How should I tell them

After much (read years) of thought, study, prayers, meetings with pastors and priests, I’ve decided to take the final step and leave the Catholic Church. Any thoughts on how, when, and where I should break the news to my parents. I know my dad will be fine with it. My mother will be hurt. But, I know, without any shadow of doubt, that it’s the right thing.

There is no way to do this, you may chose to walk away from Christ, to stop the practice of Christianity, however - you will remain Catholic through eternity.

Prayers that you turn your eyes to Christ, renounce Satan and love Jesus forever.

How old are you? If you are an adult, you will only hurt your parents by flinging such at them. If you are a child, you must be obedient to your parents.

I wish I had “magic” words to offer you. I am not sure of a nice way to deliver devastating news. The same question can be asked of what is the best way to tell parents that their child has passed away? There really is no way to do this without causing pain.

I want to thank you for coming here and sharing your story. Whatever drove you away from the church I am sorry that it happened. Obviously you are a very caring and loving person because you are reluctant to hurt your mother…the Catholic church needs people like you!

I will keep you in my prayers. We are all on a journey my friend, may the love of Christ lead you to him. Please take care as best as you can.

From someone that has been there, I told my mother face to face that I was joining my husband’s church and told her why. She tried to accept my decision but was hurt. After 2years I came back to The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church to become the best Catholic I could be and to learn all I can about the Church and it’s teachings. My son has done the same thing to me so I can truly feel what my mother was feeling when I did this to her. If you haven’t found the truth of what you are searching for it is in the Holy Mother Church. Seek and you will find. I understand that we all have to take the path we choose for a reason so do what you feel you must do but just know that I had to live with regret and heartache for a long time before I could forgive myself for what I had I done.

Peace be with you,


There is no easy way to do this. It’s completely up to you how you tell your family. I pray you will rethink your decision.

I can’t help it.

I find it very odd that a person would come to a Catholic forum, post as a ‘Trial Member’ (which means you haven’t had many posts up to this point) and ask how to tell your mother you are leaving the church.

Did you expect someone to offer, ‘take her a dozen roses’ or something?

This just screams of ‘I wonder what they will say’, much more than, ‘I have an earnest concern and would like some help’ :rolleyes:

If, OTOH, you are sincere (and you may very well be), I would only hope that you consider why your mother would not be ok. Wouldn’t she want what she thinks is best for you? Are you leaving the church to ‘find yourself’, or because you have already found some other faith community? If it’s for another community, what is it that is there you were unable to find here :confused:

You said you talked to priests and such, yet you still want to leave… and you’ve got CAF, and you still want to leave… I dunno. I just can’t help but say that I get a sinking suspician that this is not something you’ve given as much thought as you’ve suggested. :frowning:

My friend.

I am sorry about your choice. It’s never easy to leave the faith you where raised in . My prayers and thoughts are with you.

Remind them that no matter what, you are their child-and you will love them forever. Realize that you should never, ever be arrogant towards them. You should love them forever, and realize that they will love you forever as well.

There are no words that can make it easy. If your under age 18, then you will have to grudingly do what they say-and I know that hurts. You don’t have to beleive, and they shouldn’t force you to go, and they seriously shouldn’t force you to take Communion.

If your over 18, it will hurt them, but tell them softly. Tell them why. Make sure you know why, and it’s not just emotions or anger.

My heart breaks for you. The Catholic faith has been and is one of the best things in my life. Sure it’s not perfect because we are not perfect people but you have all these friends here and in heaven, called Saints and Angels that can pray for you. To give up all that love is unthinkable to me. I wish I could hug you.
Love, Jane11

I’m curious, why do you feel you need to tell your parents? I would reconsider telling them at all, it serves no purpose. If your mother is a conservative Catholic, this news might make her constantly worry about the state of your soul.

It’s understandable that you want to talk about your new beliefs/lack thereof, but I think you have to be practical and compassionate. Doubtless there are other people you can discuss your new worldview with, people who aren’t going to be thrust into worrying about your eternal salvation.

