Catholic/Protestant couple issues

Hello Lovelies,

I’m not sure I am posting this question in the right place so if it is in the wrong place please feel free to move it. :o

Here is my question. I am a cradle Episcopalian. My husband grew up Catholic. Hubby went to Catholic school in our home town. Something went wrong and he was asked by the school to go to public school. That’s where we met. 40 years ago. We got married right out of high school and he never voiced to me that he was interested in going to the Catholic Church. He was in the military for many years and during that time I would occasionally attend the “non-denominational” service at the base chapel. :shrug: Let’s face it we were unchurched during his military career. When we settled here for good, I decided it was time to find an Episcopal church and get back to my roots. I never pushed him to come with me. He volunteered. So for 16 years he has been attending the Episcopal church with me.

Well, as we all know, the Episcopal church is going through some very serious struggles. He decided to leave the Episcopal church to go back to the Catholic church. Ok. I struggled at first, but I’m getting better about it. So what could be the problem? He hates going to church by himself. He wants me to come with him, but well, golly, I’m an Episcopalian. Your Mass is very familiar to me. He goes to communion and I’m sitting in the pew. We’ve been attending Saturday vigil and then I get up Sunday morning and go to church. Alone. :o

How do other couples who are two different religions handle going to two different churches? I spoke to my priest and he said I shouldn’t go to church with my husband, but that didn’t work. I folded the very next weekend.

Does anyone have any advice? Anyone out there have a similar situation? BTW please be kind. I’m very sad about this whole situation. Thanks. :wink:

I go to Mass with my Catholic wife and son on Sundays, and go to a weekday Mass at my Episcopal church, alone.

It seems that a lot of Catholics have been taught that it’s a sin to go to a non-Catholic church service.

Wow. Weird club we’re in Masuwerte. Thanks for replying.

How long has your husband been back? Maybe he just needs to meet people there to where he doesn’t feel uncomfortable going alone?

I’m married to a non-Catholic, but my situation is a bit different. I’ve reverted 2 years ago, & pretty much go to Mass by myself. When he does go to his church he goes by himself. I’m ok most of the time going by myself. Although there are times I’m sad, especially when communion is taking place, & I’m sitting there while everyone else goes up. You see I was married outside the church & have not had my marriage convalidated so I’m not in full communion with the Church & cannot receive communion.

Do you feel uncomfortable going to Mass? You seem ok with it for the most part.

He can attend your church if he wants, as long as he meets his obligation & goes to Mass too.

I would just pray about it. I know it’s a struggle for you. My DH struggles too. Not so much as not going to church together, but just the whole situation in general.

God Bless.

What is your husband’s views of the Episcopal Church? He might be closer in viewpoint to you if you were an ACNA Anglican, etc. The Episcopal Church (TEC) has departed from traditional Christianity to such a high degree that they scarcely can be considered as such. They accept gay marriage, gay and bisexual and cross-dressers for clergy, pan-sexuality, abortion on demand, and in many cases they believe Christ is “a” way to God, not “the” way. The recent Anaheim Convention should give you pause to see what this denomination stands for…They’re suing the pants off everybody, most especially these poor Anglicans who have a strong conscience and who have broken-off legally amending their own constitutions in their dioceses. TEC is becoming an irrelevent, bizarre, and tragic body. Catholicism and Episcopalian Anglicanism couldn’t be more divergent morally at this point. Your religious relationship might only widen if you stay in this group.

Why don’t you just Go to Mass with Him? You clearly know what you can not do/partake of. You might even learn a thing or two, at least you’ll gain additional insights. There is also the RCIA Program where you can learn even more about what being a Catholic is. Good Luck.

Were you a Catholic in defective standing when you married outside the Church? Because if you did, and you formally joined a Protestant denomination, and then married, then reverted back, your marriage is valid. You bring your marriage in with you. I was confirmed a Lutheran one month before my wedding last year, but then on April 29th I returned to the Church. In my case my marriage is valid. Is your case the same? Or did you just stop attending mass for years?

Just asking.

Yours in the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Nope, I just quit going to Mass for 25 years. I never formally joined another church.

Well, see the reason he wants me with him is because no one at the Catholic church talks to us and when he goes alone he says he is totally invisible. The only person at the Catholic church who speaks to us is another former Episcopalian from my church who has converted.

BTW, I can’t be Catholic. I know all of you are freaking out by that statement, but it’s true. I know in my bones that there are too many things I disagree with to ever become a Catholic. Fundamental things. So, that isn’t an option. I do go to Mass with him and yes I’ve learned a lot. But why am I, and Masuwerte too, left to go to church alone?

This is between you & your husband. The Catholic Church does not say that Catholics cannot go to non-Catholic services. We just have to meet our weekly obligation & not partake in communion outside the church.

Maybe he can meet up with this other convert before Mass? Is this other person more involved with church functions? Knows their way around so to speak? Maybe that way you won’t feel the need to have to go with him?

I don’t know. Like I said earlier, I reverted back 2 years ago, & just last week I got invited to join the Women’s Club. I just happened to be sitting next to the president of the club & after Mass she asked me if I was new to the parish. :smiley:

When I first went back I used to see other reverts (we were in a discussion group for 6 weeks for Catholics wanting to return to Church) & now, not so much. I’m pretty much an introvert, so I don’t go out of my way to meet new people. People not conversing with me is no problem. Sad I know. :wink: But now that I was invited, I will go just to check it out. Who knows what will happen, right?

