Daughter announced that she wants to become a Protestant


#1

After 10 months of dating a Protestant man, our college daughter announced that she has decided to convert from Catholicism to Protestantism. John is a very nice, intelligent and driven man who is very strong & steadfast in his Protestant faith. She knew this about him going into the relationship and we had some discussions on the differences in the beginning. They both decided not to focus on the differences and read the bible together and see how they can apply Jesus’ teachings in their lives and their relationship. Long story short, the reasons she gave us for turning away from our faith was the usual, misunderstood, misguided anti-Catholic rhetorics. She says the bible does not say we should be praying to Mary, that we are idol worshipers, that she doesn’t believe the Eucharist is the Body & Blood of Christ etc.

Some background on our family, although my husband and I were brought up as “practicing” Catholics, we just recently in the past 4 years, woke up and have embraced/studied about our faith. The Holy Spirit had no doubt been working on us and we’ve been on fire about our faith and can’t get enough of it. So my D, unfortunately, had no real, strong Catholic foundation when she went off to college. She’s always had a very compassionate and spiritual side of her. And I’m afraid John’s Protestant faith touched her heart before we could. She reads the bible every morning and night, has a prayer journal and genuinely feels like the Holy Spirit has led her to the Protestant faith.

So needless to say, I feel like I’m losing a daughter. It’s been a month since she made her announcement and I feel like a grieving mother. I feel like I’ve failed my D. She still attends mass with us but will not take the Eucharist…which pains me like no other. I am so resentful of John who I trusted would respect our faith and not influence her. She is graduating this spring and I can’t even find joy in that.

My husband feels the same way although he is more focused now then ever to study our faith and read up on apologetics so he can be prepared to defend our faith.

Any advice & prayers from this forum is GREATLY appreciated. I have younger kids and I feel so paralyzed about this recent event that I feel that I’m neglecting them as well.

Thank you.


#2

2 items as suggestions:

  1. Have a serious talk with John & the daughter. You're resentful of him. Say so, and tell him why....

  2. ...after asking daughter, and John, to read Karl Keatings' "Catholicism and Fundamentalism," and giving them copies. You can't make them read it but you can give them copies. That book, more than any I've read, pretty much puts paid to the false theology behind much of protestantism.


#3

Ask your daughter, and her boyfriend, to explain this passage from John 6. If the Eucharist is not really the Body and Blood of Christ, how can we do what Jesus said was essential to salvation?

51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." 52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?" 53 Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."


#4

I'll pray for you. I can't remember which Bishop said it, but "To know Church history is to become Catholic"

Since you and John have a difference, he has wronged you by misleading your daughter from the Church. I advise you to ask him if he's willing to settle that difference in accordance with Christ's direction.

Matthew 18; 15-18
'If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: whatever the misdemeanour, the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain the charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the church; and if he refuses to listen to the church treat him like a gentile or a tax collector." (Some translations read "...if he refuses to listen even to the Church, or replace Church with community- so which version of the Bible one reads is important)

If Christ intended for the Church to be able to settle our disputes, particularly over the faith and things as basic as the Eucharist, than that Church must have the authority to rule on matters of faith reliably, with God's guidance. Which physical Church on earth do you go to? There are innumerable branches/sects of protestantism that will give you different answers on multiple issues, and whose answers on an issue over time change. Contraception, gay clergy, are issues various protestant sects have changed their position on. Only one Church will give you the same answer today as 2,000 years ago.

Also, are your daughter and her friend reading a Catholic Bible or Protestant? If John rejects the authority of the Church then he, IMHO, has no right to cite the Bible for his faith. He is dependent on the Church for their declaration of what is scripture. If he rejects the Churches authority to declare scripture, than who is his authority? Luther modified scripture, does John believe men can pick and choose scripture? If Luther could, than why not you or I? If John can't provide his authority for scripture, again, he has no business referring to it. Don't let him use the Bible until he can explain to you why he accepts it as scripture as opposed to just a nice book. I accept the authority of the Bible as scripture because I first accept the authority of Christ's Church on earth.

John 20; 30-31 There were many other signs that Jesus worked in the sight of the disciples, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.

