Am I sinning by not publicly being Catholic?


#1

I’m not exactly sure where this should go, but since it directly and overwhelmingly involves my parents…I thought it may fit here.

Ok here’s some background, I will be 18 on March 1st this year and of course live with my parents. My father was raised CatholiC, but he met Mom and they’re both part of the “church of Christ.” It is a very fundamental and anti-catholic church. I of course was raised in this “church” to believe Catholics were wrong and bad.:rolleyes: Many tines I’d argue with my grandparents, who are Catholic. A year and a half ago, I began studying Catholicism. To make a long story short…I fully believe that the Catholic Church is the true Church of God.My Dad would not be happy to know I believe that. He wouldn’t be happy to know I’m on this forum either :blush:

I have intended to wait and fully become Catholic and tell my parents when I’m in college. However many strange instances are coming up that are leading me to believe that I may need to tell them sooner. :eek:

My question is…If I truly believe that Christ’s Church is the Roman Catholic Church, do I need to stand up and say that? Should I be choosing God over my parents? Doesn’t the Bible say that we as Christians will forsake father, mother, brother, and sister for the Kingdom of God? What should I do???:confused:

Thanks very much
JJ


#2

Your question is multifaceted and difficult to answer fully.
What factors are making you think you should not wait??

I will say this. Since you are already a member of the “Church” by virtue of your trinitarian baptism, I would suggest that you wait until after your birthday in March. Currently you are under the “rule” of your parents since you think there will be conflict, there is no reason to upset them when your birthday is so close.
Are your grandparents still alive? If so you might want to go ahead and confide in them so that when the time comes to discuss this with your parents you will already have someone in the family who is sympathetic and you can talk to. They may even have some insight on how to approach your parents with the news.

May God Guide you

And

WELCOME HOME

Peace
James


#3

Are the grandparents nearby? I agree with James. Perhaps they would even take you with them to Mass. Since you are living in your parents’ home, your grandparents may be able to help smooth rough waters with your parents. Pray about it.

Welcome!
I will keep you in my prayers.

God bless


#4

[quote="JRKH, post:2, topic:187700"]
Your question is multifaceted and difficult to answer fully.
What factors are making you think you should not wait??

I will say this. Since you are already a member of the "Church" by virtue of your trinitarian baptism, I would suggest that you wait until after your birthday in March. Currently you are under the "rule" of your parents since you think there will be conflict, there is no reason to upset them when your birthday is so close.
Are your grandparents still alive? If so you might want to go ahead and confide in them so that when the time comes to discuss this with your parents you will already have someone in the family who is sympathetic and you can talk to. They may even have some insight on how to approach your parents with the news.

May God Guide you

And

WELCOME HOME

Peace
James

[/quote]

I agree. Prayer asking God for His guidance with this is important as well. Ask Him to give you the words at the right time.

May God bless you!


#5

Thanks to everyone. Yes I have already confided in my grandparents, and they are happy and excited. I’ve been to Mass numerous times. They live near us.

I do have reason to not want to openly tell my pparents yet…Unfortunately, Dad would be immensely concerned about the condition and safety of my soul if I were to become Catholic. So it is indeed a difficult situation, But the Lord says that we may have to give up our family. Is it time for me to “give up” my family? At least inform them of my plans?

Thanks this really does help!
JJ


#6

[quote="JJHIII, post:1, topic:187700"]
I'm not exactly sure where this should go, but since it directly and overwhelmingly involves my parents...I thought it may fit here.