So does your husband refuse to go to church with you now? If so why? Does he want you to convert? I don’t really think people are freaking out because you don’t want to convert btw. :wink: We’re all on a journey. :shrug:

As a convert to Catholicism myself, I recommend that you convert!

At the very least, take some time to study Church history and read the stories of other Anglicans who have converted to Catholicism.

In particular, I recommend Cardinal Newman, GK Chesterton, and Thomas Howard.

A lot of Catholics believe that, though.

[quote="pgerpup]I spoke to my priest and he said I shouldn’t go to church with my husband

Just out of curiosity, what was the reasoning in your pastor’s stance?

The are a lot of people who call them selves Catholic that believe a lot of things. Don’t let a few that don’t know the Church teaching or don’t go for personal reasons sour you. We can go to a Protestant service… we are even allowed to enjoy ourselves. :wink:

God bless you


You ask what was my priest’s stance on telling me not to go to church with my husband? Well, it’s like this. . .

I feel very left out at the Catholic Mass. I told my priest that at the Catholic Mass I am less than a dog. If you remember, (Mark 7:26-30) Jesus told the Syrophoenician woman that “it wasn’t right to throw the bread for the Children of Israel to the dogs,” she countered with, “but even the dogs get crumbs” and Jesus says “for saying that your daughter is healed.” So, since I am not afforded even crumbs in the Catholic church I am less than a dog. :shrug:

When I told this to my priest, he said, stop going. Easy to say. Not so easy to do. I don’t mean this to sound angry. For me this is a painful situation. I was hopeful there were others who have been in my shoes and can give me some advice if not comfort.

An Episcopal priest told you that you shouldn’t go to church with your husband? Did he give a reason? That seems extremely weird to me.


Stop pretending that you have any authority to tell Episcopalians what we do or believe. The poster presumably knows what her parish teaches and does better than you do. So go find peace in your own Church and leave us alone.

Or haven’t you found peace in your own Church? Something is clearly eating you and producing this incessant spate of vicious attacks on Episcopalians.


OK, that makes sense. I wondered why an Episcopal priest would say such a thing.

I do think that you’re approaching the Eucharist the wrong way. It isn’t a badge of individual worthiness. It’s the Sacrament of Christ’s Body. It is fittingly partaken of only by Christ’s Body. The Roman Catholic position is that those of us who are not in full communion with Rome are not fully members of Christ’s Body. This is based on their conviction that Christ’s Body is by definition one, and that if a break occurs then one group must no longer be fully part of the Church. This is the historic Christian position–the only reason we don’t share it is that we Anglicans obviously cannot claim to be the true Church all by ourselves. Rome is in a different position. They can honestly claim to be simply the continuation of the historic Church. So can the Orthodox. We shouldn’t be offended or hurt by their claims, which are historically reasonable–though obviously only one of them can be correct.


You feel left out simply because you cannot physically receive the Eucharist, correct? Yet you say that there are “fundamental” doctrines of the Catholic Church with which you disagree, and those disagreements prevent you from ever becoming Catholic, correct? It is by your own choice that you are not Catholic, therefore why would you want to receive the Eucharist in a Church and from the hands of a man of God with whom you so vehemently disagree? Where’s the communion (“common” + “union”) in that?

You are more than welcome to participate in absolutely EVERY other part of the Mass, and you are certainly allowed - encouraged, even - to make a Spiritual Communion, even though you have chosen not to formally become a Catholic in order to physically receive Him. Nobody else is making you feel left out, and I’d venture a guess that not every Catholic at every Mass is receiving the Eucharist for whatever reason - you’re not the only one. Some priests will offer a blessing upon those not receiving, if you go forward with your arms crossed so your hands are on the opposite shoulders, they’ll know what to do. You might ask the priest before Mass if that’s a possibility for you.

I go to the Catholic church and my husband to the Baptist. I would rather we went together, and so would he. But each of us is convinced of the truth in our own decisions. I usually go to early Mass and then join him at the Baptist service. My priest told me that is the right thing to do. I cannot go to their service instead of Mass, but I can in addition to. Frankly, I don’t have any desire to miss Mass.

As for Communion, many in our church that can’t take communion go up for a blessing rather than sit in the pew. Getting a blessing is a wonderful thing.

As for people not talking to you, that’s unfortunate. Some churches are not as outgoing as they could be. If you find a way to be involved (attend Bible Study, join KofC, teach Sunday School, etc.), you will feel more welcomed. Sometimes you (or your husband) have to make the first move. Maybe your husband can suggest some kind of welcoming committee at the church to strengthen the congregation. Chances are he’s not the only one who has not felt welcomed.

One last thought: this can become a stumbling block in your marriage, and that’s the devil working in your life. Fight against that. If you focus on growing closer to God in every way, your marriage can’t help but be strengthened. Of course, prayer is most important in all of this.

Good luck!

We Episcopalians don’t think that you have to have total agreement in order to have Eucharistic fellowship. After all, we vehemently disagree with each other all the time. If I were required to agree with Presiding Bishop ++Schori or Bishop +Robinson on every issue, I couldn’t be Episcopalian. Yet I would gladly receive the Eucharist from either of them, knowing that we are all fallible and we are all sinners.


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