Considering returning to the Catholic Church

I was raised in a Catholic household. I have done my baptism, confirmation and communion. I never questioned my beliefs because it was all I knew. When I got a little older I began to form my own views and realized they did not align with my Catholic beliefs, so I pretty much left the church altogether. Recently however, I have been going through some tough times and felt this sudden urge to pray to God for help. How could I do that after so many years of abandoning my faith? I want to return to the church, but my views on gay marriage, evolution and birth control (among others) are on the opposite spectrum on what the church teaches. I’m feeling lost, searching everywhere for answers.

Bry02,

Let me be the first to say (type) that I’ll say prayer a for you.

I would recommend to simply just “return” to church and go to mass. Of course if you want to receive communion, you’ll need to go to confession.

I didn’t go to confession for more than ten years. I was very scared, nervous, and embarrassed. Afterward I felt like a million bucks! Please try to remember that nothing you can say or do will shock the priests. They’ve heard it all. Tell him your situation. They truly love people like you who return to the church and go to confession. It brings them great joy to comfort a lost but found soul.

With respect to your thoughts on “gay marriage, evolution, and birth control”, don’t worry about them right now. I’m sure that I had similar feelings. Just come back. Worry about that at another time. Spend some time reading what the church really does say about those topics. You just might be surprised what you’ll learn!

Finally, see if a church in your area has a Landings Ministry. This is a ministry designed for people like you who yearn to return to the church, but don’t know how.

God bless and welcome home!

God never stops drawing you near to Him. As far as being away from the Catholic Faith and wanting to return…join the club, it’s a big one. Forming our ‘own’ views has tripped up many lol. Evolution is not an obstacle…

ewtn.com/library/HUMANITY/EVOLUTN.TXT

but the other two you mention might be. You might not fully understand the teachings of Jesus and His Church but you must give assent to them. You must acknowledge that the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ knows better and learn why so you can fully understand. I would suggest talking with your priest in the parish where you reside and maybe go through RCIA as it is starting soon. God Bless and I will keep you in prayer on your journey Home to the Catholic Church.

Amen to what Waco Kid said.

I think there are two separate things going on and they have different approaches.

First is your relationship with God. The Holy Spirit is inviting you to pay attention and you’re doing it. That’s wonderful! Have you been to Mass yet? How did that go? If you haven’t been to Mass, maybe that’s something you want to do. Take some time to pray – tell God what is in your heart as you feel this tug to return to his loving arms.

When all of that feels a bit more settled, perhaps you will want to learn more about what the Church teaches on different topics – and more importantly, WHY she teaches what she does. It is possible that what you think the Church says is different from what she actually says. It’s also possible that things may make more sense when you know the reasons for the teachings. It’s also possible that things just can’t be reconciled, but let’s hope that they can be.

Welcome home. You’ll be in my prayers.

You should talk to a priest and let him help you with your questions. If I were you I would take some RCIA classes to learn about your Catholic Faith and why it teaches what it does about all the things you question. Get a copy of the Catholic Catechism. To run right to Confession without resolving these things means you may go for years on the opposite side of your faith. The Church upholds God’s laws not ours. Being properly prepared in the Faith before you receive Holy Communion is the right way to do it. Father can help you know when your ready for Confession. You will appreciate it sooo much more. Prayers for you and God Bless, Memaw

Yes, the Church’s teachings are from Christ, as He promised to be with us till the end of time. It is easy for me and others to think that we know better than God…but it is true that prayer and the sacraments gives us the strength to follow the moral directives. All the strength we need comes from Jesus our Lord, and the awesome sacrifice of Himself that He gives us. When we follow Him, we have His peace.

Because Christ will never abandon you! You have been sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, who will lead you back close to Him, if you let Him.

Welcome Brother!

I would recommend following many people’s advice and find a good, orthodox, knowledgable, and slightly charismatic Priest to speak to. Sorry, but the internet is inherently less personal :slight_smile:

I would also like on this website and search for answers for any questions you may have. And can even ask questions yourself!

A theme to contemplate in your search for Truth is the reasons and first principles for what you believe. I know that many of the things I believed in, in the past, were not based on any real reasoning, but rather on a unconscious acceptance of favored ideas in our culture. What about you? Do you believe what you do because it is True, or do you believe it because it is popular?

Remember, search and you shall find.

Christi pax,

Lucretius

PS. Church teaching is fully compatible with the contemporary theory of Evolution.

PSS. Have you ever heard of the literary giant that is G. K. Chesterton? He also wrote very reasonable cases for the Christian faith. Sometimes you have to read his chapters a few times in order to get use to his style, but he has a very insightful arguement for Christian Orthodoxy in his book Orthodoxy, which can be found here: cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/

PSSS. The best thing you can do (for anything) is pray :slight_smile:

Just so you are aware - you are welcome to return to full communion with the Church despite these doubts. You need only make a good Confession to be completely restored.

Once you have made your Confession then these doubts become a matter of concern. Your Confession has absolved all past sins, but you must then consider what happens going forward.

You recognize that some of your opinions differ from Church teaching. That’s not necessarily sinful, and does not necessarily endanger your restoration of saving Grace that you received through Confession.

It is never OK for a Catholic to disagree with Church teaching, but a Catholic may do so without incurring sin, provided s/he meets three conditions:
[LIST]
*]You must realize that your doubts or disbelief is a personal flaw that should be corrected (you cannot imagine that you are correct and the Church is wrong).
*]You must make an ongoing and diligent effort to correct your doubt or disbelief (you cannot become complacent in your disbelief).
*]You cannot teach your doubt or disbelief to others as an alternative to Catholic teaching.
[/LIST]

If you can “meet the Church half-way” according to these conditions then you may confess your past transgressions and not incur any further sin while you work your way through these doubts or disbeliefs.

