Contemplating Conversion; Question re Marriage

Hello, friends. I’m not sure what category of the forum this belongs in. First, I would appreciate prayer for guidance. After many years of being interested in Catholicism and learning a lot from Catholic radio, I am considering the big step of converting. (I’ve been a born-again Christian since '76 and have attended most every variety of Protestant church.) I find myself listening to Catholic radio every weekday, including with my headphones at my office job; I find it peaceful to listen to. And having suffered from depression, migraines and insomnia most of my life (including all of my Christian life), though I still struggle with some of the Catholic doctrines, I feel I need the “checks and balances” found in Catholicism, especially the sacrament of confession. There are other reasons also, such as having had MOST of my many questions answered on “Catholic Answers”.

My husband is also a Christian, though he has not been able to attend church with me for several years since he usually has to work on Sunday. We have no children. I was baptized Catholic as a baby and baptized in the Baptist church in '76. My husband was never baptized Catholic and he was also baptized in the Baptist church. He does not know anything about my long-standing interest in Catholicism and though I don’t think he is especially anti-Catholic, I’m sure he would not understand and would not be interested in joining me if I do take this step. Would it be a sin if I were to proceed with going to RCIA and (God willing) become a Catholic without his joining me? Though, I would hope that if I actually do convert, I would then be able to talk to him about it without fear. I just don’t feel I can do so just yet. I would appreciate hearing from anyone about this, especially if you have been in a similar situation. Thank you for your input and prayers. Teri

My mother, sister and I converted to catholicism 20 years ago. My father was not pleased about my mother converting. My mother did it anyway. My father would exclaim"I’ll never join the Catholic church." 10 years later he joined.

First of all, with regards to your comments about baptism. A person can only be baptized once. You cannot be re-baptized. I believe that the Catholic church accepts baptism by the baptist church, but check with a priest to be sure. So your RCIA would result in Confirmation only and probably a renewal of your baptismal vows.

No - it is not a sin to join the Catholic church without your husband. It is never sinful to seek the truth. Hopefully, your husband will not have any objections. I would certainly try to have his blessing, and someday maybe he will want to join you.

Satan’s lies are out there making people hate the Catholic church. I think when people really know the church, they cannot hate it. But the church is comprised of humans, and each human is subject to satan’s attacks, and some commit evil deeds - and people say, “See! The Catholic church is evil!”

Anyway, our prayers are with you and your husband.

Peace,
John

:thumbsup::slight_smile: Awesome testimony. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

No…it’s not a sin to come home. Your husbands journey is his own and you should be respectful of that but you will need to talk about it. How will he feel about you attending Mass every Sunday? Hopefully you two can start talking through issues about it. Also, have either of you been married before? If not, you will need to get your marriage convalidated because as a Baptized Catholic you should have been married in the Church. This is a simple process…sort of like a renewing of the vows and can be a blessing.

Three years ago I came home to the Catholic Church and my Protestant husband came with me. I was scared at first that he would not join me but he did. We had a lot of good discussions about doctrine, etc. We did not necessarily agree with everything right away but agreed to let the Holy Spirit guide us on our journey. We had our marriage convalidated.

God Bless you both!

My best advice is to talk to a priest…where you can all lay out your situation and he could give the best advice.

Meanwhile, you are not alone in your journey…you can ask advice here too of those who are in the same situation as you…chnetwork.org/

You are already baptized Catholic. I would recommend you talking to your local parish priest. He can explain to you about being enrolled in RCIA so that you can prepare yourself for the additional sacraments. (Confession, Confirmation and Eucharist) You will have to provide written documentation of your Baptism and Marriage and/or previous marriages of you and your husband during this process.

There were baptized Catholics in my RCIA class who had not received the other sacraments. Baptism is just the first sacrament. After you are confirmed, you will be held responsible to uphold the precepts of the Church. (Mass on Sundays and Holy days of Obligation, financial support of the Church, observing the days of fasting and abstinence, confessing at least once a year, receiving the Lord Jesus at least during the Easter season, observing holy Days of Obligation)

As the previous poster stated, your husband’s journey is his own. At some time you will have to discuss this with him because marriage is another sacrament.

