Okay, I’m sure that my questions have been answered in other threads on this forum. But I have been trying to piece everything together that way for months now, and I’m not getting any better at wading through this problem.
Every time my non-Catholic husband and I start talking about religion, I end up feeling that I am failing to paint an accurate picture of the Church. We have to talk about it - how can I in good conscience have children with someone who won’t let them be Catholic? I’m explaining this because in the past I’ve been advised not to discuss religion with him - I can’t avoid it. I need advice on how to better handle the discussions which must occur.
The problem: He says he has no objections to any of the specific beliefs of the Church, though he does not agree with all of them. His only problem (so he claims) is that he does not like any church that says its way is the only way. In other words, he does not believe that there is one true church, and he objects to the Catholic church’s claim that it holds that distinction.
Whenever I try to explain the Church’s position on this matter, I fail miserably. No matter what. If I say that we believe in absolute truth, he then asks how we can also believe that non-Catholics can go to heaven (once, he even said that if I could explain that apparent contradiction, he would be satisfied). I’ve told him that we don’t believe we have a monopoly on heaven, simply the best and most complete resources to get us there, and I don’t recall his argument against that, but he’s got one.
He doesn’t believe that Jesus established an earthly Church to guide us and be our authority in His absence. He believes the fact that there are so many interpretations of the Bible is evidence that we were not meant to have only one - that Jesus came to give us only the “bottom line,” that we must believe in Him for salvation. How we live that out in terms of belief system is up to each individual.
Is there someone out there who can help me? I’m too close to the situation. Every time I try to answer, I can’t remember the things I need to say. When I do try, I can’t say them in a way that presents a loving Church rather than a demanding one. What I really need, I think, is for Scott Hahn to come walking into my living room. Half the problem is that I can’t seem to remember all the knowledge I need to draw on.
Thank you for your patience in reading this long post. Maybe if I can get him to read this, some of the answers will come in better words than my own. Of course, maybe I’m wrong and I’ve done just fine, but he just isn’t able to accept it.