Guilt for believing in Catholicism

I feel guilt for believing most of what The Church teaches, although I’m a life-long Catholic, and my family has been Catholic forever.

The main reason: my wife left Catholicism and I feel that if I don’t agree with her beliefs (basically, very anti-Catholic, fundamentalist evangelical), I’m separating the family. We have two children, and my daughter, who is 8, has become very judgemental of other Catholics, although practically all of our extended family is Catholic ( in fact, my mother-in-law teaches Cathequism classes).

We were married in the Church, more out of tradition, so I know that doesnt mean anything to my wife. I feel Im becoming obsessed like her in religious issues. It is gettibg so vad, that every night I wake up around 2, 3 am, and cant sleep.

I need help.

I’m sorry that you have to go through this. Have you tried explaining the differences in beliefs and correcting any misconceptions?

For example, many of the Evangelicals I’m associated with often think Catholics worship Mary, I’ve made it clear to them that they do not do such a thing. I’ve explained to them the history of paintings, statues, etc and how they helped people focus on prayer in ancient times. People were illiterate and unable to read a Bible, statues and paintings would be extremely helpful for such a group.

Explain the Eucharist is rooted deep in history but if she does not accept it then there’s no reason to be aggressive towards each other. The Pope is a successor who can trace his lineage all the way back to the Apostles, and that’s why you believe he has authority.

None of these explanations should leave any room for aggressiveness one would think. I don’t know why Christians get mad at other Christians because of differences. I also find it ironic that we’re often more charitable to those without Religion, or of a different Religion then we are to our Christian brothers and sisters.

Ask why she believes what she believes. Perhaps she’ll say, “I believe that there is one mediator between God and man, and it’s Jesus Christ.” And you can shout, “Me too!” perhaps she will speak of Salvation through Christ, in that case you can agree with every point. Maybe some disagreements along the way, but nothing that should cause such trouble. Good luck!

As much as it is painful in this life, it would be better to be in disagreement with your wife than in disagreement with God. I’m very sorry for the stress that this change has placed on you and your family. I think it’s important to have some sort of understanding so that strife doesn’t occur; being respectful of your spouse is one, especially when one of you has made such a big change. YOU are not separating the family by remaining true to the Faith, true to the Church, and true to God.

Can you seek counseling with your priest? Maybe talk to him about your anger with her as part of your confession if that is the only or best time for you to initiate the discussion.

God bless and keep you all.

Awesome response dronald! I love that you share this with your evangelical friends. Thank you!


As to the statues, I would start quoting scripture right back. I would quote Numbers 21:8-9 where Moses was commanded to make the bronze serpent.

I’d quote Chronicles 3:1-17 with Solomon and his temple to Our Lord, where he was commanded to make all sorts of “graven images”, was it 12 oxen among other items?

Martin Luther changed the 10 commandments to read, “Thou shalt make no graven images”, but we have it as, “Thou shalt have no strange gods before me”.

What about the 2 cherabim Moses was commanded to make on the Ark of the Covenant?

By many faiths logic, Moses and King Solomon were guilty of violating the 10 commandments, or at least Martin Luther’s view of them.

Why should you feel guilty or that YOU are separating your family? If you were Catholic forever, got married in the Church and your wife was the one who left the Church, why should you be the one to feel any guilt over this whatsoever?

I remember this inquiry from several months ago. I am certain, if someone dug it up, they would find the responses today pretty much the same as they were back then.
The most cogent is that, despite the fact that the correspondent is still in love with his wife, he should not endanger his soul by forsaking the Catholic Church.
This correspondent also comes off as being dominated psychologically by his wife. Part of his trouble is not so much as religion, as it is a power play by his wife and her friends.

Well, it’s not only your own soul which is at stake here but also the children, which is a sad matter.

If you leave Catholicism, where will they ever hear about it?

No, hard as it is, it’s critical you keep your faith, happen what may.

protestants believe what they do because some body told them to think that way. It is the teaching of man. Then they get mad at us for believing the Churches teachings. Is it smarter to believe the teachings of a human who often is still learning about their bible, who may be a brand new Christian, or to believe the Church which has compiled over 4000 years of wisdom? Scripture even says the church is the pillar & foundation of the truth! 1 Timothy 3:15 Why? because The Church walked with Jesus daily. The Catholic Church lived the new testament, wrote it down, compiled the books, and preserved it for all mankind. How is it that those that profess to love & live the Bible spit on The Church which gave it to them? The Catholic Church is as much a gift to us, as the Bible! :slight_smile:

Actually that’s not fair at all, and I don’t think that’s helping the OP or is it fair to his wife. It’s easy to be dismissive until it’s someone you love on the other side. My mind is my own, and my rule of faith is Scripture. By contrast it’s hard talking to a Catholic about religion because you are required to submit intellect and will to the magisterium.

