This is the generation that will abolish abortion

My Journey Home To The Catholic Church – Why I Am Converting To Catholicism

UPDATE April 1: How My Conversion To Catholicism Will Effect The Work Of Stand True – Show Your Support

Dear friends,

I know this may come as a shock to many of you; I am in shock in a way my self. I have spent the past 23 years living my life for Christ always wanting to serve Him and know His truth.

I have been a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church for almost 10 years as I was so inspired by the liturgy and reverence I found there. I have also been in a constant journey for God’s truth, studying His Word as well as church history. After many, many years of resisting a calling that I tried to suppress I have finally felt the peace of God with my decision to join the Catholic Church.

I know that many of you will be confused, even concerned for me. I know that you will have many questions and even be tempted to try and dissuade me from this decision. While I will most certainly talk to you about what God is doing here, I will not be entering into any debates about this right now.

I want to let you know this is not made lightly; I fought against this for years. There are several things that led me to search and finally choose to go back to the Church. I will share a few things in brief here and would love to sit down in person some time with you if you want to peacefully discuss them in more detail.

Church authority: There are simply thousands and thousands of denominations and every time someone disagrees with another teaching of their church they simply start a new one. The Catholic Church has had it’s teaching since the beginning of the Church in the scriptures. There is no way God can be happy with thousands of denominations or so-called non-denominational churches. It seems that when people disagree on doctrine it often results in another break off church. The fact is that current Christian teaching can differ so much between two churches that it really constitutes different religions and different Gods. There must be one established truth that God gave us, one that has remained from the time of Christ.

Pro-life and Contraception: There is only one church that has been consistent from the time of Christ to today on the teaching of pro—life and contraception. Before 1930 there was never a single Christian church in history to accept any form of contraception and today there is only one that absolutely has kept this Christian teaching and truth.

Communion or the Eucharist: I have always believed that communion was more that just a symbol and in looking back at early church teaching it is crystal clear that this was taught from day one. St Ignatius of Antioch a student of John the Apostle taught on this and clarified it well.

These are just a few of the things that drew me back into the Catholic Church; however there is so much more. I was baptized Catholic as a child so the process is not as complicated for me. I will be starting RCIA classes and working towards confirmation.

I am asking my friends to pray for my family’s journey and me as I truly seek to be closer to Christ. My relationship with Christ is the most important thing in my life and I hope my friends will stand by me, as I grow closer to Him.

As for the work of Stand True; it will remain focused on educating, activating and equipping young to stand up for life and Christ. We have always been an organization that reaches out to and works with all Christians and we will remain true to that.

For Christ I stand,
Bryan Kemper

UPDATE April 1: How My Conversion To Catholicism Will Effect The Work Of Stand True – Show Your Support

bryankemper@standtrue.com

http://www.bryankemper.com

http://www.facebook.com/iambryankemper

http://www.twitter.com/bryankemper

430 Comments

  1. Scott
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to the Church, Bryan 😀

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Scott

    • Sheila Barrera
      Posted April 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      I am a returning Catholic now too, I was baptised 3 days after I was born, but then my parents left the church not long after that and raised me as an atheist/agnostic. I just found my way home this month, joyously! A church that welcomes me in one of my greatest hours of spiritual distress (my father just died a few weeks ago) is a double blessing, I am so happy and for you too! Sheila

  2. Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Way to go, Bryan! So happy for you.

  3. Psychdoc
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Bryan Kemper, Welcome back home. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  4. Nathan Coleman
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Bryan, out of every pro-life speaker/activist I’ve ever heard speak/met, you are by far the most amazing, and your work with Stand True has always inspired me greatly. God Bless you in your journey Home to the Church!!

    • Jeff Gerhart
      Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Man, I hope I still get to see you in heaven, Bryan…HAAAAAAAAAAAAA, just kidding. I whole heartedly agree with Nathen.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Nathan i don’t deserve such kind words, thank you

  5. Kate
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful blog, Bryan. Know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I will also keep all of your supporters in my prayers and hope that they show you as much compassion and understanding as you have shown every person throughout your ministry – whether Catholic or Protestant, Conservative or Liberal, Pro-life or pro-abortion. Bryan, you are a true example to the world and I pray that everyone sees that. God bless.

  6. Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Dear Brian,
    you almost had me actually crying with joy. My reasons to come back to the Church were the same but for one point. May God continue to bless you & your family.
    Welcome home.

    Julia from Muenster, Germany

  7. Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Bryan, I am so excited for you! And most definitely praying for you and your family. This is such a huge decision and I know God will bless you for it. I would love to hear you story some time. Welcome home, brother!

  8. Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home! I am a convert myself. My husband (my fiance at the time) and I went through RCIA in 2007. The reasons I had for becoming Catholic are remarkably similar to yours. However, a major difference is that at the time of my conversion I was not yet pro-life. It was only after being surrounded by the Church’s uncompromising commitment to the sanctity of life that I began to understand the truth about abortion (and, relatedly, contraception). For this alone, I am indebted to the Church: for opening my eyes to the worst civil rights violation in all of human history.

    I commend you for your strength and bravery in making this decision. I know it wasn’t easy for me; indeed, one of the hardest aspects was informing my friends and family. Hopefully, this is the hardest part for you, since it’s already passed.

    My family and I will be praying for you as you set out on your journey!

    Pax tecum!

  9. Gregory
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Praying for you, Bryan! (I’m Catholic as well.)

  10. Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Welcome Home, Bryan! I’m a member of the Tiber Swim Team, Class of 2003. 🙂 May God bless you on your journey.

  11. Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    So excited for you, Bryan!! We are all children of Christ…no matter what denomination. I am so glad you have found the place where you feel the most intimate with Him. Doug and I are praying for you and your family. Deciding to become Catholic was the best decision we have ever made as a family. 🙂

  12. Liz
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Bryan,
    Welcome Home!
    Praying for your journey… you are a true blessing to many people.
    You’ve probably seen this, but I love sharing this beautiful video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs6qZd_xP1w

  13. Joni
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations and welcome home to you AND Abby!

  14. Nicolette
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Bryan, I believe you should follow where God leads. If you feel led, then you should follow. I believe as humans that we tend to turn faith into “religion” and that’s how we have become factions. I will certainly continue to pray for you, your family, and the work you do. I appreciate your candor. I look forward to hearing more about your journey. God bless!

  15. Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I will pray for you, Bryan! Welcome – I’m also a convert, and I’ve been a confirmed Catholic for 5 years now. =)

  16. Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Your commitment to Christ is an inspiration! Be strong and stand true! I’ll be praying for you brother!

  17. Bobi Beth
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Oh Bryan! I am almost in tears here! I too was baptized Catholic and went through 1st Holy Communion (w/o knowing that it was real Jesus! =( ), and Confirmation but I tried tons of different religions, even pagan ones, before ending back at the Catholic Church for reasons just like you! I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy for you!!!!! What about your sweet wife?

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Bobi I LOVE Holy Communion

      • Bobi Beth
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        =) I am just wondering, if I may, if your wife will be converting also?

  18. Claudia
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    yeah!

  19. Chris
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Bryan,

    Your news is so touching and wonderful. Welcome HOME! It’s interesting that, when you talked about your wife’s miscarriage, I thought your response seemed so “Catholic.” That may be biased, but my (perhaps limited) experience is that the only people I’ve known who have buried and had services for stillborn and miscarried babies have been Catholics. Elizabeth Ministry specifically helps parents who have lost their children in utero. I too left the church for a short while. There was so much I didn’t realize or understand, but our mother, Mary, re-directed me to her son’s living presence in the Eucharist and to the importance of Apostolic succession. If you haven’t spent time in adoration of the blessed sacrament, please do. Time alone with Jesus changes us forever. I will be praying for you and your family, and for all Christians, as you join the universal church!

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      I think a lot of what I wrote had a Catholic feel and I am seeing it now.

      • Beth
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        I have always thought so!

  20. Veronica
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! Being Catholic has saved my life in so many ways, espcially as a teenager. I highly recomend reading the work of Scott Hahn (particularly “A Father who keeps his promises”) and “Intoduction to the Devote Life” by St. Thomas Aquinas (Despite it’s name this book is very in-depth). You are in my prayers!

  21. Jillian
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Awesome news!!! I will keep you and your family in my prayers, Bryan.

    I think part of being pro-life involves examining the Catholic Church and her teachings at some level. It is good to see that the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life and of the marital act is bearing fruit. I hope your story will be an inspiration for others to follow suit! and I hope you will blog a bit more about your struggles and your decision (and your family’s!) to enter the Catholic Church.

  22. Amy
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    God bless you, Bryan! I’m so pleased to hear that you feel at home in coming back to the Catholic Church! I’ll be keeping you all in my prayers.

  23. Victoria DiMuzio
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Dear Bryan,
    I am moved to tears of joy for you!!!!!!! Welcome home! We’ve missed you!!! I will be praying for you on this new spiritual journey that you are partaking in! So many blessings to you an your family during this lenten season!

  24. John J
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Congrats Bryan. This is great news.

  25. Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    It all makes so much sense now–your comments on that one entry… 😀 I’m very happy for you and know you will be in my prayers tonight! In Christ through Mary, C.

  26. Thomas McConnell
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    God Bless you Bryan!! I am looking forward to hearing more about your spiritual journey, youre in my thoughts and prayers!!

  27. Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Bryan,

    Know that Generation Life has your back and will be praying for you! Praise God!

  28. Brendan Malone
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Bryan, you’re a good man with a beautiful faith. I was stoked to share the podium with you recently in New Zealand, and no matter what decision you had made on this issue I would have still been proud to call you a brother in Christ.

    I have to be honest though and say that I am stoked to now be able to call you a brother in Christ in the Church (as well as a brother in the cause of life)!

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Brendan we will have a lot to talk about next time I am back in NZ

  29. Rebecca G.
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    This is SO wonderful!

    I am Catholic, and I’m not sure if you remember, but I had the chance of speaking with you at the Teen Rally for Life here in Michigan last year!! It was an experience I shall never forget and it helped me to keep up the pro-life fight!!!! Since then God has worked on me in so many ways, and I will now be continuing my pro-life journey through my religious vocation as a Dominican Sister.

    Know of my prayers for you and your family everyday! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
    WELCOME HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Of course I remember, I was actually thinking your family would be happy to hear the news

      • Rebecca G.
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Sending lots of prayers your way!!!!!!

        So happy for you!!!

        God bless and keep you extra close to His heart!

  30. VeritasinCali
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Bryan. What a beautiful, heartfelt explanation. Welcome home.

  31. Kevin
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Wait, you’re against contraception? Wtf dude.

  32. Gay
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Bryan, I am so saddened by this news. You do not wish to debate it, so I’ll just leave it at that. I pray the Lord turns your heart back to the truth.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Don’t be sad I have been led here by the Lord

      • Liam
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 12:15 am | Permalink

        Bryan, I don’t think it was the Lord that led you to Rome my friend. This is indeed sad news. The myth of Rome being unified is exactly that. Priests who don’t believe in hell, a romantic reading of church history (the early church particularly the ante-nicean fathers were never unified on much). older does not equal better.

      • Bobi Beth
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        If a Catholic priest doesn’t believe in Hell then he isn’t really Catholic! Catholics most certainly believe in Hell!!!

      • Liam
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Bobi,

        My point is that there are many who I have seen (even in interviews on TV) who are ordained priests in good standing who have claimed this. They take the eucharist, the perform the mass, thay are not disciplined. The mother church has not seen fit to remove them, but to let them remain as a strain within Roman catholicism. If the Church has not removed these men and they are openly professing what they believe, then he certainly really is a catholic until he is removed from office and/or membership. As i remember from my days of being a Catholic, personal excommunication of certain people is not permitted and he must still be received as a priest in good standing.

  33. Penelope
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Oh Bryan, this is so beautiful. Thank you for putting JESUS first in your life, you are a witness of His Love for all of us.
    It was nice to see you briefly in Brussels. What an incredible March!!
    Be blessed a thousand times!!

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Penelope I am glad I got to see you at least for a minute, God is good and it was an amazing march.

  34. Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Bryan, as you know I am not a religious person, but I do firmly believe that the Catholic Church IS the best representation of Christianity. The single fact that Catholicism was the first denomination of Christianity can only mean that any other denomination is a step AWAY from Christianity; not matter how well the intentions of later denominations were.

    Cheers to your new-found belief!

  35. Jaime
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Bryan!!!

    Praise the Lord!!! I bet Franciscan students are freaking out about this for you! Welcome back!!!
    You are truly an amazing leader and I hope you will never cease your fight for the unborn!

    Jaime

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Jaime this will bring new meaning to my visits to Franciscan

  36. Posted March 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    prayers as you journey to the fullness of TRUTH.
    pax Christi – lena

  37. Ellie
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Praise God! I am so thrilled for you, Bryan… you are in my continued prayers for sure!!

  38. Posted March 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    I literally just said to someone yesterday, “I wonder why Bryan Kemper isn’t Catholic yet.”

    Welcome home, brother!

    • Chris
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      I have wondered that same thing in the past, Elise!

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      well now you dont have to wonder anymore

  39. Amber Currie
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    I have nothing against Catholicism…but I’d just like to point out that it was not the first Christian church…and has actually changed many times.

    But right on, man! Got to do what is best for you and your faith and I wish you all the best in your new journey! 😀

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Oh yeah? Historically, what would you say was the first Christian Church? Please, if you’re going to make false claims, at leaste cite some sources.

      • Amber Currie
        Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        I don’t believe that it is any of the sects that exsist today.

      • Katlyn Hudgins
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        The church wasnt a church with a specific “religion” of rules and technicalities. The original church were followers of Christ; thats it. There us also a difference between catholic (with a small c) and Catholic (with a capital c). All believers are catholic by definition but Catholic is a specific denomination. I am catholic not Catholic. I agree with the Catholic church most of the time, there are very few reasons why I dont go to a Catholic church. I dont believe that the pope is anymore important than any other man and biblically Mary isnt a virgin today. I have asked quite a few Catholics a bunch of questions and they cant answer them. Until I get answers I dont see a purpose in being Cahtolic. Really, rather than that most Christians are Catholic. Its just a bunch of technicalities.

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      The Catholic Church’s doctrines have never changed. Disciplines have changed (e.g., priestly celibacy), and our understanding of certain doctrines have developed over time, but the Church has taught the same truth consistently for 2,000 years.

      Moreover, if the original Christian church no longer exists, then the Gates of Hell have prevailed against it and Jesus was a liar. That’s the logical conclusion of your belief.

  40. Jillian
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    FYI, “Introduction to the Devout Life” was written by St. Francis de Sales, and not St. Thomas Aquinas (though St. Thomas did write a great many good books, too!!)… just for those who might be interested in looking it up!

  41. Joni
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Just another clarification. Catholic Doctrine has never changed. It is Truth and, as such, cannot change. It’s a common misconception though. Many people mistake Doctrine and traditions with a small “t”.

  42. Posted March 30, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi Bryan. Welcome back home 🙂 I am so happy for you and will keep praying for you, your family, and for everyone else in the pro-life ministry.

  43. Meg
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    May God bless your obedience to His call in your life and your obedience to it! My family and I entered into full communion with Christ’s Church in ’02 after 45 years of being devout Baptists! It is the pearl of great worth that I would have sold everything to have! Welcome Home! For all that you will lose, God will restore tenfold in blessings !

    Those who have hope live differently—Pope Benedict XVI

  44. Posted March 30, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, and welcome home Bryan!

    Be prepared, though, for a spiritual onslaught in the coming months/years:
    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/we-need-to-talk-to-converts-about-spiritual-attack

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      oh the attacks have begun but God is good and i am not worried

  45. Concerned in Christ
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Not surprised from what I have seen of your journey thus far. Would really like to have a sit down heart to heart with you one day soon. Are you open to reading anything and listening to someone else’s journey?

    Hope to hear back from you.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      I would love to sit down if I knew who you are? How about a name?

  46. Gigi
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Bryan! As an RCIA director, I am thrilled for each and every one of you inquirers.

    Amber, Catholic teaching/doctrine has never changed. The TRUTH is immutable. It has, however, become more fully understood and defined over the centuries. It is DISCIPLINE that may change, not Doctrine. When doctrines that were believed and taught from the time of the Apostles were challenged (i.e., Arianism), the Church then formally defined them as DOGMA – as in “Jesus Christ was True God and True Man.”

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Gigi I am looking forward to RCIA

      • Ceile De
        Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        , Please be careful with RCIA and do not be disheartened by it by the vaguely Unitarian Universalist vaguness of a lot of the materials which tewnd to assume a very low IQ. It is just silly hoop through which you have to jump – better by far to find a priest for instruction or do a lot of reading yourself (I’m sure you have). My wife became a Catholic and was baptised and confirmed last year, deo gratias, despite the milque toast RCIA materials, not because of them. Anyway, congratulations and welcome!

  47. twinwithtwins
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Bryan,

    I am a stranger, but a mutual friend posted a link to this great news! I recently came into full communion with the Catholic Church and was in the OPC for the last 7 years before that. I relate very much to your journey. Though I have been shunned by most of my friends who are all quite stunned and speechless, I wouldn’t change my decision for anything. I have benefited more spiritually in the last few months of being Catholic and receiving the Eucharist than I have in the last 18 years of my Christian life. It truly is HOME and welcome to it!

    Blessings!

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      I really do believe the OPC prepared me for this step of faith

      • Ingrid
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        I am only hearing experience, feelings, and social issues. What truly made you go Rome? I am no longer OPC, although I am still Reformed. Did you particularly dislike the OP you were attending in Ohio? I noticed all reformed churches are very different, which is why it took my family years to find a solid-biblical church. The D.C. area has a debate group with the Papist and Reformed dudes…pretty interesting. Let me know if you want to join. 😉

  48. Jos
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home.

  49. Mel
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    A careful reading of the Westminster Confession and it’s Larger Catechism will show that the OPC does not hold to Zwingli’s view of the Lord’s Supper (that it’s just a memorial). Perhaps teaching about the Lord’s Supper isn’t always done very well. I think it holds more to Calvin’s view. I’m still learning, and will for the rest of my life, about the beauty, meaning, and importance of the sacraments.
    Also, the first church was the church we read about in the New Testament. That looked very different from the RCC.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Calvin more or less split the difference between Luther and Zwingli on the Lord’s Supper: so not going as far as sacramental union (consubstantiation) but also not going totally symbolic as Zwingli did.