Ok here's some background, I will be 18 on March 1st this year and of course live with my parents. My father was raised CatholiC, but he met Mom and they're both part of the "church of Christ." It is a very fundamental and anti-catholic church. I of course was raised in this "church" to believe Catholics were wrong and bad.:rolleyes: Many tines I'd argue with my grandparents, who are Catholic. A year and a half ago, I began studying Catholicism. To make a long story short...I fully believe that the Catholic Church is the true Church of God.My Dad would not be happy to know I believe that. He wouldn't be happy to know I'm on this forum either :blush:

I have intended to wait and fully become Catholic and tell my parents when I'm in college. However many strange instances are coming up that are leading me to believe that I may need to tell them sooner. :eek:

My question is....If I truly believe that Christ's Church is the Roman Catholic Church, do I need to stand up and say that? Should I be choosing God over my parents? Doesn't the Bible say that we as Christians will forsake father, mother, brother, and sister for the Kingdom of God? What should I do???:confused:

Thanks very much
JJ

[/quote]

JJ,

God Bless you for you courage & integrity!

The first & most important thing you must do is PRAY, PRAY, PRAY & God will guide you!

Once you are 18, you are legally considered an adult & must do what you know is right, but you must also be kind, loving & respectful towards your parents.
**
You said; "My Dad would not be happy to know I believe that. He wouldn't be happy to know I'm on this forum either."
i am sure this will not be easy, but you must look at it as a way to witness to your own parents.** You are lucky to have Catholic grandparents, many converts have no Catholic family & are initially total outcasts.

Be realistic, they will not be happy & this process may take a long time, but you are doing the right thing

Most people see individual Catholics, including clergy, as weak sinners, generally uninformed & often hypocrites. Did the Apostles Jesus chose deny & betray Him? Yes, we are all sinners, but that does not the Truth of Jesus & His Catholic Church any less True!!!
**
**Don't get into long drawn out arguments, simply state your beliefs & find common ground, like Sacred Scripture to disprove the many false things protestants believe about the Catholic Church like "Catholics worship Mary, Catholics don't read Sacred Scripture & Catholicism is based on man made traditions......etc.

Use the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) to learn what the Church really teaches, not what Catholics, ex-Catholics or protestants think it teaches. scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

Eventually, with the Grace of God, we hope your parents will open their hearts to the Truth of Jesus Christ & His One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church!

Jesus taught us; "For I have come to set a man against his father...He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;" (Mt 10:35 & 37)

Many conversion stories are i've heard are similar to yours. There a re many on these forums who have been in your shoes so you are not alone. Here are some great conversion stories; Dr Scott Hahn scotthahn.com/, Steve Ray, catholic-convert.com/about/why-im-catholic/, Marcus Grodi, The Coming home Network chnetwork.org/ & many others

Read the Early Church fathers & you will see the Catholic Church most resembles the Early Church. Read St. Augustine's Confessions books.google.com/books?id=DRMbsJAvsSIC&dq=Augustine%27s+Confessions+Ryan&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=yUwcCWDlvk&sig=G2GgoIxpoVdyHXKMuekFF5sNkXs&hl=en&ei=6qIrS6HNKo6csgOQ19HGBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Augustine%27s%20Confessions%20Ryan&f=false

You are in my prayers!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark

P.S. Contact me any time for support in your journey! i am also an account rep for Lighthouse Catholic Media & we have many wonderful Catholic speakers on mp3 or CD to learn the Catholic Faith of hear conversion stories
lighthousecatholicmedia.org/kiosk/


#7

It seems you are concerned you are not doing enough to proclaim your Catholicism.

Remember, though, that circumstances can make it necessary to keep this information quiet. Although your situation is not of the same magnitude, as an example remember that the Pope has named bishops and cardinals in secret in the underground Catholic Church in China due to the danger if they were to be known and openly practice the faith.

So, while your situation is **not **this level of seriousness, you are at this point dependent upon your parents and you still owe them obedience under the 4th commandment. So, you are not doing anything wrong by delaying your formal entrance into the Catholic Church until after you are 18, able to support yourself, and no longer under the rule of your parents.


#8

If you know that the Catholic Church is the one true church and do not become Catholic, yes, that is a sin. However, it is the intent that matters. There are countless stories of protestant ministers who become convinced of the catholic church, but for various reasons, do not immediatly become catholic. There is not specific timeframe.

