Can One convert to catholicism without agreeing on all beliefs

I have been wondering about something. I been reading various books on catholic beliefs and feel they have alot of good points on defending the various beliefs that separate catholicism from protestant ideas. I do disagree ( or at least am not convinced) with some of the beliefs catholics hold. One sticking point I am Having trouble with is what Karl Keating says is often one of the hardest to get over when you were brought up protestant. My question is can you become a catholic without agreeing on everything.

What specific beliefs are sticking points?

Generally speaking, no. However, that does not mean one cannot attend Mass (w/o receiving the Eucharist), begin RCIA (perhaps they can help with any difficulty, participate in Parish life outside the Liturgy.

In fact, I would recommend greatly talking to a priest about all of the above, and what ever that one issue is.

God Bless you in your search for Him!

Hey there-

Since there is such a wealth of information regarding the Catholic faith, it depends on what specifically you are having a problem with. Generally speaking though, if you read the Apostle’s Creed and believe that, then you believe what the Church teaches. There are all sorts of issues that stem from the basic dogma and some things one might just have to accept because the Church says so. Wiser heads than mine have illuminated the truth behind the Church’s teachings on all subjects, so eventually that is where we should strive to be. That doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to agree on all points, but be willing to be obedient to the Church. For example, if you think that priests should be allowed to be married, then you can have philosophical discussions on why you believe that; however, if asked, as a representative of the Church, if priests should be allowed to be married, then you say, “no.”

But, if you have a problem with, say, the Eucharist being the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus- then no, you shouldn’t become Catholic. Or really, you should become Catholic and come to know the truth of the Eucharist.

Much love,

Thanks for the replies. One example for me is the perpetual virginity of Mary. I was reading Catholicism and fundamentalism by Karl Keating and he stated that in his experience one of the last issues catholic converts have is this, and I am just sitting there thinking he nailed it on the head.

Many who have problems with the perpetual virginity of Mary waht to place their knowlege of human sexuality upon her and on Joseph. We know that she was given special graces to be the Mother of Christ, why would we think those graces were ended when she gave birth. She herself, for carring the son of God was a sacred vessel.
As far as Joseph, he also would have recieved special graces. We see that in the scripture as he is visited by a messanger of God and shared in the knowlege of Mary’s special status before any other human.
Over the centuries hundred of men and women have practiced celebracy as part of their devotion to God.
One huddle is in the scripture it talks of Jesus brothers. This in pointed out as some proof that Mary wasn’t a perpetual virgin. Two schools of thoughts. One is that these brothers were from an previous marriage of Joseph. The more resonalble explaination has to do language and culture. These brothers to us would be cousins. In the culture cousins were treated and refered to as brothers. Also since the original text were written in Greek, the translation has come to us as brothers.
The final point is that the Church’s teaching is based on scripture and on continual guidance from the Holy Spirit as promised by Christ. The development of doctrine has come over hundreds of years of understanding Christ’s words and the various scriptures. As Catholics we believe that the doctrine of Mary is from this continual guidance.


Asking Mary for intercession was WAY more difficult for me than the perpetual virginity.

I wish I’d read “The World’s First Love” by Sheen much earlier than I did, I’d suggest you pick it up!

there are many reasons for Joseph to keep Mary a virgin

of course we would always talk about him respecting Mary as the Mother of God. but also don’t forget the human side. Mary was pregnant, and Joseph knows for sure it was not his. we can see in scripture that it was troublesome for him, it was hard to accept. especially during those times. i know today it happens that a pregnant woman ends up with someone who isn’t the father of her child, even while she’s pregnant. but not in those days. and it was possible that this reason contributed to Joseph not wanting to be intimate with Mary

Thats a good point Fab, living in todays society does make it more difficult for me to understand their outlook on things. I have been thinking about the fact that Both were visited by angels, so that would alert them that it wasnt an average marriage. I will try to find " the worlds first love" hopefully it sells on kindle as that is how I get most books where im at. I think for alot of people like myself it is simply hard because you hear growing up in a protestant environment that Jesus had brothers so those ideas are hard to shake. Good input everyone.

For me, Jesus having brothers was not a point of faith - so, it was easy to accept that he did not. It made not one bit of difference to my salvation one way or another. The one that scared me was that I might somehow have to worship Mary as a deity. That one was huge!

After the Sheen book, read Hahn’s “Hail, Holy Queen”.

Those two books did it for me :slight_smile:

Thanks Kage,

I will look into both those books. I am in the process of trying to find my faith. I lost it at some point years ago and so I have been exploring and reading over the past year. I started off reading " The Case for Christ" and slowly started gravitating into catholic apologetic books. At this point I still dont have a lot of faith, but I Want To Believe. After having heard debates on both sides I believe the catholic church is the true church and has the full understanding of what Christianity is.

In the past, converts to Catholicism were required to make a profession of faith that resembled the following:

I, N.,… years old, (born outside the Catholic Church,) have held and believed errors contrary to her teaching. Now enlightened by divine grace, I kneel before you (if this is the case) Reverend Father N.N., having before my eyes and touching with my hands the Holy Gospels; and with a firm faith I believe and profess each and all the articles that are contained in the Apostles’ Creed, that is:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

I admit and embrace most firmly the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and all the other constitutions and prescriptions of the Church.

I admit the sacred Scriptures according to the sense which has been held and is still held by Holy Mother Church, whose duty it is to judge the true sense and interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures, and I shall never accept or interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.

I profess that the Sacraments of the New Law are, truly and precisely, seven in number, instituted for the salvation of mankind, though all are not necessary for each individual: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. I profess that all confer grace and that of these Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders cannot be repeated without sacrilege.

I also accept and admit the Ritual of the Catholic Church in the solemn administration of all the above mentioned Sacraments.