      But why should we believe Calvin got this doctrine right and everyone else got it wrong for 1500 years?

      • Ingrid
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        And why listen to the pope? From the Council of Florence, the 17th Ecumenical (and hence “infallible”) Council of the Roman Catholic Church, catholic catechism in ’93 on section 841 to today’s Pope haven’t been consistent. How can you say the Papist church never changes? Does Rome truly clarify the issues of the gospel, or does she muddle them?

  50. Tammy
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    WOOOO HOOOO!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! I converted in 1991…so big pregnant with Joe (the giant) that the only clothes I could wear to my Confirmation was an Omar the tent maker style bank teller uniform hahah but I digress….

    I believe that God uses converts / reverts in may ways…we challenge the complacency that can set in with people, we build bridges that wouldnt otherwise exist and illuminate things that people might otherwise not see.

    Godspeed to you on this grand adventure!!!

  51. Margaret
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations!!! I entered the church six years ago and have never once looked back. It is Home. 🙂

    Praying for your family…

  52. Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I have never been one to kiss up .. so I will just lay it out . I am wondering why you made your move ? ” the Church ” will not save you .. on Christ can .. Religion is dead but yet your going back to rome ? I have to laugh at how everyone is welcoming you back home to the : church ” .. as a recovering catholic I have to ask why ? The Catholic church is filled with false teachings that are against the Word of God .. so will you now Pray to the Holy Mother ? will you pray to the saints ? will you kiss the pope’s ring ? I have lost alot of respect for you as a person who is supposed to be a leader of a ” Christ ” inspired minsitry ? what next your going to partner with the LDS ? then pray to Allah ? Forget the vatican 1 or 2 or whatever BS they are spewinng out of Rome these days … sad day bro that I would see you turn from the truth back to man made religion …… and I know I am not alone in feeling this way . And don’t take this as a ” spirittual ” attack on you new found faith .. take it as a brother holding you accountable to the true doctrine … don’t drink the kool aid

    Burrito

    • Monkeyboy
      Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      Welcome back Home Bryan.
      Just a couple of points for Burrito.

      1,The Catholic Church i full of false teaching against the word of God? Isnt the Catholic Church the institution that GAVE you the word of God…ie the Bible? For 300 years there was no bible. I guess the bs that the Church is spewing out would include the bs it spewed out in 397 AD? When did it go wrong?

      2, Man made religion. Look in the encyclopedia Brittanica. Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church. Every other Christian denomination was founded by a man. Calvin and Luther were men. Hmmmm.

      3, The “True” doctrine? As defined by who? Which one of the many thousands of denominations are you referring to?

      Bryan has never lost the desire to search for the truth. As someone who left the Church I would imagine it was very difficult to come to terms with going back. We will welcome you with open arms when you come to the fullness of the truth. God bless you.

      • Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Amen Monkey!!

      • Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        thanks Monkey

      • Liam
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Monkey,
        1. The Catholic church did not “give the Word of God… God did. The “early Church” received it.
        2. Jesus did not found the “C”atholic church, he founded the “Church”. It wasn’t until the split between Rome and Byzantium that papal authority became prominent.
        3. True doctrine is defined and derived by Scripture. It alone contains infallibility and authority, because it is theopneustos (God-breathed). The early church was *NOT* in agreement on many many things, hence the need for them to convene councils and synods. If the RC church or the early church were unified then those disputes (arianism, manicheanism, gnosticism, etc…) would never have been needed. A good case in point is Arianism. When constantine convened Nicea I in 325, he was favorable to Arianism as was a large portion of the church, hence Athanasius’ famous statement “Contra Mundum”.

        As for Bryan… Bryan has been one of my VERY best friends for 12 years. I love him, Carrie, and the children as much as I love my own family. That won’t change. but I can (have) and will disagree with him on many many things. That is the nature of the fall. What we DO however is work through these things in a loving manner recognizing that each of us is created in God’s image. I write this as a former Romanist who made his journey from Rome to grace in Christ, knowing that my beliefs and principles may transcend my denomination, but lovingly submitting to those in authority over me knowing that God has in his providence placed them there for my care, love, and protection.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Please check out this blog written by a protestant on why “religion” is NOT a bad word! Using it as such is a VERY recent development, throughout history (and even biblically) religion was and is PRAISED. God is not a God of chaos, but a God of order.

      http://www.richardliantonio.com/blog/2010/02/religion-is-not-a-bad-word/

  53. Susan K
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Welcome HOME, Bryan! I am surprised because I thought you WERE a practicing Catholic! 🙂 Have you spoken to Marcus Grodi? I’d love to hear your story on The Journey Home on EWTN. I will pray for you and your family. God bless. I am so happy for you – and for US. Our Church needs more members who want the Lord to be the center of their life.

  54. Stephanie
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Welcome back to the Church! We’ve missed you!!!!!!!!! Oh this just made my day!

  55. Jillian
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Burrito,
    If you think Vatican I or II has anything to do with ‘partnering with the LDS’ or Islam, you are way off base. While Bryan said above he doesn’t want to debate right now, he has listed some of his reasons for converting. It doesn’t seem as though the decision was made on a whim.
    Whatever grief you have against the Church, you are mistaken in pretending the teachings of the Church are false and man-made. I hope you will prayerfully reconsider.
    Lastly, Bryan’s ministry can (and hopefully will be) even more Christ-centered and inspired when he is fully united to the Body of Christ.

  56. Michael Strain
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Welcome Home, my friend. I look forward to many good conversations this summer!

  57. Ann
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Bryan! So excited for you and your family!! You’re all in my prayers!

  58. Kristen
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    I had never heard of you or your work before. I just randomly followed a link from Twitter. But I’d just like to say how HAPPY this makes me!! I will be praying for you in this important time. Welcome home, brother!

  59. Dan
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Regardless of whatever denomination you choose, I do not doubt your love for Christ or for the cause of the Unborn. I’ve known you for long enough to know your heart is seeking truth.

    With that being said, I don’t get why you would want to become part of a church that has done so much evil in “the name of God.”
    The Inquisition, most of the Crusades, and the coverup of rampant pedophilia within the priesthood, along with so many utterly vile and corrupt popes (John XII, Benedict IX, Alexander VI, and Leo X to name a few)…

    …If the Roman Catholic church is the “one true church”, then it wouldn’t have been so corrupt throughout it’s history.

    But within the denomination of Roman Catholicism, there are true Christians! And it will be to that denomination’s benefit to have another one in the person of Bryan Kemper!

    • Monkeyboy
      Posted March 30, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      I think you are mistaken. PEOPLE do evil things in the name of God.

      Popes are human and are prone to sin just like anyone else. When you have a 2000 year history and get attacked by the Devil on a daily basis some are going to falter. They are not Jesus….they are men.

      As far as Paedophillia is concerned…schoolteachers, protestant ministers, rabbis and family members are all statistically more likely to commit it than Priests. We just dont hear about it.

      The Crusades? You should read a book called “Gods Battalions”. It gives the truth of what happened. If you call defending Christians who were getting murdered wholesale by Muslims in the Holy Land a bad thing….then we must agree to disagree. Yes there were a couple of instances in the Crusades when individuals committed atrocities….but that was not the norm. In those instances the people persecuted were protected by Catholic Priests and Monks.

      The Catholic Church defended Christians worldwide. It stopped the Muslims in Malta, The gates of Vienna and Lepanto. If I were you I would be thanking the Church…not attacking it.

      Welcome home Bryan.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Catholicism is not a denomination. It is the original, unadulterated Church instituted by Christ!

      God bless. =)

      • Katlyn Hudgins
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        By definition of what I believe I am catholic (little c). Until Jesus says I should become Catholic then Im good with staying nondenominational, following no man but Christ. Im not against the Catholic church, much of my family is part of it. but Catholicism (capital c) IS a denomination.

      • Wsquared
        Posted April 2, 2011 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        Katlyn Huggins, does “following no man but Christ” also mean that you don’t follow the Apostles, to whom Christ gave His authority?

      • Joseph E
        Posted April 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        @ Katlyn Hudgins
        I am sure you would realise that there are two major Christian streams in the west… Catholicism and Protestantism. The factions (or fractions) of protestantism are called denominations. The Catholic Church is obviously not part of any protestant factions.

      • Posted April 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        Joseph, by the same token, the Orthodox are not a denomination either.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      dan we will talk when I am in Portland

    • Joseph E
      Posted April 2, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Virtually all civil authorities of Europe had the death penalty for heresy. The civil authorities were not experts on the issues of faith and commonly had innocent people executed for heresy when indeed they had misunderstandings or things of the sort with no ill intentions. In 1184 the church set up the Holy Office to come in between the accused and the state as ‘experts’ so to save the many innocents that were suffering death. The decisions of the inquisitions were passed on to the state who then applied their sentences depending on whether heresy was confirmed or not. In fact, a great majority of them were let off with a warning, correction or simple dismissal of the cases. Indeed thousands were saved by the ‘inquisition’ that the church undertook.

      Where ‘tales’ of the inquisition as oppression originate are in the incidents of Spain where the state instituted an inquisition in the 1380s inspired by political interests and a churchman was appointed inquisitor-general. This procedure was not under the auspices of Rome and actually became an issue between Spain and Rome for the 15 years it lasted because their procedures were poorly organised. Eventually this was resolved and proper order was established. Some 2,000 people were killed in the 15 years and 1,000 more in the next 300 or so years when proper order was established. The Spanish Inquisition was rounded up in 1834.

      It should be noted that with the emergence of the protestant reformation (or deformation) protestant inquisitions were also set up. Unfortunately, because of the poor standard of the inquisitions there started to emerge the witchcraft hysteria of the period in protestant territories. This hysteria spread like wild fire throughout all protestant territories covering northern Germany, the Netherlands, and into the UK. Incidentally this hysteria couldn’t make inroads into Catholic territory because the Catholic inquisitions found no credibility in the claims brought before them. That is not to say that on occasion there weren’t problems and so in the 200 – 300 years of this hysteria a handful of people were killed on the accusation of witchcraft in Catholic territories and according to best estimates some 100,000 people, mostly women, we executed in protestant territories.

      So much for the Reformation and the Inquisition. Now, it is only the devil that must be the source of the heinous lies against the Catholic Church and so those who submit themselves to these lies can only be called his children as this demonstrates a very grave lack of prudence.

      I am not holding brief for the Catholic Church as I know there have been bad people and events but no community can claim to be free of the evils of mans weaknesses. But it is also wrong, and dangerously so, to live on wicked lies that are meant only to keep one from full salvation.

  60. David Brandao
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Shocked. Stunned. Speechless. I had not known that you were baptized in the Catholic church. Obviously, you’ll be criticized. But I know you’ll be just fine — I can tell from your words that you have found great peace in this decision. Amen!

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      I am shocked also David but in a good way

      • David Brandao
        Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        That’s what I meant, too. If you ever need an ear, gimme a holler.

  61. Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I understand the confusion that many have when approaching Christ’s Church. They see Roman Catholics as thinking themselves saved through submission to an institution of rules and regulations run by mere men. But we know better – The Church is Christ’s Body made of us all, and Christ saves us through His Body (Ephesians 5:23, Colossians1:18, 1 Corinthians 12:12-30). Christ is the head and we are all members of His body, making up all parts of it. We receive our Faith and find Salvation, knowing of it through this Body. Indeed, where else do we first hear of Jesus Christ, if not from the scripture and its proclamation, all provided through the Church?  Yes, we have the pope and our clergy, but that alone is not the Church. It also includes us, all of us and all together we make up His Body and complete it. 

    In saying “I am saved by Christ Alone, not some institution!”, we tend to make our own “Personal Jesus” and insist “I follow the Bible!” when in fact we are following our own feelings under a mistaken guise of “having the Holy Spirit”. One makes him/herself alone into the Body of Christ, and if another does not measure up then obviously the other person is wrong! Such is the weakness of Protestantism.

    The Catholic Church, for all of its member’s human flaws, still has shown itself to be the entire Body of Christ of which all partake of Jesus Christ in fullness.  We have scripture, we have sacraments, and we have history. Bryan has found this, and so I happily welcome him!  

  62. Kat
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home, brother!

  63. Joni
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    LOL! If you’re accusing the Catholic Church of being made up of sinners – guilty as charged! If you’re thinking that sins don’t occur in all churches, I’d think again. If you’re thinking that faulty people necessarily equals faulty Truth then Truth can never be. The idea that the One, True, Church will possess no sinners is quite contrary to Scripture.

    As far as the Crusades go…I can’t tell you the number of protestants lately who have said “I’m not a Catholic but if it weren’t for the Catholic Church we’d all be Muslims right now!”

    And then there’s all those Catholics who were persecuted in England after the Reformation. Oops!

    Whether you’re for our against the Catholic Church, learning a little more about it can’t hurt. So many of peoples’ ideas are based on talking points and not the facts.

  64. Posted March 30, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    I can only hope that you accidentally posted this 8 hours too early….or that you’re in a time zone where it’s already April 1st (and your datestamp just goofed).

  65. Dan
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    “The idea that the One, True, Church will possess no sinners is quite contrary to Scripture.”

    I agree, but when the leader of that church (who is supposedly the “vicar of Christ” and “speaks for God” on occasion) is busy whoring around, producing illegitimate children, castrating boys to keep their singing voices nice, putting to death anyone caught with a bible, sending children out into the desert to fight a war etc etc, as has happened in the Roman Catholic church, and then they either try to justify it or cover it up, then that church can not be the “true church.” The pope is highly fallible (just like all humans), whether he speaks “ex cathedra” or not.

    “As far as the Crusades go…”
    That’s why I said “most of the crusades”. The first two and part of the third were justifiable. The rest were not. And even then, the justifiable crusades were carried out in a corrupt way. That whole unlimited indulgence for any crusader? yeah, rape pillage and burn and it’s ok because the pope gave you a “get out of jail free” card.

    My problem with the Catholic church is that they have, in the past, done great evils and claimed that God ordained it, and then claim to be the only true church? Yeah, right. All churches contain sinners, but when the leader claims to speak for God and is the most corrupt…to hell with that.
    I don’t have any use for other denominations who do the same either, but Bryan isn’t joining those denominations.

    Many peoples ideas may be based on talking points, but mine are based on a thorough study of history.
    Nice try on the sophistry attempt, but I like to stick to actual topics I brought up. If you have to change what I said to make your point, you have no point.

    • Sam
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Just because someone is the vicar of Christ it doesn’t mean that they are thereby protected from sinning or that they will live a holy life. Nowhere has the Church ever taught that Popes are immune from personal misconduct. This the way it has always been. In the Old Testament, God chose Saul to be the head of the Israeli nation, and he fell horribly afterwards. This whole “but there were bad popes” argument is just a non-starter, because nobody has ever claimed that being a Pope confers some kind of immunity from sin. But, the remarkable thing is that even while there have been pope’s “whoring around” as you say, you cannot find one who taught that it was okay to do these things. I can’t believe people are still trotting out this silly argument.

    • Amber Currie
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Hmm I really liked this post, Dan. I’m a historian as well and, obviously, a Christian. It’s good to see your views!

      • Posted April 1, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        I liked Sam’s rebuttal better. If you’re a historian, might I suggest reading Church history — especially the early Church fathers? Jimmy Akin has a great book out – “The Fathers Know Best.”

    • Wsquared
      Posted April 2, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Dan, I think the more accurate way to put it is not that the Pope claims to speak for God, but acknowledges his role as being the servant of God. Indeed, it goes further– he is the Servant of the Servants of God, and not just “The Vicar of Christ.” To be the Servant of the Servants of God is the “job description” of the Vicar of Christ.

      And yes, I do like Sam’s rebuttal better. No pope has ever been immune from sin, not even grave sin. The sin of a pope or a priest is not the same as changing Church doctrine to say that their sins are okay.

  66. Richard
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    I am sorry Brian. Jesus Christ should be and is enough.

    • Ellie
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Of course Christ should be and is enough! And what better way to come fully to Christ than through partaking of His Body and Blood in the Eucharist of His holy Catholic Church and experiencing His true presence therein?

      Congratulations, Bryan! I am so happy for you. Don’t listen to the naysayers.

    • JusAdBellum
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Hence the need for Transubstantiation in the Eucharist, not merely a subjective interpretation of the Gospels. Jesus Christ is needed really, not in one’s own theory.

    • Jim
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Of course Richard!

      Jesus gives us everything – including His Body the Church.

    • Wsquared
      Posted April 2, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Of course he is, Richard. Such that He gave us His Church, and thus a way to seek and come home to Him.

  67. Kate
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Bryan, I first heard about your work through I Am Whole Life and I am so thankful for advocates of unborn life like you. I just wanted to say WELCOME HOME!!!!!!!!!!!

    Keep up the good fight!

  68. Rachel
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    I have already extended my congratulations and expressed my happiness to Bryan (on FB) about this joyous news, but I thought that perhaps I might offer a few helpful links. I am not here to engage in discussion or debate about the Church, but since there are a few commenting here who harbor misinformation/misunderstanding/confusion about the Church, I think a few such helpful links might appease them or help them as to their objections for the time being. That is all. Just trying to be helpful to those that may want to know more. This is not an invitation to discuss or debate in the combox, though!! If and when Bryan wants to do that, that is totally up to him. I am trying to respect his understandable wish while helping answer some objections posted here. So, to those who are confused, disappointed in Bryan’s conversion, or who think the Catholic Church is not the Church Christ founded, etc, or have any other misgivings about it, I kindly ask you to please check out the following! They are vastly informative, let me tell you. 🙂 You will find practically anything you may wonder about to be addressed here.

    http://www.catholic.com/library/faith_tracts.asp — from Catholic Answers, most common questions

    http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2009/06/catalogue-index-catholic-apologetics.html — Biblical Evidence for Catholicism

    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/library/sort-by-topic/ — Called to Communion: Reformation Meets Rome (the Index tab there will also provide an alphabetical list of all the site’s articles. This link includes other off-site articles, etc, by topic)

    http://www.salvationhistory.com/library/category/apologetics — The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology (this page provides an *extensive* list of helpful explanations, etc.)

    http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2006/hub_jesusiscatholic_oct06.asp — “Jesus is Catholic” (this is a beautiful and rich theological discussion on the Catholicity of Christ and His Church from the great Hans Urs von Balthasar)

    http://www.insidecatholic.com/feature/she-is-black-but-she-is-beautiful.html — Lastly, a meditation on the profound beauty of the Church and its eternal truths while also “paradoxically” being made up of us broken sinners, etc. (“The Church is a hospital for sinners.”)

