Becoming Catholic

Hi everyone,

I would like to start by saying that I am very much unsure of how to deal with my parent’s resistance to my becoming Catholic. I am almost 17 years old and was raised in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church. However, in the past many years I have began studying other denominations beliefs and by extension the Catholic Church. My parents recently became Methodists after our former church split. They also made me “profess my faith” as Methodist in front of the congregation. Now more than ever I am feeling Christ calling me to the Catholic Church. I have read many books by Scott Hahn, David Currie, Karl Keating, etc. and believe the Catholic Church to be the Church Christ founded two thousand years ago. My dad has some Catholic views but put reconciliation out of his mind after my mother insisted she was not being married to a Catholic. They have said they will not release me to become Catholic until I turn 18. I feel that by waiting I am being disobedient. What should I do?

I would think of it this way: Now you have about a year to continue to pray and study about the Catholic faith, and for your parents. Before you know it the year will be up. God bless you on your journey.

Perhaps being obedient to your parents in this situation is a test of your patience and faith.

God bless you on your journey!

God bless you for your search for the truth, for caring so much about God that you have done this.
God knows about your parents thoughts and feelings, and He will use this time to deepen your faith. It is a test of charity and faith. The time will appear to pass slowly, but the year will end. While you are not of age, the commandment takes precedence. Remember how Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. He chose God’s time and way, rather than the quick offer of immediate result. We look foward to welcoming you into the Catholic Church after the year has passed.
May our dear Lord continue to flood your willing heart and mind with His blessings

Disobedient to what or whom? Being obedient to your parents while maintaining private devotions in your faith is not being disobedient to Christ or His Church. Maybe you could try to look at it from their point of view. Apparently, your mother, at least, has some strong objection to the Roman Catholic Church. Many Protestants do. She may believe that she is being faithful to her spiritual charge of you with regards to your religious training. If you were to want to become, say, Hindu, she would have equally strong objections no doubt and put the same restriction on you.

Now, you and I might agree that Catholicism is very different from Hinduism, but she may not. In her eyes, she may be trying to protect you from something that she sees as a great evil. This is what we would expect any mother to do. In light of this, obedience to her would be a mark of maturity, and would be putting the fourth commandment into practice. In the mean time, your own studies and private devotion will help you prepare for conversion. At this point, your obedience to your parents counts for a great deal, and it is my OPINION that it would absolve you from the imputation of mortal sin with regard to the sacraments. I strongly suggest, however, that you discuss this with a priest or perhaps pose your question in the Ask an Apologist forum here.

Kind regards,
NC

I want to let each of you know I value what you have said and am glad to finally have some guidance! I was really worried about my not being absolved from mortal sins I am guilty of and am relieved to know that I would not be held accountable because of my age. I also agree that this could be a way to test my patience and faith. Thank you so much for your input!!

Just as a thought, the RCIA process that you need to go through to join the Church takes about a year. Involvement in RCIA does not “bind” you in any way to the Catholic faith, you can leave at any time. Would your parents allow you to attend RCIA meetings until you are 18, or is this also out of the question for now?

You are at a very difficult place right now I must say. But definately RCIA is a place to start i fyou have your parents permission. If not loook at it this way. You are 17 and in 1 year your will be 18 and able to make your decisons regarding your faith on your own. I encourage you to still keep reading on the catholic church and praying to make help your conversion process. In the meantime honor your mother and father and respect what they have to say for the next year. If when you are 18 and your parents “free” you to make your decisions then you can start your conversion process. I know it’s a hard time for you but just be patient and pray with it. God will not leave yourside during this difficult time. Praying for you…

you are in fact being obedient in waiting until you are 18, and spending that time in prayer, reading and study. I am very surprised with a Methodist background that they insisted on your professing that faith and refuse to “release” you since primacy of conscience is such an integral part of the Methodist faith.

A few thoughts.

  • You should be obedient to your parents. They have a responsibility towards you while you are a minor, many times young adults make decisions out of feelings or without due regard and parents want to be cautious that things are well considered. I’m not saying this is true in your case, but this is probably part of their perspective. Keep researching the Catholic faith- they will see this as due diligence on your part. I recommend the book ‘Suprised by Truth’ think it’s by Patrick Madrid

  • Think long term about your relationship with your parents. By respecting their authority and guidance now, you raise the chances that they in turn will respect your decisions as an adult. You do not want your faiths to drive you apart.

  • Also long term, if you want your parents support (or at least tolerance) for you raising your kids Catholic, if you respect their authority now, they will more likely respect your authority with your kids in the future.

  • Emphasize to yourself the common points of our christian faiths. Find things within the methodist faith in common with Catholicism, acceptance of Christ as the true savior, opposition to abortion etc. Our faiths should not divide us, the Church is striving for unison and reconciliation in the long term, that won’t happen if we attack other christians vice work towards understanding so they will hear our points.

  • If you respect their authority now, they will be more likely to listen to your reasons for conversion in the future vice seeing it as your form of teen rebellion. It is pretty common for kids to reject their parents faith as a form of rebellion/assertion of independence. Less dangerous than drugs/promiscuity but in some ways a similar concept. By heeding their guidance you will show this is truly a considered position by you and a realization of your beliefs, not a rejection of them and their beliefs.

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