I just can't reconcile some things


#1

I’ve tried posting this on the Ask an Apologist section three times but it’s never shown up:

I’m in RCIA and I love learning about the faith and I like the people I’m learning with. However, after praying and searching for several weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t believe what the Church teaches regarding birth control. Several people have told me just to join because “everybody ignores it” anyway. However, I’d rather be outside the Catholic Church with my integrity than inside being a big hypocrite. Heaven knows the Church doesn’t need anymore dissenters.

I’ve looked long and hard at this issue and I understand the Church’s position, I just don’t agree with it and some other key issues (such as condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS). I don’t want to debate my postions rather I’m wondering since I’ve already gone through the Rite of Acceptance do I have some sort of obligation to continue? Should I make an appointment with the Priest and tell him why I’m dropping out? Talk to my sponsor? I hate thinking I’m letting people down or disappointing them but that would be a stupid reason to join!

I guess maybe I should have resolved these issues before starting RCIA but I was honestly hoping that I would be able to come to some sort of agreement if I studied and prayed hard enough but I just can’t. I’m very saddened and feel as if I’m in kind of a limbo.


#2

talk to the priest…

:slight_smile:


#3

[quote=Ryniev]I’ve tried posting this on the Ask an Apologist section three times but it’s never shown up:

I’m in RCIA and I love learning about the faith and I like the people I’m learning with. However, after praying and searching for several weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t believe what the Church teaches regarding birth control. Several people have told me just to join because “everybody ignores it” anyway. However, I’d rather be outside the Catholic Church with my integrity than inside being a big hypocrite. Heaven knows the Church doesn’t need anymore dissenters.

I’ve looked long and hard at this issue and I understand the Church’s position, I just don’t agree with it and some other key issues (such as condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS). I don’t want to debate my postions rather I’m wondering since I’ve already gone through the Rite of Acceptance do I have some sort of obligation to continue? Should I make an appointment with the Priest and tell him why I’m dropping out? Talk to my sponsor? I hate thinking I’m letting people down or disappointing them but that would be a stupid reason to join!

I guess maybe I should have resolved these issues before starting RCIA but I was honestly hoping that I would be able to come to some sort of agreement if I studied and prayed hard enough but I just can’t. I’m very saddened and feel as if I’m in kind of a limbo.
[/quote]

Are you in a position where you could trust the Church on this one and obey (meaning you decide not to use ABC), even if you disagree that it is intrinsically evil?

Peace,
javelin


#4

[quote=Ryniev]I’ve tried posting this on the Ask an Apologist section three times but it’s never shown up:

I’m in RCIA and I love learning about the faith and I like the people I’m learning with. However, after praying and searching for several weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t believe what the Church teaches regarding birth control. Several people have told me just to join because “everybody ignores it” anyway. However, I’d rather be outside the Catholic Church with my integrity than inside being a big hypocrite. Heaven knows the Church doesn’t need anymore dissenters.

I’ve looked long and hard at this issue and I understand the Church’s position, I just don’t agree with it and some other key issues (such as condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS). I don’t want to debate my postions rather I’m wondering since I’ve already gone through the Rite of Acceptance do I have some sort of obligation to continue? Should I make an appointment with the Priest and tell him why I’m dropping out? Talk to my sponsor? I hate thinking I’m letting people down or disappointing them but that would be a stupid reason to join!

I guess maybe I should have resolved these issues before starting RCIA but I was honestly hoping that I would be able to come to some sort of agreement if I studied and prayed hard enough but I just can’t. I’m very saddened and feel as if I’m in kind of a limbo.
[/quote]

I respect your integrity.

How have you sought to understand the position of the Church on this issue? Can you tell us the resources you have consulted?


#5

At least you are being honest. It would be seriously wrong to join the Church while not holding to all the doctrine - you’d be a liar. So it is better to drop out. I would mention this to your sponsor and also meet with the priest to explain your situation.

