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  #1  
Old Mar 18, '12, 11:48 pm
lindylindy lindylindy is offline
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Default Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

Hi, this is my first post. I am getting married in the Church this year and recently completed Pre-Cana with my fiance, who is also a devoted Catholic. The marriage prep classes were very good as far as teaching communication strategies, how to split up household duties, etc. But religion was almost entirely left out.

One thing in particular really got me. A worksheet asked us how we would decide what kind of birth control to use, implying that we would use birth control. When I brought up NFP in our small group discussion, people acted like that was crazy. The priest talked about marriage as a sacrament but said nothing about children. So I asked him about procreation as part of the sacrament (in front of the whole class) and asked him the Church's teaching on contraception and he said that it was ok to use ABC because the teaching wasn't infallible and most Catholics use it anyway and each couple has to decide for themselves.

I couldn't help it, I just started crying and couldn't stop. I still feel so upset and sad because I believe that the Church teaching is the truth and that these other couples will be missing out on the fullness of the sacrament because of not learning the truth. I couldn't express myself well to the group and worry if I came across as judgmental or just incoherent... I feel really distressed now and sad because I developed a pretty close relationship with this priest because he works with the college/grad students and I was hoping on his support in my marriage and now I just feel lost. I don't really have a question but I guess I'd like to hear if others have been in similar situations or if pre-cana is different where you live.
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  #2  
Old Mar 19, '12, 12:02 am
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Corki Corki is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

This is very wrong. If this priest is not the pastor, he should be reported to the pastor. If he is the pastor, you should contact the Family Life (or similarly named department) office at your diocese.

So sorry you had to endure this.
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  #3  
Old Mar 19, '12, 12:26 am
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domandcarols domandcarols is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

This needs to be reported to the bishop immediately.
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  #4  
Old Mar 19, '12, 12:55 am
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Khalid Khalid is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindylindy View Post
Hi, this is my first post. I am getting married in the Church this year and recently completed Pre-Cana with my fiance, who is also a devoted Catholic. The marriage prep classes were very good as far as teaching communication strategies, how to split up household duties, etc. But religion was almost entirely left out.

One thing in particular really got me. A worksheet asked us how we would decide what kind of birth control to use, implying that we would use birth control. When I brought up NFP in our small group discussion, people acted like that was crazy. The priest talked about marriage as a sacrament but said nothing about children. So I asked him about procreation as part of the sacrament (in front of the whole class) and asked him the Church's teaching on contraception and he said that it was ok to use ABC because the teaching wasn't infallible and most Catholics use it anyway and each couple has to decide for themselves.

I couldn't help it, I just started crying and couldn't stop. I still feel so upset and sad because I believe that the Church teaching is the truth and that these other couples will be missing out on the fullness of the sacrament because of not learning the truth. I couldn't express myself well to the group and worry if I came across as judgmental or just incoherent... I feel really distressed now and sad because I developed a pretty close relationship with this priest because he works with the college/grad students and I was hoping on his support in my marriage and now I just feel lost. I don't really have a question but I guess I'd like to hear if others have been in similar situations or if pre-cana is different where you live.
You are right, he is wrong. That is heresy, as no priest is possibly that ill-informed. It is persistently denying something which has been consistently declared by the ordinary magisterium (invoking one of three infallibilities, that of magisterium, council, and pope) for 1979-81 years. Before judging him too harshly - which I likely already have - as you say he works with college and graduate students, he may be "serving two masters" and "trying to please man", as the Catholic teachings on contraception and divorce are "hard words - let him who has ears to hear, hear." Accommodation to "what most people do anyways" when it's a sin is a mortal sin.

And bound to be very unpopular with the graduate students in secular universities who maintained their Catholic religion to some degree, as, in my experience, the vast majority split in to one of two camps: the lukewarm in to nominal adherence, the devout-but-unlearned in to some brand of Protestantism. The teachings are unpopular everywhere - "for the servant is not greater than the master, and if they have persecuted me, surely they shall persecute you" - and how much more so amongst the most irreligious cohort in American society?
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  #5  
Old Mar 19, '12, 1:06 am
Nicko Nicko is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

I think it is sensible advice and I fully agree with it.

It is not, however, Catholic advice. The people in the class are there to get Catholic advice. Misinforming the class as to the RCC's position on contraception is dishonest.
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  #6  
Old Mar 19, '12, 3:55 am
Rainaldo Rainaldo is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindylindy View Post
A worksheet asked us how we would decide what kind of birth control to use, implying that we would use birth control.
LOL When I first read this, I thought it was one of those trick questions designed to reveal something about the person filling out the form - you know, like when a prospective employer puts a line in their job application form that asks you what your Facebook password is, to see if you are naive enough to disclose your own personal private information, which means you would be a security risk to the company if they hired you.

