Catholic atheism

Hello, everyone! My name is Jack and I am new to the forum.

I grew up in a Catholic family. I loved my parish as a child and a teen, but I slowly started to reject the idea of God and everything spiritual when I was about 17. I stopped praying, I stopped believing that we had souls, the afterlife seemed laughable, and when I finally moved out of my parent’s home, I stopped taking Communion at my new parish in Columbus, where I currently reside with my wife and two children. I went to the same parish for a long time and never really looked around much until a few years ago, when I found a brand new parish and an awesome priest and an amazing group of people to spend my Sundays with every week. Now, to get to the point here, I personally identify as a Catholic atheist and have done so for the past 16 years, but most Catholics (practicing and non-practicing alike) would just consider me to be a Cafeteria Catholic, also known as a Liberal Catholic, a Cultural Catholic, or a Heretical Catholic. But again, that’s not how I personally identify. Yes, I guess I would be a Catholic In Name Only (CINO), as I have even listed myself on this forum as so in order to avoid confusion and dismay, but my beliefs are more elaborate than that. People don’t generally understand, so I will explain.

I believe…

  • God does not exist and He is only a projection of the human mind (this also means that I don’t believe that Jesus was the son of God).

  • Jesus Christ was an amazing teacher and His teachings are great for learning some of life’s greatest lessons.

  • Jesus was not perfect, as He spoke several lies to His people (He had His moments just like present-day man; He believed He could heal people, He was the son of God, and He was going to rise from the dead, which Catholic atheists all believe to be lies).

  • Spirituality is non-existent (prayer doesn’t work, the soul doesn’t exist, the afterlife is false, etc).

  • Taking Communion is wrong for Catholic atheists (I only take Communion twice a year, Christmas and Easter, but it’s solely a cultural thing).

  • Reading the Bible is good for the mind (the Holy Bible helps teach Catholic atheists more about Jesus and His Word; also, reading the Bible helps one understand the history of Christianity, which is fairly obvious).

  • Being a liberal and holding liberal views is okay (pro-choice, pro-homosexual marriage, pro-euthanasia; basically, everything the Catholic Church is against, I support).

  • Being part of a Catholic community is beneficial to happiness (I love my parish, as I attend Mass every Sunday, but sometimes Vigil when I am busy on Sundays; my family also goes to Mass weekly, but my daughter and son don’t really like it too much (they’re still really young, so I’ll give them time)).

  • Doing good works and telling others about the Catholic Church is fantastic, even if it means that I won’t have a place in the Kingdom of Heaven (which I don’t believe in anyway).

Does this make any sense to anyone? I have been a practicing Catholic atheist for over 16years and I have held this mindset all along the way. I love my parish, as I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, and I love the Church. I know that I am definitely not what you would call a real Catholic, but I stay because I love being there. Any comments or opinions on this? Also, one more thing that I would like to mention - I know that a lot of people might be offended by this and completely blown away that there are so-called Catholics, like myself, but I just want you to know that I am not trying to offend a single person at all. I am trying to get people to understand that there are other Catholic atheists out there and this is what we do. Now, we don’t all do the same exact things, but we generally follow the list of things that I stated above. I just want to know what exactly people think about my “religion,” as Catholic atheism is somewhat underground and hidden from the norm. My wife is actually a Baptist, if you were wondering, but she is going to RCIA this fall so that she can actually become a Catholic. She will be a real Catholic, while I’ll still be a Catholic atheist. I assure you that I am happy living this way. There’s nothing that I would change in my life. Really. Thank you for your responses and have an amazing day!

Jack

So the purpose of be here is… ???

I’ve been involved with the Catholic Church for over 30 years. I know just as much as you do about Catholicism, if not more. I can help people with questions that they have about the Church, beliefs, etc. and I love to meet Catholics, especially the ones who need help. That’s my purpose.

Jack

Ok have fun.:rolleyes:

Hi,
You have, so to speak, come out of the closet. Well, at least you are honest and willing to discuss this, that takes some courage.

I know you may be peaceful about your position since it dosen’t require anything of you. You can do as you want and with no repercussions, eat you cake and have it too, sort of thing. It is comfortable right now and life is all right.

Since you don’t really believe in Jesus, I’m going to ask you to make a little bit of a leap for me. My request is that you say as often as you can,“Jesus, help me to want to believe.” Even tho you may not believe this will do anything, please say it frequently as you can for me. You really don’t have to believe in this to do it. But just please do it.
Don’t say,“Jesus help me to believe”, but rather “Jesus help me to want to believe.”
Say the words often and you will begin to notice a change gradually, or a change in a moment of time. It will come. My faith will become yours.

I know this bothers you and reading between the lines it probably would be nice for you to be one with your wife in the faith, since she is studing it. You both will be so much happier if your change does take place.

