Confused

Hi,

I am feeling pretty confused at the moment, and as though there is no-one I can talk to. And to be honest, posting on this forum probably isn’t going to help that much. If I ask Catholics what to do, they’ll say one thing. If I ask Protestants, they’ll say the opposite. But as I’m pretty confused and not sure what to do, I thought I might write it all out here and see what responses I get.

I am Protestant. But not really going to a church at the moment. I started off Pentecostal. Then went to an Anglican church. And that sounds like I’m not really committed to my faith. Which isn’t the case at all. My faith is my world. There is nothing I like better than discussing religion or reading books about Christianity. I have a blog about my faith. I am just about to study theology. My faith is extremely important to me.

But now, as I learn more and more about religion and Christianity, I am beginning to think that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church. Or at the very least, it’s got to be more in line with God’s plan with any of the other Christian denominations. And so I’m very attract to Catholicism and starting to wonder whether I should become a Catholic.

But, as I said, I’m about to start studying theology at an Anglican college. And I really want to do that. If I become Catholic, what do I do then? And I love writing about Christianity. If I become Catholic, then obviously I know nothing and feel like I won’t even be able to write about it any more or even talk about it maybe. I know barely anything about Catholicism. I certainly can’t speak with any authority. And not saying I know a lot about Christianity in general. But at least I feel I know something.

This all sounds really stupid, now I’m putting it down. But it does bug me. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to give up on my love of learning about and writing about Christianity. And I want to do something else with it one day.

Also, another thing that scares me is I’m divorced. I am quite happy with my single state at the moment. But I’m not too keen on signing up for a religion that means I’ll be single for my whole life.

I know this comment sounds pretty silly. But I’ve just been thinking and thinking about it. And thought well I may as well write it out and see what people have to say.

Liz

If you became catholic, you would not have to stay single all your life. I am fairly certain you could still blog about your spirituality also.
But, you may want to get a catholic to confirm that.:slight_smile:

Well, go ahead with your plans for now. It’s not like this is a decision that can never be changed. If you are unhappy with your decision later, you can change schools, go back to another school for an advanced degree, etc.

Depending upon the school you have chosen you may be exposed to very Catholic-like ideas, or you may be exposed to some very un-Catholic ideas. If you are also reading Catholic authors, the Early Church Fathers, and Scripture… you’ll know quickly which is which and whether this is the right school for you.

Well, really, the possibilities are limitless (unless you are woman, in which case Ordination is not an option). I suggest you read about Dr. Scott Hahn. He went to a protestant theology seminary, became a pastor, then we he converted to Catholicism he too thought the same thoughts. He is now a Catholic theology professor at Steubenville.

I suggest you read his books, and look at the vast number of highly educated non-Catholics who then converted. There are lots of them. Education is never a waste, and God will find a way to use you wherever you find yourself.

Liz, take things one step at a time. If you think you are being called to the Catholic Church pursue it. It doesn’t mean you have to give up on any of your dreams to learn, to write, or to be married someday even. Should you pursue the Catholic Church you should look at a decree of nullity. I suggest the book Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Smith Foster if you want to learn more.

And, your comments are NOT silly.

Seek union with Jesus, for this is Christian life. He is in the Blessed Sacrament, out o love for you.

You should just ignore the protestants because they rejected christian tradition and allow immorality; so ask Catholics instead! lol

xxx jennifer xxx

I am a very happy Catholic and would love to welcome you home. So what I advise you to do is pray, study theology, study Catholicism (including going to Mass), pray, and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Center yourself on Jesus and his love for you, don’t close your heart to his voice, and follow him.

May God bless you.

Jennifer if you wish to remain a member of this forum I must warn about saying things like this. I know of no Protestant who has rejected anything to knowingly allow for immorality. We expect Protestants to obey a certain standard when they discuss our beliefs, lets practice the same standard :wink:

If (since you have converted or are in the process of converting to Catholicism) you believe Protestants are wrong, they deserve your prayers not your mocking.

God bless you Jennifer

Hi :slight_smile:

As far as I know if you were married outside the Catholic church it is not recognized by them so therefore, not an issue. You will have to demonstrate with a marriage license and witnesses that the marriage did not take place in a Catholic Church. So they then say ok, its invalid, and then you are free to marry IN the church. However, you can only get married IN the church ONE time. So then its for life. :slight_smile:

The other dilemna - why can’t you still be a writer in the Catholic tradition? I understand it is a rediculous amount of documents to read. Rediculous, I’ll die and never scrape the surface. That is a bit daunting isn’t it?

But you know the golden rule for writers is write what you know about.

So, you will find a way to write what you know about. Perhaps you could write a book on your conversion story. Or you could write a critique of the Protestant faith. You’ll figure out something.:slight_smile:

Lisa, this is inaccurate.

Catholics are bound by the Catholic form of marriage (getting married “in” the Church or being properly dispensed from it).

Non-Catholics are not bound by this requirement. The Church recognizes non-Catholic marriages as valid. The OP would need to have her marriage examined regarding validity. There are many reasons why it might be invalid, but that cannot be determined without a tribunal investigation.