    I hope these will prove helpful to someone/s here who questioned Bryan’s decision!! Blessings to all! Again, my prayers are with you, Bryan, as you continue on your journey home! Deo gratias!

  69. georgie halpin
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    So, so exciting. God Bless!

  70. Mary
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    Aloha dear Bryan, this is the best news I’ve heard in a long time. We love you and will be praying for you and your awesome family as you make your journey.

  71. Anthony Ozimic
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Te Deum laudamus!

  72. Karrie
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    I discovered and supported Rock for Life in a time when I was questioning my own. Catholicism. I read your entry with tears of joy, welcome home! Being Catholic is truly the best part of my life. Praise be to God for life, Salvation and the Church. I will pray for you.

  73. Helen
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    May you be confident knowing you are a child of God, let this presence settle into your bones, and allow you soul the freedom to
    sing, dance , praise, and love.

  74. Kathy
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Bryan,

    I would agree with you that most divisions in the church do not bring glory to God or please Him, namely those made over personal preferences. However, there are some that do please Him – those that occur as a result of the preservation of the purity of the essential truths of Biblical doctrine and faith (ie. salvation, justification, etc..) all issues you are well familiar with. With this said, I have to ask, since you mention the Orthodox Presbyterian Church specifically and publicly, did you carry out Matthew 18 and is there a charge of some specific sin or heresy that you confronted the church with? If so, what was your local church’s or even the denomination’s response? On the outset, it appears that you are in fact, divorcing yourself (ie. dividing) from this church without stating any scriptural basis, only your personal experiences and preferences.

    Lastly, church division, regardless of reason, is always sad because it involves people in the intimate area of spirituality where many relationships are formed. God calls His true church a family, therefore, when disputes or divisions occur, it is painful.

    Praying for you and your family.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Kathy,

      With respect the same question must be taken back further in time: who began the OPC and why? What made it right for them to schism from their parent church?

      And even further: What made it right for Calvin to start his own set of denominations? Or Luther? Or the Anglicans? Or the Anabaptists?

      Start at the beginning of the Church in the first century and trace it forward in time.

  75. Leslie T
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Praise God! Welcome back home Bryan! May God continue to richly bless you … you’re in our thoughts and prayers!

  76. Karrol Anne
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful and exciting time for you and your family. Jesus welcomes you with open arms as do the rest of the Catholic family! Welcome home You are in my thoughts and prayers!

  77. Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Bryan, I am so happy for you and I think it is wonderful. It sounded like you expected everyone to be upset with you. From most of the comments, most are supportive.

  78. Jill
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Welcome home, Bryan 🙂 This brings tremendous joy to my heart. You are in my prayers.

    (With great affection as well for our separated brethren in Christ!)

  79. Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Welcome home 🙂 you won’t regret it.

    (Speaking as an RCIA 2009 ‘graduate’)

    God bless you!

  80. John
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Welcome home, Bryan! I will be praying for you and your family!

    One thing that always confuses me is how people think that being part of the Catholic Church supplants Jesus as our means of salvation. We are saved by God’s grace through the merits of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. Period. That is pretty much right out of the Catechism. Jesus IS the head of the body, which IS His Church made up of believers. Scripture is crystal clear about church authority and Jesus’ prayer for unity and like-mindedness. Catholics are simply obeying the Lord and have a full understanding of the fulfilling of the Jewish Scriptures.

    PS – If the Church was to be exactly like the New Testament Church, the women should be covering their heads in Church, we should be meeting in secret, and living communally. Something greater than the Temple is here… Jesus loved the Father’s house and our Churches are fitting for the new Bread of the Presence!

  81. Robin
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    We’re so glad you’re coming home! I crossed the Tiber in ’07 after four decades in various denominations. I’m often reminded of Frost’s poem:

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    Entering Christ’s Church has made all the difference, thanks be to God!

  82. Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    God bless you, Bryan, and welcome home!

  83. Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Welcome, welcome, welcome home!! I’ll be joining the Church in just a few weeks at Easter Vigil. You will be in my prayers – I understand how difficult this decision can be. I had my conversion experience as a student at Oral Roberts University, and I’m a PK.

    We need people like you! CONGRATULATIONS!

    • Beth
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations in advance, Kassie! Wonderful!

  84. Christina
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Well you have to do what you feel is right for your family… and you absolutely have to do what you feel God is telling you to do. I’m glad you’ve made a decision you feel happy with. A relationship with Christ is so much more than just religion and denomination. I will pray for you and your family as you make this transition.

    I will say that sometimes as a non-catholic it’s hard to feel like I fit into a movement that is so largely catholic like being pro-life, it’s got nothing to do with being against catholicism… it’s just that the point of being pro-life is about protecting innocent life and so many people want to make it about specific religious ideals and doctrines. It was nice to find at least one group that wasn’t only about Catholic pro-life but was about Christian Pro-life in general and I’m glad that you wish to have it remain that way. I guess what I’m trying to say is that pro-life is not simply Catholic, or even simply Christian, it spans many kinds of people with many kinds of beliefs but with common goals and I just don’t want that fact to be ignored.

    • Cranky Catholic
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Christina, is it the fault of Catholics that the pro-life movement is “so largely catholic?” Even good Catholics will tell you it has nothing to do with religion. If you see pro-life youth so dominated by Catholics, then why is it so? Why isn’t it dominated by non-Catholic Christians?

      • Christina
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        I never said it was anyone’s fault. I’m a Christian, not a catholic. I’m not putting blame on anyone, I’m glad that there are a lot of pro-life people whether they are christian or catholic or whatever. I wasn’t attacking catholicism, so please don’t attack my faith.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      I used to feel similar to you, I was pro-life before I was Catholic. However, being pro-life stems from an absolute moral truth and absolute truths come from God… which is why, I believe, the movement is largely Catholic–Catholics have the best grip on what it truly means to be pro-life. I hope you continue to feel welcome in the pro-life movement. Thank you so much for cherishing life!

      • Christina
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        Anyone who knows God’s truth has a grip on what it means to be pro-life, it doesn’t take a catholic. I am a Christian, not a catholic, and therefore don’t practice many of the traditions that catholics do so having a majority of the pro-life groups encouraging things that I don’t practice instead of simply sticking to pro-life issues is off-putting, and I’m sure it’s not just to me but also probably to other non-catholics or even to non-Christians. That’s all.

  85. Luke
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks be to God! I came from a Southern Baptist tradition myself (2yrs ago) and I can not begin to tell you about all the joy Jesus has in store for you.

    You know, as I know, that this is not an easy journey. Converts do not commit intellectual suicide to cross the Tiber; quite the contrary!

    Welcome HOME! We are lucky to have you!

    (As for those that are not sharing in your joy, here’s my observation: Faith isn’t always so much a matter of the Intellect as it is the Will.)

    • Wsquared
      Posted April 2, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Luke, I agree with you. Converts– and certainly not reverts (who are converts in another sense, given that conversion is a life-long endeavor)– do not commit intellectual suicide. The Catholic faith is both broad and deep, and can be understood by everyone with a simple faith in God: from the cleverest to people who are unclever. It is welcome to deep questioning, and encourages it.

  86. martin (the sinner)
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home.

  87. Posted March 31, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home Bryan! I am so happy for you, and the Lord leading you to His church. It sounds like it’s been a long journey, you’re finally coming back home. You will be in my prayers!

  88. Posted March 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I am formerly “non-denominational” and converted to the Catholic Church in 2005 for the same reasons you mention.

    May God continue to bless you on your journey through RCIA and into full communion with his church.

  89. Posted March 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    @Christina – “A relationship with Christ is so much more than just religion and denomination.”

    The fullness of relationship with Christ is found in the real presence of his body and blood in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is only possible through the hands of the priests of the Holy Catholic Church.

    Any relationship with Christ which does not include his real presence in the Eucharist is incomplete and this is what is so amazing about Bryan’s conversion back to the the Church established by Christ himself. Bryan is coming to the fullness of his relationship with Christ. He is coming to the Eucharist.

    -Tim-

    • Mike
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Tim,Where is that in Scripture? At Pentecost the Apostles recieved the Holy Spirit without the Eucharist! Bryan please put a stop to this! It is bordering on heresy.

      • Chris
        Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        John 6:53-58, along with most of the rest of John 6 supports the Real Presence quite clearly. Other examples include the texts of Matthew, Mark and Luke about the Last Supper as well as 1 Corinthians 10:16 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.

        53 Then Jesus said to them: “Amen, amen, I say unto you: unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. 54 He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I will raise him up in the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father has sent me and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, the same also shall live by me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers ate manna and are dead. He that eats this bread shall live for ever.”

        May God bless you and yours.

      • Ellie
        Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        No one said you cannot receive the Holy Spirit independent of the Eucharist. What we *are* saying is that one cannot have a WHOLE and COMPLETE relationship with Christ without participating in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist (which the apostles did at the Last Supper, when the Eucharist was instituted by Christ himself).

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Mike the heresy comes in the denial of Christ’s full presence in Holy Communion.

      • Katlyn Hudgins
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        but you dont have to be part of the Catholic church to take communion.

      • Ellie
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Katlyn- if you want to partake of communion in a Catholic Church, yes, you do, in fact, have to be Catholic. Only Catholics may participate in the Catholic Eucharist.

  90. Chris Rothschild
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Amen brother! Joined the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church last year and I love it! Praying for you and your family!

  91. Posted March 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I do not know you personally but I do believe God lead me to this post.
    I have tears of joy for you! Welcome home.
    In Christ,
    Peggy

  92. T.S.
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Bryan, I was SO Excited when I saw this!!! I started praising the Lord and quickly told my siblings the Wonderful news! I am currently studying at Franciscan University in hopes to become an RCIA director. For about the past year or so I have been praying a “prayer for those thinking about the RCIA process” and unknowingly I have been praying all this time for you! And of course you will continue to be in my prayers!! God Bless and Welcome Home!

  93. Patrick Valentine
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I think it was Blessed Cardinal Newman that said if one studied history that they could not choose to be protestant. The Church Fathers and Patristic Studies do have a continuing effect. Ignatius of Antioch walked the long witness to Rome and is still relevant today.

    God Bless You and welcome back

  94. Sean
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home, brother!

  95. Molly
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    🙂 Praying for you, your family and all involved.

    I’m seriously giddy with excitement for you. Welcome home!

  96. Posted March 31, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home, Bryan. Just…welcome home.

  97. Christy V
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Bryan,
    Welcome to the family! We will most definitely keep you in our prayers. So grateful to have your amazing pro-life presence in our Catholic church …

  98. Cathy
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Bryan! I became Catholic 21 years ago, and have never once questioned it as the best decision of my life. Followed closely by marrying Austin. (He says the same of his conversion and marrying me. We know our place!)

  99. Kerstin
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Bryan! I made the journey myself converting from the Lutheran tradition. There comes a point when Truth cannot be denied anymore and I remember vividly when that Loving Peace came over me and I knew without a doubt that I no longer was a Protestant. Like you, my journey took years.
    And to all of those who are puzzled by such a decision, please give us a little more credit. Those of us who swam the Tiber have done so with eyes fully open. Bryan is correct in not entering any debates. We’ve done them on our own to the point of exhaustion in the years leading up to full conversion.

  100. anti-pope
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    The Roman Catholic church is NOT the “first” church!

    The Ethiopian and Coptic churches have been around for far longer, and the Churches than Paul wrote his letters to were not roman catholic. If someone want’s to join another man made religion that is christian based, that’s fine, but there is nothing about Roman Catholicism that makes it a better church than any other. Bryan, it’s really too bad that you are becoming a slave to a religion rather than casting off man made traditions in your christian walk. It’s a step backwards. 🙁

    • Shannon Norvell
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      I agree with “anti-pope”…..

    • Chris
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      The Catholic Church was indeed the first church. Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who was a disciple of the Apostle John, wrote the following in his Letter to the Smyrneans in the year 107: “Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” This is the earliest documentation we have of the Church described as Catholic, so this term must have already been in general use previous to this. Jesus instituted the Catholic Church with Peter as its earthly head in Matthew 16:18-19: “And I say to you: That you are Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” Peter was the first Pope, and Benedict XVI is the 266th in the line of Peter’s office.

      God Bless.

    • Ellie
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Christ left Peter in control of the Church after He departed this earth. Peter was the first Pope.

      Certainly sounds like the Roman Catholic Church is the original to me…

    • Ellie
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      “there is nothing about Roman Catholicism that makes it a better church than any other. ”

      And the award for Silliest Statement of the Week goes to…anti-pope!

      There is EVERYTHING about Roman Catholicism that makes it a better church than ALL others.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Please take a look at this protestant’s blog post about religion: http://www.richardliantonio.com/blog/2010/02/religion-is-not-a-bad-word/

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      anti-pope,

      If you really think that the Coptic and Ethiopian Churches preceded the Catholic Church, then why not join them? You may or may not know that, like the Catholic Church, they hold to seven sacraments and venerate Mary, calling her the Mother of God. Corruption must have entered the Church quite early on, eh? Perhaps the Mormons are right when they say the Great Apostasy began shortly after the death of the last Apostle?

    • M Taheny
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      There is one caveat…even though Paul wrote to churches that were outside of Rome, HE was in Rome. Additionally, he was considered a Roman citizen, dying by beheading rather than torture (as was Nero’s preference) because he was a Roman citizen.

      If you follow the words of St. Paul, you unwittingly follow a Roman Catholic. St. Irenaus (A.D. 150) said to his parishioners to seek out the CATHOLIC Church, precisely because there were so many variations. However, if one is to be a purist, one cannot deny where the first Church was centered. Both Peter and Paul were killed in Rome. Did you ever wonder why they went there in the first place? If you research it a bit, you may ironically discover the very reason the Roman Church is the one gifted with “primacy.” Why was Peter, an illiterate fisherman, in Rome when he was a Galilean? Why did St. Paul travel there? Why did the Christians willingly die there? It will take some typology lessons and Old Testament research but you will discover it has to do with the prophecies. Remember the statue with sand, marble and feet of iron? That is a clue.

      Have fun. Life is an adventure and we all get to play a part in it. We are all part of this glorious plan God has made, and we rejoice together as one Body, the Body of Christ, in the worship of God. There is another clue.

      You shall find your way. Keep asking the questions and never stop until you find the answers. Seek, and you SHALL find!

  101. Joni
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Dan-
    Sorry I didn’t respond earlier but my wi-fi went out! Aahhhhhh!

    I’m not sure where the changing of the arguments comes in so I can’t answer respond to that one.

    The leader of the One, True, Church is fallible in many areas. He is only infallible in a certain scope. He can make many mistakes as some have but he cannot teach error. If he is allowed to lead others astray in areas of Doctrine then the gates of Hell certainly would be prevailing and we know this cannot happen. Popes have been erring since the first. There’s a reason that Paul rebuked Peter. Peter was failing in a discipline that he, himself, set. That said, not one has ever contradicted Doctrine.

  102. Sparki
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home (and I am so pleased that most of the comments here have been positive)!

  103. charlie
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    but what about praying to mary??? thatsnot biblical, Purgatory?? how are these teahings justified? I mean no offence , genuine questions.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Charlie first of all you have to look back into history at the original canon of scripture which included books like Maccabees which does talk about purgatory. If you have any doubt as to what is the cannon of scripture I suggest you study history, it was the reformers who took out and rejected 7 books of the old testament.

      Also there was no bible for the first few hundred years, and many of these teachings were there and part of the church so who was the authority then? If there was no bible yet there still had to be an authority and that was and still is the Catholic Church.

      If you study history there is no way to go other than the Catholic Church.

      Bryan

      • Mike
        Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Bryan- no other book of the Bible affirms purgatory. Scripture interprets Scripture. History does not interpret Scriptures. If you study Scriptures there is no way you would affirm what the Roman Catholic church teaches. Praying the rosary is blasphemy, “holy Mary mother of God pray for us sinners now…….”, she died and is asleep in Christ until those who believe are raised up when Jesus returns! Right brother, isn’t that what you believe?? I understand for your ministry reasons you are better off more closely associated with the Catholic church but on certain doctrines you are on dangerous grounds.

      • Chris
        Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Quite the contrary, Mike. Many former Protestants, like Bryan, have come into the fullness of the Christian faith as a result of studying scripture.

        Purgatory – Consider 1 Corinthians 3:15. As Revelation 21:27 states, “nothing unclean shall enter heaven”. Therefore, unless we die with souls perfectly aligned to God’s will, we must be purified before entering heaven. As Catholics, we call the state between our death on earth in the friendship of God and our entrance into heaven “purgatory”. The concept is what is of importance, not the name.

        The Hail Mary – The Hail Mary is a prayer in which the first half is quoted from scripture (Luke 1:28 and Luke 1:42), and the second half is scripturally sound as well. We believe that Mary, as well as the rest of the saints (all of the souls in heaven), can pray for us just as we can pray for our fellow living brothers and sisters in Christ because God is a God of the living, not the dead (Mark 12:26-27). Those who are in heaven are in an infinitely more intimate relationship with God than we can hope to be here on earth, so we are grateful to “be surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1).

        God bless you and yours.

      • Posted April 1, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        Bryan,

        There was no original canon of scripture. The Jews had no fixed canon, it was always a matter of more or less books that varied by region.

        the church had a variety of canons, some which included various works while leaving out others. The canon didn’t become solidified until the fifth century.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Charlie…I would encourage you to take the time to actually study the Catholic teachings from a good Catholic source. You might find that they are closer to the teachings of Scripture than you actually think.

      I myself converted from a very strong “Sola Scriptura” Protestantism…and I have to say that as a Catholic I now love the Scriptures far more…and all those passages that so many Protestants avoid or gloss over now actually make sense.