If people tell you you can join anyway, then I would question their integrity. Perhaps the last good thing you can do is call them to account for their hypocrisy or worse, encouraging others to act contrary to the teaching of their own Church. Perhaps God will reward you with the grace of understanding how it is that birth control displeases Him?

hurst


#6

“Can you tell us the resources you have consulted?”

Mostly these boards and apologetics books. Also, I’ve asked the Deacon to explain the position.

Regarding the deciding to obey the Church’s stance on this matter, my husband had a vasectomy several years ago. However, my big problem really stems from women in 3rd world countries who have more babies than they can care for. Also, if we really want to stop abortion, birth control seems to be the answer to me. I’ve read the Churches position on this as well and just don’t agree. Also the whole embryonic stem cell issue and in vitro fertilization issue. I just can’t bring myself to believe that it is literally destroying human life when there are just so many breathing human children that deserve our energies.

Ackkkk! This just concerns me to no end. The Churches position on abortion I can agree with but they lose me when they go past that.

I’m really sorry! :o I do so hate thinking that I’ve wasted people’s time.


#7

I know you have probably heard this before. But I gotta say it anyway. I can’t help myself.

****Contraception is about being open to life. When we practice contraception, we are placing an intentional barrier between our will, and the will of God. We are saying that we know better than God whether we should have children or not. Contraception is a form of bondage. God’s will be done! Virtually all Christians were opposed to contraception until the middle of the 20th century. ****


The devil knows you are close to coming home and he has pierced you with a seemingly unmovable hurdle. Please rethink your position and pray more. Have you been exposed to JP2’s “Theology of the Body”? Have you talked with a priest?


#8

[quote=Ryniev]I’ve tried posting this on the Ask an Apologist section three times but it’s never shown up:

I’m in RCIA and I love learning about the faith and I like the people I’m learning with. However, after praying and searching for several weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t believe what the Church teaches regarding birth control. Several people have told me just to join because “everybody ignores it” anyway. However, I’d rather be outside the Catholic Church with my integrity than inside being a big hypocrite. Heaven knows the Church doesn’t need anymore dissenters.

I’ve looked long and hard at this issue and I understand the Church’s position, I just don’t agree with it and some other key issues (such as condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS). I don’t want to debate my postions rather I’m wondering since I’ve already gone through the Rite of Acceptance do I have some sort of obligation to continue? Should I make an appointment with the Priest and tell him why I’m dropping out? Talk to my sponsor? I hate thinking I’m letting people down or disappointing them but that would be a stupid reason to join!

I guess maybe I should have resolved these issues before starting RCIA but I was honestly hoping that I would be able to come to some sort of agreement if I studied and prayed hard enough but I just can’t. I’m very saddened and feel as if I’m in kind of a limbo.
[/quote]

You have no obligation to continue in RCIA if you can’t accept the teachings.


#9

[quote=Ryniev] However, my big problem really stems from women in 3rd world countries who have more babies than they can care for. Also, if we really want to stop abortion, birth control seems to be the answer to me. I’ve read the Churches position on this as well and just don’t agree. Also the whole embryonic stem cell issue and in vitro fertilization issue. I just can’t bring myself to believe that it is literally destroying human life when there are just so many breathing human children that deserve our energies…
[/quote]

