Was the suffering and sacrifice to enter the Catholic Church worth it?

Shane Shaetzel asks the following on his blog:

While the two synods on the family convene in Rome, this month and again next year, many questions will be asked by the cardinal archbishops and others who attend. Meanwhile, back here in the Ozarks, I will be asking just two questions.  Was my conversion to the Catholic Church in vain? Was my suffering a waste?

Sixteen years ago I had it all. I was at the top of my game in the Protestant world. I was one “yes” away from inheriting my own Evangelical congregation. The community respected me. I was looked up to. I could have retired from my medical job and taken up full-time pastoral ministry, all before the age of 30. I would have had a reasonable salary and my wife would not have to work. I would have health benefits and even a free gymnasium membership. I would have annual paid vacations to California to meet with heads of the affiliation. My books would have a guaranteed audience and be sold in Christian book stores all over America.

We left Evangelicalism because of a problem with authority, and the lack of sacramental worship.  We left Anglicanism because of a problem with authority as well, and the acceptance of things that defy God’s written word.  We turned to the Catholic Church for refuge.  We turned to Rome for guidance — particularly moral guidance.  Was it all in vain?  Was all of our emotional pain and suffering a waste?  Should I have just accepted the Evangelical ministry job?  Lord knows I would be a lot better off today if I did.  My wife would be too.  She could stay at home with the kids, and I could do what I love doing full time.


I learnt early on the necessity of authentic apostolic authority, which led to my acceptance of the Petrine ministry (the papacy).  Unlike those who have not yet learnt this, I converted because I had to convert, for the sake of my immortal soul, I had to do what I knew to be right; no matter how inconvenient that was, no matter how it ruined my plans.


I can go into a litany of reasons why I should remain Catholic; starting with authentic consecration of the Holy Eucharist, attachment to the faith of our fathers, ecumenical relations with the most Christians, etc. So I have no plans to leave the Catholic Church. Just to be clear, so there are no misunderstandings: I AM NOTLEAVING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH — EVER!  Still, if the Synod on the Family produces something that resembles the way The Episcopal Church handles sexual issues, I am going to be asking those questions. I won’t be able to help it. Was my conversion in vain? If the Catholic Church does not stand up to the tyranny of relativism, then who will?

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One Response to Was the suffering and sacrifice to enter the Catholic Church worth it?

  1. EPMS says:

    Well, if you leave assorted denominations because of authority issues, and settle on the Church you believe has authority, I think you are not in a position to judge that Church if it doesn’t meet your standards. Surely you will have to admit that you erred and the Church has not. What else could “authority” mean?

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