Omigosh! People want to become Catholics. What should we do?
The Catholic bishops of Austria are worried that some migrants might not have the right motives for their desire to enter the Catholic Church. That's a valid concern, no doubt—although to my mind it would seem less urgent than questions about 1) why so few native Austrians are interested in becoming Catholic, and 2) why so many baptized Austrian Catholics want to leave the Church.
But what bothers me even more is that the bishops' response seems to suggest that an influx of converts is a Problem, which must be addressed by a comprehensive (and no doubt cumbersome, year-long) Program.
It wasn't always this way. Inspired by the Austrian bishops’ example, I have re-translated Acts 8: 35-38 to reflect a more contemporary approach:
And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?”
And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both encamped by the water. And Philip hired a staff, having each person fingerprinted and CORI’d, and for twelve months they instructed the eunuch, using small-group sharing sessions and PowerPoint presentations. Then Philip baptized the eunuch.
Much more inspiring that way, wouldn’t you agree?
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