    • A
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      “One should honor Mary as she herself wished and as she expressed it in the Magnificat. She praised God for his deeds. How then can we praise her? The true honor of Mary is the honor of God, the praise of God’s grace.. .Mary is nothing for the sake of herself, but for the sake of Christ…Mary does not wish that we come to her, but through her to God.
      Mary is the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of us even though it was Christ alone who reposed on her knees…If he is ours, we ought to be in his situation; there where he is, we ought also to be and all that he has ought to be ours, and his mother is also our mother.
      Whoever possesses a good (firm) faith, says the Hail Mary without danger! Whoever is weak in faith can utter no Hail Mary without danger to his salvation. Our prayer should include the Mother of God.. .What the Hail Mary says is that all glory should be given to God, using these words: “Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ. Amen!” You see that these words are not concerned with prayer but purely with giving praise and honor.. .We can use the Hail Mary as a meditation in which we recite what grace God has given her. Second, we should add a wish that everyone may know and respect her…He who has no faith is advised to refrain from saying the Hail Mary.”

      — MARTIN LUTHER

    • M Taheny
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      That is a great question Charlie. Thanks for asking it.

      We say the Hail Mary based on one common principle all Christians share: We ask her to pray for us.

      Have you ever asked a friend to keep you in his prayers? Have you ever asked them to pray for you? When we pray the Hail Mary, we say, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us…” We acknowledge that she gave birth, not to just a man, but to the Son of God.” This was a Christian principle passed down from 432 A.D.. We ask her to pray for us. When Mary asked Jesus to do something at the Wedding at Cana, Jesus said he wasn’t even ready to begin his ministry…AND YET, He did what she requested because He was a fulfillment of the Law, which says one must honor his mother and father. To ignore her request, no matter how bizarre, would dishonor her.

      I know it sounds like we are trying to get an advantage on Jesus, but think about it…would Jesus really be angry at you for loving HIS mother? I somehow doubt it. However, if you obeyed HIS words when He commanded on the Cross to John, “Behold your mother,” how much more pleased would Jesus be with your love of his mother? We do not worship Mary. We LOVE her! Big big difference!

      I hope this helps.

  104. al
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t follow all the comments but as long as Christ is center and man’s rules second sounds good to me. Personally too many rules and rituals for me but you go for it and enjoy the Lord wherever you are with Him.

  105. Mikey
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    So beautiful for you to humble yourself to God’s plan. So often people are scared to stand up for what they KNOW is right. You seem to be a man has been doing that for years and has made another decision to do what you feel is the right thing for you. The Catholic Church welcomes you home. See you in the Eucharist.
    Mikey

  106. John
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    As a former evangelical and member of the 2005 Tiber swim team, I’d like to wish you the best in your journey home!

  107. Dom
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Bryan, you’re baptised Catholic?! You kept that one under your hat! To think you deprived me of these years of teasing! 😛

    I’m still so pleased to know this Bryan, I was so surprised and grateful to God when I guessed right in Scotland! (Grateful for your decision, that is, not for my amazing guessing skills, although I am thankful for that particular talent too – it comes in handy all the time!)

    To quote Scott Hahn, welcome to “Rome Sweet Home”.

    • Alithea
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      have you actually read that yet? 😛

  108. Laura Pardo
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    God bless you Bryan. I will be offering Mass for you tomorrow. Stay strong. Find a good spiritual advisor. In Christ, Laura

  109. Shannon Norvell
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    You’re right, I am confused! Catholic? Really?? So much of what they teach is false…. Sorry to hear all this 🙁

    • Luke
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Shannon,

      That is a common misconception, and one I shared for a long time.

      Pick up a copy of “Catholicism and Fundamentalism.”

      At least you will understand better how we view the Church, if not personally believe it yourself.

  110. KathyS
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Welcome back, Bryan! I and the rest of our one billion family members are filled with joy at your announcement.

    You are among a great number of reverts, such as Jeff Cavins and Frank Beckwith. Many people did not understand their decision and yet they continued to Stand True. God bless you!

  111. JT
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Dear Bryan,

    I saw this linked on New Advent. I don’t follow your blog, but would like to welcome you into the fullness of Truth, the Ark of Salvation! Welcome Home!

  112. Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home brother! I also once considered myself a faithful Presbyterian in line with the OPC. But thanks be to God, He has brought my wife and I to His true Church. May God bless you!

  113. Sam
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home, friend! I am a former evangelical who entered the Church last easter. I am so glad for you, Christ has so many wonderful gifts to give like the sacrament of confession and the Eucharist. You are totally deprived of these precious signs of Christ’s love for us when it’s just “Me and Jesus and my personal interpretation of the Bible”. Also it is sad to see so many of our protestant brothers and sisters who are still confused. I used to be an anti-Catholic southern baptist, but then I started actually reading the early Church fathers and the documents from the first few centuries of Christian history. It was eye opening, and it forced me to recognize protestantism as the 16th century aberration that it is. For all of you protestant anti-catholics, I challenge you to read the Church Fathers and ask yourself: do they sound more like Catholics or like Protestants? I predict that if you do this with an open mind, you will come to agree with Cardinal Newman “To be deep in the history of The Church is to cease to be a protestant”.

  114. Alithea
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Bryan, I was so excited and happy for you when it came out in Scotland. All of us in Cardiff are so thrilled! I always thought you were the most Catholic non-Catholic I had ever met :). I love journeys like this because all the reasons you give remind me how blessed I am to be a Catholic.
    I’m sure this decision won’t always be easy for you, and I’ll keep you in my prayers but it’s obvious you don’t need telling what joy you’ll find in receiving Christ in the Eucharist and being at home in the Church.

    God Bless

    ps I don’t blame you for not telling Dom about being baptized Catholic. The teasing would have been truly unbearable! Then again, with your martial arts skills you probably would have come out on top…

    • Chris
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Alithea, you post made me laugh and I agree about with your assessment of Bryan being “the most Catholic non-Catholic” we know! Thanks for the laugh. I am so excited for Bryan and his family…and for the church be blessed with him and all the talents God has given him.

  115. Big Irish
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations to Bryan and a massive welcome to all converts! My heart sings when i read such wonderful stories of Christians coming home.

    The sheep that went its own way was lost, but the flock follows the shepherd.

    God bless you and all converts, past, present and future!

    Love and prayers from Northern Ireland!

  116. Sam
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    And where in the bible does it say that “scripture interprets scripture”? Where in the Bible does it say that scripture is the only source of teaching authority? How did Christians manage to teach and believe theological truths for the first 300+ years when there was no canonical new testament? It amazes me that, in order to defend sola scriptura, you have to concoct all of these unbiblical “principles” that have no scriptural basis and serve no purpose except to prop up the heresy of sola scriptura.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      THANK YOU for posting that. The other day I saw a great quote. It said something along the lines of, “The words “faith alone” appear exactly one time in all of Scripture, and they are preceded by the words “not by.”

  117. Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    I’m a revert who spent 15 years going to an Evangelical Presbyterian church. Something you might find helpful in your conversations with friends from your former church is Tiptoe through TULIP by James Akin. He describes well where Catholic doctrine overlaps with or differs from the core tenets of the Westminster Confession.

    May God bless your journey with great joy.

  118. Joni
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Mike – There are other scriptures that support purgatory besides Maccabees.

    1Peter 3:19
    Matt 12:32
    1 Cor 3:15

    That said, before this conversation can be had you have to start with who has the authority to interpret Scripture.

    • charlie
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:53 am | Permalink

      Hi Joni, im sorry im not sure how these scriptures relate to pergatory.

  119. Cathy
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Welcome, Brother!

  120. Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Bryan!!! Welcome home, from another convert! I converted in 2009 after several years of resisting, as well. May God bless you abundantly for listening to his gentle but persistent call to return HOME!!! 😀

  121. ChristenMarue
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations on your decision. You and your family are and will be so blessed! Check out the ACTS groups! Great ministry! Also Project Gabriel and Project Rachel. We will be prelaying for you and your family as you get through RCIA and for your journey in Christ! <

  122. Marin
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    WOOHOOO! Welcome home brother!

  123. Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Dear Bryan, you are the 2nd blogger I read today making the same decision. What joy! I also am a convert — having been raised as a third-generation Jehovah’s Witness. Trust me there is not a single condemnatory comment above that I could not have topped at one time — so folks, just keep praying for them. When Christ first led me out of that cult, I became a Protestant, but was led over a few years to the Catholic Church — no one more surprised than I was! God bless you abundantly.

    • Joni
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      Oooooohhh! Who’s the other one?

  124. Paul
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Welcome! Whatever any of us can do to help, to explain, to encourage, to console, to explore, etc., we want to do.

    Help us reach out to others who are seeking, too!

  125. Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Bryan,

    God bless your courageous decision. I know how hard it is and the betrayal that friends can feel from it. They honestly think you are endangering your soul’s salvation in becoming Catholic. My only advice is to give them time and try to preserve the friendships. Christ graciously be with you!

  126. Sherri Bickley
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    And the angels are dancing! Welcome HOME to the universal Church that has been kickin’ it old school since 33AD! It is a fabulous place to be!! TNT—all the TEACHINGS, for all the NATIONS, for all of TIME!! Praise be to God!

  127. Mickey
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Welcome Home!

    Check out Marcus Grodi’s The Journey Home website and Mon eve show at 8pm on EWTN….

  128. Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Congrats! I too broke the news to my shocked fundamentalist Tennessee family… but only AFTER the Easter vigil — I was too chicken to tell them beforehand because I knew that although they couldn’t change my call, they could make this joyful moment less joyful. I should warn you, if you are single, you need to prepare yourself for a possible call to priesthood or religious life! There are lots of us out there who, on reconciling with the Church and knowing what *that* call felt like, realized that there was *another* call to a Church vocation! I’m 8 years in the convent now and God continues to be amazing to me. Be patient with your friends and family and know that they love you. It took awhile for my family to come around but now we can tease one another gently but from a shared stance of loving Jesus Christ and placing Him in the center. Pax! I will be praying for you! Congratulations!!! Sister Joy

  129. Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    It has been a long time Bryan.

  130. janet sciacca
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! I know where you have been! Raised a Catholic, leaving it as a teenager, became a 7th Day Adventist for 20 years, left that because I saw problems with their doctrines and theology. Then after 7 years of wandering, looking for a faith I could call home, I studied, and the only one that made sense was, Surprise! The Catholic Church! Wow, I was stunned, excited, and amazed. My friends looked at me like I had turned purple! It was not hard for me though, because I knew it was right, to my very core. The Catholic Church takes EVERY line of scripture seriously. All other churches cherry-pick thru scripture and ignore alot of it. Such as the Eucharist! How they can ignore that is beyond me. Take off your blinders people! Dare to open your mind, your heart, and you will see.

  131. Matt Maes
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    My wife (a convert from Southern Baptist) and I (a cradle Catholic) are overjoyed to hear this news! Good on ya mate! The Lord is good.
    .
    God willing, your conversion will lead to more conversions.

  132. Carrie
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Praise God, praise God, praise God!

  133. Alex
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I take slight issue with all the claiming that the Catholic Church is the one original church and that all others are splinter groups. What of the Orthodox Church? They’ve been around for an exactly equal time? Ie both the Catholic and the Orthodox formed at the Great Schism in 1054 – and this because of massive ongoing disagreement within the state church of the Roman Empire. It seems a little like revisionist history for Catholics to claim to be the one and only original church. I could also point out that the Orthodox hasn’t suffered the fractures that have hit western Christianity – first in the 16th with the Reformation, and subsequently amongst the Protestants. So maybe one should join the Orthodox as they are still pretty much united all these years later, and have been there for as long as the Roman Catholic?

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Alex, listen to St. Cyprian (AD251):
      “On him [Peter] He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles, yet He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair.”
      Once you start to actually look into history, not only is Protestantism not even on the radar, but Orthodoxy does not hold up either. The unity of Peter has been there from the beginning. If you study it, I bet I will see you on this side of the Tiber!
      http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2011/02/the-chair-of-st-peter/

      • Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        David, Try the Fifth Ecumenical Council of hundreds of bishops teaching together.

        “And to this end we brought to his remembrance the great examples left us by the Apostles, and the traditions of the Fathers. For although the grace of the Holy Spirit abounded in each one of the Apostles, so that no one of them needed the counsel of another in the execution of his work, yet they were not willing to define on the question then raised touching the circumcision of the Gentiles, until being gathered together they had confirmed their own several sayings by the testimony of the divine Scriptures. And thus they arrived unanimously at this sentence, which they wrote to the Gentiles: “It has seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay upon you no other burden than these necessary things, that ye abstain from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication.” But also the Holy Fathers, who from time to time have met in the four holy councils, following the example of the ancients, have by a common discussion, disposed of by a fixed decree the heresies and questions which had sprung up, as it was certainly known, that by common discussion when the matter in dispute was presented by each side, the light of truth expels the darkness of falsehood. Nor is there any other way in which the truth can be made manifest when there are discussions concerning the faith.”

        http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xii.vi.html

        The primacy of Peter did not float free of Counciliar judgments, nor was it something that was necessary for other apostles and bishops to execute their work as such, according to the council. Plese note that by Catholic teaching, this council is ecumenical and infallible.

    • Robert
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink
    • Katie
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      While it is true that the various Orthodox churches are generally referred to under the umbrella term “Orthodox,” it is patently false to deny that deep divisions exist within Orthodoxy. There are deep wounds and lasting resentments between the various churches, many of them related to ethnic and national divisions, and although there may not be doctrinal disputes, there are very much issues of ecclesiology, jurisdiction, autocephaly, etc.

      • Posted April 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Katie, I must beg to differ. There is only one Orthodox Church with many national jurisdictions. The latter are not separate churches but are in full communion with each other. so whatever divisions you are speaking of they do not impugn full communion.

        And the ethnicity of various jurisdictions is not any greater than those between Latin Rite and all the various Eastern Rite Catholics.

        As for jurisdictional disputes, they are as old as the Apostles, so that hardly implies that its claims to be the one true Church founded by Christ and His Apostles are false.

  134. justamouse
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    I could have written your post word for word. Was baptized and made first communion and then left for 30 years of hard core Protestantism.

    By His grace, I made my way back for the same exact reasons. Starting RICA with my whole family.

    Blessings to you.

  135. Michael
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Bryan,

    I followed a link here from The Deacon’s Bench, as I was unfamiliar with you or your ministry. Congratulations on such a hard, yet rewarding decision. You will be in my prayers!

  136. Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    I received a message from a mutual friend asking me my thoughts about you (re)turning to the Catholic Church.

    I congratulate you, my old friend, on following your heart in your spiritual journey. Not that you need it, but my heart blesses you in your decision and I pray that you will continue to find all that you desire from Christ and His Church.

    On a funnier note: I’d love to see Tom Koehler’s and Greg Durrand’s expressions when they find out! Do I hear a “Holy Megazorks!”?

    I hope our paths cross again soon.

    Pastor Nar

  137. Mark H
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    Bryan,

    Wonderful news, I myself am returning to the Roman Catholic Faith at Easter, but from an entirely different perspective. I was also baptised a Catholic, but have spent the last 31 years as a marxist/atheist. I got smacked between the eyes five years ago when as a paramedic I had the misfortune to attend a miscarriage of an 11 week old child. What I saw horrified and upset me, I saw a small dead human being. It was then that I realised that I was being lied to, and I was part of that lie. My conversion has and will still cost me dearly but that doesn’t matter, what matters is that we all find the strength to challenge the lies in a loving way. I firmly believe that The Catholic Church is the truth and that Jesus is using his church to turn hardened and cynical people like myself into the loving, kind, forgiving people that we were born to be.

    God Bless

    God Bless

  138. Dr. Michael Johnson
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Welcome Home!

  139. Isa
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Welcome back! =)

    May God bless you and guide you throughout your journey!

  140. Christopher Lake
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Bryan, last year, after years as a Reformed Baptist, I returned to the Catholic Church, in which I was baptized, and which I now know has the fullness of the Christian faith. I see that we have similar journeys. Welcome home, brother!!

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I remember that rowboat we shared. You had the right paddle and I had the left. We paddled the Tiber together! I am loving every minute of it! It is good to be home!

  141. Posted April 1, 2011 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I am seeing a lot of people on both sides of the discussing here making thinks far more simple than they are.
    Bryan,

    Here are some things to consider.

    Why is Catholicism considered by not other ancient Christian bodies such as Orthodoxy?

    If one is going to make an informed decison and be intellectually honest, then one needs to consider all the viable options. For Catholics here to proclaim that the Catholic church is the only ancient church from the beginging is something that would make the Patriarchs in all the other Apostolic Sees in the East choke. Things just aren’t that simple.

    As for contraception, the matter is far more complicated. On of the reasons all forms of contraception were prohibited was due in large measure to the mistaken biological belief that the semen were human beings whole and entire and so barrier methods were thought to be tantamount to murder.

    As for schism, even though Rome doesn’t share all of the blame, the major schism of Protestantism is a product of Catholicism itself. And it isn’t a schism that in five hundred years Rome has been able to heal either in whole or even with respect to one major Protestant tradition returning to Rome.

    On a practical level, if you were to walk into any given Catholic or Orthodox parish, which one do you think the Apostles would recognize as its own? Which one has preserved the Apostolic form of worship?

    As for the Protestant interlocutors here, Protestant leaders have participated with quite high rhetoric in terms of “speaking for God” in the execution of Catholics or others, the near genocide of Irish Catholics or Native Americans. That door swings both ways. Of course if Protestant wish to deny that their teachers speak for God, in light of Jesus saying that those who hear the apostles and the teachers he will send, hear him, I am sure Orthodox and Catholics will be happy to concede the point.

    If Bryan is entering a period of discernment, its best to have all options on the table, be patient study, and take your time.

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Perry,

      I’ll chime in from the Catholic side. Certainly Orthodoxy in its various forms is also ancient. Either one of the Orthodox families is the true Church or the Catholic Church is. This is of course the debate between us.

      So if Catholics here have overlooked Orthodoxy in their claims, that was inaccurate and as a token Catholic here I concede that point to you.

      Orthodoxy though is not without its own issues. What Orthodox family of Churches do I join? Eastern, Oriental? Which Church within that family? Armenian, Coptic, Russian, Romanian? And if I am in the U.S., which offshoot of the Russian or Greek Orthodox Church?

      I would concede the point that, at least in the U.S., if an Apostle entered a Catholic Church and saw a LifeTeen Mass or Folk Mass, they would probably be a bit bewildered, but the divine liturgy is celebrated in many Catholic parishes reverently and sacred-ly. Gotta compare best to the best.

