Is it a sin to consider conversion to another Christian denomination?

Is it already a sin to play with the thought of leaving the church?
Not actually doing it, but really only thinking about it seriously?
Let us assume you don’t want to become an atheist, but convert to something already near to us, let us say the Anglican church.
Pope Francis said in a video message last year that we all are God’s children.
Could it not be that he has a plan for an individual within the Anglican church?
Would considering to go there necessarily be a sin, irrespective of the given circumstances?

It is grave matter. Catholics are bound to remain in communion and to avoid the error of indifferentism. A Catholic cannot even become Orthodox without schism.

Yes, but as I said, assume one really only considers. Just playing a “what if” game in his/her head.

One should not even “think” about it as suggested.

Should one “think” about cheating on ones wife?

Ask your priest. Overall this forum seems a bit scrupulous on thought-sins and it’s better to get the answer to this question, if it pertains to you, from your priest.

Ah, Come on. It is just a yes / no thing. We have all been there. Show me a grown man who never doubted and I show you a fanatic or a liar.

YES it is a sin.

One should not even “think” about it as suggested.

Should one “think” about cheating on ones wife?

No one should not do that either.

That too is sinful.

(noting of course thoughts that “happen to one” say out of the blue that one does not consent to - are just that and not sins but can be annoying or temptations. Sin involves consent to the thought.)


2088 The first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it. There are various ways of sinning against faith:

*Voluntary *doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief. *Involuntary *doubt refers to hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith, or also anxiety aroused by its obscurity. If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to spiritual blindness.

There isn’t any scenario where it would be God’s will for a person to leave the Catholic Church.

It is possible for certain divisions to be a lesser evil; one could argue that Protestantism restored & perfected the Church, saving it from an even worse fate than if it never happened, but nonetheless, this would be God making good out of evil, rather than desiring or willing evil in of itself.

We don’t live inside others’ heads. Nobody except God can authoritatively answer how far a person has gone in their thoughts, whether they are spontaneous or deliberated, but contemplating leaving the Church is the first step in something that is objectively a grave matter.


1853 Sins can be distinguished according to their objects, as can every human act; or according to the virtues they oppose, by excess or defect; or according to the commandments they violate. They can also be classed according to whether they concern God, neighbor, or oneself; they can be divided into spiritual and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or omission. The root of sin is in the heart of man, in his free will, according to the teaching of the Lord: "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man."128 But in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds.

I guess it is something I would confess. However it is part of the human condition to hold doubt at times. We all do. I have went to other religious organizations, mainly out of curiousity, aka JW meetings, Mormon service, and just other Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant worship services. I never was really thinking about joining ther beliefs but was interested in understanding their beliefs. I am not sure if that would be considered a sin as well. I have read the Quran and the Book of Mormon, just out of curiosity. I never was sucked into believing it however I can understand how some people could be. You read it as you would read any novel.

That’s right. Never ask “is X a sin” on this forum because there are people here who will answer “YES! It’s the most mortal of sins!” regardless of what X is.

The fact that some persons might do so – does not negate the fact that one can still discover that yes X is a sin.

Personally, I grew a lot in my faith when I was considering the pros and cons of what would happen if I was to switch to other Christian denominations. I did lots of thinking and research about the Catholic church and other Christian denominations a few years back. In the end it showed me that the Catholic church is in fact the Christian denomination that holds the full truth of Jesus’ teachings. I mean, I wasn’t thinking over the idea of switching denominations with bad intentions in my heart or anything, I was just considering other perspectives to make sure I was in the right place, and it in fact strengthened my faith! I think as long as you do so prayerfully and without the wrong intentions, there is no reason it would be considered a sin.

What if the Catholic never had a say in becoming one and after being properly informed decided later in life it is not the one they have faith in?

See above…

Just because good came out of something for one person (in the end) does not mean it is a good thing to do.

While reasonable research with for example an apologetic eye and no risk to ones faith can be good - it is yes sinful to deliberately think of seeking to not live in the Church that Jesus founded …etc.

I had a period I was looking into other beliefs. Spoke to Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses. The irony is that seeking other beliefs made me stronger in my own. God works amazingly!

Yes God can bring good out of even our mistaken actions.

And the brilliant light of truth can illuminate us - as the brilliant Sun rising scatters the shadows.

Then why would that person care whether the Church found their conversion sinful or not? If they don’t believe in Catholicism in the first place, I don’t see why they’d consider the Church’s opinion relevant.

Still bound, through baptism, to the Catholic Church.

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