Converts and What Holds Them Back


I’m in the process of converting and I really got to thinking on what prevents more from converting and coming into the Church. For me personally I had some issues which were slightly off putting, the abuse scandals really were something that I had an issue with, and to some extent still do. And some of the teachings of the Church made me think that I couldn’t be a Catholic because I didn’t know if I could live up to them faithfully.

So I guess I want to ask every Catholic be they cradle, convert, re-convert what they think prevents more people from coming into the Church and being in communion with Rome?


Probably not believing the claims made by the Catholic Church.


I think the seemingly never-ending abuse scandals in the church are a major stumbling block. I think another issue is that many Catholics don’t believe all that is required of them, for example birth control which is widely practiced.


As far as the abuse scandals go I think the Church could remove that stumbling block by actually reforming the process surrounding accusations of abuse. No more moving accused priests from parish to parish. The Church is improving on that, but it feels like in some ways the Church has stalled on that.


A couple doctrinal questions I have yet to adequately look into. A wife who hates the Catholic Church.


Happy wife is a happy life eh?


I’ve thought of converting throughout my adulthood since attending Catholic high school. A few things I can’t get past (and I ask God to give me discernment on these things rather than me following my own logic).

  1. Papal infallibility. I don’t mean this as a knock against the Pope. I’ve only been alive during the reign of 3 popes. I think JPII is one of, if not the most, Godly men I’ve ever seen. Benedict XVI was great with trying to do everything he could with bringing unity. Francis has been great with his focus on the poor and his humble approach (his SJW goes a little too far for me, but isn’t a turnoff). But the issue of one person holding supreme authority to make changes really is something that I can’t get past. Maybe you all can better educate me on it.

  2. Mariology. I’m different from a lot of my Lutheran brothers in that I do believe Mary was perpetually a virgin. If she had more children, why would Jesus have left her in John’s care? However, I find it hard to accept that she was without sin. I just feel if this was something God wanted to reveal to us, He would’ve done so in the Scriptures. I can buy the position of “a sinless person needing a sinless vessel,” but if Jesus was to be fully man just as he is fully God, would he not need to be born of a person with sin? Maybe that makes no sense and I’m just spouting off. Again, I mean no disrespect to the Blessed Mother or the RCC’s positions on Her. I think Protestants have done a horrible job of ignoring her, but I believe the RCC has maybe placed too much of an emphasis on her.

Those are really the 2 big issues that prevent me from converting. I think the RCC does a lot of good around the world for the poor. Mass is beautiful. I think Adoration of the Sacrament is great. Confession and absolution is a good thing (us Lutherans still practice it). If anyone wants to correct me on what I’ve said I’m more than open to it.


If the abuse scandals are what is holding you back, EVERY church out there have scandals. They just may not be posted on every social media and television station throughout the world. That is no excuse for what has happened but if I want to belong to the ONE TRUE CHURCH I belong to the Catholic Church. It is the Church that Jesus Himself established.


I don’t necessarily think it’s the scandal on its own. I think the other part to the scandals is how the Church reacts to them. And I can totally understand how that could be off putting to a lot of people who are curious about possibly converting.


It’s not that easy for someone who isn’t already part of the Church. You have to put yourself in the shoes of someone who isn’t already a Catholic but is curious of becoming a Catholic.


TRUE and I pray that those within and outside of the Church can understand GOD is in charge.


But you can see from the perspective of those who are non Catholic how that would be a hard thing for them to look past if they’re curious about converting


Honestly; 1-3 years of study before getting to take part of communion is a hurdle I’m sure. This is an investment in time not everyone can afford.


Well you may not be able to take communion speedily, but I can see why the Church does that. Communion is something incredibly important and you need to be fully aware of the weight of it. And that doesn’t mean you can’t attend mass, you just can’t partake in the sacrament of communion. But I do get your point, it is certainly a time commitment


Considering that this is a decision that is expected to effect not only this life but eternity as well, I think this is a very wise decision. Look at most Protestant religions and the shopping for church that many of them do. I’ve always failed to understand the rationale behind finding a church that agrees with everything I already believe in. Talk about confirming your conscience bias!

Judaism tries to actively discourage conversion having to make the attempt three times before starting the process because they feel it is so very important…as it should be.

While I can pretty much understand the desire to take communion as soon as possible, I think the rules around forbidding just anyone from taking it is something I respect. Since Catholics believe so strongly in the Sacrament, it should be taken very seriously.

Just an outsiders view!


I think there is a good answer oon the sinlessness of Mary in the Catholic Answers magazine:

Also, pray more about it and the Lord will reveal to you these things and more on Mary. A personal testimony is always a lovely gift t hold on to.


The main thing that prevents people from coming into the Church and being in communion with Rome is they don’t believe one or more of the key teachings of the Church.

The secondary thing that prevents them from coming into the Church is they don’t think it’s necessary to do so, either because they don’t believe in God/ salvation etc, or else because they believe in some concept of God/ salvation/ etc but think it can be achieved in a totally different way without the Church.


I think requiring the study time does a great job of weeding out people who aren’t ready to make a serious commitment to the faith. If you’re planning to be a Catholic for your whole life, then a year of study isn’t a big deal.


Not to mention it would be wise being fully aware of what exactly you’re committing to. That’s why for me personally I’m ok waiting to be baptized until after I’ve gone through RCIA


I understand all of your points and I’m not necessarily disagreeing with them. The question was just what holds people back. Also I thought the point was to have all people saved. There’s plenty of catholics since birth that does not participate actively in the church but they already being inside the church can partake easily if they so choose.

I also understand that confirmation is a sacrament and that does take some time but not 3 years, I don’t think it should be a way to “root out” people, the spirit is weak in many and can cause despair if needing to commit for so long with what certainly would feel like lack of progress. All deserve salvation no? Better to hook them and then deepen their faith I believe.

I’m not even catholic but been more and more curious about the Church of old.

(Also I can’t seem to find a way to quote several people at once so this was directed at all my responders and I hope you all see them one way or another)

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