Each week my wife and I host a Rosary prayer goup at our home. Our married daughter and son-in-law, our four children still living at home (we have 7 total) and my in-laws attend. Each week without fail my father-in-law feels compelled to attack some doctrine or belief of the Catholic Church (Peter’s Primacy, Mary’s Eternal Virginity, only priests can consecrate bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, etc.- he listens to a lot of Protestant radio shows). He also has what he calls “his theory” wherein we all existed before and took place in a rebellion in heaven and are now trying to convince those who did not revolt that we are truly sorry(!) so that God can now permit us back in heaven. I’ve pointed out to him time and again that pre-existence is condemned by the Church as anethma.
My wife is frustrated because I invariably get sucked into these debates and tend to get excited by the inane arguments. She is fearful that I am not honoring him since he is her father. I get sometimes visibly upset and have asked him to refrain from making these statements. He says that there is no harm in “asking questions”. However, I argue that he is making these statements in front of his impressionable grandchildren and possbly putting their faith at risk.
Is it dishonoring to insist that he stops? Or should we just smile and nod and pretend he’s not attacking that which is most important to us?