I am asking for one more favor. Do not receive the Eurcharist just now. However if the church you are attending has adoration of the Eucharist, go with you wife and spend the time reading some of the books found there.

One consolation for you. Your are not alone. The church prays for all of us everyday.

I agree with Fred. I will refrain from commenting on how you label yourself and your claim:

I’ve been involved with the Catholic Church for over 30 years. I know just as much as you do about Catholicism, if not more.

given that you don’t know that person at all…and just jump right to what Fred said:

STOP receiving communion at Christmas and Easter. Receiving is a great disrespect to Catholics, and harmful. At least until you can sort things out, don’t receive.

It seems to me the title Catholic Atheist is an oxymoron.
I also think that even though you’ve been “involved with” the church for over 30 years, there is absolutely no advice you can offer to Catholics, other than how to lose their faith. :tsktsk:

I’ve been involved with the Catholic Church for over 30 years. I know just as much as you do about Catholicism, if not more. I can help people with questions that they have about the Church, beliefs, etc. and I love to meet Catholics, especially the ones who need help. That’s my purpose.

I don’t see how you can possibly view your “purpose” to be helping Catholics, since you do not believe in God. What help could you give?
I hope that, in the event you offer advice to any questioners on this forum, you first identify yourself as an atheist so that your advice can be viewed with that in mind. I feel that you are potentially very dangerous to some, especially those in vulnerable or delicate states of faithfulness.
You make me feel, strongly, like saying “Get thee behind me.” :bible1:

The fact that you think the term “Catholic atheist” is an oxymoron is basically an opinion. I’ve lived my life like a Catholic, but I first rejected God at a young age. I have the head knowledge and that’s exactly what I meant when I said I could help young Catholics (if they have questions about the faith, I could provide factual and scriptual evidence, even though I don’t truly believe all of it). And I have identified myself as an atheist, but I state that I am a Catholic In Name Only. Dangerous? Not really. I am not on here trying to evangelize anyone and if I try do, Catholic.com has the right to disallow access to me. I would never tell anyone that they are wrong with what they believe because that’s nothing short of rude. I don’t like for people to call me an “idiot” or a “complete fool.” It’s ridiculous.

Jack

I personally disagree with everything you believe in and what you supposedly stand for, but ultimately CAF allows (and rightfully so) a variety of viewpoints to be heard here----as long as no proselitizing occurs. So very much welcome.:thumbsup:
I have to ask you, though------WHY participate in something that you do not believe is actually real (communion)? Is it nostalgic “brand loyalty?”:confused::eek:

I understand how you feel, however I do not agree with you. I would ask that you please do not receive the Eucharist even at Easter and Christmas out of respect for the Catholics that do believe. I will pray for you and I ask that you please please PLEASE order and watch the video called Science Tests Faith at this website: youshallbelieve.com/?page_id=483 . I commend you for raising your children to be Catholic although you don’t truly believe, and I hope that you may change your mind one day. God bless you.

I’m the opposite of you. I was raised as an atheist by an extreme atheist father and didn’t believe in anything until I was an adult. I didn’t have a sudden moment that I fell on my knees and screamed “I BELIEVE”. It was rather a slow process. I still have many things I find difficult to wrap my head around as I mentioned in other threads but there were too many things in my life that led me to faith. There were mostly subtle things and also very direct things, so it was a slow process with up and downs.
I can imagine that you will return to faith even though you now might think it will never happen. Never say never. :wink:
I’m surprised that you receive the Eucharist though because as a former Catholic you should know how respect-less that is. That would be like a woman walking around in a short skirt and a tight blouse while traveling in a strictly Islamic country or wearing your shoes in a Mosque. I don’t believe in Islam or Buddhism but I would always have respect for their traditions and beliefs.

Anyway, welcome:thumbsup:

I find nothing courageous nor noble about your profession.

In fact I find it profoundly confused, intellectually dishonest and the acme of passive aggression.


***Jesus Christ was an amazing teacher and His teachings are great for learning some of life’s greatest lessons.

Jesus was not perfect, as He spoke several lies to His people (He had His moments just like present-day man; He believed He could heal people, He was the son of God, and He was going to rise from the dead, which Catholic atheists all believe to be lies).


Christ was not a great teacher. Christ said he was the Son of God.

If he is not the Son of God, he is either a liar or a lunatic.

**Spirituality is non-existent (prayer doesn’t work, the soul doesn’t exist, the afterlife is false, etc).
**
Then why go to church?

Why not stay at home?

Why go to someplace which is a sham?

Taking Communion is wrong for Catholic atheists (I only take Communion twice a year, Christmas and Easter, but it’s solely a cultural thing).

If taking communion is wrong than why do it? And if spirituality is non-existent than why do it? Are you not helping to perpetuate and cooperating with a lie?

What you are actually doing is mocking everyone who really believes.

