Asked why this is the time for him and his family to convert, Mr. Scharbach offered a simple answer: “The magisterium – to be in communion with the Holy See.”
Just months ago, Mr. Scharbach was a promising Anglican priest at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, near Philadelphia.
Mrs. Scharbach, 35, taught the couple’s children at home.
The husband had been contemplating a move to Catholicism since his days of learning at Westminster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.
His route to Catholicism was rather circuitous. He said he was “nominally” raised Catholic and received baptism, Eucharist and confirmation as a youth. Ultimately, he rejected the magisterium he has come to embrace.
Seminary research planted seeds of doubt. In a letter to the Good Shepherd leadership committee that explained his departure from the Anglican priesthood, he said a “supernatural hush” came over him at his library table.
“The arguments I found refuted all the objections offered by my professor for the validity of the papacy,” he wrote. “I was enthused. I was moved. I was even a bit awed.”
He also saw the fracture of the American Episcopal Church as dividing the body of Christ. The Catholic Church, unlike others, was still standing.