Is My Friend Still a Catholic?


#1

A friend and I were talking, the other day, about his ‘conversion’ to a so-called non-denominational church. He said he is no longer Catholic.

I replied, ‘Make no mistake about it…You’re still a Catholic. Unless you officially sign a letter of some kind, you will remain a Catholic. You need to go see Father, right now, for a good confession.’

His reply was, ‘No way!..Am I, really?’

So, is he, or isn’t he, still a Catholic?


#2

Through his baptism, we become part of the body of Christ. Your friend just may be a brother that is going to go to Hell instead of heaven for walking away from the truth of Christ.

Your friend’s immortal soul is in serious jeopardy.

I do not think you can write a letter and resign from God’s family. Like I said, I think he may just be a part of the family we will not see in heaven.


#3

[quote=MariaG]Through his baptism, we become part of the body of Christ. Your friend just may be a brother that is going to go to Hell instead of heaven for walking away from the truth of Christ.

Your friend’s immortal soul is in serious jeopardy.

I do not think you can write a letter and resign from God’s family. Like I said, I think he may just be a part of the family we will not see in heaven.
[/quote]

Hi Maria,

Thank you for posting your 1500th post on my thread.

He thought/thinks that you can change churches whenever you want. I didn’t really know, but I thought that might be fine for the others, but not a Catholic.


#4

i saw in this rock somewhere that if you make a formal declaration to your bishop, and that can be a publlic declaration, and denounce your catholicity (boy i messed that word up) then you will have in effect renounced your membership to the ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH…

in laymans terms… “you in trubba bubba”…:bigyikes:

Peace:thumbsup:


#5

Depends on what one means… If one simply verbally professes that they are no longer Catholic then on some levels they are not considered to be Catholic and no longer bound to Cannon Law. I know this because if on has verbally renounced their Catholicism and then gets married outside of the Church the Catholic Church considers that marriage to be licit.


#6

I am a Cradle Catholic who in my early 20’s left the Church. I did not leave the Church - to leave the Church - I was not rejecting anything specific. The reality is, I later learned, I simply did not know what I had! I did not know my Faith, understand the True Presence, etc. So, I didn’t reject my Catholicity per se because I didn’t leave to go somewhere else. I eventually did end up in non-Catholic churches, and because of the negative and slanderous talk against the Catholic Church, I would say things like I am not Catholic, etc. But, as Bishop Sheen said, I rejected what I thought I knew about the Church - not the reality.

11 YEARS LATER - :eek:

The Holy Spirit leads me back to the Church and after some really cool stuff He did, I suddenly was like, “Oh my gosh! I’m Catholic! I’ve been Catholic this whole time!”

It’s a long, wonderful story. The moral of the story is, we may let go of the Church, but the Church never lets go of us! :wink:


#7

I am no Cannon Lawyer but in my humble opinion I DO NOT believe that your friend is still Catholic. He is a heretic. He entered into heresy once he rejected his faith. I will pray for him that he returns to the Church.

I think all Catholics need to understand just how dangerous this new denomination is. They claim not to be a denomination thus luring uneducated and lazy Catholics into their churches. Then they spew lies about Catholicism and they get their catch. Whenever I talk to someone that tells me that they don’t believe in denominations, I say neither do I. They then say “I thought you are Catholic”. I use this as an opportunity to explain to them a little history and how their denomination didn’t exist til the 1970’s. :confused:


#8

posted by cargopilot

Hi Maria,

Thank you for posting your 1500th post on my thread.

He thought/thinks that you can change churches whenever you want. I didn’t really know, but I thought that might be fine for the others, but not a Catholic.

You’re welcome! Didn’t realize it was so many:bigyikes: Apparently I don’t seem to have anything better to do. Actually the bills are waiting to be paid, that’s why I am here:p

He certainly can change churches, but he is endangering his immortal soul.

As others have said, you can apparently formally denounce your membership.

As a friend, you may wish to ask why he has abandoned Christ’s Churuch. However, I would use those words only if you are ready to defend His Church:bounce: Make him be specific if he says things like, “I wanted a biblical church”. Ask him to show you one teaching of the Catholic Church that contradicts the Bible. There is simply not one that does. But be ready with Scripture from the Bible on “hot button” topics like Mary, prayer to saints, relics and such. Here is a good resource for finding relevant Bible verses. geocities.com/thecatholicconvert/biblecheatsheet.html

God Bless,
Maria


#9

Get your friend a copy of Karl Keating’s book “What Catholics Really Believe”. It’s aimed at Cradle Catholics who do not know their faith too well. It’s an easy read and explains our most basic doctrines and why we do what we do. We have 2000 years of history behind us, and once most people see this, they will no longer reject the truth of the Church. Your friend just needs to be reawakened.


