The Latest in Evangelicals Becoming Catholics: Former Christianity Today Editor Mark Galli

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Why do evangelicals convert to Catholicism and how should we respond?

This Sunday, September 13, a man named Mark will become confirmed as a Catholic. Why is this significant?

Mark Galli, who will be confirmed under the name of St. Francis, is a former Presbyterian pastor and editor-in-chief for Christianity Today. And, as RNS noted, for a few days last December he was perhaps the best-known evangelical in the nation for his editorial calling for the impeachment and removal of Donald Trump from the presidency.

Galli, however, says the timing of his conversion to Catholicism two months before the next election is for personal reasons. After 20 years in the Anglican Church, he believes moving to Catholicism is not a rejection of evangelicalism but taking his “Anglicanism deeper and thicker.”

His journey took him from Presbyterianism to becoming an Episcopalian, then Anglican, with a brief time attending the Orthodox Church. This runs counter to trends in the U.S., as currently for every one convert to Catholicism, six leave the tradition. But notable Protestants, from Elizabeth Ann Seton and John Henry Newman, to G.K. Chesterton, Francis Beckwith, and Tony Blair. The RNS article observed:

Some converts are drawn to the beauty of Catholic ritual. Others to the church’s rich intellectual tradition or the centrality of the Eucharist, the bread and wine used for Communion, which Catholics believe becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

For Galli that was part of it, but his fatigue with evangelicalism contributed as well. “I want to submit myself to something bigger than myself,” He said, a dding:

One thing I like about both Orthodoxy and Catholicism is that you have to do these things, whether you like it or not, whether you’re in the mood or not, sometimes whether …

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