***Reading the Bible is good for the mind ***

Once again you are either confused or dishonest.

If you really believe what you say, then reading the Bible is a worthless exercise, because to you it is filled with lies and leads people to delusion. Which means the Bible is utterly wicked and can not be good for the mind.

Being part of a Catholic community is beneficial to happiness

Why?

You have stated that you don’t believe in God.

You have stated that you don’t believe that Christ is the Son of God.

You have stated that you believe spirituality is non-existent.

Then why be a part of a community that does? How can it be beneficial to keep company with people who believe in illusions and myths?

Doing good works and telling others about the Catholic Church is fantastic, even if it means that I won’t have a place in the Kingdom of Heaven

Don’t be a hypocrite. You’ve stated you don’t believe in anything the Church stands for, then why try to proselytize on its behalf.

And you say you “love the Church”. Why? You believe that the Church based upon lies. If what you say it’s true, then something that evil can not be worth “loving” but instead should be rejected.


My advice is don’t be so craven. Believe what you believe and stand up for your beliefs. Tell your “parish” and your family where you stand and deal with the outcome like a man.

Regarding your wife and children.

If you really think that Christ is a lie and that the Church is founded upon lies, why would you stand by and let your family be drawn into such a evil and wicked thing? Isn’t it your duty as a father and husband to save them from such a fate?

Finally, I will pray for you, but more importantly, I will pray for your family and your parish.

Bring the body the mind will follow. Keep going to Mass and one day you will realise that we are not by accident. Could a 747 400 come to being without engineers or people building it. Think before answering. Most athiests will say of course the aircraft had to be designed engineered and then produced. Now the solar system the universe us can’t be by accident could it?? Of course not. We are so much more complicated than the most complicated machine yet some beleive we were by accident or happenstance. I think you will one day realise that a church the only Church that was built upon Peter the first Pope the first pope that walked and talk with Jesus ,his Church still here after 2000 years and counting is certainly not by accident nor built by just a good man. No rather the church was founded by the only high priest the son of a living and just God and his name is Jesus Christ. Don’t risk your place in Heaven!!! we have this one life on Earth to get it right. I will pray for you.

There are people that know less than us but have much more common sense. It isn’t how much you know it is what you know in it’s purity!!

Jack,
Sadly, no one who has answered you in this thread has shown any evidence of being loving or Christlike. Jesus would listen to you and appreciate your honesty. He would say he loves you and that he will wait patiently. Keep going to church, Jack. Stay true to your honesty. :thumbsup:

Welcome. I do appreciate your honesty. Do not receive Holy Communion. it is very wrong to do if you are not a Catholic in good standing.

Praying for your conversion. Please consider becoming a Catholic. You have everything to gain if you do and everything to lose if you don’t. You have much to offer. Some of our greatest Saints were at first non-believers.

God bless you.

this is an old thread.

Just a question.

How is Jesus Christ a “good teacher” (as you say) if He lied? A lie is to knowingly affirm something that is not in accordance with reality. Was Jesus simply deceived, did He honestly think He was God and said so, or was He lying, did He know he wasn’t God and he said so anyway? In either case, I wouldn’t follow the man, why would you?

Also, please don’t receive Communion. If you know about the Faith as much as you claim to, you know it is wrong.

So what?? why do people get annoyed at an old thread?? I see this same attitude on other forums and I still can’t see the problem. On a motorhome site I was accosted when I saw an old thread that I thought was relevant and timeless and asked a question. If an old thread is not relevant or makes people upset… why do forums keep them for years? .

Hi Jack,

I see that you have received little, if not no support within the forum – well, I am a millennial, and like most millennial, I am here to save the day.

What I saw most often in your adversaries was that they didn’t seem to understand what you were doing as a catholic atheist. They regard you as a lion is disguise, deserving of punishment for your deceit, when really you are far ahead of your time.

There is no evidence for the existence of god that can satisfy any critical thinker to where it is an absolute. Of course, it is impossible to disprove a negative; but you can’t prove the existence of a higher power in the same way that you can prove that the earth orbits the sun. This new generation wants that kind of certainty, we will not submit to anything less; and so for the church to survive the millennials, the church will change.

The church, especially the catholic church, provides society with a moral compass. Despite the mistake and scandals, the church holds firm to the word of Jesus, to the importance of a strong family unit, and places the man at the head of the household. The bible reflects our nature as humans, which is a result of millions of years of evolution. We are animals, through and through, and the bible displays our strengths and weakness, asking us to learn from the mistakes of others.

If the church is to survive, it will have to both accept and submit to atheism. This does not mean abandoning the teachings of Jesus, of peace, kindness, and love; but to attract the younger generations, accepting the fact that there is absolutely no evidence for a life after death, and establishing more pragmatic arguments for church attendance is necessary.

Hope I started a heated conversation; #MAGA
<3<3
Madeline

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.