The latest issue of U.S. Catholic features a story with a title that will be familiar to long-time Patrollers, “Born-again Catholics: Evangelicals crossing the Tiber.” If you recall, almost exactly two years ago I published a piece in Religion Dispatches entitled “Evangelicals ‘Crossing the Tiber’ to Catholicism.”
Now, I know I’m not the first to use the phrase “crossing the Tiber;” in fact, in my essay it was a reference to the book of same name by Stephen K. Ray, which details his conversion story.
The U.S. Catholic piece, by J. Peter Nixon, is well written, and provides yet another set of examples to counter Marvin Olasky’s remarks in Christianity Today in which he attempted to undermine my piece by saying that he didn’t see any such trend and, further, “If anything…more Catholics are becoming evangelicals.”
Truthfully, this, like any trend story is nearly impossible to prove using anything more than anecdotal evidence, though that kind of evidence is certainly readily available. More importantly, as both my piece as well as the recent story point out, those who do combine these traditions find the fusion to be an asset to their faiths. At the very least, we can be assured that each evangelical turned Catholic represents one less person claiming the Pope is the Anti-Christ.
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