How to deal with anti Catholic relatives?


#1

At the moment I'm having to live with my buddhist father and step mother who are anti Catholic. I am looking to move out as soon as I have a job but unfortunately this might not be for another few months.

The arguments usually start when there is a news item on the TV ... the articles can range from Catholic abuse scandals to the Pope visiting a country. They then start on a ramble about how the pope knew about the abuse and how Catholics control everyone in church etc, etc. I try to point out what I know and have even offered to share some articles with them but they are not interested as it will have been written from a Catholic perspective which to them = brainwashing. Then the argument finishes.

Then last night their was an article about Mary Mackillop (a nun about to be the first saint in Australia and she also spent time in NZ) and he was saying about how it's all rubbish etc, ect and I pointed out to him that it offended me yet continued!!

Then even worse there was an article about these two gay men using IVF to have kids and I said quietly it was a sin. Normally I would not say things like this (only in my head) but a priest said at Mass last week that we should stand up for what was right and wrong etc.

Not I'm not sure what to do with my family ... I know they are not likely to change but what can I say or do in the future? Should I pray for them to change their behaviour?

Also I do not belittle their belief system even though I know in my heart it is wrong. I just wish they would do the same.


#2

[quote="penguinchicky, post:1, topic:216479"]
At the moment I'm having to live with my buddhist father and step mother who are anti Catholic. I am looking to move out as soon as I have a job but unfortunately this might not be for another few months.

The arguments usually start when there is a news item on the TV ... the articles can range from Catholic abuse scandals to the Pope visiting a country. They then start on a ramble about how the pope knew about the abuse and how Catholics control everyone in church etc, etc. I try to point out what I know and have even offered to share some articles with them but they are not interested as it will have been written from a Catholic perspective which to them = brainwashing. Then the argument finishes.

Then last night their was an article about Mary Mackillop (a nun about to be the first saint in Australia and she also spent time in NZ) and he was saying about how it's all rubbish etc, ect and I pointed out to him that it offended me yet continued!!

Then even worse there was an article about these two gay men using IVF to have kids and I said quietly it was a sin. Normally I would not say things like this (only in my head) but a priest said at Mass last week that we should stand up for what was right and wrong etc.

Not I'm not sure what to do with my family ... I know they are not likely to change but what can I say or do in the future? Should I pray for them to change their behaviour?

Also I do not belittle their belief system even though I know in my heart it is wrong. I just wish they would do the same.

[/quote]

Yes, you should pray, and try to keep a low profile. Getting into disputes when them is not likely to change their minds, nor is it going to help you in any way. You can certainly explain your POV if you believe they are ready to listen, but if they are only baiting you into responding so that they can then harangue you some more, there's really no point, is there?

Get a calendar and start marking the days until you can move with a red X. It helps me realize that time really does pass even though it seems to drag sometimes.

God bless you for standing up for your faith.


#3

Peace in the home will only come from your humility and bearing the cross. Live the faith, if you cannot explain or defend it against your father and step mother. Be helpful around the home. Do extra things to assist. Do not engage in theological discussion, but in theological behavior of loving, forgiving - quietly, helping etc.
Show them what it means to be Catholic.


#4

*Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. *Matt. 7:6

As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words–go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. Matt. 10:12-15

There gets to be a point when your point has been made clear, it clearly has been rejected, and you can keep your peace *in *peace.

So you might try this: When you get up in the morning and thank God for the day, ask that the Holy Spirit rain peace on your household. Ask for the gifts of the Holy Spirit–wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord–and for the fruits of the Holy Spirit–which are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity. Make it your daily resolve to be at the disposal of the Holy Spirit, and then you do not need to worry what to say, for the Lord said, “When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matt. 10:19-20

Do not forget what Mother Theresa said:God did not call me to be successful. God called me to be faithful
And what St. Francis said: Preach always. Use words, if necessary.


#5

It's simple-be pleasent. If you can't, don't talk about religion. If they insist, simply ignore them.

Pray alot too. That helps in huge ways.


#6

I laughed when I read this post because my fiance was a very committed Tibetan Buddhist when we met. In fact, we knew we were meant for each other when we sat at a picnic table discussing the parallels in practice between Buddhism and Catholicism until 1 AM.

Have you had a discussion about how uncomfortable their talk makes you, or have you just had in-the-moment sparring matches? I would open a conversation at a neutral time (i.e. not while you're already fighting about something) and tell them that it hurts you when they attack your most deeply held beliefs. Say that you are committed to being respectful of their belief system and hope they will make the commitment mutual. If it doesn't work, I'm afraid it's their house and you have to put up with it. But, as Buddhists observe, attachment (e.g. to the idea that you will be treated fairly) is the cause of suffering, and acceptance is the key to peace. But genuine acceptance doesn't imply that everything is acceptable. It simply recognizes what is.