For example, waiting until you are in college so that it will be easier if your family situation could be just fine. As others have said, prayer for guidance. You must balance the timeframe and necessity of becoming catholic with the legitimate need to maintain a loving relationship with your family.


#9

[quote="JJHIII, post:1, topic:187700"]
... A year and a half ago, I began studying Catholicism. To make a long story short...I fully believe that the Catholic Church is the true Church of God.My Dad would not be happy to know I believe that. He wouldn't be happy to know I'm on this forum either :blush:

I have intended to wait and fully become Catholic and tell my parents when I'm in college. However many strange instances are coming up that are leading me to believe that I may need to tell them sooner. :eek:

My question is....If I truly believe that Christ's Church is the Roman Catholic Church, do I need to stand up and say that? Should I be choosing God over my parents? Doesn't the Bible say that we as Christians will forsake father, mother, brother, and sister for the Kingdom of God? What should I do???:confused:

Thanks very much
JJ

[/quote]

JJ, I would suggest that you meditate on how it took Jesus 30 years before he chose to begin his public ministry. We know of several significant events that happened in his earlier life. But for whatever reason he lived in relative obscurity for most of those 30 years. We don't know, but it would seem that perhaps even the Son of God had to grow in wisdom and maturity before he was ready to fulfill his role as messiah.

I don't pretend to know what God has in store for you in your life. But I will tell you that it is more common to be called to wait than it is to be called to act. Even when we are called to do something that seems urgently important we are often called to wait and prepare for long periods of time.

My guess is that you *are *called to be the witness to your parents and may someday bring them to see the truth of Catholicism. But my guess is that you may need to grow into a holy and more independent man before your are parents will be ready to understand.

My suggestion is that you wait as planned before telling your father and mother of your decision to convert. I would not lie if you are directly asked about it. But I think there is wisdom in living patiently under your parents' authority as long as they are legally (and financially) responsible for you.


#10

JJ,
I find myself in a very similar position as you. My parents are not exactly friendly to the Catholic Church, and all of my dad’s side of the family used to be Catholic, and now no longer practice. I am currently in college and have been meeting with a Sister on campus. I am still trying to figure out how to go about telling my parents of my intentions to convert.
I will be praying for you.
Peace.


#11

The first thing is, ordinary social conventions mean that they won’t actually blow up on you, or hit you. :slight_smile:

The absolute worst that can happen is that they will yell at you and cry a lot. Most likely, they will just sit there and look at you with stunned silence.

The above will also only happen if you say, “I have definitely decided to become a Catholic, and I am making my Profession of Faith and First Confession this afternoon. My Confirmation and First Holy Communion will be this Saturday.”

If you say, "You know, I’ve been interested in hearing what Pastor Bob has to say about the Catholic Church, and I started doing a bit of reading on my own. I always knew, because he has always admitted, that he is not infallible, but it came as kind of a shock to me, to find that not everything he says about the Catholic Church is really true. For example … "

Later on, you could say, “I was interested in finding out more about the Catholic Mass, so I went with Grandma and Grandpa last weekend, and you know, it was not as bad as I had been led to expect. There weren’t any devils hiding under the pews, and nobody was sacrificing chickens or goats or first-born children to the Virgin Mary.”

:stuck_out_tongue:

Then, when you tell them that you are thinking of converting, it won’t come as quite as much of a shock to them. :slight_smile:


#12

I recommend talking to a priest for advice. If you choose to enroll in RCIA you could tell them at that time. If you are planning on moving out of your parent`s house after turning 18, it might be ideal to tell them at that point because it will give you a little space if you need it. Use this time to pray and read up on Catholicism as much as you can.

We will keep you in our prayers.

Sincerely,

Maria1212


#13

JJ,

While my situation is not exactly the same as yours, I have been in a very similar boat for the past year or so. My father is also an ex-Catholic who became Church of Christ after marrying my mom. Though our church never went to some of the extremes that other COCs do in attacking other Christians, I still struck a raw nerve with my investigation into the Catholic Church. Luckily, I was a couple of years older and in college (ironically, I became convinced that the Catholic Church was Christ's Church whilst attending Pepperdine University, a COC institution).

