For years, the Catholic Television Network (EWTN) has had a show called The Journey Home. My parents used to watch this show when I was a child, for the few years that we had a dish before we tore the roof off the house. To the best of my recollection, the purpose of the show is to display how Catholicism is an awesome religion because so many people convert to it. When I found out that all the episodes are available online, I decided to watch them and review them. It’s undeniable that people convert to Catholicism; my question is, do they have good reasons? How many of them started as some form of Christian in the first place? How many came from other religions? How many were atheists or skeptics? Why did they convert, and would the answer to that question be a convincing reason for a skeptic?
If you decide to watch these episodes with me, you may notice that I ignore a lot of things I could respond to. The target audience is Catholics, and this is clear from the very first minute that Marcus Grodi begins speaking. These stories aren’t necessarily meant to convince a skeptic, but to strengthen the faith of a Catholic, or possibly convince a non-Catholic Christian to convert, and there’s really nothing wrong with that. Nonetheless, I’d like to see if this collection of conversion stories contains any compelling reasons for a skeptic to convert.
The second episode is titled “Msgr. Graham Leonard: An Anglican Bishop Who Became A Catholic – The Journey Home Program” and aired September 12, 1997. It can be viewed online here.
Again, the guest was already a Christian – an Anglican, just like C. S. Lewis – before he became Catholic. Indeed, Msgr. Graham Leonard was a priest, and not just any priest, but the Bishop of London.
As I have nothing to say about this conversion story that I didn’t say about the last one, I’d like to emphasize again that Catholicism does seem, to me, the most internally consistent of the Christian denominations. It makes sense to me that many Christians who take their faith seriously and begin studying the issues like “how do I know what interpretation of the Bible is correct” (which is specifically what Leonard focused on) would become Catholics.
So far, our breakdown of the guests’ religious state before conversion looks like this.
- Serious Christian: 2
- Lax Christian: 0
- Non-Christian, but religious: 0
- Non-believer, but not very skeptical: 0
- Skeptic: 0