How do I handle "anti-Catholic" family & friends?

Catholic Friends: I could use some help. Since my conversion Easter Vigil, my family & friends have been bombarding me with such negative stuff, i.e., “the Catholic Religion is a false one, leading only to a Godless eternity”…, “We, Catholics believe we are saved only by good works and endless ceremonies”…Why one friend sent me an article from a Church and their article on “Roman Catholicism”. It was SO unbelievably anti-Catholic, I could not believe it! Not only did the say the above, but much more.

My question, of course I pray for these people, and I have tried to be loving, and not argumentative, but I keep getting e-mails, etc. They are so filled with heretical stuff, and their churches are clearly cults, and so very hateful towards Catholics. They have all been utterly brain-washed in their thinking. And these are my long-time friends and relatives!!! Anything I have shared, has only come back thrice as long, with hateful stuff, and plain un-truths. I’m not sure what I should do. Not respond?, tell them they are the wrong ones, try to answer their questions?, etc. They don’t seem to want to even to listen or read anything. Am I casting “pearls before swine” here? You know some of these Prots. They are completely and utterly non-intellectual, “reading an article? What’s that? I don’t need to”! “I already know Catholics are from hell, and not saved”…Yikes. Because I am their family and long-time friends, I sorta feel obligated to respond. But every e-mail I write very simple, non-threatening and loving, comes back hateful, 5 pgs long, sending anti-Catholic stuff.

HELP!

Any suggestions???

[quote=sparkle]Catholic Friends: I could use some help. Since my conversion Easter Vigil, my family & friends have been bombarding me with such negative stuff, i.e., “the Catholic Religion is a false one, leading only to a Godless eternity”…, “We, Catholics believe we are saved only by good works and endless ceremonies”…Why one friend sent me an article from a Church and their article on “Roman Catholicism”. It was SO unbelievably anti-Catholic, I could not believe it! Not only did the say the above, but much more.

My question, of course I pray for these people, and I have tried to be loving, and not argumentative, but I keep getting e-mails, etc. They are so filled with heretical stuff, and their churches are clearly cults, and so very hateful towards Catholics. They have all been utterly brain-washed in their thinking. And these are my long-time friends and relatives!!! Anything I have shared, has only come back thrice as long, with hateful stuff, and plain un-truths. I’m not sure what I should do. Not respond?, tell them they are the wrong ones, try to answer their questions?, etc. They don’t seem to want to even to listen or read anything. Am I casting “pearls before swine” here? You know some of these Prots. They are completely and utterly non-intellectual, “reading an article? What’s that? I don’t need to”! “I already know Catholics are from hell, and not saved”…Yikes. Because I am their family and long-time friends, I sorta feel obligated to respond. But every e-mail I write very simple, non-threatening and loving, comes back hateful, 5 pgs long, sending anti-Catholic stuff.

HELP!

Any suggestions???
[/quote]

Hey, this sounds familiar! I was in a group online just talking about Christian faith stuff and after telling them I was going to be Catholic, they bombarded me with garbage! All I can say is LEARN THE FAITH and pray for them!

[quote=sparkle]Catholic Friends: I could use some help. Since my conversion Easter Vigil, my family & friends have been bombarding me with such negative stuff, i.e., “the Catholic Religion is a false one, leading only to a Godless eternity”…, “We, Catholics believe we are saved only by good works and endless ceremonies”…Why one friend sent me an article from a Church and their article on “Roman Catholicism”. It was SO unbelievably anti-Catholic, I could not believe it! Not only did the say the above, but much more.

My question, of course I pray for these people, and I have tried to be loving, and not argumentative, but I keep getting e-mails, etc. They are so filled with heretical stuff, and their churches are clearly cults, and so very hateful towards Catholics. They have all been utterly brain-washed in their thinking. And these are my long-time friends and relatives!!! Anything I have shared, has only come back thrice as long, with hateful stuff, and plain un-truths. I’m not sure what I should do. Not respond?, tell them they are the wrong ones, try to answer their questions?, etc. They don’t seem to want to even to listen or read anything. Am I casting “pearls before swine” here? You know some of these Prots. They are completely and utterly non-intellectual, “reading an article? What’s that? I don’t need to”! “I already know Catholics are from hell, and not saved”…Yikes. Because I am their family and long-time friends, I sorta feel obligated to respond. But every e-mail I write very simple, non-threatening and loving, comes back hateful, 5 pgs long, sending anti-Catholic stuff.

HELP!

Any suggestions???
[/quote]

I get some of the same stuff. I have been trying to cope with it and I just say to myself that Christ’s Church would be attacked and persecuted, and I accept it as my cross to bear, well one of many, but it’s all good. Don’t worry and keep praying.