#10

[quote=MariaG]Through his baptism, we become part of the body of Christ. Your friend just may be a brother that is going to go to Hell instead of heaven for walking away from the truth of Christ.

Your friend’s immortal soul is in serious jeopardy.
[/quote]

So in all technicalities, I am still a Catholic via infint baptism (Though I dont consider myself a “Full” Catholic since I did not have the opportunity for Confurmation). Now I am in a state of shock now after hearing that my soul is in jeopardy. I dont wish to smell fire and molten sulphur with liquid hot magma :eek:.

I do not think you can write a letter and resign from God’s family. Like I said, I think he may just be a part of the family we will not see in heaven.

I beleve mines would be a different case since at the time when I fell out of the church, I had no knowlage of what religion it was other than that it one of the main branches of Christianity. Since I had now knowlage, I just acepted agnosticism to describe my religious background to aquantances and friends.


#11

So I am puzzled:

Can one actually submit a letter of resignation to a Roman Catholic bishop and be formally stricken from the rolls and deemed a non-Catholic? And if so how would one reverse the process? Send a second letter asking for re-admission? Go to confession privately? I suspect that at least in some cases what is being referred to here is the custom in some Protestant churches of submitting a ‘change of membership’ letter on behalf of a person who has left one denomination for another. The custom isn’t pursued very actively these days. I don’t believe I have ever actually heard of anyone submitting a formal ‘letter of resignation’ from the Roman Catholic Church and I would tend to think such a thing would simply be ignored. Perhaps someone who knows otherwise could enlighten me.

In general, I would think that one who has rejected whatever sacraments they have received at the hands of a Roman Catholic priest–particularly if they have taken the trouble to be re-baptised into a Protestant denomination or otherwise formally affiliated with another faith–is NOT a Catholic. As I understand things however–once one has been baptised a Roman Catholic, one need only to repent of one’s profession of heresy to a Catholic priest and receive absolution to be received back into the Catholic fold.

I do wonder about the issue of ‘invincible ignorance’, where a person may have been baptised into the Catholic Church but never catechized or raised in that faith, and where they in fact eventually affilliate formally with a Protestant denomination. Such was the case with my stepfather for example–he knew he’d been baptised Roman Catholic, and he’d been to Catholic services a couple of times as a youth–“back when the priest prayed to the wall” he recollected. But his own mother and father abandoned him at the age of five, he was raised by lapsed Lutheran relatives, and he rarely attended Christian worship of any sort until he was an adult. He grew up near Ground Zero of midwestern anti-Catholicism–“The Menace”, an anti-Catholic tabloid, was widely published near his boyhood home and strongly shaped his early impressions of Catholicism. In his thirties he began attending the Assembly of God, was baptised by immersion there, and that was his professed denomination until his death. His only contact with the RCC was when some of his mom or dad’s family passed away or were married and he had occasion to attend weddings or funerals. Thanks to his upbringing, he was blandly anti-Catholic his whole life–he knew he’d been baptised Catholic, he knew lots of individual Catholics whom he liked, but he was basically suspicious of the RCC and wholly ignorant of it, choosing to live his life as a Protestant Christian and to identify himself as such. It is odd to note that he is buried in the family plot in the CATHOLIC section of the cemetary, though he scarcely considered himself a Roman Catholic and did not even receive last rites or any other sort of Catholic services. (The local Catholic priest found that he WAS still registered in the parish as one who had been baptised Catholic–don’t know quite how that worked out, but it was apparently sufficient to permit his burial in the Catholic cemetary). He was eulogised in fact by the same Assembly of God pastor who had baptised him by immersion several decades previously. I wonder what Catholic theology would say to such a case as this, given the doctrine of ‘invincible ignorance’.

Hopefully this is seen as germaine to the topic and not a distraction from it.