Hey Ryniev,
Trust me, your concern is a sincere one and nobody in here questions your compassion, especially in the difficult and complex issue of “women in 3rd world countries” and stopping abortion. However, here’s another way of looking at those two scenarios. For one, condoms are proving ineffective in dealing with women in third world countries. The AIDS and pregnancy rates aren’t going down. In fact, there appear to be some cultural problems with the use of condoms. In addition, many studies show that condom and birth control programs actually increase the number of pregnancies because people in these cultures who use them tend to see the sex as “risk free” and increase their activity. There are schools, for instance, where condom programs have been implimented, and the preganancy rate actually increased to well above the national average (see www.pureloveclub.org for documention). HOWEVER, take, for instance, the country of Uganda (Calcutta is another great example), where the government, with the Catholic Church’s urging, has instituted a program of abstinence and chastity instead - the pregnancy rate has dropped to near zero (see catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/se0074.html for documentation). You addressed the abortion issue, but the overwhelming majority of women who come in for abortions WERE on contraception, but got lazy or forgot or it failed them. However, with a contraceptive mentality, they sought to abort the unwanted baby (see www.rtl.org for statistics). It’s kind of like in countries where drugs have been legalized to help remedy the AIDS problem through clean-needle programs - what has happened instead is that AIDS has run rampant as “drug parks” and such multiply the problem. I appreciate your concern, one I share as well, but those who believe that contraception is the solution are touting a nice philosophy, but one that isn’t supported by actual data or experience. Please e-mail me if you want more documentation - what I gave here was just basic stuff to verify that I’m not just pulling this out of my rear. God bless you for your honesty and integrity.


#10

[quote=Ryniev]“Can you tell us the resources you have consulted?”

Mostly these boards and apologetics books. Also, I’ve asked the Deacon to explain the position.

Regarding the deciding to obey the Church’s stance on this matter, my husband had a vasectomy several years ago. However, my big problem really stems from women in 3rd world countries who have more babies than they can care for. Also, if we really want to stop abortion, birth control seems to be the answer to me. I’ve read the Churches position on this as well and just don’t agree. Also the whole embryonic stem cell issue and in vitro fertilization issue. I just can’t bring myself to believe that it is literally destroying human life when there are just so many breathing human children that deserve our energies.

Ackkkk! This just concerns me to no end. The Churches position on abortion I can agree with but they lose me when they go past that.

I’m really sorry! :o I do so hate thinking that I’ve wasted people’s time.
[/quote]

you have wasted no one’s time…

talk to your priest… explain your feelings…

don’t just turn away… please

:slight_smile:


#11

You should do a forum search on this issue as it is discussed a lot. There are many discussions about ABC’s and the NFP method in the Family Life forum.

You shouldn’t feel bad for joining RCIA before researching this issue, this is the sort of thing RCIA is for. And no, going through the Rite of Welcoming doesn’t bind you to join the Church. You can drop out any time right up to the Easter Vigil.

Having said that, I urge you not to make a rash decision to drop out now. I did that once and regretted it. Stay while you research what to believe. If by the Easter Vigil you still don’t feel you can join, by all means wait.

I think use of condoms by someone who had AIDS or HIV or an STD would fall under the medical use category and the prevention of conception would thus be a side effect. Someone correct me if I am wrong on this.

I justified my using ABC’s for a long time, but fortunately I had some good discussions with people here over at the Family Life section and by God’s grace realized that I could no longer remain a faithful Catholic and contracept. I am now using NFP.

I applaud you for not wanting to be a dissenter (or as some call them, Cafeteria Catholics), but I do feel that I must say that choosing not to be Catholic because you don’t agree with the Catholic position on ABC’s doesn’t change the fact that using ABC’s is a sin. Every church banned them until 1930…


#12

Ryniev:

Glad you are honest with it.

IMHO…drop out if you’ve exahusted all of the resources that the church has to offer regarding this extremely divisive issue. Here’s a quick list of resources I think you need to really absorb and then accept or reject.

  1. Humana Vitae (Pope Paul VI’s encyclical)
  2. The Gospel of Life
  3. Naked Without Shame (CD’s of Theology of the Body) you can order the whole set 10 cds for $3.90 at www.giftfoundation.org

I would think that if you agree with most of the teachings of the church, to give it the benefit of the doubt that this is the correct moral position. Plus to pray for it for this issue hits the core of our beings as Catholics.

in XT.


