Ulf Ekman, founder of Word of Life megachurch in Sweden, stunned his congregation on Sunday when he announced he and his wife are converting to Catholicism.
Ekman’s Word of Life ministry includes a congregation of about 3,000 with a staff of 12 pastors. He also launched Scandinavia’s largest Bible school and constructed the largest free church building in Scandinavia. His recorded teachings have been spread around the world, he has published books in 60 languages and his television media program has a presence on all seven continents.
Ekman said of his journey toward Catholicism:
“We have seen a great love for Jesus and a sound theology, founded on the Bible and classic dogma. We have experienced the richness of sacramental life. We have seen the logic in having a solid structure for priesthood, that keeps the faith of the church and passes it on from one generation to the next. We have met an ethical and moral strength and consistency that dare to face up to the general opinion, and a kindness towards the poor and the weak. And, last but not least, we have come in contact with representatives for millions of charismatic Catholics and we have seen their living faith.”
Ekman also admitted that his prejudices against the Catholic faith were proven false upon further study of Church teaching. He said:
“It really challenged our Protestant prejudices, and we realized that we, in many cases, did not have any basis for our criticism of them. We needed to know the Catholic faith better. This led us to the realize that it was actually Jesus Christ who led us to unite with the Catholic Church.”
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