Did I defect from the Church?

Hello could you please clarify for me exactly what a formal defection from the faith is? On one hand I have heard that it is merely when a person joins another faith; on the other hand I have heard that it is the ~intent~ of that person when they joined the other faith. Long story short: I was baptized Catholic, joined the LDS church at 31 and want to return to the Catholic church at 45. I joined NOT because of the doctrine taught, but because I was a young widow with a young daughter and needed a social group for support(which I was not finding at my local Catholic parish).I have not been “active” in the LDS church almost from the beginning. I confessed regarding this situation and received absolution. Please tell me if this was a formal defection and I am now welcome back or if I am not able to return. Please, this is VERY important to me.


Hi Annie,

If you’ve confessed and been absolved, you’re all set. You didn’t write down and send a formal statement of withdrawal to the Catholic Church. So in the Church’s eyes you didn’t defect. So relax and welcome back!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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