But then...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindylindy View Post
...he said that it was ok to use ABC because the teaching wasn't infallible and most Catholics use it anyway and each couple has to decide for themselves.
Hard to believe this is still being taught. Lemme guess: Father was ordained before the mid-1980s, amirite?
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  #7  
Old Mar 19, '12, 4:49 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

Or the OP lives in Canada.

I heard the same thing in university in the 70s and didn't learn the difference until about 10 years ago, long after DH had a vasectomy. The priest who currently administers our parish also teaches the same thing. Remember that in this country the Winnipeg Statement (the Bishops' response to Humanae Vitae) has never been rescinded. I know very devout couples who were told by their pastor, after having 5 or 6 kids, "You have done your duty and you may have a _________________ (insert sterilization procedure of your choice.)
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  #8  
Old Mar 19, '12, 5:12 am
Redbaron998 Redbaron998 is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

Sometimes you just have to have the courage of St. Nicholas and stand up and state planly, "That is Heresy"

Im sorry you went through this, and understand your pain.

Thankfully not all pre-cana workshops are bad, I went through one about 2 months ago and it was quite good and talked about communication, finances, NFP, and forgivness.
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  #9  
Old Mar 19, '12, 5:18 am
Eleanor61 Eleanor61 is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

My daughter's experience at the engaged encounter retreat was similar, in fact I believe it is much more the exception than the rule for NFP and the Catholic position on birth control to be mentioned. At least you received some good advice on other matters. In addition to the laissez-faire attitude toward ABC, the presenters largely viewed marriage in the Church as one of many equivalent options, basically just bragged on themselves and thir families, talked about their sex lives and how sex changes as you get older (they were in their 70's), and insisted that the couples engage in public displays of affection every time they were separated for a discussion. At one point one said that her granddaughter was married in a Quaker ceremony with no fuss and "that was always an option".
The other Catholics seemed not to care, the non-Catholics were scandalized, expecting to hear about the Catholc theological idea of marriage, children raised in the church, no ABC, etc. nothing like that.
My daughter is a staunch traditionalist and was horrified at the whole mess. The priest was good, but he was only there for Mass, otherwise it was run by two elderly couples who were trying to show how modern they were. Sad. And it cost over $300.
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  #10  
Old Mar 19, '12, 5:28 am
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28562 28562 is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

Stories like these and some of the issues that my wife and I have worked through (that I think could have been prevented) are making me really want to get involved with the pre cana at our church. I know I have a lot of learning to do still, but maybe at some point in the future we can use our experiences to help other couples.
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  #11  
Old Mar 19, '12, 6:30 am
aicirt aicirt is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

Quote:
Originally Posted by 28562 View Post
Stories like these and some of the issues that my wife and I have worked through (that I think could have been prevented) are making me really want to get involved with the pre cana at our church. I know I have a lot of learning to do still, but maybe at some point in the future we can use our experiences to help other couples.
Agree. There's also a wealth of knowledge from people whose marriages have failed. This post is upsetting. I've run into priests too who state things that makes me wonder why they're even priests. What's with this fee of $300?
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  #12  
Old Mar 19, '12, 6:30 am
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corki View Post
This is very wrong. If this priest is not the pastor, he should be reported to the pastor. If he is the pastor, you should contact the Family Life (or similarly named department) office at your diocese.

So sorry you had to endure this.
Bishop. In writing.
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  #13  
Old Mar 19, '12, 7:23 am
Rainaldo Rainaldo is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbaron998 View Post
Sometimes you just have to have the courage of St. Nicholas and stand up and state planly, "That is Heresy"
Perhaps even better would be to turn the tables on him and say, "I respect your opinion" ;-)
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  #14  
Old Mar 19, '12, 7:31 am
Rainaldo Rainaldo is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

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Originally Posted by aicirt View Post
What's with this fee of $300?
Well it sure ain't going towards carbon-footprint offset credits for printing up a dozen copies of Casti Connubii and Familiaris Consortio.
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  #15  
Old Mar 19, '12, 9:41 am
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SummerSmiles SummerSmiles is offline
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Default Re: Lack of religious teachings in Pre-Cana

Unfortunately, my experience has been that the topic of birth control in pre cana classes is somewhat lacking. When DH and I did our Engaged Encounter, talking about sex took about 20 minutes out of the whole weekend. All that was said for us was that we needed to separate our expectations from reality and make sure we were communicating with each other so that we were both happy. And not to expect the wedding night to be too amazing, considering we'd both be tired from "spending the whole day at a party." No one brought up NFP at any of my classes. DH and I didn't even know what it was until after we'd been married for a few years already.

Now that you post this, I really wonder what the answer would have been if someone had asked about it.

This is something that I feel you should report to the Bishop. Send him something in writing about how disappointed you were over the way the situation was handled. This priest is leading people astray; he is picking and choosing which parts of church teaching he will support and teach correctly. Catholicism is not about picking and choosing only the parts you like. It's even worse that he's doing this as part of the marriage preparation instruction. Anyone in that position has a responsibility to teach what it means to have a sacramental Catholic marriage.
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