There is no requirement that you actually succeed in dispelling your doubt before you die, provided you maintain these three conditions.

Hey buddy, I know what some of that’s like. I really do. Except that I was a convert, but whatever. I just think that God is bigger than all this so just give Him a chance. I don’t think God is going to be mad at you for still going to church even if you have some disagreements with some of its stances right now. I think He’d be a bit hurt, though if you took off on Him because of those things. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Don’t let yourself get hung up on details. Man, I wish you the best!

Peace.

-Trident

No matter when it happens or how it happens, God is calling you home

If you really want to pray to God for help, then be open to changing your views that you’ve developed while being away from Him. Don’t assume your views now are in line with His.

His Church has maintained the lines He drew.

.

Hopefully soon we can welcome you home!

The doors are open and I would follow the advice given above. Always remember, God knows best, and wants what is best for us. And the Church only proclaims the truth, and that which is for our own good. So if we are unsure or disagree with something, work diligently to understand what and why the Church teaches something. The Church doesn’t teach things that are unimportant.

I’ll say a prayer for you.

I fell away from grace for a period of about 8 years. And I mean FELL. As in secular atheist fell.

Then I had an epiphany probably similar to yours. An urge.

My suggestion would be to learn the Church’s true teachings on these subjects. Not only that but WHY she teaches it. For example the Church has accepted evolution as a wholly plausible concept.

As far as gay marriage…that just isn’t the Church, it’s Sacred Scripture and it’s very, very clear. We are not to judge or condemn, but nor will we simply reject the teachings of Jesus Christ in order to be seen as “socially progressive” or some other meaningless and nonsensical term. Marriage is between a man and a woman. The Church will not agree to marry those of the same sex because it is a direct violation of Christ’s clear commands.

Birth control has become so commonplace that I understand why a lot of people see it as harmless or even benevolent. There are a few reasons why the Church rejects birth control:

  1. It is more or less “playing God.” Sex, while certainly enjoyable and the most loving bond between a man and a woman, has a clear natural purpose that God granted. And that is to create life. To multiply. Birth control is a direct effort to completely eliminate the possibility at creating life, which is the natural purpose of sex.
  2. Birth control causes a naturally, fully functioning female body part to become totally dysfunctional. It seems to be the only body part which humans are willing to purposely make dysfunctional for the sake of convenience. We certainly wouldn’t do it to our brains, our lungs, even our feet. So why do it in this instance?

I would seek to know the Church’s teachings, then understand why she teaches it. I used to think kind of life you are now…then it all came together. The Church’s teachings are correct and for the betterment of society. They all make sense.

As I’ve suggested on another thread, you need to ask on these issues which you’re more sure of:

  1. That the Church is true in general
  2. That the Church is committed to believing something other than what you believe
  3. That you are right (and thus, if 2 is correct, the Church wrong)

Obviously not all these things can be true. So you need to decide what gives. If you’re sure both that the Church is committed to believing something and that the Church is wrong, then I think you have a problem. Otherwise not.

For instance, what is the issue with evolution? You do know that the Church doesn’t have a problem with evolution (in itself), right?

On the other issues (or on evolution if you really hold a view contrary to that of the Church) are you willing to consider the possibility that you are wrong?

Edwin

Come to church. Know that the Church teaches otherwise, and reflect on that occasionally. Don’t obsess over it, though.

Get your feet wet. Test the waters.

Come in out of the rain, dry off, and warm up, then see how you feel.

Go to mass, most importantly. Go to confession, and confess what you in good conscience know was wrong. That’s all it takes to really return for a baptized, confirmed Catholic who’s already taken communion. There’s no formal process in canon law that I know of that you need to go to, though some Churches do have programs for returning Catholics. But it’s not required. You’ve been gone awhile, but you’re welcome home.

With God all things are possible. He gave us the means to follow Him. It requires prayer and the sacraments to be able to follow the moral directives of the Church, which I firmly believe is the voice of our Lord Jesus Christ.

With regards to evolution, a lot of confusion can be removed by praying and carefully reading the Encyclical “Humani Generis”.

May the Lord bless you on your spiritual journey.

Peace,

Dorothy

You are in my prayers. Simply be open to God’s will and be open minded about the truth in regards to your questions. The Lord is kind and merciful. I once had doubts about certain teachings of the Church, but careful and prayerful analysis brought me to see that the Church truly has the correct answers and the best reasons for accepting them. All other views and positions paled in comparison when given careful scrutiny.

God bless.

Bry, look up Adam, Eve and Evolution from Catholic Answers. Sorry, I can’t link it.

There was a time in the past my dear hubby questioning The Church, so then he decideded to attend a non-denomination church, one that is very popular in our area. This Church was the kind speaking in tounge, so it was inline with our being charismatic catholic at the time. My son and I followed him obediently but my heart has never departed from the church. In short story, Dh’s faith not getting stronger. He was the one taught me about the holy spirit in catholic church, and after move to this church he began to questioning so many things that at some point of time he said “people who go to church are only for showing off”. He stopped going to church for a while. It has something to do with the stress in his work too. My Son and I went back to the catholic church and attend mass regularly. Dh has not fully recovered, he goes to catholic church sometimes. I guess our faith has to go through up and down. I believe that one day Dh will be back fully to the church again. I am praying for him, and I will pray for you too.

“Prayer is the best weapon we have. It is the key to God’s heart.” St. Padre Pio

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.