Over Christmas, I thought about many things. A few days before Christmas, I read an article on Rorate Caeli about a small group of Catholics in Turkey. These Catholics aren’t Polish immigrants or Italian foreign workers. They’re Turkish converts from Islam. What inspired this little group of Turks in Erdogan’s Turkey to reject Islam and Kemalist Secularism? Playing a large role in their conversion was the Traditional Latin Liturgy. What an amazing Evangelization tool! The line from the Turkish Catholic which touched me the most was:
I wanted to share this event with you because ever since I became a Catholic, I have been reading your blog Rorate Caeli and learned many things thanks to it, and I thought this glorious mass organised by young Turkish people, all converts from Islam, could be a glimmer of hope in these dark days for our Church.
The article can be found here:
Catholicism is probably not the first thing on any Turk’s mind when they decide to drop Islam. In fact, it’s probably one of the last things, sadly. I’ve been to Protestant, Orthodox, and Muslim countries where Catholics are a minority. I remember going to the Cathedral in Tirana, Albania for Mass. A country where Catholicism is the third largest religious group after Islam and Orthodoxy.
I’ve often wondered what it would be like to live in a non-Catholic country. According to statistics, the largest religious group in Canada are Catholics, however, if you exclude Quebec, that statistic disappears. English speaking Canada is overwhelming Protestant.
It is true that English speaking Canada has far more Catholic influence than Albania, let alone Turkey, but we’re still in the minority. I’m actually happy that I live in a non-Catholic country. If I lived in a country where Catholic Churches are on every block and the streets were named after Saints, it would be very different. It would be charming in a way and would give me greater access to resources for spiritual development but I’m happy where I am. It would also have the threat over nominalism looming over it. Canada is not Catholic, therefore there is a mission field in Canada, just like their is a mission field in Albania and Turkey.
I believe that as long I have access to the Sacraments and the rosary, I’m good. As long as I have a Catholic community to worship with I don’t care how many fellow believers are in the country. On this blog, I have the words Truth Without Compromise at the top. The Traditional Latin Liturgy that has touched the souls of these Turkish Catholics is a full expression of that phrase.
This little Turkish Catholic community is an oasis of hope in the spiritual desert that is modern Turkey. We should all pray for this little community that one day it would no longer be little. Do they view living in a non-Catholic country as a blessing like I do? I don’t know. It’s probably hard living in a country where your religious identity is not part of the culture at all. However, I wish them the best in their missions.
As for me, I don’t long to live in a Catholic country, at least until my own country becomes one. When one reads the Acts of the Apostles, the apostles didn’t see entire nations convert to the worship of the one true God but their spiritual descendants did. Please God, let their be a Catholic Canada and America in my lifetime.