Discouraging Conversions to the RCC?


#1

I have heard, on several instances now, the occasion where a Protestant was seriously considering converting to the RCC, but the first priest he talked to about it would say something such as…

“You don’t want to do that… or, just go on being a good Lutheran, Methodist, etc.”

Even Dr. Scott Hahn experienced this.

If the Church believes the Lord’s words in John… “Unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the son of man, you have no life in you.” And if it also proclaims that the only valid Eucharist is offered by the Bishops and ordained priests, etc, then doesn’t discouraging conversion prevent the individual in question from receiveing valid Eucharist, not to mention propagating that individual’s personal schism or seperation from true communion with the Apostolic church?

Any thoughts?

Thal59


#2

[quote=Thal59]I have heard, on several instances now, the occasion where a Protestant was seriously considering converting to the RCC, but the first priest he talked to about it would say something such as…

“You don’t want to do that… or, just go on being a good Lutheran, Methodist, etc.”

Even Dr. Scott Hahn experienced this.

If the Church believes the Lord’s words in John… “Unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the son of man, you have no life in you.” And if it also proclaims that the only valid Eucharist is offered by the Bishops and ordained priests, etc, then doesn’t discouraging conversion prevent the individual in question from receiveing valid Eucharist, not to mention propagating that individual’s personal schism or seperation from true communion with the Apostolic church?

Any thoughts?

Thal59
[/quote]

Potential sources of this idiocy:
profoundly poor formation
pride (he knows better than the church)
indifferentism
enamoured with the current cultural icon of tolerance and being open minded
sin


#3

Although I’ve “heard” this too, I’ve only “heard” it online as someon who knew someone who knew someone… etc…

I’ve never actually met anyone this happened to. Also, I am a convert, and no one said anything like that to me. They said “here’s what you need to do to convert”.

RCIA has thousands of converts each year-- if the Church didn’t want converts she would not have RCIA.


#4

[quote=Thal59]I have heard, on several instances now, the occasion where a Protestant was seriously considering converting to the RCC, but the first priest he talked to about it would say something such as…

“You don’t want to do that… or, just go on being a good Lutheran, Methodist, etc.”

Even Dr. Scott Hahn experienced this.
[/quote]

Yes, I’m afraid some priests take ecumenism a bit too far. What they ought to be saying is, “And why do you want to become Catholic?” in order to sort out what is attracting the person to the Church and at what stage of conversion he’s at, if indeed he is.

If the Church believes the Lord’s words in John… “Unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the son of man, you have no life in you.” And if it also proclaims that the only valid Eucharist is offered by the Bishops and ordained priests, etc, then doesn’t discouraging conversion prevent the individual in question from receiveing valid Eucharist, not to mention propagating that individual’s personal schism or seperation from true communion with the Apostolic church?

Any thoughts?

Thal59

I believe you are saying too much about the Eucharist here. After all, there are devout Catholics who cannot receive it for valid reasons, but they aren’t deprived of the life of Christ because of that. What is required is belief in the Real Presence, to be willing to receive if possible. It is baptism that confers regenerative grace in our souls, and the Sacraments keep us in that grace, you see. But, I understand what you mean. Separation from full communion with the Church should not be desirable or an option for those who have come to believe the truths of the faith.


#5

Scott Hahn WAS at first discouraged and by a Priest, from joining the Roman Catholic Church. I have a tape of Scott telling of the incident. The priest felt Scott could do more good for ecumenism by remaining Presbyterian.
Jaypeeto3


#6

[quote=Jaypeeto3]Scott Hahn WAS at first discouraged and by a Priest, from joining the Roman Catholic Church. I have a tape of Scott telling of the incident. The priest felt Scott could do more good for ecumenism by remaining Presbyterian.
Jaypeeto3
[/quote]

How sad-a Priest that thinks ecumenism is more important than being a member of The One True Church. Although I respect all Church’s I am not big on Ecumenism. Our Church has the TRUTH. Every other Church has , at the most a piece of the Truth or a pale shadow of the Truth. When we make Ecumenism our goal we risk accepting a watered version of the Truth. Our goal should be to bring our seperated Bretheren into the One True Church.


#7

I have heard it from people that were discouraged because of multiple marriages. I knew a friend that had been married 3 times. His first 2 ended because of drunkeness. He had gone through AA and found the truth of the gospel. He was discouraged because of the necessity of annulments. He was so discouraged and I was as well. I hate to think I belong to a church that is less forgiving than Jesus. I think about the story in the Gospel about the woman at the well that had 5 husbands and living with someone that wasn’t her husband. Jesus had her proclaim the Gospel to the rest of the village. The church would have go through 5 annulments before she could join.


