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 seventh episode is titled “Rosalind Moss: A Convert To The Catholic Faith From Judaism – The Journey Home Program” and aired October 17, 1997. It can be viewed online here.
This guest is different from any we have met before. Rosalind Moss was raised Jewish, then became agnostic, then Christian, and finally Catholic. When she was agnostic, she became Christian largely because she realized that there existed Jews who accept Jesus as the Messiah, and it was made to make sense given the Jewish framework. This says, to me, that she was agnostic Jewish, more than anything. She became Catholic because she learned more about Catholicism. She paraphrases the Fulton Sheen quote, “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
This “if people knew Catholicism, they would accept it” is fast becoming a central theme of this show, and I must once again strongly disagree. Though misconceptions of Catholicism abound even among Catholics, I find that it is not often a misconception that leads to people hating Catholicism. Instead, they leave because they know too much. No longer is it a secret that the Catholic Church officials sexually abuse children, and systematically attempt to hide that abuse. No longer is it hidden that the Catholic Church is helping the spread of AIDs in Africa by preaching that condoms cause, rather than prevent, it. Many people have come to realize that the Catholic Church’s stance against abortion causes more suffering than it prevents. More and more, people are learning that Catholicism simply isn’t based in fact.
Honestly, I’m much more interested in the journey of Rosalind’s brother. He apparently became an atheist, then a Christian and eventually a Catholic. What’s his reasoning? Was he a skeptic or just a non-believer?
So far, our breakdown of the guests’ religious state before conversion to Catholicism looks like this.
- Serious Christian: 6
- Lax Christian: 0
- Non-Christian, but religious: 1
- Non-believer, but not very skeptical: 0
- Skeptic: 0