#13

Here’s some links you might want to check out first:

However, after praying and searching for several weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t believe what the Church teaches regarding birth control.

pureloveclub.com/chastity/index.php?id=7&entryid=90
pureloveclub.com/chastity/index.php?id=7&entryid=91
pureloveclub.com/chastity/index.php?id=7&entryid=120

I just don’t agree with it and some other key issues (such as condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS).

pureloveclub.com/chastity/index.php?id=7&entryid=233

However, my big problem really stems from women in 3rd world countries who have more babies than they can care for.

pureloveclub.com/chastity/index.php?id=7&entryid=123

Also, if we really want to stop abortion, birth control seems to be the answer to me.

pureloveclub.com/chastity/index.php?id=7&entryid=122

Also the whole embryonic stem cell issue and in vitro fertilization issue. I just can’t bring myself to believe that it is literally destroying human life when there are just so many breathing human children that deserve our energies.

all.org/abac/dni003.htm


#14

Thank you for all your input. I have called the Priest and left a message as well as my sponsor. If I was just going to drop out on a spur of the moment it would have happened 2 weeks ago. Instead, I am praying and searching. I tend to be impulsive so the fact that I didn’t do it immediately is definately a gift from God.


#15

[quote=Ryniev]I’ve tried posting this on the Ask an Apologist section three times but it’s never shown up:

I’m in RCIA and I love learning about the faith and I like the people I’m learning with. However, after praying and searching for several weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t believe what the Church teaches regarding birth control. Several people have told me just to join because “everybody ignores it” anyway. However, I’d rather be outside the Catholic Church with my integrity than inside being a big hypocrite. Heaven knows the Church doesn’t need anymore dissenters.

I’ve looked long and hard at this issue and I understand the Church’s position, I just don’t agree with it and some other key issues (such as condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS). I don’t want to debate my postions rather I’m wondering since I’ve already gone through the Rite of Acceptance do I have some sort of obligation to continue? Should I make an appointment with the Priest and tell him why I’m dropping out? Talk to my sponsor? I hate thinking I’m letting people down or disappointing them but that would be a stupid reason to join!

I guess maybe I should have resolved these issues before starting RCIA but I was honestly hoping that I would be able to come to some sort of agreement if I studied and prayed hard enough but I just can’t. I’m very saddened and feel as if I’m in kind of a limbo.
[/quote]

I am sad too. But you have an obligation to not join a Church if you cannot accept all its teachings.
I know that for me, while I may have not understood all of the teachings when I first came back to the Church, I wanted to receive the Eucharist. Therefore I was willing to practice the virtue of obedience in the area of the one that I was concerned with, continue my prayers, and continue learning. Today it is resolved.

You should make an appointment with the parish priest and speak privately with him regarding this…I would also try to email Father Serpa about this and ask him directly about what you should do.


#16

[quote=Ryniev]Thank you for all your input. I have called the Priest and left a message as well as my sponsor. If I was just going to drop out on a spur of the moment it would have happened 2 weeks ago. Instead, I am praying and searching. I tend to be impulsive so the fact that I didn’t do it immediately is definately a gift from God.
[/quote]

Ryniev, I’m not the best person to address your issue because, 30 years ago, before I was Catholic, my husband and I intuited the correctness of the Catholic position on contraception. But just recently, reading the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, it became clear as gin to me that Paul equates “unnatural sexual acts” with idolatry.

Clunk. The shoe dropped. I had already done a considerable amount of research on this to support my already-held position, but the Romans passage just turned the key in the lock (to use a Catholic image).

Do you know Janet L. Smith’s wonderful talk: “Contraception: why not?” available for free from onemoresoul.com (or is it org?).

The way you frame your question, with the AIDS/condom argument indicates to me that you really could use a little more homework. And I say that without any contrariness in my heart.

I respect your search and your perseverance.

The vasectomy is another issue and does not prejudice your position as an incoming Catholic. 'Nother subject.


#17

[quote=mercygate]Ryniev, I’m not the best person to address your issue because, 30 years ago, before I was Catholic, my husband and I intuited the correctness of the Catholic position on contraception. But just recently, reading the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, it became clear as gin to me that Paul equates “unnatural sexual acts” with idolatry.

