My family is about to begin RCIA at a local parish. My in-laws, who live in same town and who are going to be moving into a house one mile down the road very soon, just recently found out about our attending mass. Although they have not yet been confrontative about the issue (simply because they are ignorant of all things Catholic and just believe that a Catholic church is just another “denomination”), there have been a few incidents recently where they appear to be acting passive aggressively in regards to our children (i.e., comments regarding church, etc.).
The main incident happened last Sunday, where my MIL called us on our way to mass and wanted to see our children that day, and went onto say that she wanted to take them to church with her. My husband said he’d think about it, but thankfully, mass went a little longer than usual so there wouldn’t have been enough time anyway. The kids just went over that afternoon.
However, my MIL is quite well-known for her manipulations and we realize that this will be a constant issue, especially when they move, of her trying to wrangle our kids into going to church with her. She is monopolizing on the fact that my younger girls “don’t like mass” because it’s not as “fun” as our old church with upbeat music, etc.
My questions are:
What is the best way to approach this situation? Should we just be proactive or reactive? IOW, should we just set the boundaries now or wait until we need to?
If our kids go to early mass with us, would it be okay to occasionally let them attend church services with the in-laws to keep the peace as much as possible as long as the kids and the in-laws know well in advance that the kids CANNOT receive communion there?
It is definitely not our wishes to have a huge blowup with the in-laws and we want to be as charitable as possible as to make our lives and our children’s lives as stress-free as possible. To this end, we still plan on attending Christmas Eve services and the like with our in-laws in addition to our mass obligations. We still believe there are many positive things taking place inside Protestant churches and they are still doing their best to worship God, so I can’t see how it will negatively impact my children’s faith as long as we are making sure they are properly catechized. Am I wrong, here? :shrug: