Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The Process of Conversion (quora)

How does someone join the Catholic Church and become a Catholic? What are the qualifications and commitments required to be considered for membership?

Answer requested by
Mark Sims

Hans-Georg Lundahl
none/ apprx Masters Latin & Greek, Lund University
Answered just now
  • 1) Knowing the faith. In the case of Gavin Ashenden, who had been Anglican High Church bishop (possibly with valid orders even), he was known to know sufficiently of Catholicism when a Catholic (or Novus Ordo) asked him to become Catholic, so in his case it went rapidly. In my case, RCIA was first delayed and then prolonged over two or rather three different starts, of which the last one lasted from September1987 to May 22 or 25 1988. I had already decided to become Catholic in 1984 after Christmas Day, when reading Umberto Eco, and I was actively seeking information elsewhere than at RCIA, like finding a Catechism here, a book on the rosary there, a missal for laymen with devotions, a polemic book by a faithful living in Rome (Hope 84, to Honor Our Lady’s Assumption, by Tom Zimmer, a US citizen of Irish and German heritage), going through articles in encyclopedias related to the topics, discussing with a Russian Orthodox lady who had been Roman Catholic until the Liturgic Reform shell shocked her (both about our common points against Protestantism and her Russian Orthodox against Catholicism as well).
  • 2) Wanting to live the faith and therefore join the Church. IN the case of non-baptised, preparation for Baptism, in the case of non-Catholic baptised Christians, preparing to get excommunication lifted (in theory, not mentioned in the newer rite of conversion) and for first confession and communion. Part of this commitment is specifically to believe what the Church believes. In 1988, when I converted, the Novus Ordo establishment had not included Evolution acceptance and Heliocentrism acceptance, as they did early 90’s in some documents, and as these things are against Trent, which I was obviously (at least implicitly) required to accept as an Ecumenical and Infallible council, I think I am safe on this point.
  • 3) Getting this validated by a Catholic priest in communion with the Pope. As I now consider “John Paul II” was not a Pope, there is some fault about this detail, but at least Pope Michael wasn’t elected yet, so it was not a flouting of his rights as the real Pope.
  • 4) Proceeding to promise fidelity to the Church between First Confession and First Communion, stepping forward at Mass after the Sermon. And getting declared a Catholic.

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