I know that it sounds like a lot, but believe me it is worth it!
Welcome home!

Thanks for the replies. To answer Annabelle Marie’s question, neither of us were married before, so that is not a factor. I just wasn’t sure if we would be considered unequally yoked or if our marriage would still be recognized if I was to convert and he doesn’t. I still am not 100% sure what I will do or am supposed to do. But it just feels like a sign that, after all these years of being interested and learning, I seem to not want to listen to anything except Catholic radio and have such a deep longing to be able to confess the things I’ve done wrong to a priest (nothing you would probably consider a mortal sin, but a lot of little stuff that adds up). My church friends would all say, just confess to God and He will forgive, and I’ve done that so many times and yet I just don’t feel forgiven…

Confession requires true contrition…and I think you have come to realize the value of going to a priest for confession.

There are essentials towards true repentance and contrition. There is the recognition of one’s sin and a desire to repent and reconcile with Christ, for sin separates us from Him. So, the first step is humility…the humility to admit our sins and our guilt.

And I think lastly, if we must be willing to confess our sins, the way Jesus wanted it, to a priest. Why?

Because it is the way He wanted it because He wanted a true confession and true contrition on our part by not making it easy. One thing non-Catholics do not recognize is that going to confession is not easy. One of the most difficult thing for us humans to do is to admit to a guilt, to a sin. We tend to rationalize, which is what usually happens. When one confesses to God directly, which we can certainly do, don’t you find it easy? And you tend to go back and do the transgression again.

But with the sacrament, there is no rationalization. When one goes to the confessional, there is an admission of guilt, we accuse ourselves that we have sinned. Then we now have to find the courage to go to confession, and orally account to the priest, who represents Christ, our sins. There is no ifs and buts, but a straight accounting of our transgressions and our admittance of guilt. Then when the priest says the absolution, there is relief in knowing that our sins have been forgiven.

You know the story of King David and his adultery…but do you remember how he got forgiven?

Here it is…the prophel Nathan had to come to David and confron him…2Sam 12 (please read the whole chapter, will only cite this verse):

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for[a] the LORD, the son born to you will die.”

Well…I went to my first mass last evening. It’s weird having to sneak out to do that. But I did get home before my husband so I’m not saying anything just yet. (He has mentioned a couple of times that he likes the new Pope, so that’s a good sign, right?) I purposely went to a church in the next town 15 miles away before I try my local Catholic church. It was nice; I was able to follow most of it, since I used to attend a Lutheran church and there are some similarities. It was strange not being able to go up for communion but I do totally understand and accept why. A few people greeted me but the priest didn’t, though there were quite a few people there. Appreciate continued prayer for guidance as I sort through what God would have me do.

You need to communicate your desires with your husband, this should be a priority.
Stop sneaking around, for it’s dishonest and can lead you into worse sins.

Try to be open to him if he becomes resistant to your looking into Catholicism, for he probably has a lot of bias driven by misinformation, that he’s obtained throughout his life.

Your marriage is a priority over becoming Catholic at this point in life. Many here will disagree with me on this point, but your marriage is also part of God’s plan for you and it should be your priority. If your husband opposes your conversion, you’ll need to pray about it and work on that issue, but for now, be open with your husband about what’s going on inside of you.

Remember, when God calls us, it’s an invitation, not an order.

It may be that God will call your husband to the Catholic Church through you and your lack of communication with him my be keeping that door closed.

Jim

Yes I agree. Share your feelings with your husband. This might be a beautiful and informative journey for both of you.

As BXVI has said, “You cannot love what you don’t know”. Conversion is of the heart.

God bless both of you.

I don’t plan to do that till I decide for sure that this (converting) is what I am to do. I need to sort through this on my own and not hear opposition from others that could cloud my decision. But I do appreciate your input.

no…you will not be considered unequally yoked. There are many Catholics that are married to non Catholics. And many people that convert…and then later on their spouse does.

Pray about it is probably the best advice I can give you.

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