I accept and hold, in each and every part, all that has been defined and declared by the Sacred Council of Trent concerning Original Sin and Justification. I profess that in the Mass is offered to God a true, real and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; that in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist is really, truly, and substantially the Body and Blood together with the Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that there takes place what the Church calls transubstantiation, that is, the change of all the substance of the bread into the Body and all the substance of the wine into the Blood. I confess also that in receiving under either of these species one receives Jesus Christ, whole and entire.

I firmly hold that Purgatory exists and that the souls detained there can be helped by the prayers of the faithful. Likewise I hold that the saints, who reign with Jesus Christ, should be venerated and invoked, that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated.

I profess firmly that the images of Jesus Christ and of the Mother of God, ever Virgin, as well as of all the saints, should be given due honor and veneration. I also affirm that Jesus Christ left to the Church the faculty to grant indulgences and that their use is most salutary to the Christian people. I recognize the Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church as the mother and teacher of all the Churches and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman Pontiff, successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ.

Besides I accept, without hesitation, and profess all that has been handed down, defined, and declared by the Sacred Canons and by the General Councils, especially by the Sacred Council of Trent and by the (First) Vatican General Council, and in a special manner concerning the primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. At the same time I condemn and reprove all that the Church has condemned and reproved. This same Catholic faith, outside of which nobody can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, the same I promise and swear to maintain and profess, with the help of God, entire, inviolate, and with firm constancy until the last breath of life; and I shall strive, as far as possible, that this same faith shall be held, taught, and publicly professed by all those who depend on me and by those of whom I shall have charge. So help me God and these Holy Gospels.

Today, the profession of faith usually involves saying the following:

I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.

The new version may be extremely simplified, but it does sort of leave room for threads such as this where people aren’t exactly clear as to what they need to believe or what beliefs, if any, they can “keep” from their old religion.

Hopefully reading through the old profession of faith, you can clarify the doctrines and teachings that the catechumens were (and still are, hopefully!) required to accept as part of the Catholic Faith. :slight_smile:

Hi Onegin,

Did you have to memorize all that or were you allowed to read from a card. I can see why it was shortened, but in away the old version ( if one had to memorize it) has a much more signifigant feel to it.

I’m about 99.99% sure that you were allowed to read it from a card.

However, I’m also about 99.99% sure that candidates were also required to study and understand all of the teachings addressed in the above profession of faith so that they would know what they believed in advance of making it. Consequently, there would be no need for memorisation, because the people would know and understand what they were professing.

Personally, I can’t see why it was shortened other than to (potentially) save time, which kind of seems like a pretty pathetic reason when you’re dealing with the conversion of souls. Unfortunately, due in part to poor catechises, most people don’t understand or appreciate “all that the Catholic Church teaches, etc” as required by the new format. Perhaps spelling it out today as they did in the past would cement some of the beliefs that seem to have fallen through the cracks.

Then, of course, there is the possibility that some are ashamed of the things spelled out in the old format…

One thing about Catholicism that I like is the ritualistic feel to how things are done. I do think the old way seems better, but in todays world of texts and constant adhd people want everything steamlined it seems.

The beauty of Catholicism is that whatever doubt you are having, it’s been discussed at length and explained in the minutest detail by multiple theologians over the years before becoming doctrine. The answers are there, and you will find them if you keep looking.

I agree. It seems like there is alot of information to back up the various beliefs I am having trouble with. Forums like this help out a great deal.

Bottom line, I think the real question to ask is, why should the mother of God being a perpetual virgin bother you or anyone?

The Idea of virginity is out of the norm, both in today’s culture and in the past.
It is an idea of purity and of a particularly special sacrifice on one’s part. An idea that prized and set apart.
It is hard in today’s world, were sex is treated with no more honor than animals in the woods to perhaps understand the concept.

The idea that Mary was a perpetual virgin places her on a higher standard. She was willing to sacrifice the common for the sacred. She is the pure vessel who gave herself completely to God, to do His will and not her own.
To think of her otherwise, denigrates the special place she has in our faith.


Hi kestrel36

Non-Catholics, new converts, and even some Catholics sometimes don’t seem to misunderstand why I agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church. It really doesn’t have very much to do with the arguments that divide us from non-Catholic Christians, althought I do believe we get the best of those or at least obtain a draw.

A typical act of faith in God, a vocal prayer commonly said after rising in the morning and going to bed at night ends as follows: “I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.” This is important. We need to ponder upon the reason for our faith which does not stem from our ability to unravel every difficulty. God does not expect every one of the faithful to be a theologian.

You are probably convinced that the Apostles accurately and completely fulfilled their mission to reveal the teachings they received from Christ? If so, it is your duty to discover which of the possible Christian communities could have successfully maintained, kept, and preserved this precious faith. There are many reasons to doubt that most of the non-Catholic churches have maintained a continuous succession. The chief reason is that very few of them even claim this important, yea, vital continuity with the Apostolic church. If they say they are not the one true church, I believe them and leave them alone. It is within the grasp of any soul of good will and moderate intellect to identify the true Church without wrestling with themselves over every detail of doctrine.

That church which alone has stood for 20 centuries, whose adherents can confidently assert before God that they believe these and all the truths which that church teaches is going to be the one, true, and apostolic Church. For my own personal concerns, I don’t care about the arguments for and against this or that, though I promise you I know them well. I don’t believe because I have weighed all the arguments. I believe because of what that act of faith affirms. The Catholic Church will be criticized by the churches, sometimes overtly, mostly not, for being too authoritarian. Dear friend, authority from above is what you need. You need to identify that church whose faith has been revealed by the Blessed Trinity, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

May the good God light your way. When you can make that act of faith, you are ready to be Catholic.


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