A month ago Francis Beckwith, head of the Evangelical Theological Society and a professor at Baylor University was received into the Catholic Church. He rightly resigned from the ETS which is a Protestant organization with an official “Bible-Alone” theology about revelation, despite the Evangelical rediscovery of the Church fathers.
He is not the first important Evangelical to come into Catholicism. Thomas Howard back in 1985 did the same. Similarly, he was a graduate of Wheaton College, the top Evangelical school.
Joshua Hochschild was terminated as an instructor at Wheaton after his coming to Catholicism (actually his return) in 2006.
Scott Hahn has put out a series of tapes and books since his conversion and is now an associate professor at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.
His best friend, Gerry Matatics, also entered the Church; however, he has since affiliated himself alternately with the Feenynites and then the sedevacantists.
(Some argue that Matatics went too far in his traditionalism or move to the right; I tend to think that in methodology he did not go far enough. He “seems” to read Church documents and encyclicals as they would the Scriptures according to a Protestant manner of “private or personal” interpretation and in a literal or fundamentalist way. But such documents, like the Bible, belong to the Church and one must not usurp the living Mother Church in her rightful role of reading and interpreting her own documents. In other words, the Magisterium has final word in interpreting magisterial teachings, not the laity nor renegade clergy.)
It must be said that contemporary dialogue and social interaction with Protestant Evangelicals has been impressive. Critics abound, but even the late Pope John Paul II admitted that there seemed to be an invisible Church in our age that connected believers across the lines of denominational affiliation. Conservative Catholics and Evangelical Protestants shared many important beliefs even as the tension and disconnect seemed to grow with Liberal Catholics, particularly on moral issues. It must be said that it has been an intellectual kinship and a profound respect for Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI that has fueled the movement of dozens of important and well-educated Protestants and Evangelicals into Catholicism. This gives Catholics a sense of hope and maybe pride, but we have to remember that few people come to or go away from Rome for intellectual reasons. Most converts come to the Church these days because of marriage with a Catholic and, unfortunately, many abandon the Church also because of matters of the heart, particularly divorce and remarriage. Catholicism takes some heavy stands, a fact that attracts a few and repels many more.