Jay Dyer of Nicene Truth posted a lengthy Apologia Pro Vita Sua on Wednesday in which he explains his reasons for turning away from Eastern Orthodoxy and towards Rome. There are only a few comments posted there today, mostly supportive (though some taking issue with his analysis of this or that), but it is perhaps worth mentioning in the context of the East-West "scorecard" that ecclesial decisions such as Jay's are always very difficult for the person making the decision and, I believe, when such decisions are made with such evident intellectual effort and faithful reflection, we may trust that that they are made in bona fides, whether or not the decision is the same one that we have, or would have, made under the circumstances.
I remember reading that greatest of questing blogs, Pontifications, over the course of a year or two as Fr. Alvin Kimel publicly pondered what to do about his increasing sense of alienation from his own communion and began the lengthy process of soul-searching that led, in the end, to his conversion to Roman Catholicism. That process involved a great deal of public discourse (the comboxes there were very often a full-day's worth of reading for me), and anyone who followed it will have come away far more knowledgeable about all sides of the question than when they first began. In some ways it seems almost reasonable to say that God, in his providence, is able to bring about great good even from the personal suffering of those individuals who find themselves deeply troubled by these reflections, for if they are willing to share their journey with the rest of us, we can learn from them and from those who are willing to discuss publicly the reasons for this or that doctrine.
My own process of conversion was neither very thoughtful nor very faithful, as I am now ashamed to admit but happy to confess (if that makes any sense). I became a Roman Catholic exactly 25 years ago this past Tuesday, on the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, and I believe that it is true to say that my real conversion has been ongoing since that time, and I am not fully confident that it is complete even yet. I am as troubled as anyone by certain features of the calling, and I suppose that posts such as this one are, finally, a reflection of my attempts to come to grips with some of these troubles. As a consequence of this I am always particularly moved by anyone who can make available in a public forum their inner dialog of the soul leading to conversion, whether it be Westward or Eastward. It is very sad that such decisions need to be made at all, but given that they do, the participation of charitable and merciful interlocutors in the blogosphere is a welcome bit of light in the otherwise pervasive darkness that is our barren secular culture.