12 Thessalonians 5 Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

Remind your daughter and John that the teachings of the Church were passed orally in the first few centuries. The Bible was not written as a text book to cover all the teachings of the Church. In fact, many of the most obvious things were left out because, well, they were so taken for granted. If Mary was not assumed into heaven, then, where is her body? Given the fascination with relics, the relics from this most important of Saints would have been highly valued. Why did no Church ever claim to have them? Because it was well established that she had been assumed into heaven- no other explanation fits.

I would strongly suggest that you have your daughter and friend read the three volume series "Faith of the Early Fathers" It clearly shows that the early churches teachings and practises were Catholic. It also emphasizes that from the very first days the church taught that the Eucharist was the body and blood of Christ. Which is why Paul warned in one of his letters against eating the Lord's meal unworthily, that it is bringing damnation on oneslelf. Were you aware that in the early church ~ 3rd century the penalty for leaving the Church and then returning was a ban from receiving the Eucharist for 10 years? Not the kind of things one does for something that is symbolic.

Some other good books for your daughter and friend to read:
Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Keating
Surprised by Truth, Patrick Madrid

God bless you and yours.


#5

So needless to say, I feel like I'm losing a daughter. It's been a month since she made her announcement and I feel like a grieving mother. I feel like I've failed my D.

Don't despair. You haven't lost your daughter. Her conversion to protestantism should not harm your relationship as long as you respect her right to investigate different religious beliefs. You haven't failed your daughter. She is beginning her faith journey and it sounds like she's exploring. Have faith that the Holy Spirit will guide her to the fullness of truth. Converting to protestantism doesn't mean that your daughter is a bad person. She just needs a little guidance.

They both decided not to focus on the differences and read the bible together and see how they can apply Jesus' teachings in their lives and their relationship. Long story short, the reasons she gave us for turning away from our faith was the usual, misunderstood, misguided anti-Catholic rhetorics. She says the bible does not say we should be praying to Mary, that we are idol worshipers, that she doesn't believe the Eucharist is the Body & Blood of Christ etc.

It sounds as if John has used these informal Bible study sessions to convert your daughter to protestantism. John will know quite a lot about the Scriptures he has taken advantage of your daughter's lack of knowledge. John has taught your daughter his faith using the Bible. If you want to bring her back to Catholicism, you must also use the Bible.

For the moment, I wouldn't try to attack John's protestant faith. Spend time learning about your daughter's new beliefs. Find out why she has decided to convert to protestantism. Discover what Bible verses John used to turn her away from Catholicism. If you want to re-convert your daughter, you have to find out what you're up against.

Once you know what led your daughter away from the Catholic faith, you can begin researching and studying apologetics. Take your daughter's reasons for converting to protestantism and show her why these are incorrect interpretations of Scripture.

This is what I would do:

[LIST]
*]Firstly, pray for your daughter
*]Learn about your daughter's new beliefs
*]Study apologetics to counter her arguments
*]John used the Bible to convert your daughter, so you must use the Bible to bring her back
[/LIST]


#6

[quote="Dempsey1919, post:5, topic:227073"]
This is what I would do:

[LIST]
*]Firstly, pray for your daughter
*]Learn about your daughter's new beliefs
*]Study apologetics to counter her arguments
*]John used the Bible to convert your daughter, so you must use the Bible to bring her back
[/LIST]

[/quote]

I agree with Dempsey, you can't attack John but must use the Bible. My post my have seemed advocating agressive confrontation on sighting authority, which I am not. But I do believe that if he's using the Bible, you both must first agree on why. Why it is scripture. Why you treat it differently than the myriad of other religious texts in the world. I do believe it's appropriate because in using the Bible so many lose sight of it's origin and purpose in understanding it. Which is why knowing Church history, particularly early Church history and the practises of the first Christians is so important.

For example, when discussing baptism with those folks who oppose infant baptism, I cite one of the first recorded councils of the Church ~3rd century. A council of 66 bishops considered a proposal to DELAY baptism until the 8th day after birth. Clearly, the practise at that time was to baptize infants, especially since the proposal to delay baptism, even to just the 8th day after birth, was rejected. So, for those who claim the Church 'erred' or 'drifted' from the correct teachings, it would have to have done so from the earliest days of the Church, either while the apostles were still alive or while people who had received instruction directly from the apostles were still alive.


#7

[quote="PaulinVA, post:3, topic:227073"]
Ask your daughter, and her boyfriend, to explain this passage from John 6. If the Eucharist is not really the Body and Blood of Christ, how can we do what Jesus said was essential to salvation?

