There are many wonderful stories of people converting to the Catholic faith and there are many reasons why people do this. But for one Anglican priest it was the concept of authority which most influenced his decision to convert; for he found that only the Catholic Church had the authority of Christ.
In his conversion story Father Dwight Longenecker reveals how the question of the ordination of women in the Anglican Church led him to a real consideration of authority in the Church and that this ultimately led him to understand and accept the authority of the Catholic Church.
Father Longenecker recalls a conversation he had with the Abbot of Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight on the subject of the ordination of women. He said that what the Abbot said hit the nail on the head and was the catalyst for a deeper exploration of the authority of the Catholic Church.
The Abbot told Father Longenecker that 'Sometimes we have to deny some lesser good in order to affirm the greater good. I think you have to deny women’s ordination in order to affirm the apostolic ministry. If the apostolic authority says no to women’s ordination, then to affirm the greater good of apostolic authority you will have to deny the lesser good of women’s ordination. Because if we deny the greater good, then eventually we will lose the lesser good as well.'
As he studied the history of the Catholic Church in more detail Father Longenecker discovered that there were twelve crucial traits of Church authority and while other Christian churches could lay claim to some of these traits, only the Catholic Church could evidence all twelve.
The twelve traits are:
Rooted in History
Accessible to the Uneducated
Both Human and Divine
Built Upon the Rock
To read what Father Longenecker has to say about these twelve traits and how the Catholic Church demonstrates each of them, click this link to read his article at catholic.com: http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/how-do-we-know-it%E2%80%99s-the-true-church