Actually. I came here to see if talking with people and reading conversations would do anything to change my mind — the last chance as it were. And, to be honest. It did nothing but put me totally at peace with my decision. I hope I will always be a friend of the Catholic Church but I can’t see being an active part of the Catholic Church. I don’t plan to just no longer go to mass but to formally defect, although it appears even that means less than it once did.

If I or anyone else has hastened your exit, I apologize on behalf of them.

I’ll still pray for you.

I was still a teenager when I told my parents that I was converting to Catholicism. I just slipped it in during a dinner conversation, and my mother left the table without returning. It took her a week before she could really speak to me again. My parents both come from anti-Catholic backgrounds, and were shocked and angered by the news.

I’m sure that it will be the same way with you. You have to be honest, give reasons, and be open to the sadness that they will likely express. My heart breaks, however, to hear that you are leaving this beautiful Church. I went through such a struggle to enter it that I can’t believe that anyone would want to abandon such a gift!

I will say a prayer for you and your parents tonight. May God bless you as we begin this Lenten season.

I meant, and mean, no offense with my reply :o

I was just being as sincere as possible. I just have a very hard time (personally) with a person who has it all (the Catholic Church) and chooses to move away.

You are not the first, and probably, most likely, will not be the last, or even one of the last.

On that same honest note: I hope that this Forum can remain a friendly hospitable place for you to come and discuss, open and honestly, matters of life and faith. :wink:

As a part of CAF, I will not, and I can’t see any other real Catholic, helping you to leave the church. It’s as simple as that. If you want to leave, it’s not our choice, and as Catholics, we want to try to help others to get too heaven. :slight_smile:

Wait. Let me get this straight. You came to a bunch of strangers, without warning and brought up a very difficult and painful subject for some of them, setting them up to react to your post and then you come back and announce that their unknowing reactions now are responsible for your decision? Yet when you posed your question, giving little information about your choice, you didn’t warn them that their reactions would serve to either change your mind and heart or validate your choice.

That’s not playing fair. :frowning:

I know your mother’s pain. Why don’t you first slap her and punch her in the stomach before you do it. It will hurt less. If her faith is important to her, seeing you formally reject her deepest ideas, the greatest treasure she nurtured in her own life and tried to hand on to you like a priceless family fortune, a spiritual fortune, and to see you renounce it… well, you’re also renouncing that which has carried her through her own pain, sorrow and tears and joys and birth and death and illness and marriage. Things you don’t even know about maybe. And you’re going to tell her that you choose to live without it, and without the graces that she knows made the difference between going on and quitting. And forever after she will worry herself sick about your immortal soul, and about how you will manage to get through the things in life you don’t even know will come along and knock you down. She knows her faith is the only thing that sustained her.

Every holiday, she will attend Mass with the sick, sad feeling in her stomach that somewhere out there you are not going. On Fridays in Lent she will think of you eating meat and it will make her sad as she remembers how she carefully made you meatless meals. She will worry every day that you will die outside of the grace of God.

Is there any kind way to tell someone that what they value most means little to you?

Just know she’ll love you and pray for you till she dies, hoping you’ll find your way back to what she believes most dearly. You know you’re going to hurt her and you want to find out what from us? How to tell her this and not hurt her? When she gave birth to you she was bringing a new soul in the world to give back to God. Whatever led you to this decision, she will think that she didn’t do enough to foster love of God and the Church in your heart. It will add to her pain and guilt. Just be kind when you see her tears and shock. Don’t lash out at her for reacting in pain.

A better thing to do would be to go to them and say you are considering leaving the church and you feel lost and you need their prayers. And be open to their attempts to keep you in the fold. Know it’s an act of love on their part. Don’t go in and announce it as an irrevocable fact. Have some mercy on your poor mother’s heart, please.