Clunk. The shoe dropped. I had already done a considerable amount of research on this to support my already-held position, but the Romans passage just turned the key in the lock (to use a Catholic image).

Do you know Janet L. Smith’s wonderful talk: “Contraception: why not?” available for free from onemoresoul.com (or is it org?).

The way you frame your question, with the AIDS/condom argument indicates to me that you really could use a little more homework. And I say that without any contrariness in my heart.

I respect your search and your perseverance.

The vasectomy is another issue and does not prejudice your position as an incoming Catholic. 'Nother subject.
[/quote]

Ryniev,

I believe Mercygate is referring to Janet E. Smith. If I’m wrong Mercygate, I apologize. Janet E. Smith has some wonderful things to say regarding the Catholic Church’s teachings on human sexuality, birth control, etc…

Please, before you make a final decision, take some time to read some of her published works.

This is a website that will lead you to her published articles:

aodonline.org/SHMS/Faculty+5819/Janet+Smith+9260/Dr.+Janet+Smith±+Published+Articles.htm

These are two of her articles that I think speak to your concerns very well:

aodonline.org/aodonline-sqlimages/shms/faculty/SmithJanet/Publications/Bioethics/ManyFacesofAIDS.pdf

aodonline.org/aodonline-sqlimages/shms/faculty/SmithJanet/Publications/HumanaeVitae/BarnyardMorality.pdf

Don’t give up!


#18

[quote=javelin]Are you in a position where you could trust the Church on this one and obey (meaning you decide not to use ABC), even if you disagree that it is intrinsically evil?
[/quote]

I think this is a very good point to consider.

If you are convinced that the Catholic Church is the one true Church established by Christ (and if you’re not, then let us know, because that’s a very important place to start…there’s plenty of good reasons and historical evidence out there to support it), then all you have to do is simply trust and support the Church’s teaching on this matter, even if you don’t completely understand it yourself right now.

If you are convinced that the doctrines of the Catholic Church are protected from error by Jesus Christ, and that therefore this is an infallible teaching, then you can know for certain that it is the truth, no matter what the circumstances are. Continue to try to understand it, certainly. Speak with reliable authorities and continue to do your best to understand the reasons why…but if you can trust the infallible authority of Christ’s Church, then you can always be confident that what you believe is true, and you really don’t have to worry about it so much anymore. It’s simply a matter of whether or not you can trust that what Christ tells you is true.

Hope this helps! :thumbsup:


#19

“Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.” -St. Augustine

Take some time to consider the above quote. Naturally one could apply it to any religion, but what is different with the Catholic Church is the Magisterium. We hold that we have the fullness of Truth. What you have to ask yourself is whether or not you believe in Apostolic succession, infallibility, etc. If so, then you must accept the Church’s teachings on contraception and live by them, whether or not you disagree. If you accept the teaching authority of the Church on principle, but refuse it because of what YOU consider to be true, then you are becoming your own authority. Basically what I am saying is that you should not look to the contraception teaching and determine whether or not the Church is true. You should determine whether or not the Church is true and then abide by its decisions.

There are two things to consider on the embryonic stem cell research issue. First, EMBRYONIC stem cell research has NEVER effectively done anything. Secondly, what is your opinion on human research? Are you aware that Nazi Germany conducted human research on the Jews? The scientific progress they made was amazing. We are still benefiting from what they did. Does that lead us to applaud what they did? Of course not. It was atrocious! Would you be willing to conduct human research on people in prison for life, or who are on death row? What would be the difference between that and stem cell research? Only that the prisoners would have merited it to some extent based on prior action. The only grounds for justifying embryonic stem cell research is to deny the fetus the status of human. If you are willing to do that, there is NO justification for being against abortion.


#20

I believe that if Christianity is true then the Catholic Church is the True Church.

Can I email someone and give them additional details about what is going on? Preferably a female?

Thanks!


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