      In any event, Orthodoxy is by far the most credible challenger to the Catholic Church in terms of laying claim to being the true Church. God bless!

      • Posted April 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Devin,

        My point is that one is not making an informed judgment when one stacks the deck and ignores other options or simply reads one intro book from one side and read gobs of stuff on the other. That doesn’t seem reasonable, especially when Catholics like to use Orthodoxy as an apologetic pawn against Protestants.

        Second, by all means pluralize the options further between the Chalcedonians and non-Chalcecondians. That doesn’t exclude Rome as an option, it just widens the scope. That is, adding the non-Chalcedonians isn’t something defective about Orthodoxy since Orthodoxy is Chalcedonian, and you could only argue otherwise that we should widen the scope by putting Catholicism on the potential chopping block. Moreover, I am not sure how pointing out another patriarchate that went off on its own with its own distinctives is a real help to Rome which fundamentally did the same thing. It simply highlights the weakness of Rome’s position. Alexandria was a Petrine seen too.

        As for the bodies you list, I don’t know why you think the Russians and Romanians are different churches. They are no more so than the Melkites and the Latins are among Catholic bodies. They are in full communion with each other, and the same is true of the Russian and Greek jurisdictions in the US. They are not a separate church. I am quite surprised you make this rather simple mistake. If you at the least had read Ware’s popular book it should have disabused you of it as would any routine church tour at any Orthodox parish during their respective annual festival. My family all by ourselves visit Serbian, Russian and other jurisdictions and commune fairly regularly, say to join in the celebration of their patronal feast day and they ours.
        As for the Armenians, in case you didn’t know, they are Monothelites and hence non-Chalcedonians, so bringing them up with other non-Chalcedonians as if they were part of Orthodoxy is a straw man as I noted above. You can no more hold them out as an option than you can the Nestorians on pain of putting Rome’s Christology up for grabs.

        I never denied that Orthodoxy is not without practical problems. No age of the church from the apostles onward has been without problems, but until I see an argument showing that the Orthodox have compromised the faith once delivered the claim is unsupported and ambiguous. In short, that dog don’t hunt.

        As for which church the Apostles would recognize, I think you miss the point. The argument is not to compare the best with best, since that wouldn’t work with Bryan’s point about Protestantism, namely the best Protestants also forbid contraception carte blanche. The argument is who has preserved the tradition and not in this or best case scenario. The truth is you can go to any major city in the US for example and you can count on one hand the Catholic parishes that do the new mass pretty much the way it is supposed to be done. This is true in St. Louis where I live or where I was raised in OC, CA. And this is true not just for the US or North America. Why can’t the Pope just enforce canon law and exclude female altar servers as it generally requires? It’s a small part of the tradition to maintain and the Pope has the authority and power to do it. Why after nearly half a century is nothing done? Is Peter asleep? He who is faithful with little things…

        Now every body has abuses to contend with, but when the issue is systematic, widespread, pervasive and uncorrected for decades, it is not an abuse nay longer, but a systematic overturning of the tradition. It doesn’t matter which Orthodox parish you attend, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom or St. Basil the Great will be pretty much the same without fail. There will not be lay Eucharistic ministers, female altar servers or laymen giving “talks” in the place of the sermon. This is why your line of comparing best with best falls short. If the best is three of four parishes in any given major metropolitan area out of a hundred of so, then Rome hasn’t in fact preserved the tradition in her churches. So again, which church would the Apostles recognize as their own if they were to walk into any random parish? This is an especially fair question given that this was the question Newman put to Protestants.

      • Posted April 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Perry,

        I don’t want to pull the discussion too much off-topic, so let me say one last thing here and if you want to have the last word, cool.

        By all means Bryan should consider the different families of Orthodoxy in his discernment. But how many Orthodox does he know? How many Orthodox Churches exist around him? The Orthodox are late-comers to the American continent. So practically speaking this is a difficulty, but sure he should look into it. Buy Ware’s book as I did.

        My point about even different national/autocephalous Churches within Orthodoxy is that when an American considers joining a Russian or Romanian Orthodox Church, it betrays the oddity of national Churches. I have Ware’s book and have been reading through it again this Lent. The explanations he gives of the different Orthodox bodies in the U.S. is complex and even dizzying, and the picture he portrays is that these groups are not all in harmony with one another. Perhaps you interpret his explanation differently.

        I thought Armenians were still considered part of the Oriental Orthodox “family.” If they are not, that is my error, but regardless, they are another option as a Church with Apostolic Succession who “broke off” early on. Gotta keep all options on the table.

        Have the Orthodox compromised the faith? I wouldn’t say that, but I would say they broke in schism from the Catholic Church and are not in full communion with her. Reunion is more possible with the Orthodox, however, than with any other Church or community because the Orthodox have largely preserved the faith, with some exceptions.

        David Meyer below points out contraception. That’s a big issue, and one where the Pope has written more powerfully and persuasively than anyone else as to why contraception is immoral. Divorce is another issue. The Orthodox have softened on this and from what I have read hold a position that there are many reasons where divorce is permissible–quite different from the concept of annulment in the Catholic Church.

        The Pope, like Christ, is patient with wayward children, even with Judases. Some bishops forbid female altar servers. Some allow it. But women are not priests and can never be, which is a much more important issue, and on that doctrine the Catholic Church will never waver.

        Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion aside, I would pit lots of parishes’ Masses against Orthodox liturgies any day. The Catholic Church has been able to embrace and transform modernity in a way the Orthodox have not (and perhaps cannot). Sometimes people in the Church have gone to extremes and made banal music replace sacred music, lackluster lectionary translations, etc., but the Catholic Church corrects those, as we are seeing now in Vatican II being implemented correctly more and more.

        Okay, God bless!

      • Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Devin, I think you confuse Eastern Orthodoxy with Eastern Christemdom. The Monophysites and Nestorians aren’t part of the family of Orthodox Churches anymore than Old Catholics are of the family of Catholic Churches.
        If he doesn’t know any Orthodox parishes, then I suppose he’d need to read the absolute bare minimum of church history wouldn’t he? Like the history of all the Other Apostolic Sees an all the ecumenical councils of the first thousand years of Christianity? This seems like grasping at straws. Besides, there is no shortage of Orthodox churches in any major US city and even in plenty of minor ones. I’ve lived in small college towns and I never have had such a problem as you suggest.
        The Orthodox have been in North American since the 17th century when the Brits and Spanish still ruled it. That isn’t exactly “late” unless we take the perspective of native Americans.
        I am quite aware of the temporary crossing of jurisdictions in the US, but that is atypical. He has no more a challenge in that respect than choosing between Melkite, Latin or Marionite being a Catholic. And the differences between the Orthodox jurisdictions in custom are far less than those in the Catholic Church and there are far more Orthodox parishes in terms of access than Eastern Rite Catholic parishes. If you find the situation complex and dizzying then perhaps you should read up on the Eastern Rite Catholic jurisdictional mess. They make ours look like pre-school. How many Catholic Patriarchates of Antioch are there? How long has it taken Rome to resolve that issue? It hasn’t. When you say that the Orthodox jurisdictions are not in harmony with one another, that is ambiguous. I can go to any OCA, Greek, Serbian, Russian parish in the US and take communion no problem. Whatever jurisdictional squabbles there are do not generally affect laymen and do not amount to any substantial difference in the faith proclaimed.
        The Armenians are roughly classed with the Orientals, though the Copts do not accept them I believe, but I’d have to check. But “Orientals” is more of a catch all phrase than an apt description. It is hardly the case that the Nestorians and the Copts are of the same body!
        It seems to me that you can’t have it both ways and you have contradicted your self. On the one hand you say you would not say that the Orthodox have compromised the faith, and then at the end of the paragraph you say there are exceptions to their preserving the faith, so you do in fact say that.
        As for Divorce, I think you need to become informed as to the ancient canonical traditions in the East in the Apostolic Sees concerning it because ecclesiastical divorce is not a new thing. Roman emperors in Constantinople weren’t getting it because it was invented in the 19th century! And again, Scripture both OT and NT allows divorce under certain circumstances, (adultery) regardless of the way Rome interprets it. Plenty of Fathers and Councils (some of which were western in fact) didn’t interpret it according to Rome’s later interpretation.

        As for female alter servers I picked that out as one longstanding abuse which is fairly universal now but easy to correct. Rome hasn’t corrected it,nor I’d wager will it. It is only permitted according to the Corpus Juris Canonici in extremis. Everyone knows this to be so, that it is generally not permissible, and Rome has had half a century to correct this over turning of the tradition and done nothing. And while Rome does not permit women priests, the entire point of having young men serve behind the rail/iconostasis is to inspire them to become priests! In any case, the few bishops who actually follow canon law in this and other areas are by and large exactly that, few. Where is the tradition?

        As for pitting lots of Catholic parishes, I bet what you mean is cherry picked ones. Again, I am talking about just any parish chosen at random, which would the Apostles, as Newman wrote, recognize as their own?

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Perry said:
      “For Catholics here to proclaim that the Catholic church is the only ancient church from the beginging is something that would make the Patriarchs in all the other Apostolic Sees in the East choke. Things just aren’t that simple.”

      Things really are that simple. Those Patriarchs will choke just like Luther would choke. Let them choke. If you leave Peter you leave the church. Period. The primacy of Peter is clear as glass from the earliest days of the Church. The Petrine chair is the principle of unity. Orthodoxy looks more Catholic than Protestant, and validly has all the sacraments, but has left the unity of the Church. Not to mention that the Orthodox ACCEPT CONTRACEPTION AS VALID. That’s right Bryan, the Orthodox, not having the unifying head of Peter to guide them, have swallowed that lie. No mater how intelligent Perry can be (which is more than me by far) the fact remains he and his church are not in communion with Peter, which is necessary. He has to make it complicated to justify rejecting Peter.

      • Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        David Meyer,

        I beg to differ, since even Rome admits the Orthodox have valid Apostolic Succession, valid sacraments and the rest. To lump us in with Proestants runs counter to explicit Catholic teaching, from both the ordinary and extraordinary magisterium. Hence you can only make such remarks by presupposing the falsity of your own position.

        No one doubts that Peter held **a** primacy, the debate between us is over what primacy amounted to. Just take the Fifth Eecumenical Council, which excommunciated a sitting Pope, (Vigilius) who was at the council. Everyone accepts that this was legitimately done since the Pope eventually changed his mind and came around to the Council’s teaching. By what authority did the Council excommunicate the Pope? Was that authority greater or lesser than the pope? Secondly, the primacy of Peter was, as taught by a good number of fathers based on his professing the right faith, which is why even Maximus the Confessor refused communion with the Papal legates unless they recanted of their Monothelitism in the 7th century. Again, things are not as simple as you present them. And Rome will never achieve unity with the Orthodox, which she needs now more than ever, with such a stance.

        Orthodoxy accepts certain barrier methods under certain circumstances, in the context of a Father Confessor. that is true, but as I noted, the changes were not in the theology in the church, but in the recognition that the biology of the STOICS and ARISTOTLE WAS FALSE, the semen wasn’t a human being. So to say that we accept contraception in whole is a misrepresentation on your part. We don’t.

        Saying I have to make it complicated is an ad hominem. I am not making things any more complicated than they in fact are. Anyone who was read through Catholic and Orthodox dialog documents knows this to be so. I’d recommend you read them for yourself.

        And if the Pope qua head is necessary for the existence of the church, where was Peter for forty years when there were three claimants to the papacy and there was no valid pope? Did the pope resolve the Great Western Schism or did a council? A council did. Again, history is a messy thing.

  142. Hannah
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I still can’t stop smiling. I can’t wait to go to Mass and receive Jesus with you someday Bryan. I’m so happy you’re HOME.

  143. John
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    As a former lapsed Catholic who has recently received the Sacrament of Confession (I always disliked the terms Penance or Reconciliation) and returned to the welcoming folds of the Church, I say to you Welcome Home.

  144. Kathryn
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Welcome home Bryan! I too am a convert and have found God’s Love and Grace here in the Catholic Church, most especially in the Eucharist and in the Sacrament of Confession. It has been a long and grace-filled journey, even after joining the Church, but Christ has led me every step of the way. Our family will be praying for you!! May you continue to receive all He has to give to you.

  145. Lucy McVicker
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Welcome home! 🙂

  146. Posted April 1, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    First time here and I must say that you have made a decision that will bring about ontological change like you can’t imagine! Congratulations! I have to say, though, that you should consider yourself blessed that you are surrounded by people who actually want to debate with you! My wife and I moved from Orlando, FL to a small town in NE before we converted to the Catholic faith in ’08. To my surprise (and sorrow) no one, and I do mean NO ONE (not even the local pastors) wants to talk about it! It’s maddening! Of course it’s also a means of extraordinary grace as my situation forces me to focus on working out my own salvation with fear and trembling… and a heavy dose of humility! God bless you.

  147. Paul K.
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Welcome Home Bryan! I was moved by your talk at the 40 Days for Life picnic in Austin last October. I am not surprised at all about your decision and I congratulate you with sincerely and prayerfully. I have admired your work and your faithfulness since I met you in Austin. I will pray for you this afternoon during First Friday Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Here is a blog/ website that I visit often, it is one of my favorites. I believe you will enjoy Father James:

    http://donotbediscouraged.com/

  148. Annie Witz
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I was born and raised in the OPC. My Dad is an elder and on the board of one of the seminaries. I swam the Tiber in 1994. I have never looked back. The pro-life position just confirmed the theology I studied. Later as mother I really confronted Calvinism and his sad 5 points. Which children would I choose and which would I send to hell? Sick stuff. God bless you and may the Theotokos continue to pray for you.

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Annie, lets be fair, Catholic theology, whether Thomism or Scotism teaches unconcidiotnal election, just as much as Calvinism does.

      • Posted April 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        You are sorely mistaken. What is your source for this?

  149. Posted April 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home! I will keep you in my prayers. I teach in the RCIA, so I know how gut wrenching it can be to live your current church home.

  150. Posted April 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home, Bryan! I will keep you in my prayers this Easter season, and always. Thank you for your witness!

  151. M Taheny
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home! You just made a saint in heaven very happy. (I am not sure which one though…maybe all?)

    Now the REAL work begins! LOL

  152. courtney coleman
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Hey Bryan,
    well my dear friend, just wanted to let you know i’m not shocked 🙂 I pray that as you are following God into the Catholic Church that He opens more doors to you then ever before. The Church as a whole- both Catholics and protestants need more of Christ-centered-ness and Holy Spirit pouring out. I personally am looking forward to Heaven and the days of living in completion when denominations and separate Churches will cease to exist altogether in the Light of the full revelation of God. I love and cherish you and your family so much, a deeply respect you. I look forward to future discussions we will have 🙂 because i love discussing things with you. Thank you for being so honest and transparent and bold. I believe in you, in Stand True, and the many works God is doing in and through your life and the lives of your family. 🙂 love you much!
    -courtney

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Courtney I knew I could count on your support. For the most part my inner circle of friends have been silent so I wonder what people are thinking.

      Bryan

  153. Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    So I tried to start answering everyone back personally and thanking them for the support but there are hundreds of comments and that would take hours.

    So to all who have shown support and given prayers, thank you.

  154. Ludwig Kern
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Bryan! Welcome Home!!!
    I enjoyed hearing you speak a few times at Penn State and have been praying for you and your ministry. Keep up the good work in this exciting new chapter!
    God bless!
    Ludwig

  155. Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to the Church Christ founded! I just got here in December of last year from the PCA, and I am loving it! The authority of Peter is what got me, but now the Eucharist is what keeps me. Oh, and confession, I love that too. Oh, the communion of Saints, I must have that too! And the Mass, I love it! And Mother Mary, and redemptive suffering, and holy orders, and sacramental marriage, and 1.2 billion leaves on this mustard tree (over half of all Christians!), and sacramentals, and the Church calander…….

    Okay, so I love it all! Welcome home dude!

  156. Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Bryan,

    Although I am challenged and encouraged by your unending endeavor to stand up for life, I am concerned with the few reasons you gave for joining the Catholic church. I don’t expect to ever be able to talk to you, but it seems to me that it’s the history and tradition of the church that is drawing you back there. I would just really encourage you to examine the doctrines of the church (salvation by faith plus works, virgin birth, the atonement, etc) and line them up with the Truth of Scripture. I pray that you may see that they don’t line up and that the Lord will be so gracious to reveal that to you. I don’t by any means think you don’t know the Lord, but am concerned with your reasonings to join the Catholic church. I’ll be praying for you! Thankful for you standing up for life!

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Tory,

      I assume you intended “Mary’s Perpetual Virginity” and not “virgin birth” as ostensibly not aligning with Scripture? Most Protestants fully support the Virgin Birth as a crucial doctrine of the Faith, found clearly in the Bible.

      • Posted April 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I do, the virgin birth of Mary. You are correct, sorry for not clarifying. But, you didn’t address the salvation by faith plus works, the atonement, or multiple more doctrinal differences that I believe truly don’t line up.

      • Posted April 1, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        Roanie, Rome does not teach salvation is by faith plus works. What Rome teaches is that grace always comes first and in participating in grace, Christ works in and thru our works, which is why they please God. The initial move is always on God’s part and our response is based in grace so that faith is the root of our justification. But justification includes not only faith, but love and hope, as Paul says, faith working through love and that the love poured into our hearts fufills the law. (Rom 5:5, 13:10, & Gal 5:6)

    • Joni
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Hi Tory,

      This should clear up some misunderstandings about Faith and Works which you appear to have. http://www.catholic.com/library/Reward_and_Merit.asp

      By atonement, I’m going to guess you mean purgatorty. This should also help: http://www.catholic.com/library/Purgatory.asp

      I know you will probably not agree. I’m simply trying to show you what Catholics really believe on these issues. Many times our Faith is simply misunderstood.

  157. Posted April 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home, Bryan. This Easter I will celebrate 23 years as a Catholic.