OP< i very briefly read through your previous thirty or something posts and i conclude (perhaps wrongly? if so, please forgive) that your husband is happily Lutheran.

perhaps it’s to his church you wish to defect (your terminology. i hope you don’t mind me using it.)

if so, please consider fulfilling this charitable request-- please describe, in addition to the wonderfulness feeling of family unity of faith, what article of Faith, or what teaching on morals does the Lutheran Church offer that attracts you, engages you more then the catholic teaching on the same?

it isnt my intent to engage in debate over the particular article, it’s a sincere question to help my understanding of your decision.

i am a parent of adult non-Catholics. and i’m a parent of sincerely practicing and believing adult Catholic children and sincerely practicing and believing young Catholic children.

i can tell you this-- my prayers will not cease until my sons come back into the church. that they may assert they’re happy worshiping in some other tradition deters my prayers not one iota. and yet i love them as deeply as i ever could. and they know it.

i hope, depite your mother’s potentially deep sorrow, thAT she still accepts you and shows love to you.

BTW - the Church has removed the “formal defection”. Once Catholic, Always Catholic!

Wait, on the thread about Anne Hathaway you said you were ‘ambivalent’ about the Church because of its ‘treatment of gays’.

Now I don’t mean to pry but from that thread only I didn’t exactly get the impression that you understood the teaching.

You see, if you’re leaving the Church because you are ‘sure’ that it is teaching something totally wrong and you just cannot accept this teaching. . .you should be sure that you are rejecting what the Church teaches and not what you ‘think’ it teaches.

I can understand a person rejecting a ‘faith’ that ‘hated’ people based on sex, or race, or ‘class’. Because to ‘hate’ a person for such a reason would be a hateful teaching. . .not a teaching of God.

But does the Catholic faith really ‘hate’ gays? Do the people (and they aren’t from the Church) who bleat “you homophobic jerks” truly give the reason behind the teaching?

Suppose you saw a man lying on a hospital bed in terrible pain with a open, stinking wound. Suddenly he was surrounded by people, one of whom drew a sharp knife through that wound. The man’s screams redouble. What would you think? That this poor man, already suffering, was being unfairly and unreasonably tortured instead of having that wound ‘left alone’ or bandaged?

Well, wouldn’t you be surprised the next day to see the man sitting up, able to take fluids, with an open but rapidly shrinking, cleaner wound? By taking that knife and temporarily causing an increase in the pain, that man’s toxic wound would be emptied and cleaned and then healing could finally begin.

If you sat back and refused to let him be ‘cut’ because it would cause ‘more pain’ and you were so tender-hearted you couldn’t stand to ‘inflict it’, that man would have wound up in septic shock and probably died. The action that seemed more ‘caring’ would actually have been fatal.

So if you have run into a ‘harsh teaching’ of the Church that just has you tsk-tsking about how awful and "UnChristian’ the Church is to group X or sin Y. . .think about whether the Church is trying to heal a wound and bring a person back to health. . .while your ‘loving’ attempt to ‘let it be’ might be fatally poisoning the ones you love.

It’s not easy to say something like this. Nobody likes to be cast as the meanie, the villian. And it’s so easy to assume that because somebody says a ‘hard truth’ that he does so ‘unlovingly’, and that the person who is saying the ‘warm fuzzy things’ is the real ‘loving’ person. Everybody wants to think only of the Jesus who said ‘loving things’ and forget all about the Jesus who whipped the money changers, called the Pharisees vipers and whited sepulchers, and spoke of wishing to see a fire blazing on the earth. . .not because he HATED any of those people but precisely because He LOVED them, and they needed the HARSH TRUTH to be saved.

I was wondering. Is it better to be a devout Lutheran, Methodist, etc. or to be be a Catholic in name only who does not really believe the disciplines and practices a Catholic is supposed to believe in?

I was wondering. Is it better to be a devout Lutheran, Methodist, etc. or to be be a Catholic in name only who does not really believe the disciplines and practices a Catholic is supposed to believe?

As St Thomas More said, a weak faith is better than a strong heresy. We can never suggest our sister commit heresy.

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