[quote=MichaelLewis]It seems to me that you have instructed your husband to lie to and to mislead his children, (and others as well by activly participating in Church functions). Is this in accordence with Catholic moral teachings? Do you think this is good for his relationships with them? Is it good for his conscience to be insincere? What happens when your kids discover the truth? What are you communicating about your respect for honesty and truth (and the Church’s) to your husband and (in the long run) to your children?
Good golly no.
I’m asking my husband not to spread his misconceptions to the kids at such an impressionable age and to teach, by example, obedience to the church.
How is that contrary to Catholic moral teachings?
Hubby and I were raised in the 70s in California in Catholic schools. It was only two years ago that I began to find out that what we were taught was not ‘kosher’. Since we have teens in the house I’ve crash-coursed my way through the Catechism and other Vatican documents so I could get up to speed as our kids approached confirmation preparation.
My husband, on the other hand, is having a difficult time accepting his priests and nuns were wrong. But, he at least acknowledges that there is a stark black-and-white difference between what he’s hearing on Relevant Radio or reading in the church bulletin regarding the Church’s position on several matters.
I teach the kids about Catholicism through everyday conversations - it could be a matter my daughter shares about a friend’s situation, it could be part of a discussion with my son about his athiest friend - mostly it’s from newspaper, radio and television news stories (yes my kids read the newspaper every day, have done that since they were in middle school). At first they didn’t like me taking the Church position on everything but when I explained how I was surprised and disappointed to find out the priests and nuns who taught me misled me and that I wanted to make sure they knew how to find out for themselves what being Catholic really means, they accepted my approach.
For a while there the kids would comment about a story, I’d state the Church’s position, and my hubby would counter me with not so pleasant words. The four of us would get into an argument and the lesson I was trying to get across would be lost. So one night I asked him to stop doing that in front of the kids and I explained why.
He agreed that if he continued to talk in that manner about the Church in front of the kids it could lead them to follow his Catholicism instead of the Catholicism I was trying to teach - and he knows I’m going by the book. So he bites his tongue when discussions come up where he disagrees (or was taught differently, really). When he does agree he speaks up and helps me get the message across. In the meantime he teaches, by example, obedience to the Church by going to Mass, Confession, receiving Communion, stations of the cross, etc. He believes very much in God, Jesus, the Trinity and the Catholic church. He appreciates the liturgy, the rituals the traditions. He gets caught up in all those cafeteria-type issues.
The kids respect him for being honest about not agreeing with certain teachings, for not trying to influence them against the teaching, and for loving them enough to make sure they are able to think for themselves about being Catholic. I respect him for honoring my request even though I know this is all very hard on him - having to face the deception of all those years.
He and our son went to the men’s conference today and they came back so charged up! He definitely wants to go next year. We’re looking forward to seeing Fr. Corapi in February. Little by little I’m exposing him to new teachers and priests who will speak the Truth to him…I think this is how he will come to embrace it. In the meantime he listens to the conversations the kids and I have and later, when we’re alone, he’ll often ask for links to references supporting what I was saying since it sounded contrary to what he was taught.
In the short and long run, I believe this approach is working quite well and is not deceptive nor is it contrary to Catholic moral teachings.