  158. Jan
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Bryan, Welcome “home to Rome.” As a 59-year-old cradle catholic, I am ashamed to say that for the first 25 or 30 years of my life, I took my faith for granted and didn’t delve much into why I believed what the Church taught me. I was challenged by a high school classmate who thought I believed I could earn my way into heaven. Although I never believed that we “earn” heaven — knowing full well that Christ died for my sins and opened the gates of heaven for me, and that I did not and cannot earn my place in heaven — this started me on a path of catholic apologetics. I am now better able to articulate why I believe what the Church has always taught, why I believe that the fullness of the faith resides in the Catholic Church, and why it is not simply blind faith, but a reasoned position to hold. My faith is everything, and I am trying to learn more and more to live God’s will for my life. I may have “wandered in the wilderness” of taking my faith for granted for a number of years when I was younger. I feel like I am only now beginning to understand the depth of God’s love for all of mankind, if only we will respond to His limitless mercy, remember His justice, and love Him and our our neighbor in return. God bless you as you continue your journey in faith. I will pray for you and hope you will pray for me.

  159. Posted April 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Hello Bryan.

    Has your understanding of justification by faith alone changed? My ministry is to reach out to evangelicals who do not have a clear understanding of the distinctions between Catholicism and historic Protestantism. As a lifelong runner, a verse that resonates with me is Hebrews 12:1-2. In the race, we are to look unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. Catholicism is ecclesio-centric, encouraging Catholics to look to the Church for salvation. Mary, a type of the Church, is also the one to look to for Catholics. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 829), Catholics are taught to strive to conquer sin by “turning their eyes to Mary.”

    Bryan, I encourage you to read every bible verse that mentions “through Christ” or “through Him.” Catholicism hides Jesus from its adherents through its many mediators.

    • Margaret
      Posted April 2, 2011 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      I receive Christ in flesh every Sunday. He has never been hidden from me and I have never been taught that I should avoid going to Jesus. In fact I feel closer to Him than I did in protestant churches where the whole focus seemed on singing songs to him.

      However I have been taught to ask others to pray for me, just as you have been taught so. This includes asking those already in heaven with Jesus to intercede for me. This is no less Jesus-centric than you asking your brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for you as well.

  160. Kristi
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I have come to respect you for the beliefs about abortion and your protection of unborn children.. I never really cared which flavor Christian you were, as it didn’t matter as long as you were walking with Christ.
    However….
    This has become so about bashing those of us not Catholic. I would not treat any of you with so much disrespect as you are treating us. If this is what belonging to the Catholic church means then I am purely happy that I am not a member. This has become very sad. How dare any of you question mine or anyone elses walk with Christ. It is not for you to judge.
    Blessings to you and your family Bryan, I hope you find what you are looking for brother. Hopefully you will not turn judgmental and unkind as apparently many of your brothers and sisters have.

    • Robert
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Reading down through these comments, I pretty much only see bashing coming from protestants both against the author himself and Christ’s Church in general.

      • Kristi
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        really? I know there are a few that were not happy but I read tons of times and actually was really sick of hearing how we, the non-Catholics were less Christians than others. Why can’t we show love and respect for one another instead of bashing eachother. This is really sad. This is a website based on pulling people together in a combined effort to abolish abortion not abolish each other and their beliefs.

      • Joni
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        Ouch! I haven’t seen anyone say “You’re less Christian than I am.” What I have seen is Catholic who believe their Church is the One, True Church. I would hope that everyone, whether they be right or wrong, would think that. Why would you want to belong to something that wasn’t the One, True Church. We are simply telling you why we believe that. We’re sharing our Faith. We’re not asking you to abide by it, we’re sharing. It’s as simple as that.

      • Kristi
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        I respectfully disagree.. I was said several times in many different ways that any church not a Catholic church is a less Christian church, also said a step away from Christianity and in many other ways. That would mean that any of us not choosing Catholicism is less Christian or a further step away from being a Christian than you are. That is extremely judgmental. We should be embracing each other as brothers and sisters in Christ working for a common goal of saving unborn Children from slaughter. Less focusing on who is the better Christian.

  161. Adam Baker
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Brother, I trust that you know of my support for you as you publically proclaim this decision. However, I did want to state that support for you in this forum. I look forward to conversation and wonder brewed by our Trappist and Augustinian friends, along with your impending encouragement of my Benedictine leanings, study of the Patristics, and more. May Christ continue to woo us all closer to His heart and the fullness of life in the Kingdom.

  162. Posted April 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! I am entering the Church myself this Easter, so I guess that makes me Tiber Swim Team Class of 2011. Coming from a Protestant background, one of the most wonderful things I keep hearing is the quiet, joyous, “Welcome Home.”

    Relating to a couple of the comments, I’ll mention a couple of thoughts. My experience in RCIA has been very good. We have lively discussions, and I have met some fantastic people. It may depend on where you are.
    About bad popes: Jen Fulwiler of Conversiondiary.com wrote an article for Envoy about her conversion. One of her pivotal moments was thinking on all the bad popes and corrupt officials in church history and noting that even those people could not destroy the Church. She realized that they did not make doctrinal statements, like abolishing difficult dogmas or requiring a papal harem, for example. She felt that such preservation in spite of the human failings indicated the fingerprints of the guiding of God.

    God be with you all!

  163. Posted April 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    JoAnna,

    My source is the primary sources, namely the works of John Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas. there are plenty of other Catholic doctors who teach the same, namely Anselm, Bonaventure, et al. Take Aquinas for an example,

    “Now there is no distinction between what flows from free will, and what is of predestination; as there is no distinction between what flows from a secondary cause and from a first cause. For the providence of God produces effects through the operation of secondary causes, as was above shown (Question 22, Art. 3). Wherefore, that which flows from free-will is also of predestination.”

    Thomas Aquinas, ST, Ia. Q. 23, a.5. See article 3 as well. Aquinas is clear that God predestines without reference to forseen merits or acts. Hence predestination is unconditional with reference to the predestined.

    See ST, Ia., Q. 23, a. “It is, however, manifest that what is of grace is the effect of predestination; and this cannot be considered as the reason of predestination, since it is contained in the notion of predestination. Therefore, if anything else in us be the reason of predestination, it will outside the effect of predestination.”

    Thomism is just as much committed to Compatibilism between freedom and determinism as Reformation thought is.

    • Joni
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Unconditional election as Calvinists teach and predestination as Aquinas speaks of are not quite the same things. Here’s a better explanation of Catholic belief on the issues.
      http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/freewill-predestination.htm

      • Posted April 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        Joni,

        Uhm yeah in the main they are. God selects and leaves the rest. And what Aquinas (and Kreeft) mean by free will is not Libertarian free will, that is, being the source of your actions and have alterantive possibilities. They mean a kind of soft deterministic notion of freedom where an agent acts freely when they can bring about what they wish, even if they have no other options.

        I’ve taught this stuff myself at the university level so I am not blowing smoke. See Goris, Free Creatures of an Eternal God, for a contemporary exposition of Aquinas’ teaching on predestination.

      • Joni
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

        Why is it you have no “reply” button available, Perry? It makes everything out of order here.

        Again, I think you’re understanding of Calvinist belief in double predestination is incorrect despite your univeristy level education. Akin and Kreeft disagree and they are also quite scholarly Catholic chaps who I am sure could dance circles around either one of us in regards to Calvinist and Catholic teaching. LOL!

      • Posted April 2, 2011 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        Joni, if you think I am misrepresenting Reformed teaching, then you need to support your claims rather than assert them. Now if you read Akin’s piece, here is what he says,

        “What would a Catholic say about this? He certainly is free to disagree with the Calvinist interpretation, but he also is free to agree. All Thomists and even some Molinists (such as Robert Bellarmine and Francisco Suarez) taught unconditional election.”

        Right, and that is exaclty as I’ve claimed. So the source you refer to prove my point.

        As for Kreeft, that piece is only an exposition of Thomism and so doesn’t prove jack about Calvinist theories of predestination. here is some material from John Frame, who teaches at a Reformed seminary, a name practically any living Calvinist would recognize.

        http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles/1992Infra.html

        In any case, where there are important differences between Catholicism and Calvinism, in the main they are both predestinarian and both preclude libertarian free will. In this way they are more alike than not, and this is exactly as Louis Bouyer in his Spirit and Forms of Protestantism supports, Protestantism takes is core committments from Catholic theology. It is just that most Calvinists aren’t familiar with pre-Reformation scholastic theology.

  164. Katlyn
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I have some honest questions about being Catholic. No one can seem to answer them and Ive even tried talking to a priest. Im nondenominational and was a religions major but some things just dont make sense. If anyone is willing to answer my questions can you email me or contact me on facebook:
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=633982739

    • Katie
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Katlyn, the profile you linked does not allow me to send a message to a non friend, but feel free to email me at noldor_queen@yahoo.com and I’d love to answer your questions to the best of my ability!

      • Joni
        Posted April 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        If you allow your FB page to receive messages, I’d gladly send you my e-mail address.

  165. Annie Witz
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Aquinas is not infallible. I think Trent cleared that up in the 1500’s quite nicely.

    • Annie Witz
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      I mean Trent cleared the confusion on Unconditional election.

  166. Posted April 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Annie,

    It is not enough to say Aquinas is not infallible, you need to show he was wrong and he was corrected by Catholic authorities. You’d also need to do sht esame for pratically every major Cahtolic theologian from Augustine to Anselm to Aquinas.

    And Aquinas is a doctor of the Catholic church, as are all the others I listed above as well.

    Trent doesn’t deny what I claimed. And in fact Trent denies that one can move themselves to faith apart from the first act of grace. That is exactly in line with Aquinas’ teaching, which was a bullwark against that of the Reformers. Trent doesn’t deny unconditional election nor does it affirm predestination based on forseen merits. Just read the Sixth session, chapter 1 & 5.

    The only thing Trent clears up with respect to predestination contra the Reformers was in relation to assurance and having clear signs of being predestinated for oneself. (Chapters 12-13)

    If Trent did as you suggest then every THomist and Scotist would be a heretic.

    • Joni
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Already posted the link but Peter Kreeft does a good job of addressing it here:
      http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/freewill-predestination.htm

      Also, Jimmy Akin has a good piece too that breaks it down much simpler: http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1993/9309fea1.asp

      Here’s the really important lines –
      Although a Catholic may agree with unconditional election, he may not affirm “double-predestination,” a doctrine Calvinists often infer from it. This teaching claims that in addition to electing some people to salvation God also sends others to damnation.

      The alternative to double-predestination is to say that while God predestines some people, he simply passes over the remainder. They will not come to God, but it is because of their inherent sin, not because God damns them. This is the doctrine of passive reprobation, which Aquinas taught.[ST I:23:3].

      The Council of Trent stated, “If anyone says that it is not in the power of man to make his ways evil, but that God produces the evil as well as the good works, not only by permission, but also properly and of himself, so that the betrayal of Judas is no less his own proper work than the vocation of Paul, let him be anathema. . . . If anyone shall say that the grace of justification is attained by those only who are predestined unto life, but that all others, who are called, are called indeed, but do not receive grace, as if they are by divine power predestined to evil, let him be anathema.”[Decree on Justification, canons 6 and 17. The same points were taught by the second Council of Orange (531), the Council of Quiersy (853), and the third Council of Valencia (855), although none of these were ecumenical councils].

      • Posted April 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

        Joni, I think you misunderstand the notion of double predestination. The majority of Cavlinists think that God picks out of the fallen those who will be saved and leaves the rest. he does ot make them actively go to hell nor does he make them for hell.

        the material from Trent you cited is mainly directed against those who deny secondary causation, but Calvinists in the main have affirmed secondary causation, so the Tridentine material there is not relevant.

        In any case, Aquinas, Scotus, Bonaventure and lots of Catholic doctors clearly teach that God selects some people for heaven, gives them more grace than others to bring it about and leaves others behind. Just pick up some Garague-Lagrange for example.

  167. Posted April 1, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Dear Bryan,

    I came across a comment on your Facebook where someone could not understand your descision to join the Catholic church because they say you are only basing your descision on the ideal that the Catholic Church is unwavering it it’s right to life beliefs…and that it not the Gospel. Christ proclaims in the Gospel, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE.” “I came that they may have have life and have it to the full.” – Jn 10:10
    The Catholic Church ultimately upholds this Gospel in so many ways revealing and proclaiming the Gospel message of human dignity, solidarity, justice and peace. Christ is the ultimate source of Life as daily we come to know Him in the Eucharist – the living Bread. Christ also proclaimed that, “The Lord is the Spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” 2Cor.3:17 In our constitution we uphold our basic rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The Catholic Church has been unwavering in it’s stance on the right to life because when government because destructive of our rights, and our Liberty we work as the living body of Christ to restore His spirit and the lives of His Church. We are His people, as well as the unborn…and in Jesus’ name as Catholics belonging to the Universal Catholic Church we speak out, and vote conscientiously. This is Christ’s Gospel and the ultimate truth and it is always a glorious day in Heaven when people come to know the One, True Church. God Bless you Bryan, and May the Blessed Mother our Ultimate Bearer of Life protect you under her mantle as you prepare your mind, heart, and soul to finalize your steps of becomming Catholic. May the Holy Spirit move you hearts in ways most unimaginable! Praying for you! Thank you for all you do in the name of Life.

    Many Prayers,
    Melissa

  168. Nicole
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Welcome Home Bryan! You will be in our prayers! My husband teaches RCIA and has for years. It is always so amazing to see God at work in the candidates and catechumens who are seeking the Lord and his Truth and the Church! You will have an amazing journey….You are an amazing man and have an amazing ministry! God will continue to hold you up through all the that is to come and he will bless you, your family and your ministry beyond your imagination! I am sure of that! Many prayers and Blessings! Again, welcome HOME!

  169. Joni
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Perry, I don’t think you have the Calvinist belief correct. I’d do a little more research and I will too. From what I’ve read, Calvinist teaching is that God chooses who goes to Heaven and who goes to hell in it will come to pass. That’s where the “double” in double-predestination comes from. Read the articles given as to what Catholics believe and how it differs from Calvinists.

  170. Posted April 2, 2011 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Joni,

    Well let’s see I was a Calvinist, I’ve taught philosophical theology for a number of years and I have an extensive personal theological library. I can gurantee you that reading any major Reformed theologian will get you the same answer. The postion is known as Infralapsarianism and it is and always has been the majority position among Calvinists. Calvinists are only double predestinarians in the sense that they think the fact of both is fixed, but Aquinas thinks that too, as does Scotus and plenty of other contemporary Catholic theologians. The only Calvinists who disagree are a minority of Supralapsarians, who endorse the thesis of Equal Ultimacy, that God is active both in election and reprobation, but they have never been the majority.

    In any case, Catholic doctors have consistently taught that no human act apart from grace can move the agent to faith and that God selects some people for heaven and leaves others out. In short as Aquinas notes, God loves some people more than others. To be sure, Aquinas’ view is more nuanced than that of the Reformed, but in the main, it is fundamentally the same-God picks some and leaves others. This was why the Hahn/Akin/Matatics crowd found it easier to convert since they didn’t have to give up their predestinarian views. just go read Akin’s Tip Toe Through Tulip at EWTN library to see what I mean.

    So i don’t need to read the articles since I’ve read the primary sources on the subject as well as taught them at the university level. So go read the Summa, prima pars, question 23 on predestination. http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1023.htm

  171. Joni
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Dude! If you bothered to look you would have seen the quote I gave was from the Tip Toe Through the Tulip article. LOL! YOU might want to read John Calvin. He doesn’t simply say that God leaves behind, he says God condemns ANd he tells why. “Therefore, those whom God passes over, he condemns; and this he does for no other reason than that he wills to exclude them from the inheritance which he predestines for his own children.” Bk 3, Ch 23, s. 1

    I’m sure you’ll likely not read these articles since you consider yourself so learned. That said, these are from the Catholic Encyclopedia and touch on Calvin and his theories of predestination.

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12376b.htm

    This one touches on the things lacking in Calvinists and Baptists theories on predestination:

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12378a.htm

    “Predestination is nothing else than the foreknowledge and foreordaining of those gracious gifts which make certain the salvation of all who are saved.” (St. Augustine, Persever 14:35)

    • Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Joni,

      I think you make a fairly basic mistake. Calvinism isn’t co-extensive with Calvin’s thought. for example, the Reformed tradition in the main rejects Clvin’s view of baptism and regeneration, his view of the imputation of Adam’s Sin and other things. I was referring to the Reformed tradition and not to Calvin in particular. Second, I had read the Tip Toe article nearly twenty years ago, which is why I referred to it off my head.

      Third, the passage from Calvin you cite simply proves what I claimed. Namely that God passes over people in Reformed thought. God passes over them and this is his will. What his “secret” reasons are that Calvin speaks about in the Institutes and his commentaries cannot be known by us because they are not revealed. This is essentially the same line as Augustine which he articulates in his anto-Pelagian works.

      The material from Augustine only supports my claims, because Augustine rejected the idea that predestination was based on foresen merits. Where do you think Aquinas got the rejection from? The article from Kreeft you cited says the same. Predestination and foreknowledge are the same for Augustine becuse of his view of divine simplicity. He thinks if they were different things in God, they would contitute parts and make God composite. consequently saying they are the same doesn’t imply predestination based on foreseen merits, rather it implies for Augustine that God knows becuse he has so chosen. This is clear in his work, On the PRedestinaton of the Saints. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf105.xxi.ii.html

      I am quite aware of where the fault lines between Calvinism and Catholic thought are with respect to the two articles you cite. But they do not touch the issue at hand, namely that in Catholicism God selects some people for salvation gratuitously and and passes over others. That view is fundametnally the same, even if the mechanics differ in this or that respect. So if you think there is something in that material that contradicts what I’ve claimed then bring it foreward, otherwise just referring to it doesn’t prove that I am mistaken.

  172. Joni
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    BTW, I’m sure this will sound snarky because the internet never really can do justice to sentiment. I do not intend it to be this way but my sister was a Calvinist for many years. Also, claiming education really isn’t that convincing for me because I can’t even count the number of theologians in my own church who really don’t have a clue. I highly doubt you and I will ever agree. That said, I’d urge others to read what the Church (including Aquinas by all means!) says about predestination. Don’t take the word of us! I would look at reputable sources such as catholic.com Somebody has already suggested on another thread to look at most holy family monastery as a source of Catholic teaching. Not the place to go. They do not claim to be in line w/Rome or even that they believe we have a pope.

    • Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Joni, well certainly education is better than non-education. And if you can’t count on the t heologians in your own church, well, you yourself have said it. In any case, normative Catholic teachers, doctors of the church, clearly teach that God selects some people for heaven and passes over others and he doesn’t do this based on forseen merits. Just read some Lagrange for example.

