Converts and What Holds Them Back


#41

Thank you HeDa, that’s some great information. I only went on what the respective parish website said. The Catholic Church of Sweden’s website mention some 100 converts per year, with most of them being immigrants, unless I misremembering?


#42

Prayers ascending for you on your journey

Keep in mind, Re: scandal, Jesus never promised a Judas free Church. And Judases always have to be weeded out. And will be.

IMV this example covers your points and your question.

Re: not accepting what is taught

When God in the flesh, is doing the teaching, and even those He is teaching, (His disciples, not the 12) say to His face, this is too hard to even listen to, and they leave Him never to return, what did Jesus say to that? He knew in advance they didn’t have the necessary faith

Since faith is a gift, we have to ask for it if we don’t have it.

AND

As Peter taught, once we have faith we have to work every day without ceasing, to increase it or we will fall.


#43

I think one of the things is the 8-month long RCIA program. It’s not really a class where they discuss ideological issues. And it goes on for all those months. I want my husband to convert, as does a friend of mine hers, but I don’t see either of these guys sitting around for eight months trying to ascertain if a single word in the reading jumps out and says something directly to them.

It seems to me that, if we are talking about somebody who is already a Christian, a few chats with the priest would be enough, maybe after a few chats with the pastoral associate to determine where the starting point of getting this person Catholicized might be.


#44

I guess my question would be how do you ensure that they’re properly catachized? And where would them being “catholicized” actually begin?


#45

Assuming someone is coming from a Christian background that isn’t Catholic, how does the Church ensure they’re capable of taking communion?


#46

Blockquote where would them being “catholicized” actually begin?

Blockquote how does the Church ensure they’re capable of taking communion?

I don’t know. But how does sitting through 8 months of re-reading the readings and waiting for a word to pop out answer these questions either?


#47

I only ask because I’m coming from a background where I didn’t really go to Church


#48

I don’t think I’m qualified to give more than the little opinion I gave. I hope you do join.


#49

I plan on it. I’ve got RCIA tonight as a matter of fact


#50

I was confirmed last Easter. My only hold back was just not being exposed to the truth of the Church. It was the big bad, a dictatorial, backwards institution. I always admired its beauty but thought its history repressive. It never helped that the way Catholicism was treated at school reinforced this. It was like behold the artistic heritage that was the greatest influence on Western Civilization… behold they are the most repressive regime in world history.

My process did take about 3 years. I started as someone who was raised Baptist but was coming directly from atheism. There was about six months of me accepting God, three months of me deciding I needed to be part of a Church, three months of me deciding it could the Catholic Church, one year of me attending Mass and knowing for sure I wanted to be Catholic and about a year of RCIA. There is so much to know about Catholicism and I am glad RCIA takes a long time. I wished we actually had more time in RCIA, maybe the the same time span but more than one hour/week.

The feeling that it should be easier does not make sense to me. If it where easier/quicker I could also easily wonder if I made a rushed decision that was not well examined. If it seems burdensome what is the depth of desire, commitment and the real intent? People spend 4-8 years seeking higher education. My undergrad took five years and most weeks I was in class at 12-15 hours and studying about the same amount of hours, if not more. That was to launch a career that I am actually now pivoting away from. What is an hour/week for a year that leads to the salvation of your soul and the path of a lifetime? The Church demands much of us, but that is another reason why it is good and worth the effort.

I still had doubts coming into the Church, but I have complete faith in the wisdom of the Church and the Church’s ability to work through tough issues, even if it takes centuries. I still have struggles with some teachings but trust that it is part of my cross and some things may not be fully understood until the Beatific vision. I trust that God lead me to the Church, so it must be good. I see the difference in my life and this change in me gives life while all else was bringing me closer to death.


#51

I’m personally hoping to get a better grasp of Church teaching while I go through RCIA. I’m going to have loads of time to read over the summer, since the parish I’m at takes a summer break for those doing RCIA.


