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Old Mar 24, '09, 8:07 am
lucy2004 lucy2004 is offline
Observing Member
Join Date: March 2, 2009
Posts: 4
Religion: returning catholic
Default Will returning to the Church split up my family?

I was raised Catholic and left the Church in 2002. I met my husband a year later and we married in a non-denominational church in 2004. I would like to return to the Catholic Church and he insists that I am splitting up our family and that God would not want the family to split.

I am very torn as what to do, especially with the children -- they have not been baptized. He said they will NOT be raised Catholic and that he will not allow it.

I would appreciate any advice or support from others who have been through this.

Last edited by Michelle Arnold; Mar 24, '09 at 1:45 pm.
Old Mar 24, '09, 1:58 pm
Michelle Arnold's Avatar
Michelle Arnold Michelle Arnold is offline
Catholic Answers Apologist
Join Date: May 3, 2004
Posts: 5,123
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Will returning to the Church split up my family?

There are two different issues here: Your return to the Church and the religious upbringing of your children.

You have the moral right and duty to return to the Catholic Church if you have been brought to the realization that the Church was founded by Christ and that re-joining the Church is a matter of more closely following Christ himself. Such an action would only "split up" your family if your husband will not yield enough to concede your moral freedom as a fully-grown adult to do what you believe is right. In that case, the responsibility for such a "split" in your family would be his.

But you must accept that your choice to leave the Church and marry a Protestant has consequences that cannot be wiped away merely by your repentance, however good and sincere that repentance may be. Your husband married you believing that you were a committed Protestant willing to raise any children you might have as Protestants. Although your report of his attitude makes him appear to be harsh and unyielding, you must respect the fact that he too must follow his conscience in the religious upbringing of his children.

To him I recommend that he do his best to recognize your need to follow your conscience by returning to the Church you believe to be Christ's own and that he not interfere in your practice of your Catholic faith. To you I recommend that you accept that your own life choices are what caused the fact that you now have a Protestant husband who insists that your children be raised Protestant. It is now your responsibility to pray for your husband and children, offer up any sacrifices and sufferings you may have to endure for their conversion, and to make Catholicism attractive to them by being the best wife, mother, and Christian you can possibly become.

Recommended reading:

When Only One Converts by Lynn Nordhagen
Could You Ever Come Back to the Catholic Church? by Lorene Hanley Duquin
The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur by Elisabeth Leseur

Last edited by Michelle Arnold; Mar 24, '09 at 4:05 pm.

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