51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." 52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?" 53 Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."

[/quote]

I think it is important to add:

60 After hearing it, many of his followers said, 'This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?' Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, 'Does this disturb you? What if you should see the Son of man ascend to where he was before? 'It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. 'But there are some of you who do not believe.' For Jesus knew from the outset who did not believe and who was to betray him.
He went on, 'This is why I told you that no one could come to me except by the gift of the Father.' :eek:After this, many of his disciples went away and accompanied him no more. :eek:

Many protestants reject the bread of life discourse saying that what Christ meant was that His words were the bread of life. That He was referring only to accepting His gospel. But, then why did He allow disciples to leave Him over this, over a misunderstanding? Why didn't He clarify that to those who left because they took Him at His word? I say, because Christ said what He meant, there was no misunderstanding. He was clear, we must eat His body and blood. Refer to my post above- the Church has taught the reality of the Real Presence in the Eucharist since the resurrection.


#8

[quote="PaulinVA, post:3, topic:227073"]
Ask your daughter, and her boyfriend, to explain this passage from John 6. If the Eucharist is not really the Body and Blood of Christ, how can we do what Jesus said was essential to salvation?

51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." 52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?" 53 Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."

[/quote]

You can explain it by understanding that as proscribed by God, the Jews practiced several types of sacrfices, including the 3 most important:

  1. The Holocaust (the whole offering)
  2. The Guilt Offering
  3. The sin offering.

In Genesis chapter 22, God places Abraham in the same role of the Father and asks him to sacrifice the Son at Mt. Moriah (Jerusalem); this is a Holocaust.

Abraham complies, but God sends an angel to stop it and the Abraham offers a Ram instead (which notably, i the preferred sacrifice for the Guilt offering.)

The next sacrifice we read about in the Bible in Jerusalem is Christ - the Sin offering.

The whole offering was to be burnt in its entirety and given to God. The Sin offering was to be eaten by the priests. In the New Testament there are several references that make it clear that priests are no longer required to be an intermediary to God, that we are all priests. Christ confirmed this by making it clear that we must all eat of the Sin offering.

But Christ was often allegorical as well as literal. Was He being literal when he said ""If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell."? I doubt that any of us would argue that Christ was telling people to routinely literally remove their eye(s).

The educated Protestant, of which there are many, raise good informed objections to some Catholic practices. I believe some of those objecions are justified. I also believe that some are not. And I also think many Catholics don't understand many routine practices in their faith. (For example, why is incense typically used in Mass? I find many Catholics cannot answer that question.)

There are fundamental aspects of Christianity on which we agree. I would not recommend arguing with your daughter. I would recommend that you be honest about your hurt and concern, but that you ALSO recognize their concern. Explain WHY you are concerned. When you have discussions with them do it from the perspective that you want everyone to LEARN about the differences, and be ready to admit to your daughter a concern that you have failed her by not making the importance of this (to you) clear to her when she was younger.

But be willing to accept, or you will have to accept not being part of their lives.


#9

[quote="styrgwillidar, post:7, topic:227073"]
I think it is important to add:

60 After hearing it, many of his followers said, 'This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?' Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, 'Does this disturb you? What if you should see the Son of man ascend to where he was before? 'It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. 'But there are some of you who do not believe.' For Jesus knew from the outset who did not believe and who was to betray him.
He went on, 'This is why I told you that no one could come to me except by the gift of the Father.' :eek:After this, many of his disciples went away and accompanied him no more. :eek:

Many protestants reject the bread of life discourse saying that what Christ meant was that His words were the bread of life. That He was referring only to accepting His gospel. But, then why did He allow disciples to leave Him over this, over a misunderstanding? Why didn't He clarify that to those who left because they took Him at His word? I say, because Christ said what He meant, there was no misunderstanding. He was clear, we must eat His body and blood. Refer to my post above- the Church has taught the reality of the Real Presence in the Eucharist since the resurrection.

[/quote]

Then you are also ignoring what you just quoted, says the Protestant: "'It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer."


#10

Do some on-line research and learn what Martin Luther, Calvin and other great reformers actually said about the Blessed Virgin. Hint: These men were all baptized Catholics! :)

hope this helps them both!