My fiance entered the catechumenate last Sunday ;)


#7

Thank You all for your suggestions and sorry I’ve taken so long to reply :slight_smile:

Am taking each day as it comes and praying for an end to conflict soon. I just remind myself how blessed I am to be a Catholic.

God Bless :slight_smile:


#8

The arguments and justifications can be wearying but honestly, being challenged about my faith is what kicked me from coasting into full-fledged living my faith. My advice is this: read, post here, devote as much time as you can be bothered to apologetics, reading the catechism and, particularly on the issue of sexuality which will no doubt come up, Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body.


#9

Pray for them.

My brother is a typical western racist. He hates everyone who isn't like him. He hates Polish people and my wife is Polish. He hates asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, our great grandfather was an illegal immigrant. My brother is almost 40.

I don't let it bother me.

They are always slagging off God, the church and the pope on television here in England, it hurts and I know my brother leans on their side than on our family's catholic side.

Some people are just ignorant. Try to change their opinion but learn to give up and just walk away and pray.


#10

My Protestant mother and I just have an agreement that we don't discuss religion. My father and I agree on many things but I am much more involved in the Church than he is - we do go to different masses - just as a choice of time of day and he prefers that religion is a personal thing so I let him keep it that way. Considering until six months ago he never went to Mass at all it is a very big improvement.

Just remember to be a living Gospel - and pray and that is what you can do.


#11

Just keep praying for them that they veil may be removed from their eyes and hearts and know that they don't have the same understanding that you do. Not everyone was raised Catholic or as a Christian and so it's important to SHOW them who Christ is, who the Church is, without being angry at them. It's not their fault although once they receive that understanding from the Holy Spirit, it IS up to them at that point as to accept or reject the Truth. With some people it just takes longer and no amount of argument or berating can ever help persuade them.

My brother took it very badly when I converted and accused me of leaving my upbringing, which I did NOT. I took all the wonderful things that Protestants share with Catholics and now my faith is more full and complete. My parents don't necessarily like it (because they don't understand it and fear change and what they don't know), but they respect my decision and know I'm going to do what I think is best for myself regardless of what they say.

I am praying for you and for them. It's hard to walk that road alone, but know that Jesus walked an even harder road alone, even to where the Father had to turn away when he was being crucified.

I hope you surround yourself with good Catholic support who understand, especially converts.


#12

If they feel like telling you why they reject the church, listen to what they have to say, and then tell them why they are wrong. After that is talked out, you need to tell them that you both have different opinions and thats okay. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion unless it is causing harm. Tell them not to bring it up if you can, and if they continue to do it, tell them that you refuse to talk to them if they are just going to bash who you are.


#13

Something you might point out to them is that their hostility toward your faith causes you to suffer, and therefore they are interfering with their own progress to Nirvana.

It's one reason why very devout Buddhists are so agreeable; they don't want to do anything that would keep them from perfection. Of course, it's also one reason why Catholicism and Buddhism are about as diametrically opposing as it is possible to be: We are taught to love one another because we are made in God's spiritual image and likeness and thus possess a measure of dignitiy to which we are entitled, while Buddhists treat everyone kindly so that they do not stumble on the path to Nirvana, which is an entirely selfish purpose.

I wouldn't gobsmack them with it, but I wouldn't back down, either.

This Rock published an excellent article on Buddhism: catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0505fea1.asp


#14

[quote="rcwhiteh, post:13, topic:216479"]
Something you might point out to them is that their hostility toward your faith causes you to suffer, and therefore they are interfering with their own progress to Nirvana.

It's one reason why very devout Buddhists are so agreeable; they don't want to do anything that would keep them from perfection. Of course, it's also one reason why Catholicism and Buddhism are about as diametrically opposing as it is possible to be: We are taught to love one another because we are made in God's spiritual image and likeness and thus possess a measure of dignitiy to which we are entitled, while Buddhists treat everyone kindly so that they do not stumble on the path to Nirvana, which is an entirely selfish purpose.

I wouldn't gobsmack them with it, but I wouldn't back down, either.

This Rock published an excellent article on Buddhism: catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0505fea1.asp

[/quote]

Funny you should say this. Religious studies was my supporting major at university and I feel I know more about their religion then them but as I'm a Catholic and obviously brainwashed I would not know any better (according to them).

Unfortunately I have the feeling they are more middle class Buddhist's if you know what I mean - it's cool to be spiritual esp as there is no real effort involved.


#15

What does POV stand for?


#16

[quote="James_Miller, post:15, topic:216479"]
What does POV stand for?

[/quote]

Point of View


#17

If I were you I just wouldn't engage them. If they start to speak in an anti-catholic manner just don't really respond. You already know from past experience that your parents are anti-catholic and sometimes these things are just unchangeable so I suppose it would do you well to just accept it and stop arguing. Of course keep praying for them to be less judgmental though :thumbsup:

My mother is somewhat anti-catholic herself so I can feel your pain. I just deal with it for now because I know that next June I'll be graduating high school and then in August I'll be moving away to College.


#18

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