#8

[quote=bauerice]I have heard it from people that were discouraged because of multiple marriages. I knew a friend that had been married 3 times. His first 2 ended because of drunkeness. He had gone through AA and found the truth of the gospel. He was discouraged because of the necessity of annulments. He was so discouraged and I was as well. I hate to think I belong to a church that is less forgiving than Jesus. I think about the story in the Gospel about the woman at the well that had 5 husbands and living with someone that wasn’t her husband. Jesus had her proclaim the Gospel to the rest of the village. The church would have go through 5 annulments before she could join.
[/quote]

Notice, please, that Jesus tells the woman at the well to “go and sin no more”. That’s all that the Church is asking. The Church is not making up rules, but is following Jesus’s own words regarding divorce and remarriage. They’re hard sayings to modern Americans, but the Church is in no position to water down Jesus’s own teachings to suit the whims of Americans used to serial monogamy.


#9

[quote=Della]I believe you are saying too much about the Eucharist here. After all, there are devout Catholics who cannot receive it for valid reasons, but they aren’t deprived of the life of Christ because of that. What is required is belief in the Real Presence, to be willing to receive if possible. It is baptism that confers regenerative grace in our souls, and the Sacraments keep us in that grace, you see. But, I understand what you mean. Separation from full communion with the Church should not be desirable or an option for those who have come to believe the truths of the faith.
[/quote]

I don’t wish to start an argument about this, but I find it interesting that you should say that. As Catholics, we believe that the Eucharist becomes the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. How is it possible to say “too much” about it? Of what use is the mass, priesthood, or Sacraments without it? (HIM) Also, I do not know of any devout Catholic who, because of whatever condition or handicap they may have, having never recieved it, at any time in thier life, in any fashion. (Which opens up a question… Does one need to recieve the Eucharist only once in thier life, or repeatedly.)

But in your answer, you mention the necessity of belief in the Real Presence. This goes to the heart of my question. Most Protestant denominations view the Bread and Wine in a symbolic manner. They do not view it as His body and blood, at least not as intimately as Caholics do. If the church discourages potential converts from entering the church, they are not only denying them access to the Eucharist but they are also, in essence, encouraging these people to continue to look upon the body and blood of Christ as mere symbols.

If we as Catholics truly believe in the Body and Blood of Christ, by what reason are we justified in discouraging someone from receiving Him?

Thal59


#10

[quote=Sherlock]Notice, please, that Jesus tells the woman at the well to “go and sin no more”. That’s all that the Church is asking. The Church is not making up rules, but is following Jesus’s own words regarding divorce and remarriage. They’re hard sayings to modern Americans, but the Church is in no position to water down Jesus’s own teachings to suit the whims of Americans used to serial monogamy.
[/quote]

I am not excusing people and their past, but the past should be the past.Jesus gives us a chance to start over, to have our sins forgiven in the confessional. Why can a murderer, child molestor, woman that had an abortion be forgiven and allowed to approach to receive but, a remarried person not?


#11

(Sigh) There are a few priests out there that are human in every way, except they lack a spine. We need to pray for their conversion. I know a priest right now who currently advises engaged couples undergoing the process of getting a nullity of marriage to just get married by a justice of the peace. The idea being that they won’t leave the Church out of frustration of waiting for the annulment process. Very sad. I pray for his conversion every day.


#12

[quote=bauerice]I am not excusing people and their past, but the past should be the past.Jesus gives us a chance to start over, to have our sins forgiven in the confessional. Why can a murderer, child molestor, woman that had an abortion be forgiven and allowed to approach to receive but, a remarried person not?
[/quote]

Because their actions are over and done with. And they repent of their sin. However, if someone has remarried, they can recieve the Eucharist, providing they live as brother and sister. The issue is, most people dont, they life as husband and wife when they should not be doing so and are thus sinning. Mortally so. That is why they cannot recieve.

In Christ

Andre.


#13

I’m a convert, and while I didn’t get the “you don’t need to convert” spiel, at my first confession (at age 23) the priest told me premarital sex wasn’t a sin. :rolleyes:


#14

[quote=1ke]Although I’ve “heard” this too, I’ve only “heard” it online as someon who knew someone who knew someone… etc…

I’ve never actually met anyone this happened to. Also, I am a convert, and no one said anything like that to me. They said “here’s what you need to do to convert”.

RCIA has thousands of converts each year-- if the Church didn’t want converts she would not have RCIA.
[/quote]

You haven’t met me personally, but it did happen to me, from the associate pastor of our local parish (fortunately, the pastor was more than happy to put me through the process and receive me).

If I had known then what I know now, I would have responded something like this: “Well, Father N, either you have a very low opinion of me, and you think that I am unworthy to receive the sacraments, or you have a very low opinion of the sacraments, and you think they aren’t necessary. Which is it?”

Incidentally, in my case there were no impediments to my coming into full communion with the Catholic Church.

