Forcing kids to go to the church


Are your children Catholic?

What are “morally acceptable reasons not to attend Mass”? We aren’t talking about just reasons for not being able to get to Mass, but rather unjust reasons for not going, as their Catholic parents are responsible for seeing that they attend. It’s a promise we make when we bring them for Baptism.

You realize attending Mass is an obligation for Catholics? Why would you not require them, while the Church does?

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The Church is not.



I don’t think the church has any official position on making a child over the age of reason, and who does not believe in God, go to Mass. It is up to the parents to make the decision that is best for their child. In some cases, forcing a child to practice a faith that they do not believe is worse ultimately than allowing them to not attend. It sends the message that Mass is something you attend, not to worship God, but because someone tells you that you have to.

You cannot force anyone, even a child, to believe.

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Separate issue, bro.



Are you Catholic?



Yes, I am. I’m a convert to Catholicism from a family and background strongly opposed to it.

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I dont think parents can choose to permit their children to not attend Mass (without disrespecting their parental responsibilities to raise them Catholic).

I agree that a defiant (not respecting their parents) child cannot be “forced” to attend Mass. However, consequences should be enforced for disobedience.

Refusing to go to Mass with the family (or parent) is definite disobedience and should come with consequences. Such as loss of certain privileges.

I am not being insensitive to the delicacy of the situation. I realize it’s not something to stubbornly commit angry punishments towards. Yet, appropriate consequences is responsible parenting.



There are no really good options. The minor referred to in the OP is 15. In a few years he will probably be in college where no consequences exist for not attending. If this persists through age 17, then what? Doesn’t this create a negative association with religious practice? One that he might flee upon adulthood?

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An then it begs the question of what other adult decisions can they make in this home?

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That’s a matter for parents to judge. It’s not like we withhold all adult decisions from teens and then they suddenly get to make all of them at 18. A wise parent judges what it is best to allow the child.

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And does not turn the house into a democracy- I was out by 18 and then made all my own decisions. Parents do not owe allowances- that what jobs are for; nor free college- the child borrows and get a marketable degree, then they have sweat equity in it and will ensure what they havcan earn a living



That’s not actually legally possible in the U.S. Your eligibility for loans is determined by your parents’ income. The law says if you’re under 24 you’re legally a dependent student and the parents’ refusal to pay isn’t a reason to change that.

In any case, no one’s saying it’s always wrong to make a child go to church - but that the parent ought to use their judgment as to whether it will benefit the child.

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I applied for 137 scholarships and got two.



Good for you, but I doubt that’s something everyone can rely on. I had 2 as well and that wouldn’t have covered it all.

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The I used the military to get masters degrees. This is also not for everybody as only 30% of the population between 17 and 25 is actually eligible.



In germany, we have -in my eyes - a good rule for this. We have legally granted free choice of religion for all people who reached the age of 14. Even when they can´t drive or vote, they are seen as responsible for their faith.
In my eyes, it is counterproductive to force a young adult to go to church. I had am episode in my life when I didn´t go and forcing would have made it even worse. Im happy my mum simply prayed for me all the years.

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I was going through this myself and can tell you that I am not responsible for any of my kid’s college educations. Not that I could afford it anyway. When I did the FAFSA for my daughter last month she was eligible for everything because parental contribution was 0. That was based on my income.



My second child, my daughter who came down here from her mom’s in Upstate NY just turned 18, felt that she was an adult and the very next day she never came home. Said that I am too controlling.

Mind you, her mother is the complete opposite of me. Let them do whatever they wanted. So, my daughter failed grade 9 and 10. Had issues with boys and wanted to live with me. That was August 2017. I warned her that I am strict, my mom and step-dad warned her as did her mom. She wanted to come down and she did. There were lots of fights between us because she wasn’t used to having rules. However, she went through both 10th and 11th grade in one year and was graduating this year.

So, she left this morning and I have no clue if she’ll finish high school or not.



If the parents are deemed to not make enough to pay, yes, that can happen. But she still had to submit your income info, and if you’d made more she would have been ineligible for a lot of aid. I know as the only child of reasonably well off parents, I wouldn’t have gotten much of any assistance because my parents were considered able to pay.

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At the age of reason, 7 years old I allow my children to make the decision themselves.

It’s very clear that they may die in mortal sin and have eternal hellfire if they choose to commit mortal sin.

Just like God, I will leave the decision in anyone beyond the age of reason in their own hands.

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