DU

Check out 1 Peter 3:15.

And of course pray for them.

I would also get new friends if they won’t respect your faith:nope: . As for family, you’re stuck with 'em:p .

If it’s emails you’re talking about, you might have a standard reply saying that you don’t have time to respond personally to every issue, but are providing a link so they can find the true Catholic position, if they are really serious about it. Then give the link for the Catholic Answers home page: catholic.com/

For personal encounters, you might want to lay in a supply of Catholic Answers tracts.

Thanks so much “Snowman” and “JimG”–for your replies. How I treasure what anyone says, for I am truly going thru a trial here…

Yes, I Peter 3:15 is awesome. Initially I thought the post said I Peter 2:15: which I found to be ever neater.

I Peter 2:15: ***For it is the will of God that by doing good, you may silence the ignorance of foolish people". ***


Thank you my Catholic Friends for replying. JimG: Do you have some specific recommendations or tracts or places I might direct them?

I have found only recently a marvelous website, which has links to just every topic: www.catscans.com/catholicsite. It’s unbelievable. Best I’ve found so far.

Thanks again.

[quote=sparkle]Catholic Friends: I could use some help. . I sorta feel obligated to respond. But every e-mail I write very simple, non-threatening and loving, comes back hateful, 5 pgs long, sending anti-Catholic stuff.

HELP!

Any suggestions???
[/quote]

My own family is “Catholic”. Yet when I reverted back, I’ve had nothing but arguments. I have to admit that I weilded my Church like a club at times. So I’ve learned that I can’t do anything. Jesus can do everything. So I PRAY!!!:gopray2:

  1. Pray - for yourself, for them, for our Popes intentions, for our Holy Mother’s intentions.
  2. Ask them if they have a question. When they actually pose a real question - then respond. Here are some sites you can cut and paste from: catholic answers - of course, www.catholicdefense.com, www.newadvent.org.
  3. I can be rather blunt at times (that’s why I rely so much on prayer) but I might ask them why they are so threatened? Jesus started the Catholic Church. So why are they being so mean? Aren’t they supposed to be Christians???

God Bless,:angel1:
Donna

Buy them a copy of the book(s) “Surprised by the Truth”, reply briefly with short concise answers to their questions if they have reasonable questions.

If they do not wish to learn how you came to convert, reply simply by acknowledging their concerns, and just saying, I trust that Jesus and the Holy Spirit will lead me to the Truth, and for me that Truth leads to the Catholic faith. Always say may God bless you and lead you to His Truth as well, and that you will continue praying for them as you hope they will pray for you as well.

We pray to the same God and believe in the same Savior. For them to claim otherwise is unChrist-like. It hurts to lose some friends who you thought you had for life.

Tell them you would be happy to discuss questions about Catholicism if you are up to it. If you are not, politely say that you would prefer not to discuss religion with them but they may visit this forum if they have any questions.

Some folks are only comfortable in the faith they were raised in, and no amount of discusssion will change their minds. IF they are open to hearing about us great, if they are not, nothing you can say will change their minds.

Christ’s Peace, wc

[quote=sparkle]Since my conversion Easter Vigil, my family & friends have been bombarding me with such negative stuff, i.e., “We, Catholics believe we are saved only by good works and endless ceremonies”…

Any suggestions???
[/quote]

My suggestion would be to refrain from comments like “I believe I am living a life in accord with the will of God, one that is worthy of salvation.”* That most likely will invite a response.


:wave: sparkle:

I married into this very situation. Prayerfully - my husband supports us 100% - for our family being Catholic (although he attends Mass with us weekly and on holydays - he hasn’t yet converted … all in God’s time).

My best advise to you is to be the best catholic you can be. This will squash any bad press that they have … and most probably received from ex-catholics or not very good catholics.

Be a shining example … for all of us!

Good Luck and Welcome to the best faith there is!

Also - pray!!!

My answer would be to love them. Our Church is full of the love of Christ. The only reason Protestant churches are able to survive is by indocrinating its members in fear, hate and distortion of our beliefs. If they were not full of fear and hate for the Catholic Church, nothing would prevent them from discovering the Truth. I amend that - love them and pray for them.

**Matthew ****5:11 **"Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

**Matthew ****5:44 **But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

**Matthew 10:23 **When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes.

**Romans ****12:14 **Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

I’m back because I’ve been thinking about you and praying for you and your struggle. It occurs to me that when you receive their e-mails, read the articles and then respond with your own articles, you are giving them the impression that your faith is open to question. I would reply each time:

“Thank you for the love behind your intentions. I have found the True Church that Jesus established here on earth. That is all that I need to know.”

