It's either Catholicism or atheism, says professor

Dr Adrian Vermeule

A Harvard law professor who experienced a conversion to Catholicism has suggested there is no middle way between atheism and the Church. The Catholic Herald has the story.

Dr Adrian Vermeule, Professor of Constitutional Law, said that the logic behind his Catholic beliefs was inspired by Blessed John Henry Newman.

He said: “Raised a Protestant, despite all my thrashing and twisting, I eventually couldn’t help but believe that the apostolic succession through Peter as the designated leader and primus inter pares is in some logical or theological sense prior to everything else – including even Scripture, whose formation was guided and completed by the apostles and their successors, themselves inspired by the Holy Spirit.”

Dr Vermeule said he realised “the very great evil of schism and private judgment” when the US Episcopalian Church “decided to go its own way based on novel views even in the face of faithful admonition by the broader Anglican Communion.

"Ultimately I think with Newman … that there is no stable ground between Catholicism and atheist materialism. One must always be travelling, or slipping unintentionally in one direction or the other.”

Dr Vermeule served as a law clerk for the late justice Antonin Scalia between 1994 and 1995.

Citing the influences on his conversion to Catholicism, along with Cardinal Newman, he mentioned Fr Brian Dunkle SJ and Fr Kevin Grove CSC, and added: “Behind and above all those who helped me along the way, there stood a great Lady.”

When asked if the West could still be called Christian, he replied: “There is hope for renewal because of Fr Jacques Hamel and others like him. God acts through the weak and the marginal - the humble aged parish priest who goes to his death filled with faith and courage, naming the darkness, and pushing it away. Out of this, God has fashioned a light to illuminate France and the whole West.”


There is no middle way between atheism and Catholicism, says Harvard professor who converted


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