It sounds like a great title for a book, and in fact it is. This morning, as I indulged in my Saturday morning ritual of coffee, scrambled eggs and a good book, I started reading the book by Paul Turner of the same name. The back cover blurb outlines the scope of the book:
Each year, many adults who have never been baptized become Catholic. In the United States, these adults are outnumbered by baptized Christians of other denominations who seek to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church. In the minds of many Catholics – indeed, in many parish preparation programs – there is little difference between the two groups. Baptized and catechized Christians are often placed in programs with those who have not been baptized. Just as often, the two groups are welcomed into full membership alongside one another during the Easter Vigil, thereby obscuring further the distinction between them. Imagine that a high school senior transfers schools and is subsequently placed in middle school classes. Imagine no one thinking this change in status odd.
In “When Other Christians Become Catholic”, Paul Turner seeks to clarify and confirm the status of baptized persons. He explores the rites of reception in the early church and the Second Vatican Council’s call for ecumenical dialogue. In addition, he looks to the reception rites of other Christian communities to gain added perspective. Turner’s historical and ecumenically sensitive analysis will help members of catechumenate teams think more carefully about the baptismal unity of all Christians. Drawing on that foundation of unity, they will learn steps to avoid and steps to take so that communion becomes a reality.