#11

Kbachler,

No, I wasn't ignoring it. Note I specifically address the protestant argument. I was trying to bring in the point that you made as well. That if you read the entirety of the Bread of Life discourse, Protestants will point to this section which references the spirit and life to support their position that Christ was not being literal, but was referring to his Words. John also starts out his gospel with Jesus as the Word of God. So, it is a logical argument to make, although I don't agree with it.

But then protestants don't address the ending line which I emphasized. Followers did leave Jesus over this teaching. I maintain, they left becaues they did in fact understand what He's saying. Would Christ allow His disciples to leave over a misunderstanding? He does at points further explain points of His teaching in parables etc. in other places in the Bible.

Which then goes back to authority, which is the primary difference between Protestants and Catholics. How do we know how to interpret this passage correctly? What authority do we go to?


#12

[quote="Dempsey1919, post:5, topic:227073"]
Don't despair. You haven't lost your daughter. Her conversion to protestantism should not harm your relationship as long as you respect her right to investigate different religious beliefs. You haven't failed your daughter. She is beginning her faith journey and it sounds like she's exploring. Have faith that the Holy Spirit will guide her to the fullness of truth. Converting to protestantism doesn't mean that your daughter is a bad person. She just needs a little guidance.

It sounds as if John has used these informal Bible study sessions to convert your daughter to protestantism. John will know quite a lot about the Scriptures he has taken advantage of your daughter's lack of knowledge. John has taught your daughter his faith using the Bible. If you want to bring her back to Catholicism, you must also use the Bible.

For the moment, I wouldn't try to attack John's protestant faith. Spend time learning about your daughter's new beliefs. Find out why she has decided to convert to protestantism. Discover what Bible verses John used to turn her away from Catholicism. If you want to re-convert your daughter, you have to find out what you're up against.

Once you know what led your daughter away from the Catholic faith, you can begin researching and studying apologetics. Take your daughter's reasons for converting to protestantism and show her why these are incorrect interpretations of Scripture.

This is what I would do:

[LIST]
*]Firstly, pray for your daughter
*]Learn about your daughter's new beliefs
*]Study apologetics to counter her arguments
*]John used the Bible to convert your daughter, so you must use the Bible to bring her back
[/LIST]

[/quote]

I wholeheartedly agree with this. I will do not good to go into this with a negagitve attitude (telling John that yo are upset with him and so forth). This will only build more wall when what you need are bridges.

Based on your OP it appears that your daughter was not well catechized in the faith so when John brought up various objections to the faith (like praying to Mary) she really had no foundational or depth of understanding to counter his "it ain't in the bible" position. Likewise you and your husband have been playing "catch-up" as well - taking your faith seriously and learning about it.

So what we have here is a "strong" Protestant influence on a weak, undecatechized Catholic individual. The need is to balance out the influences - and to do this you should invite John into discussion - learn his arguments, learn the Catholic responses and present them, hear his objections and answer those. Don't be afraid to say "I don't know" to something he brings up, but always follow it up with "but I'll find out".....

In this way your daughter, her boyfriend and you will have the chance to learn a great deal about the Catholic church.

Peace
James


#13

Does’t convince. They could have been leaving over it being viewed as a blasphemous claim.

The Protestant will argue that you go to the Bible and your personal relationship ith God.

Look, let’s stop and think about this. It’s been nearly 500 years since Luther inadvertently started the reformation. In that time, the Catholic Church and Protestant Churches have not bee able to resolve some of these key differences, includng the treatment of communion.

On what practical basis do we think that a religious argument that hasn’t been solved in 500 years can be solved by this family?

Instead, they can choose to educate themselves about their differences so that they can respect each other, and to find the points of agreement, so that everyone can be happy and respectful,especially when it come to grandchildren.


#14

A lot of good words have already been written here. Nevertheless, here's my two cents.

First pray.
Pray for your daughter and her boyfriend that they will see the truth.

Pray to Mary for her intercessions.

Don't blame yourself, your husband, or anyone else. You have not failed your daughter.

Don't blame or resent John. He is most likely just doing what he believes he should do.

Don't nag your daughter or John about her making this mistake.

And don't get dragged into a Catholic v. Protestant argument. You know, people have actually gone to war over this?

Instead, demonstrate by your life and your good marriage what it means to be Catholic. Become more active in the Church if you can. Welcome John into your home and your life. Show your daughter, and even John, that you love her.

Then pray some more. I'll pray for you as well.