  173. Jane
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Welcome home!!! God bless you!

  174. john the baptist
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    Perry, you seem to be so wrapped up in philosophy and philosophical theology to the point that your heart seems so cold. Are you just another argumentative internet troll who is out to attack every simple layperson who offers their opinion on a Catholic combox? Bryan has made it clear he is not interested in debate at the present time. Seems as though you wish to hijack this blog so that it serves your own ego- perhaps to erect your own bully pulpit? I pray that our Lord will soften your heart and fill it with love for all Christians.

    • Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      John, Please do not infer my character from the style I employ. Even if I were a troll, that would be irrelvant since it wouldn’t prove my arguments and claims false. And this for a simple reason, a non-troll could just repeat them. Second, since it is the argument or demonstrations that get us to the truth, all other personal remarks and information are irrelevant, and only inflame personalities and attitutdes. That is, they contribute to creating a lot of heat and not very much light. So if it is light we are after, it is better to just stick with the argument, leave personalities aside and seek the truth.

      I am sure Bryan isn’t interested in debate at the moment, but I am not arguing with Bryan at the moment.

      As for hi-jacking it, I am not doing anything others haven’t done before I got here. If bryan were that conderned with it he could edit it or shut the thread down. It is his blog after all.

      As for your remarks about my ego, we could easily turn ths around. You seem to have an egotistical need to put yourself in a position of power over others and then make condescending remarks about their spiritual state. I pray our Lord will soften your heart with his love. Now, what does that prove? Nothing.

      Lstly, I notice you don’t actually engage anything I’ve said, but rather just go after my person, which you don’t know from Adam. if you can’t have a reasoned and adult discussion and talk about the issues rather than personalities then perhaps you shouldn’t make yourself part of the discussion.

      And the fact that bryan seems to be making some rather basic mistakes (Ignatius wasn’t a disciple of John, but Peter and Paul, there was no original canon tha Maccabees was part of, etc.) some discussing could prove to be quite helpful to him in making an informed decision, especially if he’s neglected to investigate all the options on the table. Or perhas you think people should become Catholic without being fair minded? If so, I’d suggest you read Fides et Ratio.

  175. Posted April 2, 2011 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Welcome back Home. Truly ROME sweet HOME!

    Pax in Christo,

    Godwin Delali Adadzie
    (Catholic Apologist, Computer Scientist)

  176. Christopher Michael
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Dear Bryan, you have become closer to Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, because you have joined His Church. The one true church that He Himself started by instructing His Apostle Peter to build His Church and to take care of His Sheep and Lambs.

  177. Posted April 2, 2011 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    We are rejoicing with you, Bryan! Please be assured of our prayers for you and your family.

  178. B Zita
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Bryan, I heard you speak at a Pro-Life youth festival in Scotland a year ago and was truly impressed. My friend has just told me the news about your conversion and I just wanted to say Welcome Home!!! This is awesome news and as a sister in Christ and His Church, my prayers will be with you.
    Keep the Faith joyfully!

  179. br benjamin
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I’m an old acquaintance from CALL – Madison and happy to hear this good news. May you “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Holy Lent!

    • Bobi Beth
      Posted April 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Brother Benjamin! You have Internet access?!! How do I get ahold of you?!

  180. David Zacchetti
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Tears of joy! We are thrilled to have you!
    I believe God wanted me to tell you this: Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

  181. Wsquared
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Bryan, I just came across your website. Welcome home, and God bless you!

  182. Posted April 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I just learned about your conversion from CTC via Bryan Cross. Welcome home!

  183. Joey Kerlin
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Praise God!

    I’m sure that its no surprise to hear, but you were on the receiving end of quite a bit of grace from offering up sacrifices on the walks I did.

    Suffice it to say I will (continue) to pray for you and your family and know that (as always) I am here for your support in anyway I can help.

  184. Posted April 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    I just spent my post Confession penance on April 1st praying that the Holy Father would inspire conversion to the Church and reignite passion within the Church during the Easter season through his homilies and that he speak the words of the Holy Spirit. Reading this I feel encouraged as if the Holy Spirit bore first fruits of that prayer with you. I converted in 2003 as the end of a long journey that began with the question, “Does God exist.” God led me directly to His Church, and I found His encouragement in reading the Scriptures as they spoke so directly to my faith journey and life experiences. And I found encouragement in His Church as the Scriptures enforced Catholicism and Catholicism enforced the Scriptures without a speck of contradiction.

  185. Glorie
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home! I am a convert from Evangelicalism. It was not an easy conversion, I understand fully all that entails these types of conversions. I am always so happy to hear other conversion stories! How much more full does our faith and walk become upon entering this church that our Savior founded! I always tried so hard to have a deeper understanding of Chritianity, and I never thought in a million years I’d find it revealed in the Catholic Church! Amen we are home!!! Welcome, and congratulations!!!

  186. Posted April 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Welcome brother

  187. Matt Bowman
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Wow–I just noticed this. Congratulations from Jolene and I! I informed wg.

  188. Kerrie
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Welcome back to the sacraments!

    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jer. 1:5)

  189. Tina T
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Welcome home, brother, welcome home! ((Hugs)) and prayers as you complete the journey back to Rome. Praise and thanks be to God! I just found your blog today, and will be following it and keeping you in prayer.

  190. Patrick Delaney
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Bryan! My Brother! I have prayed for you, even habitually, especially when we worked together … in fact, I believe I said a 30 Day Novena for you.

    This brings so many of us great joy! Continued Prayers for you and the family.

  191. Posted April 3, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Best of luck on your journey home to the Catholic Church, Bryan!

  192. Scott
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Bryan,

    Congratulations! I will keep you in my prayers.

    Scott

  193. Posted April 3, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Welcome Back! Jesus Loves You! I know you are excited to TASTE and See how Good He is again. Peace be with You!

  194. Ken
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Just happened by your blog from Twitter. Just wanted to say welcome home. God Bless you on your journey.

  195. Aristocles
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Dear Bryan,
    I’m a convert myself. I’m overjoyed to hear of your conversion. You do not need RCIA if you have lived a Christian life. You can if you choose, but there is no need and chances are, I’d be willing to bet on this, that you know more than the average person coming into the church and a lot of the teaching you receive will be repetitive and unnecessary. I’m not dissuading you from instruction, but RCIA is not required for a Christian who is coming into full communion with the Church. It is much better for your soul to come into full communion as soon as possible and to receive the benefit and grace of sacramental life than to wait and receive RCIA classes.

  196. Melinda
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Bryan, I am so happy you’ve made this decision and have also decided to share some of your reasons. I am so glad to be able to pray in the same mass with you. Even if people may not agree with your decision, all that matters is that you feel called to be a member. I am praying for you and your family, that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide you in your work and comfort you in any struggles. Good luck with RCIA!

  197. Posted April 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Congrats Bryan and Welcome Home!!!!!
    I returned to the Church 7 years ago after 31 years as an evangelical believer.
    We have never been so blessed and full of joy! My walk with the Lord has been supercharged since receiving the sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession.
    We love being Catholic and you will too!
    Prepare for a lot of losses of friends and family but know that you have joined 1 billion worldwide who share the faith Christ gave to the apostles.
    Please email me from the address on my website and I will send you my new all Catholic CD as a welcome home present! God bless you.

  198. khan47
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to the family! We’re glad to have you. 🙂

  199. Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home Brian!!!! My thoughts and prayers will be with you as you and your family take the journey home.

  200. Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Bryan,

    You probably don’t remember me, but I am a cradle Catholic who was involved with RFL in the mid-1990’s-early 2000s in the DC area, running a chapter, and helping you out with booths at the HFStival, as well as an assortment of political/prayerful actions downtown, et cetera.

    I have been praying for you and your family, and will joyfully continue to do so. Blessings to you and yours this Lent and beyond, and if you’re ever in Cincinnati, drop my husband and I a line! We would love to show you around some of the rich Catholic heritage of the city.

    • Posted April 3, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      Not remember? Come one I am not that old. I live in Troy only about an hour from Cinci and would love to come visit some time.

      • Posted April 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        So, you must be in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, too. It is a great time to be here – our archbishop is doing awesome things! I’m sure you’re already familiar, but The Coming Home Network (http://www.chnetwork.org/) is a wonderful resource for those working in ministry.

  201. Posted April 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Bryan! Small world! I’m in Beavercreek just east of Dayton! 🙂

  202. Canbuhay
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    “If you leave Peter you leave the church. Period. The primacy of Peter is clear as glass from the earliest days of the Church. The Petrine chair is the principle of unity.”

    I think that says it all Bryan. RCs, whether they acknowledge or not believe that salvation apart from their church is not possible. That means your conversion makes a statement about what you believe about evangelical Christians as much as what you believe about Catholicism so don’t be surprised that we’re saddened by your decision.

    Even good things, like church membership or virgin mothers or bread can be turned into a god (even if you were to believe that Jesus said we were to eat His body, where does it say that we have to worship His body?) and that really is the heart of the problem with RCs.

    • Posted April 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      “RCs, whether they acknowledge or not believe that salvation apart from their church is not possible.” That is not what I said. And your wooden characterization is not at all what the Church believes. The Church believes the thief on the cross was saved, yet not in the Church or even baptized. The Catholic Church believes God can save whoever He wants to, but the sacraments of the Church are the NORMATIVE way people are saved by Christ. Having said that, if you KNOW that the RCC is the true Church and still reject it, then yes, you are out of luck. (See CCC 846) My guess is that most evangelicals don’t know that though. (I know I sure didnt!) It is just an extention of Christ saying “I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by Me…” That sounds harsh to a Hindu, but that is what we believe as Christians. Not to mention, many if not most Protestants still use excommunication to expell people from their church. That implies they too guess my point here is that there are a lot of misunderstandings about what Catholics actually believe, such as your blatent misunderstanding here, so I suggest you look into their real beliefs so as to make dialog more fruitful.
      http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2010/1005btb.asp

      Catholics believe the Eucharist is Christ’s actual body, blood, soul and divinity. We believe it is Jesus. Period. End of sentence. So as Augustine says, to NOT bow and worship the Eucharist is a sin. (again, not knowing this reduces culpability) It is Christ we worship, just as the magi did at Christmas.
      http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1996/9612fea1.asp
      Again, In the interest of truth I would encourage you to become more familiar with what Catholics (52% of Christianity) actually believe about these issues, not straw men and red herrings. Feel free to contact me personally if you wish if you have more concerns that I could perhaps clarify. davidmeyerfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com

    • Joni
      Posted April 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      “No salvation outside the Church” is often misunderstood but non-Catholics and even some Catholics. There are always two extreme thoughts. I can tell you Canbuhay, agree with it or not, you are misunderstanding the Catholic teaching. Let me just give you one example. Catholics believe in Purgatory, right? If we believed that all non-card carrying members of the Catholc Church had no salvation, why would be ever pray for their release from Purgatory? What would be the point? Also, surely you know that we believe Moses and Elijah entered Heaven and they were also not card carrying members. So, now that we’ve established a misunderstanding of the teaching. Here’s some good articles on “No salvation outside the Church”
      http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0512fea3.asp
      http://www.catholic.com/library/Salvation_Outside_the_Church.asp

    • Glorie
      Posted April 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      John chapter 6. Jesus said it we believe it. End of disscussion.

      • Glorie
        Posted April 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Ooops! I don’t know how my reply above got posted right there but my comment ” John chapter 6. Jesus said it we believe it. End of disscussion.” was directed towards those who do not believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. And now after reading some of the arguments placed against God’s Church, I want to say that Catholics do not question God’s promise to guide a visible Church until the end of time. He did not promise to guide it until the reformation, nor did He elude to this Church being a euphanism for all 33000+ denominations that will form with different doctrine. One Church, One Flock. He is so very clear about this in scripture. So come and join the Church Jesus founded with Peter! Come fulfill your faith! How devastating the reformation was, the dissention it caused, the power Satan has! We invite all those who love Christ to dig deep into scripture with an open heart and find that your Bible makes so much more sense when it is interpreted correctly through the Church that God entrusted it to, through His unending promise to guide this Church until THE END OF TIME. He did not abandon us to fend for ourselves, each denomination to thier own understanding of scripture and doctrine. He made a promise. Again One CHurch. One Flock. We cannot question His promise. We want all to come home to Rome and be fully at rest and unconditionally loved through thier adoption into this family. We believe on One Holy Catholic and apostolic Church. Come on in:)

  203. Joseph E
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    You’re welcome home bryan. As a former atheist I am only to aware of the divine grace that leads anyone to the fullness of truth. Treasure this gift, it meant not just to celebrate its beauty but to grow into it, apart from this we fail.

    Once again, Welcome HOME!

  204. janet sciacca
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Understanding the full teachings of the Catholic Church, from the very beginning, embrace the words of Jesus about what the Eucharist is, how vitally important it is, to receive it often. The Mass is what this is all about. It was also clear to embrace and learn from the teachings of the Apostles, as there was no written word at that time. Those who still think if its not in the Bible, then its not important, are sadly missing out on so much! I have seen this over and over in these blogs. Those who say if its not in the Bible, then….and they actually are just ignoring scripture, at least the parts of it they want to ignore. Some are so blinded by the negativity they have ” heard” about the Catholic church, they cant even fairly search out the truth before 500 years ago. I used to drink that koolaid! Study the early church fathers, and it is very clear. Its all about knowledge, and ignorance of the facts. Pretty simple actually! To study the history of the Church, is to cease to be Protestant! Its happening all over this country, and the World! Praise to you Lord, Jesus Christ, King of Power and Glory!

  205. janet sciacca
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    The Heart of the problem is that Protestants believe in Sola Scriptura, now show me where it says in the Bible that the Traditions passed on from Jesus and the early church fathers actually say that….when the canon of the bible was not even written yet. This is a belief that came about many many years later, just to be different than the Church. Plain and simple. That is fact.

  206. janet sciacca
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    And I will continue to pray daily for those who cant seem to “hear” the truth. Most people who do not agree with the Catholic Church, do so because of what they “believe to be true” about the Church, I used to be one of those! I believed what I heard! But then I wanted to know for myself….voila! The one true apostolic Church – The Universal Church instituted by Jesus Christ, and still with us to this day – The Catholic Church!

  207. cwg
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home. I also made the counter-Reformation, from the OPC to Rome, about 15 years ago and have never looked backed.

  208. Laura
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Bryan – congratulations!
    The treasury of the Church is immense and beautiful, but the devil will be challenging you. Network right away with other converts like the Hahn’s, Markus Grodei (sp?) etc. because while, in theory, all is brilliant upon entering the Church, in practice sometimes things seem more lackluster. This cradle Catholic wants you to be well-equipped to grow old in the pew intercessing before and after Mass for the remainder of you life. In Christ- Laura

  209. idj
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Welcome home, Bryan. I’ll pray for you and your family, and I hope and pray that you enjoy all the blessings possible from our Lord.

  210. kathy
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Bryan,

    I noticed that you’ve taken the time to write replies and post more things on FB, would you be willing to take the time to answer the question (posted early/above) regarding your carrying out of Matthew 18 with the OPC and the response(s) you received?

    Thanks for your consideration in this.

  211. Posted April 5, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Kathy, Bryan can answer for himself, but I have a similar experience you might be interested in. I left my PCA church last year for Catholicism. As you know PCA is very similar to the OPC, but neither is the Church. They are organizations made by men. I sat down with my pastor and told him that I had come to realize the PCA could not be the church because it was started in the 1970s. No bishop in the apostolic line ordained him to the ministry, so he had no authority in Christ’s church. Great guy, loves Jesus, but not the Church. The “take it to the church” passage you refer to in Matthew 18 assumes ONE church. When I was in the PCA and I believed a baptist friend to be sinning by denying his children baptism, what “church” could I take my concern to? We both believed we belonged to the “church” yet could not use the passage in Matthew 18 for anything less that grave sins. But heresy is grave too. I suggest to you what I came to “painfully) see: Any “church” that does not claim to be the one and only true Church cannot be. Christ’s Church must be ONE as He prayed it would be in John 18. Anything else may have great intentions and godly people, but it cannot be the Church.
    PS- compare what is just after your passage in Matthew 18 with Matthew 16:18-19. Jesus tells us where the “Church” is.

  212. Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Welcome Home Bryan!! This is such exciting news!!

  213. Nicole
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t read all the comments because there are so many. But I did notice in general support from Catholics and criticism from non-Catholics. As a Lutheran, I certainly hope you won’t be losing Protestant support for your ministry. Why can’t Christians work together for life? I have always praised God for the powerful pro-life work in the Catholic church. Stand True is a very effective group. I pray that you will always continue to study the word and draw closer to our Lord. I know the Holy Spirit will guide you. My prayers are with you and your family during this time of transition.

  214. Bernadette
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home Bryan! God will not be outdone by your faithfulness. I will pray for you and your family.

  215. Posted April 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Bryan, my family and I are about to be received into the Catholic Church as well, and so I congratulate you on your homecoming! God bless you and make you a blessing in His Church!

  216. Joe Starrs
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Rockin good news my friend! Congrats and God Bless!

  217. Nick and Joan Degaitas
    Posted April 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Bryan! How exciting! We are praising God with you! Welcome home! We are praying for you and your whole family. God bless you all!! (Angela is thrilled, as well!!!:-)

  218. Cory
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Welcome! I was an adult convert as well, out of the Evangelical Church. The RCC church is really the fullness of faith. Enjoy!

  219. Posted April 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Please watch the video at my website link and let’s communicate on this.

    • Posted April 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      If you were really so concerned you would not post anonymously

  220. Posted April 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m a convert too, and am currently doing a series on my blog about my Conversion 12 years ago. Welcome to the family!

  221. Posted April 12, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I was anti-Catholic my whole life. Jack Chick was my hero. I now through Jack Chick’s trash in the trash were it belongs. I received Sacrament of Confirmation and I am Roman Catholic. I have been Protestant, Evangelical, Non-denominational. I am Roman Catholic. I am in love. To aid any Roman Catholics that need another friend, another Roman Catholic, another soul that has lived a long journey. You may visit my blog at

    http://www.kingsscarletknight.com/snowluminos/

    • Posted April 12, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Change word through Jack Chick’s to THROW – sorry for bad spelling and grammar.

