Explaining the One True Church


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. :slight_smile: 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.


Gee this is tough for you.
Might I suggest that you just be happy and secure in your own faith and let him see that you know the Holy Roman Catholic Church is the One. I can imagine how difficult this is for you, especially with kids involved, but rest in you peace and knowledge that you are right and pray for him.
God bless


I would tend to say that you have done just fine and he doesn’t want to accept it.

I’ve discovered I get further explaining Truth but not explaining at all. I ask questions like: Is there an objective truth? Is it possible to know what truth might be?

If the statement is “Jesus just gave the bottom line.” Then I would ask what is that bottom line? Was Jesus ambiguous in His teaching? Did he leave room for personal interpretation? Seek your husband’s answers in love and charity. If you know his objections inside and out you can research those. It sounds like his objection is authority. It is many people’s objection.

I have encountered this issue many times. I don’t envy you encountering within marriage. I don’t know your personal circumstances that allowed you to get married without resolving this first. It seems to be a huge conflict how possible children might be raised. For me it prevented (THANK YOU LORD) a possible marriage in my 20s. I found my husband much later (and he’s a convert.)

My prayers are with you. I would advise you to look to the prayer of St. Francis. Seek not to be understood but to understand.


“Says that its way is the only way”

The Church, as we believe, is THE Church established by Christ. That only makes sense with its apparant “my way or the highway” attitude.

Salvation of non-Catholics

There was a whole thread about this. There are some good quotes from JPII and a fairly decent explanation of it all overall.


No Church to guide

Then we’d be pretty messed up! With nothing to guide us, we’d have crazy nutsos who interpret the Bible as saying crazy things-“Sell your cloak and buy a sword.” KILL THE NONBELIEVERS! “Let the dead bury the dead.” You heard the man, leave dem stinking carcasses OUT for all to smell and see! “Call no man ‘father’” My poor daddy…Theres plenty more that one can interpret odd. I could very well believe in Him but run around trying to summon up demons and its alright since its “just my interpretation” and I believe in Him. A constant is needed We were given free will, so we have the ability to interpret all we want. That doesn’t mean that theres “no real interpretation.” Even if we had something that said “what Jesus meant by this was____” I’m sure there’d still be interpretations of the interpretations!

No earthly church

Remember “On this rock I will build my Church.” Whether he believes its the Catholic church that was established from this passage or not, Christ DID establish some sort of church.

That’s all I can come up with. I’m sure someone can come up with something more useful than my dribble, and at the very least you got a bump :). Good luck, I’ll pray for you


These books might help you with some practical advice…
When Only One Converts by Lynn Nordhagen

Search and Rescue by Patrick Madrid


true church=all baptized believers who profess jesus as lord and savior,who strive daily to follow the law(ten commandments)but know that if they fail they are still saved by the precious body and blood sacrifice of our savior(if they are truly repentant).and must turn to there baptism and the cross daily and follow christ.(no osas!)in christian unity,celt


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