Well, if your friends and family are Muslims, I suppose so.

ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2MUSLM.HTM

But some Christians actually confess the Athanasian Creed, and actually believe that the god of Islam (i.e., the same one as the Catholic Church) actually is different than the Triune God that was personified in Jesus Christ.

Here is what the Koran has to say about those who believe in Christ:

Shakir 2:120] And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah’s guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.

**Shakir **2:135] And they say: Be Jews or Christians, you will be on the right course. Say: Nay! (we follow) the religion of Ibrahim, the Hanif, and he was not one of the polytheists.

**Shakir **5:51] O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.

Shakir 9:30] And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!

I’d stay away from the “just like Muslims, you guys worship the same God as the Catholic Church” argument.

…develope a thick skin… be patient, be kind, be chairtable, and remember the Holy Ghost changes peoples hearts, not us… … most of all, be a great catholic example…

other than that, …leave an egg in the sun for 4 days, and you would be surprised… nevermind:D

Peace:thumbsup:

One last tip. Avoid raising any of the following topics during dinner:

The Church Teaches Ex Cathedra: “There is but one Universal Church of the Faithful, outside of which no one at all can be saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.)

The Church Teaches Ex Cathedra: “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)

The Church Teaches Ex Cathedra: “The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, and heretics, and schismatics, can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire “which was prepared for the devil, and his angels,” (Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this Ecclesiastical Body, that only those remaining within this unity can profit from the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and that they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, almsdeeds, and other works of Christian piety and duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441)

The last one might really be touchy if your family and friends are Jews, heretics or schisimatics.

Hi Sparkle,

I have pondered this question myself. Not that I am currently going through it, but I am breaking away from the Protestant church I have attended for three years because I am coming home to the Catholic Church. This month will be the month when I am finished up with a committment I need to follow through on (driving a visually impaired woman to the last sessions of a Bible study we both signed up for, prior to my decision to return to the CC). So, I will need to tell my friends from this church about my decision very soon, and I am dreading their response.

I think a combination of JimG’s idea and Eden’s would be the best combination:

"Thank you for the love behind your intentions. I have found the True Church that Jesus established here on earth. That is all that I need to know."
catholic.com/

With Christ’s love,
Sparkle (obviously you would sign your real name here!)

That way you let them know that you are not open to debate, but yet give them a resource in case they truly wonder and are not just completely closed-minded. I think I will do this very thing if I start getting e-mails such as that.

Aunt Martha

Pray,love them and forgive them. Jesus said ,pick up your cross daily and folllow Me, did you expect Him not to share His cross with those He is so fond of ? and Loves. Persecution is just part of it , " they hated Me, they will hate you " , This is part of a great hug from Our Lord Jesus . Think of Our Lord within YOU in commmunion , dwell on Him,and nothing anyone says or does can harm You or should it shake you. Bless Your Heart , Praise God for the Awesome Gift of Him , and also Praise Him for the Cross we may have. Love YOU in Christ Jesus

Hi Sparkle,
Pearls before swine. I wouldn’t even read the emails - I’d hit delete as soon as I realized that they were the tired old Catholic Church is wrong blah blah blah. I wouldn’t even respond. That only encourages more. If you are silent about it, they will eventually realize their tactic isn’t making a dent & they will stop. (with the emails anyhow)
Hang tough! :slight_smile: CM

[quote=ElijahsSpirit]Pray,love them and forgive them. Jesus said ,pick up your cross daily and folllow Me, did you expect Him not to share His cross with those He is so fond of ? and Loves. Persecution is just part of it , " they hated Me, they will hate you " , This is part of a great hug from Our Lord Jesus . Think of Our Lord within YOU in commmunion , dwell on Him,and nothing anyone says or does can harm You or should it shake you. Bless Your Heart , Praise God for the Awesome Gift of Him , and also Praise Him for the Cross we may have. Love YOU in Christ Jesus
[/quote]

I love this advice and I hold so closely to this!!! And what everyone has said so far. Yes, I know I am being persecuted, and I know to expect it too!

OK–now one more thing here…how do I handle when they start inviting me to dinner, etc., to “come for the weekend”, etc. I know it’s only to blast into me for my conversion…I think whoever said “make new friends” is in a way right. For don’t you just know your true friends when they start getting nasty in a time like this? I haven’t realized how truly uncharitable supposed Christians really are. Their true faces are becoming so visible in this time. With God’s help, he will help me and continue to help me in being kind, loving, and always willing to account for the hope that is within.

I suppose just say “I’m sorry but I cannot make it for dinner”, etc…but thx for the invite…etc…what would you all do? Have any of you come from a totally anti-Catholic Prot. environment?

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