San Diego ChurchFather Gallagher said many Protestant ministers are leaving their traditions to join the Catholic Church. “They usually become Catholic because of the 6th chapter of John, on the Eucharist. They realize what they are teaching is not what they are practicing.” Father Gallagher added that the Catholic tradition is the only valid priesthood. “We are not condemning [other traditions], just acknowledging the reality. Their priesthood is not valid. The Catholic Church has been around for almost 2000 years. There is a history of who founded the Catholic Church and we can trace our steps back to Jesus Christ. There is a Real Presence of the Sacraments administered by people who trace their roots to Jesus.” Father Gallagher said he did not want to judge these other traditions but wanted “people to participate in true Sacraments.” Gallagher recommended I contact the Coming Home Network which supports Protestants who become Catholic.

Jim Anderson, at the Coming Home Network, is a liaison with Protestants who seek to learn more about the Catholic Church. This year, Anderson said there has been a 40 percent increase in the number of Protestants who have contacted the Coming Home Network. Anderson said many pastors sacrifice their vocations and occupations upon conversion to the Catholic Church. I asked Anderson why people decide to leave their tradition to join the Catholic Church. “Many of the clergy as well as lay people in the Protestant denominations are having a crisis of faith, not in Jesus, but in, ‘What is truth and how do we know it?’ In the past, beginning in the 16th Century, Protestants answered the question of authority with ‘Sola Scriptura,’ or ‘the Scriptures alone’. Beginning in the 19th Century through the 20th, and continuing to our own century, there has been continuing erosion amongst mainline Protestant denominations in the authority of the Bible. If the Bible was your only authority, and your denomination had rejected that, all that is left is subjectivism. If all that is left is subjectivism, you now have truth being decided by the annual national convention through popular vote.”

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