  222. Michael joseph
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    the catholic is a church in which i respect, but the actual church in which has kept its religion and faith since the time of Jesus Christ is The Church of The East! It was the first church even before the Roman catholic church.

    Please look into its background and beliefs. God bless all brothers and sisters in Christ!

    • Joseph E
      Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      My dear Michael Joseph, the church in the East and the West are all the ‘first church’. When Catholics are speaking they are referring to ‘the first’ in reference to protestantism not to ancient Christian traditions very well represented in the East and Africa. The differences between these ancient churches are not based on their historicity but on majorly administrative and partially theological disagreements.

      • Posted April 14, 2011 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Joseph E,

        I beg to differ. From the Orthodox point of view since Rome lost the true faith and hence lost its succession, it no longer can lay claim to the history of the early church. Second, Catholics as the council of Florence certainly held Rome to be superior even in custom and Popes for along time spoke of the Latin Rite being superior to al other rites.

        So pick a Catholic church and and Orthodox one and ask if the apostles to walk into it, which church do you think they would recognize as their own? The one with the praise band, lay eucharistic ministers, female altar servers and such or the one with the divine liturgy of St. John Chrysostom?

      • Posted April 14, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        Perry says:
        “From the Orthodox point of view since Rome lost the true faith and hence lost its succession…”
        First off, the Church is indefectable so you are wrong. Second, not true, Rome did not lose the faith. Never once has it taught error. Third, you have no reference point to make a claim of being able to identify a “true” faith without the principle of unity… Peter. I guess we ask Perry what the “true” faith is? been there done that as a Protestant… no thanks. I don’t want man’s opinions I want the faith of the Apostles. Notice the same old subjective errors are used in Perry’s statement. “True faith” according to whom? This is why I became a Catholic and not Orthodox, the references to “true faith” sound like Protestantism. The Orthodox were just 500 years ahead of the game. As to the rest of his comment… If I had to chose, I will take liturgical *abuses* within the Church of Peter any day rather than the rudderless ship that is Orthodoxy. (remember the Orthodox accept the intrinsic evil of contraception as valid, proving they do not have the charism of infallibility in their teaching authority.)

      • Posted April 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        David Meyer,
        Saying I am wrong doesn’t show I am wrong, so I am afraid you’ll need to do better than that.

        Second, Rome teaches the Filioque and that’s an error, just for starters. Pope Vigilius taught error and was excommunicated by a council he was at, the Fifth Ecumenical Council. Honorius taught error as well, and please do not tell me he merely failed to teach the right doctrine. I’ve read the documents myself and he teaches the same thing as the heretic Sergius and Pyrrus. This is why the majority of scholars admit he taught monothelitism. Even Maxmus admitted that Rome did so and refused communion with the papal legates. I’d suggest you read the actual documents yourself rather than relying on Catholic Answer’s Copy/Paste apologetic methodology.

        You are simply asserting that I have no reference point. That isn’t an argument. Bringing in Protestantism is a red herring, first since I am not a Protestant and second because Protestantism came out of Rome, not Orthodoxy and Orthodoxy has never produced such a wide ranging, wide lasting or anything like Protestantism. And Rome hasn’t been able to heal that schism and heresy for five hundred years and counting, not a single major Protestant tradition. And Protestantism is grounded in Catholic theology, as Louis Bouyer, in his Spirit and Forms of Protestantism shows, not Orthodox theology. And my objections do not depend on the Right of Private Judgment or any Protestant principle, and even Rome herself admits as much in her dialogs with us. And we could talk about who healed the great western schism and what was the principle of unity there when there was no pope for half a century? Was it the pope or the council that was the principle of unity then at Constance? Oh yeah, it was the council…again. And you confuse the see of Rome with its occupant, which the Fifth Council distinguishes, which is why they asserted that they were still in communion with the See of Rome, while they excommunicated the sitting pope Vigilius. Tell me, how can an Ecumenical Council legitimately excommunicate a sitting Pope? Just explain that to me. Please note, this is not some minor synod or some minor issue, this is the Fifth Ecumenical Council which taught infallibly even by Catholic standards. With what authority did they excommunicate the Pope? Was it greater or lesser than papal authority? I’ll wait while you race through Dom Chapman or Luke Rivington to find an answer. (It isn’t there, I already read those works.)

        The other problem is that you think that the principle of unity has to be one single person, but the Fifth Council explicitly teaches (in line with the 7th Council I might add which discusses the conditions for an ecumenical synod, which oh yeah, doesn’t give papal conditions for it being authoritative) that none of the Apostles needed any of the others to execute their office, contra Vat 1, and the only way to decide doctrinal matters was through a council. They say “neither is there any other way.” Read the Sentence of the Synod for yourself over at CCEL dot Org.

        The principle of unity is tradition as expressed and taught in and by ecumenical councils (since the time of the Apostles, see Acts 15) and ecumenical councils are such by meeting various canonical conditions, conditions most of which Rome agrees to as well, which are spelled out in various councils. So there is no subjectivism there as your straw man puts forward. Just look at Chalcedon where the council set up a committee to make sure Leo’s Tome was in line with Cyril’s teaching, because Leo was suspected of Nestorianism. Cyril and not Leo was the principle of unity and standard of Orthodoxy. It was only after the council judged Leo to be in line with Cyril that they said that Peter had expressed the right faith through Leo and not before. leo’s teaching was subject to the authority of the council, not the other way around. See Gray’s The Defense of Chalcedon in the East, or McGuckin, Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological controversy, both are academic specialists in the field.

        As to contraception, you misrepresent the Orthodox position. The Orthodox do not permit contraception carte blanche. Second, everyone objected to any form of Contraception for a simple reason, they all adhered to ancient biology which took sperm to be human beings in whole. So they applied the moral principle that killing human beings for convenience was immoral. This is why everyone’s arguments from the time of Tertullian forward were that it amounted to murder. Then when we found out the truth about the biology that sperm weren’t full blown humans in small, ROME dropped those arguments like everyone else did and fall back on arguments from Stoic Natural Law theory. Then it was a question of whether Natural Law theory was strong enough to maintain that position across the board position. But since the Orthodox never adhered to that theory and to what it entails, Natural Theology because such a view entails that there is revelation of God that is non-Trinitarian and non-Christological, they permitted non-abortificant methods under certain circumstances.

        So, it wasn’t a change in teaching, it was a recognition that the moral principle was not applicable to cases where it wasn’t murder, and even Rome implicitly recognized this since Rome too dropped all the patristic arguments that barrier methods were murder. So if the Orthodox changed here, so did Rome in dropping all the Patristic claims that all forms of contraception were murder. In any case, the point being that no body claims to make dogmatic statements regarding truths of astronomy, biology, etc. When things turn out not to be facts in those areas, it is only the application of the moral principle, not the moral principle itself that was in error because what the scientists informed the church about was in error. So, the Orthodox do not permit contraception whole sale and to repeat that is to misrepresent the facts. Furthermore, Rome doesn’t seem to concerned about it at all, since it has never come up in any of the official ecumenical dialogs with the Joint Theological Commission that I know of. To make it a point of division is something that not even Rome does.

        And lastly, you could not even make the claim stick unless the Orthodox had a principle of unity and so authoritative teaching that you could identify. But you stated earlier that this was not possible, so either you were right then and wrong about the claims you make about contraception or vice versa, in either case, you are inconsistent. Which claim do you wish to give up?

        As for liturgical abuses, when there are only two diocese that actually follow the canons on women serving at the altar, and laypersons distributing the sacraments. When these are only permitted in extreme circumstances, it is no longer an abuse, it is the norm. Rome has the authority and power to correct these and other problems and for half a century now has done nothing. Even the two Vatican clarifications in 94 and 01 admit that these practices are “innovations” and are not in line with the 2000 year old tradition of men and boys alone serving at the altar. So the twin claims that Rome has supreme authority and these are abuses fall flat because Rome doesn’t do anything to correct the abuses and the abuses are now the norm, and not just in North America, but on other continents as well. Just try telling any given local priest that they should not have female altar servers, let alone LEM’s and watch what happens. A big fat nothing. Then try it with the bishop. Nada. Write to Rome to correc it-Critckets chirp. If you aren’t faithful in small things…

      • Joseph E
        Posted April 16, 2011 at 2:29 am | Permalink

        I’m sorry Bryan for making argument here. Please accept my apology.

        You see, Perry, that is why orthodoxy is becoming stale because it refuses to grow. I don’t have any comments concerning the councils due to my indisposition on the subject at the very moment but I would want to know why Eastern Orthodoxy has suddenly no longer seen the need for any more councils… so there is nothing to settle any longer in Christianity! Great. And why do the moves for reconciliation between the Churches seem to come mostly, if not entirely, from the Catholic side. Is this not of greater importance to unite Christianity under a single truth than making argument against each other? Orthodoxy is certainly not acting in Christian charity.

        To demonstrate this staleness in Orthodoxy we could refer back to contraception. Is contraception only evil because of the innocent that are ‘killed’? So science has found out that sperm are not miniature human beings. Does that mean that Onanism (the intentional spilling of semen) is now right? If Onanism is wrong and the science of the day was used to explain its evil does that mean that the evil of Onanism is based on science? Certainly not. If, as later discovered, science has shown that semen does not contain ‘miniature human beings’ but elements that make the human being does that mean that revelation ‘thought’ that miniature human beings were in semen? Yes, many times science helps us to refine our understanding of revelation, not to change it or water it down. In Catholic circles a theology of truth, love and responsibility has grown around this issue because of a refined understanding brought about by science of the understanding of the evil of sexual abuse. In Orthodoxy nothing has happened apart from a digression to the practice of Onanism in its various forms. But how would you know, you spend all your time castigating the Catholic faith without paying attention to the fullness of Christian truth.

        The Orthodox communities also enjoy enough disunity among themselves. I remember a few years ago that Orthodox patriarchs were busy excommunicating each other all over the place. I know that many, if not all, such excommunications have been revoked.

        My prayer, Perry, is that Orthodoxy should let go of complaining and look forward to reconciliation with their sibling the Catholic Church. Throwing accusations, left, right and center will not help in bringing communion to the People of God. This lack of focus on Truth has always been a sign to me of the devils work against truth. Complain and excuse have always been a means for disunity and this is especially where Orthodoxy fails and in so doing align themselves with protestantism.

      • Posted April 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Joseph E.

        Stale? Where is “stale” named as biblical or patristic detriment? Rome seems to think that union with us would be a good thing and is bending over backwards to entice us. Why would it do so for something “stale?” Let’s be honest, this is a lame objection, especially in light of the fact that both Rome and Catholic converts prize tradition and permanence over Protestant change. It isn’t up to us to change the tradition that was handed on to us. We are called to preserve it intact without addition or subtraction and pass it on.

        Canonically councils are called to settle church wide questions on heresy. There have been two other sets of councils since the 7th, the 8th in the 9th century and 14th century, but the seven above all are prized for the sealing the deal so to speak on true doctrine, seven being the biblical number of perfection. If you can think of some new and pressing heresy among the Orthodox that we have to deal with, we’ll have another one but so far everything is just the same old heresy repackaged.

        The moves come from the Catholic side because the true church doesn’t need union with schismatics. Second, Catholicism, especially in Europe is facing significant decline and faced major political decline the last century. Not to mention that, the liturgical implementation at the least, of V2 has been a disaster and the hope is that including the Orthodox would make Catholicism more traditional again.

        You ask if uniting isn’t it more important than arguing, but the Fathers consistently teach that truth is more important than unity. Second, it would be if Rome wasn’t schismatic and heterodox and was the one church. Love rejoices with the truth, not with error.

        And Rome certainly seems not willing to budge on a whole range of issues. We could make the same argument that Rome should just give up its additions (papal supremacy by divine right, immaculate conception and such) and just become one with the Orthodox. If they did, unity would happen overnight. But they won’t. Why won’t Rome do so? Because they claim those are truths of tradition and so they maintain their ground on the same principle we do. Hence it is entirely inconsistent for you to use this line of reasoning when it is one Rome herself rejects.

        As for not acting in Christian charity, was Rome acting in Christian charity when after the Crusaders sacked Constantinople in 1204, she imposed for nearly 80 years celibacy, Latin (on native Greek speakers) and a whole host of foreign doctrines and practices? Was Rome acting in charity when it deliberately sent Jesuits disguised as Orthodox clergy into Orthodox lands to establish Orthodox looking parishes to deceive local populations in the 18th and 19th centuries? And now that Rome is in a position of weakness after V2 you’re speaking of charity? The Orthodox are like Tolkien’s Ent’s, they have long memories. I’d suggest picking up say Chadwick’s bk on the East/West schism and catching up on the history. Things aren’t anywhere near as simple as you’re making it out to be.

        I am not sure why the rejection of patristic teaching that all forms of contraception were a form of murder by Rome counts as “refining” but when the Orthodox do it, it counts as “staleness” or something worse. That seems like the fallacy of special pleading. It doesn’t logically follow that deliberate premature ejaculation is now morally right since good and evil, are not opposites. It could logically amount to something indifferent or still morally wrong or a fault, but not a mortal or grave sin. So the moral landscape is wider than your questions suggest. And I doubt you’d find any confessor who’d say that it was morally right or beneficial and carte blanche to be generally used. But then again, Orthodox moral theory is more along the lines of moral particularism than moral legalism. (And it is quite reasonable to read the account as being about his unwillingness to fulfill the law in providing an heir rather than about contraception per se and some ancient authors saw it having that as its main lesson.)
        If science has refined Catholic teaching so in what way has it refined the older teaching that it was murder? It hasn’t. And I do not spend all my time castigating Catholicism, trust me. (Besides, that is an ad hominem fallacy.) And certainly not any more than Catholics spend all their time castigating non-Catholics over doctrinal and moral matters. Besides, you are measuring Orthodoxy by a standard that she does not accept, namely doctrinal development and so you are simply begging the question at hand.

        The Orthodox Church enjoys no more disunity than Eastern Rite Catholics do. We are all in communion with each other and teach the same faith. I can go and take communion in a Russian, Serbian, Antiochian, Greek, or Japanese parish no problem. I do it a number of times a year. As for overlapping jurisdictions Rome has overlapping jurisdictions as well between the Latin and Eastern Rite churches. And how many Catholic Patriarchs are there for example of the See of Antioch? In three hundred or more years why hasn’t Rome, the supposed principle of unity, brought unity there?

        You claim that a few years ago there was a flurry of excommunications among the Orthodox. I’ve been Orthodox for well over a decade and I know nothing of what you speak, so you’ll need to be specific.

        If throwing accusations around won’t achieve unity, then why do you do it? As for a lack of focus on truth, my claims have been aimed at truth and not on vague claims, not even made by Rome, of “staleness.”

        Perhaps you know something Cardinal Kasper and Co. don’t?

        Align with Protestantism? Exqueeze me? Nothing could be further from the truth. Rememmber, Protestantism is a Catholic heresy, built out of medieval Catholic theological structures, so don’t try to pawn off your own messes on us. Take some honest responsibility and fix them yourself.

        So really what you are offering is that we should put aside our doctrine for administrative unity (like Rome did with the Nestorians and Aremenians). But what would you trade for the True Faith? Altar girls, praise bands, LEM’s and lay popessess don’t seem worth the trade.

  223. Posted April 13, 2011 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    Welcome to normal Christianity, Brian. I am a convert, too… a self-described “Recovering Anti-Catholic”. Remember: once you get to heaven..you’re SAVED… once and for always saved !!

  224. Posted April 14, 2011 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Welcome home, brother.

  225. janet sciacca
    Posted April 16, 2011 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Thank you Joseph.

  226. Krista
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Bryan,

    Welcome home to the fullness of Truth! Your work is inspirational, and your story even more so!

    I am a cradle Catholic, but I have learned that converts make the best, and most knowledgable among us! God bless you for questioning and challenging! We can only gain wisdom when we seek knowledge!

    I will pray for you, please pray for me!

  227. Tiff
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home Bryan! =)

  228. David Kal
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Just know you are in the right place and many will try to tell you different. Dr. Scott Hahn is protestant convert and has heard it all. His reasons for his conversion to the Catholic faith are amazing. Check out Catholic answers, this web page is very educational and can help with the miss truths you will hear about the Catholic teachings. Many of these scholars ironically are converts to the Catholic faith.

  229. David Kal
    Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    You have entered a beautiful faith. God Bless

  230. Renee
    Posted June 12, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Brian, I heard you speak at the 2011 March for life. You are an awesome speeker, you spoke the truth, and your love for Christ really showed. I hope someday our protestant friends can accept us Catholic Christians the way we accept them, with an abundance love.

    I hope your journey home is going well. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  231. Sheilla
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Now I am Ortodox Christian and I really really want to convert to Catholic because I’m feeling my self like Catholic Can you help me how can i Convert to Catholicism I really want to convert just from personal reasons!!!
    PLESE HELP MEE !

  232. Susan
    Posted October 27, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I just found your blog today..10/27/11. Congrats on your decision. I just came in the Church 2 years ago..so I can relate. I’ve always had a love for the Catholic church. I was raised Christian..very proud of that..accepted Christ as my Saviour as a young girl…but still always loved things Catholic. No one else in my family is Catholic..but they know I love the Lord so I think they’re not totally uncomfortable with it. It wouldn’t matter if they were. What made me finally seriously check it out was discussions I was having with other Protestant friends…and the 2 main reasons I became Catholic were: 1-the books in the bible and 2-the Lords supper. So..God bless you. Hope you are encouraged daily by your decision. Keep the faith.

  233. Jeff Scaccio
    Posted January 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Bryan; May God continue to bless you in your journey. Welcome into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church! I find it so amazing and quite sad that there is so much misunderstanding ( and so much “Attitude”) about the Church. It’s interesting that people can be so vehemenently against the “not true church”. If it’s not the true whats’ the worry? Well God Bless you and your family!

  234. Debra
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I wish you a joyous continuation of your journey. Welcome home!

  235. Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    where my post go? ain’t writing it out again lol

  236. Posted June 9, 2012 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    good stuff, missed a couple typos but don’t woryr about it =)

  237. Posted June 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Please do the right thing and spread the truth so we can blow the lies and cover ups out of the water

  238. Posted June 21, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    salutations from across the world. informative article I shall return for more.

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