#15

So what we have here is a "strong" Protestant influence on a weak, undecatechized Catholic individual. The need is to balance out the influences - and to do this you should invite John into discussion - learn his arguments, learn the Catholic responses and present them, hear his objections and answer those. Don't be afraid to say "I don't know" to something he brings up, but always follow it up with "but I'll find out".....

You've received some great advice so far, and I think JRKH has perfectly summed up what has happened to your daughter.

As JRKH has said, you need to balance out the influences. Do your homework first, and then invite your daughter and her boyfriend for a religious discussion. If you prepare well, it won't be difficult to prove the truths of the Catholic faith.

What is needed here is a little bit of gentle persuasion. Don't argue and don't be offensive in your criticisms. Show your daughter and her boyfriend the truth through love. Remember, you should preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.


#16

[quote="Dempsey1919, post:15, topic:227073"]
You've received some great advice so far, and I think JRKH has perfectly summed up what has happened to your daughter.

As JRKH has said, you need to balance out the influences. Do your homework first, and then invite your daughter and her boyfriend for a religious discussion. If you prepare well, it won't be difficult to prove the truths of the Catholic faith.

[/quote]

Just a caveat here. Bear in mind that "proof" does not necessarily equal persuasion. You may have the best "proofs" answers to his questions, charges, errors etc, but you may not convince him that the Catholic Church is right and His is wrong. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. The best you can hope for is to correct his misconceptions of Church teachings, and perhaps give him some things to think about.

But on the other hand - just maybe he'll conver to Catholicism. :thumbsup:

What is needed here is a little bit of gentle persuasion. Don't argue and don't be offensive in your criticisms. Show your daughter and her boyfriend the truth through love. Remember, you should preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.

Also be patient. This could take quite some time....possibly years.

Peace
James


#17

[quote="kbachler, post:13, topic:227073"]
Does't convince. They could have been leaving over it being viewed as a blasphemous claim.

The Protestant will argue that you go to the Bible and your personal relationship ith God.

Look, let's stop and think about this. It's been nearly 500 years since Luther inadvertently started the reformation. In that time, the Catholic Church and Protestant Churches have not bee able to resolve some of these key differences, includng the treatment of communion.

On what practical basis do we think that a religious argument that hasn't been solved in 500 years can be solved by this family?

Instead, they can choose to educate themselves about their differences so that they can respect each other, and to find the points of agreement, so that everyone can be happy and respectful,especially when it come to grandchildren.

[/quote]

Kbachler,
I'm not disagreeing with you, and I think we both acknowledge that reasonable people in all sincerity can interpret portions of the Bible differently. In fact, I agree with you, especially regarding education for deepening one's faith and understanding other's approach to their faith. I think there is a tendency to quote specific lines in scripture without showing the full context, hence my expanding on the Bread of Life discourse when it was brought up to include the section on word, spirit and life. And as I've stated above, if we're using the Bible as scripture, why do we personally accept it as such.

For me personally, I reached a point due to interrogation from some friends who converted to Christianity from Judaism where I questioned whether I was Catholic simply because of birth or because I truly believed the Church's teachings. They had joined a non-denominational mega-church where their pastor spent a lot of time attacking the Catholic faith. This drove me to eventually research the writings and practises of the early Church, and helped reinforce my faith in Catholicism.

I don't think this family will solve " a religious argument that hasn't been solved in 500 years can be solved by this family?"

But I do think that we can assist the OP in sources and areas for the daughter and boyfriend to educate themselves on the actual Catholic teachings vice the misconceptions/misrepresentations of it the OP referred to.

I definitely agree with you that the daughter as an adult will ultimately decide on her faith and it shouldn't be a cause for a breakdown/split in the family. And as you say, respecting the true teachings/beliefs goes a long way towards ensuring amicable relationships. I teach CCD (our eductaional director is married to a baptist minister, makes for some interesting discussions). I understand that at some point in the future some of the kids or my own for that matter may decide to leave the Catholic faith, but I try in my teaching to address both the protestant and Catholic positions on various doctrines that come up. I don't think it's ultimately my job to ensure the kids remain Catholic (really beyond my control) but it is my job to ensure they understand the Catholic teaching, so that they make an informed decision. That is, reject true Catholicism, not some other person's misconception/misreprentation of it- again referred to by the OP.


#18

As the Lutheran in a Catholic/Protestant marriage let me give you a couple insights from the other side.

