Saturday, December 02, 2006

Catholicism and Christianity

What do you make of the two things - Catholicism and Christianity? Do we speak of the same thing in two different ways? Are Roman Catholics Christians?

I'm not going to give an opinion - for now - as much as provide a quotation from David McWilliams' new book 'The Pope's Children'. McWilliams is writing an account of Ireland's new elite - the generation born in and around the visit of the Pope in 1979. The generation of the Celtic Tiger, the huge rise in living standards, house prices and wealth.

And what does McWilliams say in the book that provoked my question? In a throw-away line on page 223, he says the following:

Numbers attending evangelical Christian churches are up 1000% in ten years and 78% of these people are born in Ireland, having converted from Catholicism.

The clear implication is that evangelical Christians are different to Catholicism, and that 'conversion' (whatever is meant), is needed. An interesting observation!

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