I agree with jmcrae. In my experience, announcing your conversion is best handled incrementally, especially while your still living under your parents' roof. My dad knew I was considering it for a long time and there were a lot of tears involved, but I think it would have been much worse if I sprung it on him all at once. Since I took a semester off and lived with my parents for several months after graduation, I decided to wait until I started my master's program out of state to look into RCIA. Now I'm just a few weeks away from Confirmation!

Things are still tense whenever I go home, but not unbearably so. I attend their service on Sunday mornings, skipping communion, and then excuse myself for Mass in the afternoon. My dad is always conveniently in another part of the house when I leave and we don't talk about where I've been when I come back. It's a pleasant elephant-in-the-room fiction that I've been maintaining for the sake of family peace and I have no idea how long I will actually keep it up, but I think its better than getting in pointless confrontations that only end in yelling and tears, not understanding.

So I guess what I'm saying is that it may be prudent to ease your parents into the decision you've made by discussing Catholicism in a more casual context before dropping the bomb on them. And be sure to rely on your grandparents for emotional support! I only wish I had genuine Catholic loved ones to fall back on! The only member of my dad's household who never left the Church was my grandfather, who passed on when I was in middle school.

Don't get discouraged about not being more upfront about your Catholicism. Even the martyrs of ancient times worshipped in communities that often had to meet in secret. If you can live in peace with your family without denying the faith, you should attempt to do so. After all, their attitude toward the Church will not change if they're not speaking to you.


#14

JJHIII,
Obviously you have hit a chord with some others in similar situations. For that alone we can thank the Holy Spirit for leading you to ask the question here.

I hope that the advise you have gotten has been helpful both to you and to any others in this similar situation.

It is difficult when “children” become “adults”. It can be difficult to assert, lovingly, ones independence from the people who have been so important to you espeically when that independence involves a change such as this.
Be patient with them and be patient with yourself.
God will guide you.

Peace
James


#15

Thanks so much to everyone! This really has been helpful. I appreciate everything:)

JJ


#16

JJ,

I don’t think you are sinning… I know this is a difficult situation! I became a Catholic and it was very difficult to tell my parents. I’d wait for college too, to be honest… unless you really, really feel you should tell them now, and there’s a good reason to. It’s true that Jesus said we should be ready to give up anything and anyone for Him, but we also have to be good witnesses, and not cause undue stress to our families/parents… no doubt they’d be stressed out about this if they’re anti Catholic. Maybe it would be best to tell them about it once you’re able to enroll in RCIA? However… if you really feel lead to tell them soon… maybe you should. I guess this is something to really pray over, and perhaps talk to your grandparents and a priest?

praying for you :slight_smile: I know it can be really scary to become Catholic if people around you don’t agree with your decision. Im sure God is very pleased with your determination to still follow Him :slight_smile:

God bless you!


#17

[quote="Monica4316, post:16, topic:187700"]
JJ,

I don't think you are sinning... I know this is a difficult situation! I became a Catholic and it was very difficult to tell my parents. I'd wait for college too, to be honest.. unless you really, really feel you should tell them now, and there's a good reason to. It's true that Jesus said we should be ready to give up anything and anyone for Him, but we also have to be good witnesses, and not cause undue stress to our families/parents.. no doubt they'd be stressed out about this if they're anti Catholic. Maybe it would be best to tell them about it once you're able to enroll in RCIA? However... if you really feel lead to tell them soon.. maybe you should. I guess this is something to really pray over, and perhaps talk to your grandparents and a priest?

praying for you :) I know it can be really scary to become Catholic if people around you don't agree with your decision. Im sure God is very pleased with your determination to still follow Him :)

God bless you!

[/quote]

Thanks I appreciate it.

I have talked with both my grandparents and a priest. And plan to do so more.

Again thank you,
JJ


#18

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