In-law problems

First of all, my apologies for bring this thread up. I know there are a lot of other threads and I’ve read a lot of them.

Our family is currently in RCIA and RCIC and will be coming into the church during the coming Easter vigil!

We have let our families know and one side has been very negative of the aspect. I received an email from them that there was only one way to heaven and we were not taking the correct path. Since that email they have not wanted to have anything to do with my wife and I, but only want to see our daughter alone. When I push back and let them know they can see us as a family they have “something else to do and will take a rain check”.

I know they are just concerned for their grand-daughter, but they need to respect our choices as a family. I have thought about going and talking with their pastor about it, but not sure what that would achieve. I have been thinking of going over to their house and discussing the issue with them to come to some sort of amicable solution.

I’ve always looked highly to those who post here and welcome any suggestions you have!

Grace and Peace

What faith background/congregation name is your family from? To know that helps when suggesting how to “speak their language” about conversion.

Very good point! They are fundamental baptist.

Hi, there.

Until recently, my fiancee and I were terrified that her parents would react badly to our engagement news since I was previously married (but free to marry, blessings to the Pauline Privilege). As it turned out, the in-laws-to-be were fine with it, and many happy endings are to come.

Christ said that his words would (paraphrasing) pit brother against brother. He knew that the truth of his ministry would have a nasty tendency of angering people. As I tried to tell my fiancee, you cannot make people see what they don’t want to see, yet you don’t need to be adversarial, either. In my opinion, you’re following the best path; your family needs to accept you as a group, even if they don’t like your change in your faith.

I don’t think apologetics are quite applicable except in that you continue to lead by example in cordial communications to them, particularly in invitations to see the family (including their grandchild). If you do choose to aid them to understand the Church better, it may be better to wait for them to ask **you **questions and be prepared for the answers applicable to their faith custom.

Love usually wins out; eventually they will say “yes.”

Congratulations on your entry into the Church. I entered by RCIA in 2005 and have not been the same since–in a good way. :slight_smile:

First, Welcome Home!!

Next, how old is your daughter? I would be very hesitant to let them have time with my daughter alone knowing how they feel about your conversion. You know what would happen the whole time…undermining your decision to your daughter, Catholic trash talking to her, trying to “save” her from your heading-to-hell decision. If they want to have your daughter over for a visit, ask to take a rain check.

First, welcome to the Catholic faith!

Your thread’s title “In-law problems” can incorporate all kinds of struggles beyond religious differences. I assume from your post that it’s your wife’s family whose having the difficulties with your family becoming Catholic. Has she spoken with her parents about this?

They likely have numerous misconceptions about our Catholic faith causing them to fear for their daughter’s and grand-daughter’s soul (and maybe your soul too, depending upon their relationship with Jesus and you.;)) If it were me, I would be cautious of visits alone with my child until they are at least respectful of such major parenting decisions such as your family’s faith.

Generally good advice for in-law troubles is to let the spouse primarily deal with his/her own parents to resolve or avoid conflict. With the religious conversion angle, they may see you as the “bad guy” responsible for their child rejecting their faith-the faith of her youth–rather than seeing Catholicism as the form of the Christianity their daughter chose. If they take their faith in Christ seriously, one good approach your wife may try is to demonstrate that she also (still?) takes her faith in Christ seriously. Given their faith tradition, Bible verse quotation might help demonstrate that to her family that she hasn’t rejected the Bible or Jesus.

How does your wife want to deal with her parents?

I think the problem is, throughout their lives they have been told that Catholics are going to hell. They think we have crazy ideas about things. And rather than let them trash talk you. Maybe buy them a Catechism (at least) The Early church Fathers by William Jurgens (just the first one is needed), and maybe refer them to this site or print out evidence for them.

Tell them that if they are not willing to understand what the CC teaches, then it may be hard to continue a relationship with them.

Most of the time, Baptists are told everyone is going to hell unless you accept Jesus into your heart- tell them that is what you will be doing at Easter Vigil. They are also taught that it is sola scriptura and nothing else. Remind them that the BIBLE wasnt even a bible till around 325 AD (?? Council of Nicea’s date), ask them how people knew what to do… By oral tradition- where tradition stems from etc. They probably have a big problem with the Pope as well.

Anyways, maybe invite yourself over, bring your armor (lol), and explain to them that you believe that the CC is a way of salvation, and so do 1 billion other people. You could always do this by email as well/ and drop the stuff in their mail box as well!

Thank you everyone for all your suggestions! My wife really wants me to handle the situation. It is a long story, but there are a LOT of other things that have occured between her and her parents long before I came into the picture.

I don’t mind talking with them. I’ve been praying a lot and asking God for guidance and strength to approach this with love and compassion. I guess bottom line is that I hope to have them understand that they can’t undermine our family. Their acceptance of our faith choice is in their hands.

Interestingly enough, one of the in-laws is a cradle catholic that became a baptist after marriage and that person was the one telling me we are on the wrong path, that we would have to worship Mary and all the other typical misconceptions.

Again, I really enjoy this forum and all the input everyone has!

You will want to be able to speak “Baptist-ese”

Your average Baptist in the pews will have to be introduced to the ECFs, you don’t want to go with that one right off the bat!

Steve Ray is a Baptist convert. I’d begin with his books, tapes, resources (his website is You read them first, then, pass them on to your relatives.

The video “Common Ground” from would be another good resource.

First off I would be suspicious of ANYONE that wanted to be with my child but only if I didn’t accompany my child. RED FLAG!!! I don’t care if they are family or friend, they want to do something with the child I wouldn’t approve of and will only do it in my absence.

Second, ask them how they got God’s direct phone number and if they’ll share it with the rest of us.

I agree. I also think this business of cutting you off because they don’t agree with your decison reeks of abusive manipulation, making me wonder if there is another underlying issue here besides religion. Do your in-laws only associate with “saved” Christians or is this just a ploy to punish you for daring to follow your conscience?

Sometimes there comes a point in our adult lifes where we have to back away from family relationships. Maybe this is one of them? I’m sensing a serious lack of respect for you as an adult and if this is allowed to continue, it could easily destroy your marriage.

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