DaveBj


#15

This happens for example in muslim conversions to catholicism in Europe. The “spirit of Council” has produced monsters.


#16

[quote=Thal59] If the church discourages potential converts from entering the church, they are not only denying them access to the Eucharist but they are also, in essence, encouraging these people to continue to look upon the body and blood of Christ as mere symbols.
[/quote]

Here’s another way of looking at it. If a Protestant is considering conversion to Catholicism, chances are that they either have embraced the Catholic view of the Eucharist or at least are open to it (this is usually one of the first things that makes people fall in love with Catholicism, and if someone doesn’t believe in the Real Presence they are unlikely to consider conversion seriously). So it’s actually the other way round in many (perhaps most) cases. For a priest to discourage someone from converting would be to encourage them to believe that something that is really only bread and wine from your point of view (Protestant Eucharist) is actually the Body and Blood.

That’s one of the reasons why I myself am not Catholic. I cannot accept that the Protestant Eucharists I have received were not truly the Body and Blood of Christ. (I am an Anglican, but this goes beyond the question of “Anglican orders”–I also receive communion in Protestant churches that make no claim to apostolic succession of bishops.) It seems to me that there are two key things someone needs to believe before becoming
Catholic:

  1. The Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ.
  2. One is not receiving the Body and Blood in one’s own church. Where there is the Eucharist, there is the Church. In other words, an Orthodox Christian should not convert as an individual (even if the Catholic Church is the true Church) but should work for reunion. (I recognize that I’m probably disagreeing with Augustine here, though he would no doubt have said that the Donatists were receiving the Eucharist sacreligiously, which the modern Catholic Church would not say of the Orthodox or the Copts or the Old Catholics.)

I believe that Protestants receive the Body and Blood in the Eucharist, even if they don’t recognize it. So I don’t see how I could become a Catholic in good conscience. (This isn’t the only issue I have, but it’s one of the two or three biggest ones.)

Edwin


#17

In response to the main question, I wasn’t discouraged from converting (not by priests–there are lay Catholics who have looked at me oddly when I described my interest in Catholicism). But when I decided to drop out of RCIA I received nothing but support and understanding. I’m not sure that was a bad thing, but the fact is that if the folks running RCIA (the person I talked to about leaving was actually a layperson) had told me that I was putting my soul in danger, I might have reconsidered. One of the reasons I dropped out, in fact, was that that particular parish was in some respects less Catholic than my Episcopal parish. (I knew that it wasn’t typical, but from my perspective it wasn’t my job to go shopping for an “orthodox” parish when I wasn’t even a Catholic.)

Edwin


#18

[quote=Contarini]Here’s another way of looking at it. If a Protestant is considering conversion to Catholicism, chances are that they either have embraced the Catholic view of the Eucharist or at least are open to it (this is usually one of the first things that makes people fall in love with Catholicism, and if someone doesn’t believe in the Real Presence they are unlikely to consider conversion seriously). So it’s actually the other way round in many (perhaps most) cases. For a priest to discourage someone from converting would be to encourage them to believe that something that is really only bread and wine from your point of view (Protestant Eucharist) is actually the Body and Blood.

That’s one of the reasons why I myself am not Catholic. I cannot accept that the Protestant Eucharists I have received were not truly the Body and Blood of Christ. (I am an Anglican, but this goes beyond the question of “Anglican orders”–I also receive communion in Protestant churches that make no claim to apostolic succession of bishops.) It seems to me that there are two key things someone needs to believe before becoming
Catholic:

  1. The Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ.
  2. One is not receiving the Body and Blood in one’s own church. Where there is the Eucharist, there is the Church. In other words, an Orthodox Christian should not convert as an individual (even if the Catholic Church is the true Church) but should work for reunion. (I recognize that I’m probably disagreeing with Augustine here, though he would no doubt have said that the Donatists were receiving the Eucharist sacreligiously, which the modern Catholic Church would not say of the Orthodox or the Copts or the Old Catholics.)

I believe that Protestants receive the Body and Blood in the Eucharist, even if they don’t recognize it. So I don’t see how I could become a Catholic in good conscience. (This isn’t the only issue I have, but it’s one of the two or three biggest ones.)

Edwin
[/quote]

Edwin, how can people recieve something they don’t want? I know some protestants they don’t want to recieve Christ’s body in that way, they think its cannibalism. Is Jesus going to force them into it… I guess that’s my question…


#19

Sometimes priests discourage conversions to the True Church because they feel threatened by us converts. We’re often smarter, more educated, more traditional, more orthodox - basically, more Catholic - than they are…We make them feel insecure and inadequate. And they are…


#20

Oh - I forgot - also: we converts are often "more devout, more holy, more prayerful, more spiritual, more everything. It can make a “professional” Catholic like a priest or religious pretty shaky. Also: weak, fearful, angry, jealous.


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