Catholics, why do you attend an Episcopal church?

Welcome to the modern Catholic Church. And people wonder why so few believe in the true presence.
I have no doubt that most people that come into the Church had a similar experience as you did. It is quite depressing

I think they can. It’s entirely possible for someone to say “the Church teaches X, but I just can’t wrap my head around it — just according to my own lights, I think the Church is wrong, I’d agree if I could, but I just can’t”. At that point, they make a choice either to accept it on faith and disregard their own thinking, or to reject it. The voluntariness, then, is in refusing to prefer the authority of the magisterium over their own thinking. I myself have some difficulties accepting a few of the Church’s teachings (it’s pretty arcane, not the stuff you normally would think of), but I just take it on faith and squash my own misgivings. I realize that people far wiser than I, throughout the past 2000 years, have “seen it the Church’s way”, and thus I resolve to do so as well.

I’m sorry to know that, but that’s just the way it is in Catholicism. When a doctrine, dogma, or moral teaching is clearly set forth and enjoys the ordinary infallibility of the magisterium, it’s pretty much “case closed”. There can be such a thing as development of doctrine or a deeper understanding over time, as we have seen throughout Church history (religious liberty, extra ecclesiam nulla salus, etc.). But we can’t just pick and choose, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.

If someone sincerely disagrees with something the Church teaches, I think they are entirely within their rights to go to the magisterium (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith et al), state their misgivings, be able to back up what they see as the truth of the matter, and ask the Church for clarification. I would have had absolutely no problem with Luther nailing his 95 theses — what happened afterwards was where things got sticky (to say the least).

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That could mean anything.

It could. What is doesn’t mean is that not overtly calling Mass an obligation makes people unlikely to attend every Sunday.

That’s still willful. Reason won’t allow them to accept what they’re told, (i.e. “wrap my head around it,” to use your words), and they’re willfully using said reason. They could choose to abandon reason and instead employ passivity or self-justification.

With all due respect, I’ve consulted with my clergy, both a priest and two deacons, and they would tell you that you’re greatly oversimplifying the matter. I see no value in extending this conversation any further; the most that could come of it is A) thread-jacking and B) me defending my spiritual path to an Internet stranger. I’m in no mood for either one.

I don’t know if this will also help answer your question, but while attending the Episcopal Church, I met numerous ex/Catholics who were profoundly hurt by the sex abuse scandals. I’m just happy that they didn’t abandon God entirely as a result.

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This is a thing?

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About 20 years ago, I went to an Episcopal church. I was grief-stricken and alone. The Episcopal community was small and welcoming. Nobody minded when I wept through the service. I found a place to heal.

I was alway uncomfortable with the beliefs. But I stayed anyway. I never joined.

During the third year of my attendance, the rector repudiated the atonement in the Good Friday homily. Something snapped and I returned to the Catholic Church.

Your situation is somewhat like mine was. I only did it for a few months. My “moment of clarity” came when I was working in their Thanksgiving dinner for the poor and homeless, and I saw a poster on the wall promoting Planned Parenthood and abortion choice. I don’t believe I ever went back.

I never even mentioned to anyone that I was Roman Catholic. I just went more or less anonymously, never said a whole lot about myself to anyone, and tried to start with a blank slate. It didn’t work. It wasn’t God’s plan, and deep in my heart of hearts, I knew that.

Glad I got that part of my life straightened out (with God’s grace).

And, yes, the whole mess was addressed and left in the confessional long ago.



Thank you for your compassionate response. I would have been better off contacting the Stephen Ministry. But I wasn’t aware of it at the time.

God has led me to a wonderful parish that truly is a family. They have a great safety net for grieving people.

Not a good way to look at it. The Kennedys were “rich Catholics”.
Episcopalians in USA were the people who did not want to be associated in any way, shape or form with Catholics and were often actively persecuting them.

When I first met my husband (Presbyterian) he made some remark to the effect that Episcopalians were “practically Catholic”. To him, it would look that way, but I told him he better not ever say that in my family home or my mother would likely throw him out of the house.


If we wish to proceed securely in all things, we must hold fast to the following principle: What seems to me white, I will believe black if the hierarchical Church so defines. For I must be convinced that in Christ Our Lord, the bridegroom, and in His spouse the Church, only one Spirit holds sway, which governs and rules for the salvation of souls. For it is by the same Spirit and Lord who gave the Ten Commandments that our Holy Mother Church is ruled and governed. - St Ignatius Loyola

But the Kennedys were not Episcopalians. :slightly_smiling_face:

Of course not. And I’m quite sure that at least Joseph Kennedy Sr. and Rose had the same dim view of Episcopalians as my family had, and with good reason.
You spend years dealing with bigotry, prejudice and hatred from a group, you do not wish to be compared to them in any way.


I’m sorry to hear that. That’s not the way it is supposed to happen. Sounds to me like poor Catechesis by the people who are supposed to be teaching you about the Faith. Unfortunately, there is probably as much poor catechesis as there is good ones. You are supposed to learn about our Faith, Her Teachings then in the end you can either become Catholic or not.

In no way during RCIA or Catechism Classes are they supposed to say it’s ok if you don’t believe X or you don’t have to believe Y.

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I am a “cradle Catholic” and never really truly left the Church, but I kinda drifted away for many years. I learned so much more about the beautiful and rich (T)traditions of the Catholic Church when I returned home full time to my faith.

I blame my lack of knowledge and my leaving, a significant enough portion anyway, on poor Catechesis. I mean I did have some good Catechist Teachers but I grew up in the 80s to early 90s. My understanding is the 70s thru the early 90s was not a great time for this. I believe the Church has and is returning to her roots and (T)traditions and this shows in the current Catechesis in both RCIA and Catechism Classes for our youth.

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See my post #54 for reference.
I believe catechises has greatly improved over the years. I believe the bad era was 70s thru the early mid 90s. I was a kid in the 80s and early 90s. Had a poor education. I learned more about my faith in the past few years than I had my entire time in Catechism Classes of my youth. Is there areas that still need improving, sure. But it is significantly better than it had been. In the 80s and 90s there was much about our rich Traditiona and Teachings being taught.

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I worded this last part wrong and for some reason can’t edit it. I meant to say there wasn’t as much being taught on Church’s (T)traditions and Teaching as there is these days.

At least in my case.

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