A Liberal Catholic friend


I have a Catholic friend who has had some personal issues with the Church and who is married to a pagan (not Wiccan, more of an Asatruar but not really practicing). She has become rather Liberal and Democratic in her views and for the last year has not attended Mass because she feels she will be rejected. ( I personally do not think she will be rejected because unless she starts talking about her views I don’t see how anyone would know about it and the Mass is not the place for socializing anyway–the coffee-room is! )

She says she has no problem with Confession, or sharing her ideas with the Priest and taking any suggestions he might have to readjust her thinking, so that is not really a problem. But this “not feeling welcome” is. How can I help her feel welcome again until her conscience has been tweaked appropriately to make the necessary changes she may have to make in her attitude?

I don’t think she should stay away from Mass because she does not agree with all the Catholic Social-Service norms…and basically that is the problem not the Creed or basic dogma.

I think she is closer to being “in the right place” than if she was not Catholic at all, and I want her to find peace again so she can grow in maturity.

How Liberal is still acceptable in the Catholic Church? I tried to look some things up on the internet but it is so confusing. There is not even agreement on what the Pope says and means! And it seems like the opinions of what is acceptable changes from one Priest to another! ( Again I am not talking about dogma, just matters of opinion and conscience. For instance–how literal is the Bible? or How far should govt be involved in religious/personal matters?.. that sort of thing. )



You’re so right about Mass being the perfect place for your friend, just make sure that she goes to confession first so that she’ll be in a state of Grace when she receives Our Lord. I’ve never attended any Catholic church where there was anymore socializing than a basic greeting outside of the coffee-hour! She needn’t worry about that at all.
As far as different priests contradicting each other (and the Vatican) that’s more common on this coast than orthodoxy! At this point, the only ways I know of getting totally accurate Catholic news is an orthodox Catholic news magazine, watching EWTN, or the internet (after making sure that what you’re looking at is an orthodox Roman Catholic website - like www.EWTN.org)).


Uh, you should probably talk to a priest.


so I guess there are no liberals here? She is reading stuff online like ‘Call to
Action’. I honestly have no idea what to tell her about it. I don’t
know if it is right or wrong myself. Conservatives would have all
Liberals stamped as un-Catholic and Liberals would have all
Conservatives stamped as Fundies. Is there a site somewhere that
compares the two stands objectively? How do you know what is a matter
of conscience and what is a matter of dogma?


I think you could recommend a retreat. It is an excellent place to have a long talk with a priest and get squared away with what you believe or have issues with. You might even want to go with her for encouragement.

Learning more about the Church and what it teaches will only benefit you so keep searching and reading and growing in faith. Certainly prayers will help your friend. The Divine Mercy is excellent or a Rosary. Start taking her to Adoration and let God “talk” to her heart there.

You could invite her over and pray a Rosary with her and take it from there. Let your own example speak for itself. If you are on fire for the faith, she’ll catch on!

It is nice to see the love you have for her in your concern for her immortal soul.




I would suggest merely inviting your friend to go to Mass with you. It may be easier for her to go knowing that she’ll have someone to sit with and know that she won’t be alone.

I would NOT suggest she go to confession first. Let her take baby steps and get used to the idea of coming to Mass first. For someone who has been away from the church, going to confession is a HUGE step. So don’t point her toward Mt. Everest, just help her get over the curb in front of her. Besides, if she’s married to a pagan there’s a good chance it was outside the church and you don’t want to start throwing up barriers to her returning before she even knows if she wants to.

As far as Call to Action or other groups, why not just ignore it? You don’t have to get into long discussions about who is right or who is wrong or how much she’ll have to change her views or whatever. Like I said, don’t throw up barriers before she even gets started.


Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm

As far as confession - if you are sure she won’t receive Holy Communion she doesn’t need to go to confession first, however if you aren’t positive she won’t receive and you don’t urge her to go then you are partially responsible for the injury to her/her soul if she does receive the Eucharist and isn’t in a state of Grace (has mortal sin on her soul) :frowning: .


I would guess I might be considered Liberal on these forums, although I don’t consider myself so. The thing is, there are many shades of liberal and conservative. I agree with those who suggest you go to Mass with her, so that she doesn’t feel completely alone. Since she hasn’t been to Mass for a while, talk to her before hand about not receiving communion until she has been to confession. I wouldn’t push confession on her yet, just suggest she come to Mass and get reacquainted with the Lord.:slight_smile: Some churches will invite those who can’t receive to go up anyway and get a blessing. If your parish priest does this, I would encourage you to invite her to go up. It could possibly make her feel a bit more welcome, more comfortable. As someone else said, take baby steps. The more time she spends at church, the more discerning she will be with regard to groups that are not necessarily in communion with the magesterium.
Bless you for being a caring friend!
In Christ,


I don’t consider myself a liberal in any way, however I would applaud your response - charitable in all ways.:yup:


Here’s a notion:

The Devil is easing your friend out of the Church nice and slow. If you sign on as a Catholic, you have certain obligations to fulfil. Do them, or don’t, and take the consequences.

Paganism is bunk. It’s sorcery at its worst, or folly at its best.

People think too much about their religion in the West. Probably why Jesus and The Virgin Mary appear to simple souls.

Catholicism: Just do it!


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