[quote=ClearWater]Martin Luther changed the 10 commandments to read, “Thou shalt make no graven images”, but we have it as, “Thou shalt have no strange gods before me”.

I’m afraid this simply betrays a strong prejudice. The Catholic numbering of the 10 Commandments follows Augustine’s. Reformed Christians number the 10 Commandments like the Septuagint, which is older. Lutherans actually number the commandments exactly like Catholics, only swapping 9 and 10 around. :slight_smile:

ClearWater, in what sense was the bronze serpent a proto-relic? The context of the command for Moses to make the snake must be emphasized. God was judging the Israelites for their rebellion. Perhaps the bronze snake symbolized to them their own deserved punishment (death) and at the same time God’s own mysterious provision for their atonement. Based on Jesus’ teaching, the bronze snake was obviously a foreshadowing of the substitutionary death of Christ in behalf of sinners. However, in their original situation, the Israelites - who had been dying in large numbers because of snakes sent to punish them - could hardly have thought of the bronze snake as a positive ‘visual representation of God’ (CCC 2130). Veneration would have been impossible in this instance. Viewed in this manner, the bronze snake was not a exception that somehow opened the way for a new economy of images in the New Testament. And even if over time you say it became a ‘visual representation of God’, the good and righteous King Hezekiah destroys the snake when the Israelites idolise it. 2 Kings 18:4-5. In its original context the snake was no icon, and if it became one later it was destroyed because of it.

And in what sense is the Ark a proto-relic? The cherubim were not representations of God. Rather, God decided to meet with Moses there “between the two cherubim that are over the ark.” This was a special privilege that God gave to Moses, and through him to the Israelites. But it was a private affair not shared with the common people. As the OT records make abundantly clear, the ark of the covenant was a symbol of the utter holiness of God. Consequently, the ark was kept away from the people. It was normally hidden from view within the Holy of Holies. Even the high priest only entered once a year (Hebrews 7:9). During transport, it was covered by a shielding curtain (Numbers 4:4-5) and the people followed it from a distance of a thousand yards (Joshua 3:3-4). No one was allowed to touch it. These days, Catholics are invited to venerate relics - indeed the whole point of a relic is veneration - which is the antithesis of how the ark was treated.

You evidently want to make the case that God permitted exceptions to His own prohibition, so that you can make exceptions too. Except the Catholic church make exceptions to such a point it overthrows the prohibition altogether and reduces what God said to nothing.

Catolico_Romano, the key doctrine on which everything hangs is how you define the “Church”. Authority is a big issue, so we Protestants have to prove that sola scriptura was the practice of the early church. And that is easily done. The pop-apologetic retort from Catholics that “sola scriptura contradicts itself, because it is not taught in the Sacred Scriptures” is a straw man. The full sense of sola scriptura is the application of the formal sufficiency of Scripture to a time in which there are no other sources of direct propositional revelation: for example, a time when the prophets are dead and Jesus is ascended. And the early church certainly believed in the formal sufficiency of Scripture. Catholicism denies it.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

You’re doing that backwards. Instead of focusing on differences, focus on what you have in common. Her church accepts the Nicene Creed, right? Yours does too. There. Work from that.

Besides, what is the problem with an inter-faith marriage exactly? You go to you church, your wife goes to her church, and all you have to do is work out a mutually satisfactory compromise; both of you will have to yield something. If you two cannot do that, then I believe that your relationship has deeper issues which needs to be addressed first. Try counseling (and God forbid you from going to a therapist associated with either church).

And finally, nobody endangers their salvation by going to a wrong church. Remember, it’s God himself who will save you, not any intermediaries.

God bless you, and good luck.

Thank you all for your replies, and prayers! This is what I’m going to do: I will go to Mass by myself, and continue learning about my beautiful Roman Catholic faith, without arguing with my wife.

Regarding my children, I won’t try to take them to Mass at this point, because, as some of you mentioned, there are issues between my wife and I that go beyond beliefs. It is better, for now, that I let things the way they are. I will continue to teach my children my beliefs, and my wife, hers. We have more in common than differences, so that is a positive.

I know some of you won’t agree with my decision, but, believe me, this will only be temporary, and it is for the best of my family. I want peace.

Thanks, again!
En Cristo,
Catolico Romano

Dronald again you are the man. Great post!:thumbsup:

As for my opinion. Love your wife as you vowed before God Almighty to do. Be a man and never abandon her. Do not beat her over the head with your convictions. Women like example not idle talk so live your faith as a man in Christ and don’t use this issue to allow the evil one to drive a wedge between you. Pray for her, ask for the intercession of our Blessed Mother and for you the rod of iron that is St. Joseph. He protected the holy family from all harm, there is no evidence they ever wanted, he will guide you as a man, as a father and as a husband. Women come around when you least expect them to but never because you won an argument–no man ever wins an argument with his wife, ever.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit