home
RSS
June 22nd, 2012
11:27 AM ET

Prominent atheist blogger converts to Catholicism

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – She went from atheist to Catholic in just over 1,000 words.

Leah Libresco, who’d been a prominent atheist blogger for the religion website Patheos, announced on her blog this week that after years of debating many “smart Christians,” she has decided to become one herself, and that she has begun the process of converting to Catholicism.

Libresco, who had long blogged under the banner “Unequally Yoked: A geeky atheist picks fights with her Catholic boyfriend,” said that at the heart of her decision were questions of morality and how one finds a moral compass.

“I had one thing that I was most certain of, which is that morality is something we have a duty to,” Libresco told CNN in an interview this week, a small cross dangling from her neck. “And it is external from us. And when push came to shove, that is the belief I wouldn’t let go of. And that is something I can’t prove.”

CNN's Belief Blog: the faith angles behind the big stories

According to a Patheos post she wrote on Monday, entitled “This is my last post for the Patheos Atheist Portal,” she began to see parts of Christianity and Catholicism that fit her moral system. Though she now identifies as a Catholic, Libresco questions certain aspects of Catholicism, including the church’s positions on homosexuality, contraception and some aspects of religious liberty.

“There was one religion that seemed like the most promising way to reach back to that living Truth,” Libresco wrote about Catholicism in her conversion announcement post, which has been shared over 18,000 times on Facebook. “I asked my friend what he suggests we do now, and we prayed the night office of the Liturgy of the Hours together.”

At the end of the post, Libresco announces that she is in a Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults class and is preparing for baptism. She will continue to blog for Patheos, but under the banner, “A geeky convert picks fights in good faith.”

According to Dan Welch, director of marketing for Patheos, Libresco’s post has received around 150,000 page views so far.

“Leah's blog has gotten steadily more popular since she arrived at Patheos, but a typical post on her blog is probably closer to the range of 5,000 page views,” Welch wrote in an email. “Even now, a few days later, her blog is probably getting 20-30 times its normal traffic.”

Libresco’s announcement has left some atheists scratching their heads.

“I think atheists were surprised that she went with Catholicism, which seems like a very specific choice,” Hemant Mehta, an atheist blogger at Patheos, told CNN. “I have a hard time believing how someone could jump from I don’t believe in God to a very specific church and a very specific God.”

Mehta says that Libresco’s conversion is a “one-off thing” and not something that signals any trend in atheism. “The trends are very clear, the conversions from Catholicism to atheism are much more likely to happen than the other way around,” he said.

But while atheists were puzzled by the conversion, others commended Libresco.

“I know I’ve prayed for her conversion several times, always thinking she would make a great Catholic,” wrote Brandon Vogt, a Catholic blogger. “And with this news, it looks like that will happen. Today heaven is roaring with joy.”

Thomas L. McDonald, a Catholic Patheos blogger, welcomed Libresco to the fold: “Welcome. I know this was hard, and will continue to be so. Don’t worry if the Catholics make it as for difficult for you as the atheists. We only do it to people we love.”

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

Libresco says one of the most common questions she has received is how she'll deal with atheists now.

“The great thing about a lot of the atheist and skeptic community is that people talk more critically about ideas and want to see proof provided,” Libresco said. “That kind of analytical thinking is completely useful and the Catholic Church doesn’t need to and should not be afraid of because if you’ve got the facts on your side, you hope they win.”

Libresco is just switching the side she thinks the facts are on.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Catholic Church

soundoff (7,475 Responses)
  1. click here

    We are a group of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with useful info to work on. You have performed a formidable job and our entire group will probably be thankful to you.

    August 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  2. ghost websites

    You are truly a just right webmaster. The web site loading pace is amazing. It seems that you are doing any unique trick. Also, The contents are masterwork. you have performed a wonderful task in this matter!

    August 30, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  3. get coupon codes

    Its such as you read my mind! You seem to understand so much approximately this, such as you wrote the guide in it or something. I feel that you simply could do with a few p.c. to pressure the message house a bit, however instead of that, that is excellent blog. An excellent read. I'll certainly be back.

    August 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  4. mutuelle familiale

    It's the best time to make a few plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I may just I wish to counsel you few attention-grabbing things or advice. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles regarding this article. I wish to read more things approximately it!

    August 30, 2012 at 4:48 am |
  5. Modern African Art - 50% Off

    Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you ever been running a blog for? you make running a blog glance easy. The overall look of your website is excellent, let alone the content material!

    August 28, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  6. world mysteries

    Great submit, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you've a huge readers' base already!|What's Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I've discovered It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & assist different users like its helped me. Great job.

    August 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  7. HD Wallpapers and free stock photos

    Awesome issues here. I'm very glad to see your post. Thanks so much and I am looking ahead to touch you. Will you please drop me a mail?

    August 23, 2012 at 7:08 am |
  8. Kitchens

    I simply couldn't go away your web site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the usual info an individual supply to your visitors? Is going to be back incessantly in order to check up on new posts

    August 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  9. Who invited me?

    666

    August 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  10. sicoes

    buenas acabo de enterarme de tu blog y la verdad es que me parece muy bueno no sabia de mas personas interesadas en estos temas, aqui tienes un nuevo lector que seguira visitandote semanalmente.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  11. comparatif mutuelle

    Hello my loved one! I want to say that this post is amazing, great written and come with almost all important infos. I'd like to look extra posts like this .

    August 15, 2012 at 3:51 am |
  12. money

    Excellent publish, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector don't understand this. You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you have a great readers' base already!|What's Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I've found It absolutely useful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to give a contribution & help different users like its helped me. Good job.

    August 15, 2012 at 2:43 am |
  13. Groupon your city at the best prices|the best prices groupon at your city

    Hello There. I discovered your weblog using msn. This is an extremely smartly written article. I'll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read extra of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I'll certainly return.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  14. bellaluna

    I am not certain where you're getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend a while studying more or figuring out more. Thank you for magnificent information I was looking for this info for my mission.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:21 am |
  15. galactica battlestar online

    I'm extremely impressed along with your writing abilities as neatly as with the layout to your weblog. Is that this a paid subject matter or did you customize it your self? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to peer a nice weblog like this one today..

    August 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  16. baby twitter

    It is truly a great and useful piece of info. I'm satisfied that you shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

    August 13, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  17. Kors Michael Women's

    Thank you, I have just been searching for info approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the best I've came upon so far. But, what about the bottom line? Are you positive in regards to the source?|What i don't realize is if truth be told how you're not actually a lot more neatly-favored than you may be now. You're very intelligent.

    August 13, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  18. resort surigao

    Hello my loved one! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and come with almost all vital infos. I would like to see extra posts like this .

    August 12, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  19. telecharger jeux xbox360 gratuit complet

    I have read several good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot effort you put to create the sort of wonderful informative web site.

    August 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  20. tallulah13

    This spam storm is hilarious.

    August 10, 2012 at 1:22 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.