A Catholic husband, and Anglican wife


#1

I am a searcher who feels like he is being drawn to Rome. My wife and I are practicing Anglicans (not Episcopalians). I have had a passing interest in Catholicism for years, largely due to the respect I have for creedal and orthodox teaching.

When my wife and I got engaged, we promised each other implicitly that we would attend church together and make God the central figure of our marriage.

Needless to say, as I feel drawn to Rome this is causing and will cause friction. My question is this: would if be acceptable for me to attend Mass, and following mass go to Anglican service with my wife? Understanding that there are some differences in belief with receiving the Eucharist that may preclude me from participating. (though the Anglican church has a doctrine of "real presence" that seems to leave room for an understanding of transubstantiation.

The fellowship I have with my wife is the most important thing to me in this world. And shallow though it may seem, I cannot comprehend not sitting beside her in church, to the point where I may have to become a closet Catholic.

Cam


#2

Have you investigated the new Anglican Ordinariate? There is a large group of Anglicans worldwide that are asking for reunification with the Catholic Church. The Pope has authorized the creation of a new structure that would allow Anglicans to keep many aspects of their traditions and liturgy, while uniting with the Catholic Church and its theology. There are already about ten or eleven parishes in the United States that are known as "Anglican Use" parishes, but they're few and far between. This larger addition is in the process of being set up now, and may be active within the year.

(Let me make it clear though, this new group is Catholic in theology, NOT Anglican. It will, however, contain an disciplinary exception for married priests.)


#3

as long as your wife doesn’t mind you going to church twice then I would say it is OK. I would not confront her about your interest in the CC at all. Go with her to church, participate when she wants you to and study Catholic Church on the side. If you decided to enter the CC make sure you reassure your wife that you will be with her at church always but that your spiritual journey calls you to a different path that you will take parallel to hers.

You made a promise to her and you are obligated to keep that promise.


#4

I would definatly talk to a priest about this arrangement. While you may never be able to participate in communion and have to go Mass at a Catholic church I don’t believe that you’d be really running into alot of problems.

What is unacceptiable (if your wife remains angelican) would be to raise your children in the Catholic faith, as this was determined before marriage.


#5

I would agree with SeaShore girl on this - I would also check out the Anglican use Catholic Churches if there is one in your area.


#6

I agree with Sea Shore Girl as well.

Also it is fine to go to two services. My husband does that now, we go to my Lutheran Church at 8:00 and he then goes to 11:00 Mass. By 12:30 he is glowing he’s been in God’s Presence so much. :smiley:

Sea ShoreGirl is right about the Children. My daughter was and our son (whenever he decides to grace us with his presence) will be baptized Lutheran and raised Lutheran as that was the agreement before marriage and before my husband returned to the Catholic Church.

Be gentle with your wife as having a spouse suddenly change to a different church is REALLY stressful and hard.


#7

[quote="Camondw, post:1, topic:232764"]
My question is this: would if be acceptable for me to attend Mass, and following mass go to Anglican service with my wife?

[/quote]

Yes, certainly. If you as a Catholic fulfill your Mass obligation, you can go to your wife's Angilcan service as well.

[quote="Camondw, post:1, topic:232764"]
Understanding that there are some differences in belief with receiving the Eucharist that may preclude me from participating. (though the Anglican church has a doctrine of "real presence" that seems to leave room for an understanding of transubstantiation.

[/quote]

Receiving communion in non-Catholic ecclesial communions is not allowed. A Catholic would need to refrain from communion in such circumstances.

[quote="Camondw, post:1, topic:232764"]

The fellowship I have with my wife is the most important thing to me in this world. And shallow though it may seem, I cannot comprehend not sitting beside her in church, to the point where I may have to become a closet Catholic.

[/quote]

Perhaps you will eventually be able to both come home to the Catholic Church. Have you looked into the new Anglican Ordinariate?


#8

I disagree. This is not necessarily “unacceptable.” He can and should certainly *discuss *it with his wife. You do not know that this is an absolute in his situation.


#9

Yes, you can go to both an Aglican service and a Catholic Mass. You can even attend Mass on Saturday evening and Anglican service on Sunday, if that makes your family situation easier. Once you become Catholic, you won’t be able to receive Communion at the Anglican Church. The Real Presence issue is part of it but also because you would no longer be “in Communion with” the Anglican Church.

In addition to the Anglican Ordinariate,you might want to contact the Coming Home network. They are a great resource for ministers and laypersons converting to Catholicism, many times without (or ahead of) spouses. chnetwork.org/

Both Alix and SeaShoreGirl have given you the non-Catholic perspective here. While you haven’t mentioned children, let me counter with the Catholic view. :wink:

Catholic parents are obligated to teach the Catholic faith to their children. This is very sensitive when both parents are not Catholic, regardless of when one spouse became (or returned) Catholic. It is not acceptable to say that just because you were Anglican when you married, the kids should be raised Anglican. Even if children are Baptized in another faith, they must be taught the Catholic faith as they grow up.


closed #10

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