How can I get my children into the Catholic Church without entering it myself?


#1

I am an Orthodox Christian and my husband Catholic. We married and had our children baptized in an Orthodox church because their godparents are Orthodox. We attend Mass each week in our local Catholic church.

I do not want to convert as I do not want to disrespect my parents, but I want to convert my children who are now 3 years old and 9 months. Is this possible and how?


#2

All that needs to be done is for you and your husband to meet with your husband’s pastor and request the proper procedure. The children have already received baptism – and perhaps confirmation and First Communion, depending on the church in which they were initiated. Baptism and confirmation will not be repeated, but the children may certainly be received into the Church if you and your husband request it.

Although you do not exactly ask the question about your conversion, you do mention that your reason for remaining Orthodox – despite attending a Catholic church and having your children become Catholic – is out of respect for your parents. That is a very noble reason, but it is, in itself, insufficient. The reason that we are Christian is because we are disciples of Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If he has founded a Church and we are to be true followers of him, then we must enter the Church he founded no matter the personal cost
(cf. Luke 18:28-30).

If you have reason to believe that Catholicism is true – and why else would you entrust your children to the Catholic Church? – then you owe it to Christ to investigate the claims of the Catholic Church. If you discover that it is true, then you must join yourself. It may be difficult for your parents, but you must trust God to grant them the grace to one day understand your decision.

Keep in mind that if you do discover the claims of Catholicism to be true, you could enter an Eastern Catholic church that is in communion with the Holy See. That would be an acceptable means of honoring the Eastern Christian heritage you have received from your family. It is even possible that if you do convert, your husband and children could join an Eastern Catholic church with you should they desire to do so. I recommend asking your husband’s pastor for a recommendation of a local Eastern Catholic priest with whom you can speak. Your local Roman Catholic diocese also can help you find an Eastern Catholic church near you. God bless.


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