One: John probably did not set out to lure your daughter away from her faith. I got that from some of my husbands parishoners and the old preist at his church and being treated like all protestants are little demons sent from hell for the express purpose of luring good Catholic boys and girls away really doesn't make you feel happy or open to working with the Catholic side of the picture. It is also utterly false, most of us have just as strong a faith (sometimes stronger) as Catholics do, we are trying to follow Christ and his teaching to the best of our flawed human nature. John from what you have stated has a strong protestant faith, he probably saw the struggle his girlfriend, someone he loves, was having in her faith and was trying to help.

Two: I would deal with the misconceptions that he has about the Catholic Church. Exp. explain that no one prays to idols or to Mary, but asks saints and Mary to pray for them as well, just as you would ask a living friend here on earth to pray for you or a loved one. Learn as much as you can about your faith and so through example how much peace and joy it brings you.

Three: DO NOT try and force anything on your daughter or John, or get openly hostile towards them, it will only create a "Romeo and Juliet" feeling, which will make her cling more strongly to him and drive what could become a permenant wedge between you and them.

Four: I don't know what denomination John is but I gather it's not one of the High Churchs (Lutheran, Orthodox, Anglican etc.). I also assume he is not one of the really far out their ones like Mormonism either, so be thankful for that. Be thankful that your daugther is at least exploring her faith and trying to understand it better. Also be thankful that she has not gone to seach for it in a distinctively non Christian place.

Side note: She should not be taking the Eucharist if she no longer believes it is the Body and Blood of Christ and if she is leaving the Catholic Faith. That is actually in your own Church's teachings. The Catholic church (as does the Lutheran church Missouri Synod) practices closed communion....you have to be a member, recieved proper instruction, and be in good standing to take communion. To do so otherwise is a danger to your soul. So in not taking the Eucharist she is actually doing what is taught and respecting the Catholic Churches beliefs.


#19

I'm coming from the other side of this, I was Protestant (WELS Lutheran), and became Catholic after meeting my husband, then boyfriend.

I think that you do have a harder going with this since you guys just recently started really getting involved in your faith. So your daughter doesn't have a large base for her opinions.

Like the previous poster stated, I would be hesitant to really get into a Protestant vs. Catholicism approach with this as I think you'll just drive them both away. Perhaps try to have a civil conversation with your daughter and try to get to why she believes what she does. For what it's worth, a lot of what Protestants believe about Catholicism are lies. And I'm sure her boyfriend believes these lies.

Some books that really helped me are,
"There We Stood, Here We Stand" by Timothy Drake (it's the conversion stories of various Protestants, and it shows why they became Catholic, a very good book!)
"Rome Sweet Home" by Scott and Kimberly Hahn

Those are both easy reads and something I would perhaps bring up to your daughter. Just perhaps give it the point of view that you want her to make an educated decision. That not everything Protestants believe about Catholicism is true, and for her to see both sides of the story.


#20

I am not one who thinks that being Catholic is the end all be all of religions. I believe that Catholicism is one way to Christ, but certainly not the only way. I think if your daughter has found a way that has brought her closer to God than she has ever been before, it should be celebrated. All Christian religions have different beliefs, but they still put Christ at the center, and I don’t think anyone can claim that any one of them have all the correct answers. Everyone is just doing what they believe they should to serve Christ. Switching to the protestant faith does not mean that she is turning away from God or on a road to hell. She is entitled to her own beliefs, and I have always encouraged people to question the beliefs that they were simply born into and find their own truths. Different ways suit different people. No one has all the answers, and I believe that as long as we are doing what we truly BELIEVE is correct, that Christ embraces our decisions.

My advice is to have a long talk with your daughter. Learn about her decisions. Learn what Protestants think. Learn what the criticisms of Catholicisms are. Learn what she is confused about. Talk it out, try to help her understand the Catholic faith in all the ways that you don’t believe you have done thus far. But listen as well. She is entitled to her own beliefs, try to listen and be respectful of what she may say. The most important thing here is that she finds her own path to God, one that will bring her to Him as deeply and closely as she can. Try to convince her of your ideas, but if all sides are presented to her and she finds that becoming Protestant will bring her to the Lord, love her anyway, and celebrate her continuing closeness with the Lord. :slight_smile:

You did not fail your daughter, It sounds that you love her very much and simply want to share your faith with her. She is simply on her journey to the Lord and figuring things out for herself. Hang in there!


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