This is actually incorrect. If a Catholic marries outside the Church, it is invalid, but a non-Catholic who marries in his own tradition has a valid (unbreakable) marriage bond, assuming that the other criteria for a marriage were met.

The best thing to do is to take the case to the Marriage Tribunal. They are the people best equipped to know whether the previous marriage was valid, or not.

Hi Ike,
I don’t understand? This is not what happened to me. I (a Catholic) was recently married in the church to a Catholic who is divorced. My husbands first marriage was a civil marriage therefore not recognized by the Church. Therefore we were free to get married in the church. He had to show that his first marriage was civil and have two witnesses who stated that it was not done in the church, and voila!

So how am I wrong? Or rather, how is our situation not in accordance with canon law?

Superb responses, Claire! My thoughts exactly! :thumbsup:

Hi,

No, I don’t believe so. This is not my experience nor is it what I have been informed.
The question is can the OP get married in the Church if she converts? The answer as it was explained to me by my Priest is yes. The church does not recognize her first marriage as it was never done before a Catholic Priest and before God.

This is an irresponsible post. I know many Lutherans and Anglicans and other protestants in here who probably live more moral lives than you or I Jennifer. Just because we have the deposit of faith in Catholicism doesn’t mean we aren’t immoral at times. And not all of them completely rejected christian tradition. Be fair now…:blush:

I was a convert to the Catholic faith and I could have been married and divorced 20 times before becoming a Catholic and it doesn’t preclude me from getting married in the Church.

I would just have to show that I had never been married in a Catholic Church because if I had, then that is a valid marriage and not dissolvable.

When you marry before God and the Church that is it! Its done. Stick a fork in me I’m done.

But what a person does as an aethist, lets say an atheist gets married 3 times and divorced three times. That is of no significance to the Priest. They don’t recognize an atheist civil marriage.

If they did recognize such marriages then there would be no point to the sacrament of marriage.

Catholic marriage is a sacrament. Only the Catholic church recongizes it as such.

Liz, you have a responsibility to go where you feel the truth leads you. We Catholics, and I’m sure Protestants also, don’t want to lie to you or just say a scripted answer to you on this issue but rather YOU need to follow the truth. As other posters have said, read the Early Fathers (Ignaius, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons, Clement, the Didache, etc.), read the Christendom series by Warren Carroll amazon.com/Cleaving-Christendom-History-Vol-4/dp/0931888751/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247952060&sr=8-1 especially volume 4 about the Protestant Reformation or diarmid mccullough’s book about the Reformation amazon.com/Reformation-History-Diarmaid-MacCulloch/dp/0670032964/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1247952208&sr=8-1 as well as all the great stuff there is online. Catholic Answers is full of great free resources!

As far as college goes, if you’re being pulled toward Catholicism and you feel it is the true Church Christ built and contains all truth, why would you jeopardize heaven, salavation, and truth over an academic institution that you could easily leave? You could go elsewhere. There are many orthodox Catholic schools to attend or other options?

Dittos to other posters on the annulment…I don’t know your specifics but you never know till you try. The Catholic Church’s teaching on divorce is faithful to Christ’s direct NT teaching so surely you’d want to honor what Christ taught. Give the tribunal a try and I’m sure God will bless you.

by the way RCIA…you need to go to RCIA and at least get your feet wet. If you don’t like what you hear or see, no strings…keep praying and we all hope you choose Catholicism! God bless you!

Hello, Liz :),

Unfortunately, our strongest inclinations are simply preferences or conveniences (I’ve used red to indicate bad reasons for not pursuing what might be the Truth; I`ve used blue to indicate good reasons for pursuing Truth).

You are confused.
You hear different answers from Protestants and Catholics.
You know things within the protestant realm.
You have a blog that reflects your knowledge.
You wont immediately be authoritative in what you know of Catholicism if you decide to pursue it. You dont want to be single forever.
Youre already enrolled in an Anglican theology program. You dont want to seem inconsistent in your faith.

These concerns are totally legit, and completely understandable, but they do nothing to draw us closer to Truth. If, in mind and Spirit, you are told that Catholicism is what you ought to pursue because it embodies Truth, than you should play to those sensibilities. If, in mind and Spirit, you should find Truth in Anglican or Protestant doctrine, then you should pursue that.

With prayer, I have faith that you’ll be given a wise and discerning heart.
God Bless you, Liz! :slight_smile:

Hi:)

Could you do me a favor. Or anyone else here who agrees with your statement, could you show me where canon law states that a civil marriage (and civil divorce) of a non-Catholic person needs an annulment in the Catholic church?

Thanks
I’d really like to know if my Priest is in error.

Hi Lisa,

I’m by no means a canon law expert or legal guru so I’m not the person to ask. Also, my “dittos” to the previous posters were simply in favor of this poster at least talking to a marriage tribunal and seeking answers. She assumed automatically that the RCC would force her to live singly her whole life. I simply agree with the sentiment that she shouldn’t make such an assumption and should immediately check into what the Church has to say by meeting with a priest and finding out with whom she should speak and find answers…

I’ll have to read your case in your post and get back to you. Like I said, my post wasn’t judging you or saying any commentary about your situation being invalid or sinful. I don’t know your specifics. May God bless you!

Scott;)

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