calls itself Christian and, vaguely, they kind of are.


50 posted on 05/29/2008 2:31:36 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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