#52

I think you are right. it does do some weeding out. Just wondering if maybe it doesn’t do too good a job at weeding out. A person might be a perfect fit with the Church but not such a good fit with RCIA. I think it’s worth it to go through RCIA, just saying that there are some who may think they are using up a heck of a lot of time, reading and re-reading the readings and waiting for a word to jump out at them on a personal level.

I guess I want to add that not in every instance does one size fit all, and I think this is in that category.


#53

The Catholic Church in Sweden has about 100 converts/years. The majority of them are Swedes. The Church grows with about 3000 persons/year and that is mostly because of immigration.


#54

I think in some cases, it comes down to comfort and fear. It is comfortable to stay in a Protestant church where all your friends are. Where you don’t have to be held accountable for your sins by attending reconciliation. Where you are accepted as you are.

It can be scary to put yourself out there by revealing that you’re becoming Catholic and losing the friends you have had for years. Fear of not making new friends to help you along on your new journey. Fear of what if you’ve made the wrong decision. Fear of being rejected by your old Protestant friends and rejected by Catholics who may be wary of converts.

And when it’s a decision that affects not just yourself, but your spouse and children, fear of rocking the boat, strife in the marriage because of the one’s newfound beliefs, and fear of how to raise your children in a godly Catholic way when your spouse doesn’t want you to, makes converting something more difficult than if w person was single I think.


#55

I think for me it is a question if things are too systemized to the point of being legalistic and too reliant on human intellect. (I’m discerning between Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, for reference). There are certain things that i wonder how a human could presume to know to the point of such detailed definitions that often extensively utilize human logic or other kinds of human reasoning. For example, I am very uncomfortable that a marriage could be declared invalid in retrospect; the idea that “it wasn’t a real marriage in the first place” strikes me as overreaching.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the Church. i don’t mean to attack Her. Actually, my hope is that the Catholic Church is the True Church and I will find her to be so, as much as that may seem odd with what I just said. I’m still searching. But its the systemization that does worry me.


#56

That doesn’t sound fun. There must be some resources somewhere. Based on the catechism, tailored to the makeup of the group. I’m sorry your parish is not offering something better. Would they be open to improvements? Maybe they just don’t know how to put together a better program.


#57

I’m a convert. As for what held me back at the time…

  1. One side of my family is/was Catholic. One side was not. Making a choice to convert resulted in difficult conversations with family. I would have converted early if not for that.

  2. Why are there still such large Catholic families…8 or 9 children? I was concerned about this. I mean people should have as many kids as they want, if they have the means and ability to be good parents. However, there seemed to be a pressure to do so. Yes, the Catholic church is against birth control, and yes a couple generations back families (my family included) were really big. However, natural techniques for birth control are actually very effective if used correctly, and they have been taught by the Catholic church for decades. I was actually really happy to see Pope Francis comment on this recently.
    He said…

  1. The idea of Celibacy for priests. It’s not that I would support the discipline of celibacy ended tomorrow, and in fact I think it is a good and positive thing for the men and their parishes in some situations. On the other hand I saw a declining number of priests, and a severe decline in many parts of Europe. In other areas (e.g. the Amazon) the Catholic church presence is disappearing because of the lack of priests. There are even difficulties in some more rural parts of the US. This issue combined with the many exceptions to clergy being married in the Catholic church (and talk of even more exceptions) left me very confused at the time.

#58

I’m actually in a similar boat. My grandmother came from a family of Catholics. All her siblings and their kids stayed Catholic, it was just us that weren’t. She left the Church sometime after she got married. Of course now, I’m in the process of converting so I’m the only one in my immediate family that’s Catholic


#59

In terms of having these tough conversations with family over converting to Catholicism and leaving your present faith, sometimes you just need to pull off the Band-Aid.

Somebody can’t be expected to remain in a Christian faith where they have deep theological issues with what that faith teaches.


#60

In my case I didn’t really grow up in a Church. My parents took my sister and I to a few different denominations when I was a kid. Never really bothered after that though. So I’m coming to Catholicism with zero faith in my background


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.