#12

I found When does a person cease to be a Catholic? in the AskFather.net question box, under this link.
oldforum.catholic.org/discussion/messages/41/26744.html#MT

I am not talking about apostasy, namely a formal, willful, conscious decision to leave the Catholic faith to embrace another world view (secular or religious). What I am asking is: what does it take for a Christian, baptized in the Catholic Church,to cease to be a Catholic from a canonical and theological point of view? To be more specific, when I look at the CCC and at Denzinger’s collection of Church dogmas and doctrines, I (and I suppose a lot of people as well) find dozens and dozens of paragraphs I cannot agree with. I totally subscribe to the Nicean Creed, to the real Presence and to the belief in the episcopal structire of the Church. So, considering my dissent in Church teachings, can you tell me when and if do I cease to be a Catholic?
Thank you

Father replies:
I dunno, but that sure sounds like apostacy to me. You would need to make a formal act of apostacy. You could, for example, send a formal letter to the parish where you were baptized and ask that it be entered into the parish baptismal register that you formally requested to cease being a member of the Roman Catholic Church on thus and such a date.

How I pity you and fear for your immortal soul. People who knowingly and willingly leave the Church or refuse union with the Church, knowing that it is the Church that Christ established, cannot be saved.

Regards,

Fr. Z


#13

Hi ImperialPhoenix :wave: ,

posted by ImperialPhoenix

So in all technicalities, I am still a Catholic via infint baptism (Though I dont consider myself a “Full” Catholic since I did not have the opportunity for Confurmation). Now I am in a state of shock now after hearing that my soul is in jeopardy. I dont wish to smell fire and molten sulphur with liquid hot magma :eek:.

Yes, the parish you were baptized in still carries records of you infant baptism. You are on the “rolls”. But more than just the technicallity, through baptism we are born again into the family of God. God removes the stain of oringinal sin and regenerates our soul. We must continue to walk in the grace God gives us, but “membership” into God’s family began in that moment as an infant.

(If you want to read some info on it, you can find out that the early church has always practiced infant baptism because it is not something we do, but something God does to us. :bible1: Col 2:11-12 compares circumcision with baptism. catholic.com/library/Born_Again_in_Baptism.asp or this catholic.com/library/Infant_Baptism.asp or catholic.com/library/Early_Teachings_of_Infant_Baptism.asp )

As for the state of your immortal soul, the Catholic Church teaches that a person is in danger if they do not have the fullness of truth of Christ as contained in the Apostolic teachings of the Catholic Church. A person may go to heaven and have never stepped foot inside a Catholic Church, but it is much harder to do so.

I beleve mines would be a different case since at the time when I fell out of the church, I had no knowlage of what religion it was other than that it one of the main branches of Christianity. Since I had now knowlage, I just acepted agnosticism to describe my religious background to aquantances and friends.

I would tend to agree. I too was a baptized infant in the Catholic Church, but my parents got mad and stopped going when I was 4. My mother returned when I was 15, but then other circumstances pushed me away from the Catholic Church and God as a whole. (There is a long story on this but I did get married in the Catholic church. Told the priest, I am not sure why but I don’t think I’ll feel married unless it is by a Catholic priest. I am not going to church, I don’t have plans to go, I am living with boyfriend etc. )

When I started to respond to God’s call to me after my marriage, I ended up in Protestant churches. Nazarene, AoG and Evangelical. But I have always prayed for God to lead me to all truth and he lead me to the Catholic Church.

One day I bought a Catechism of the CAtholic Church since people kept telling me what the Catholic Church taught and it just did not seem quite right. But I really had no idea. Every time I looked up what Catholics are *supposed *to believe, it never contradicts the Bible. In fact, I have yet to find one “Tradition” that does not have seeds in the Bible. Not one.

Which fits with the Catholic understanding that there has been no new revelation since after the death of the last apostle, but new understanding of that which has been revealed. Just like every time I open up my Bible I read and understand new things all the time. It has always been there, but I just wasn’t ready to understand it yet. (Like Jn 20:21-23 confession instituted by Christ Himself! Only God forgives sins, but he showed us how He wants it done.)

I read in your bio you are a seeking Christian. God is speaking to you yet again my friend. He brought you here! I pray that the Holy Spirit will ever lead you and guide you. I pray that you listen.

God Bless,
Maria


#14

I found this. I kind of like it.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=24906&highlight=membership

What would you say I am – Protestant or Catholic? I was baptized Catholic as an infant, as this was the Church of my mother. My dad died and she remarried Protestant, and so was I raised Protestant, never being taught Catholicism, confirmed, or making my First Communion. My Protestant church** membership** was spotty, at best. Then as a young adult, I joined a Baptist church, but left that church after a couple of years. Now, I have been led back home to the Catholic Church and know that this is where I belong. I am studying Catholicism, though not yet in RCIA. So – am I a Catholic or a Protestant?

Answer:
You are a Christian who is studying the Catholic Church, into which you were baptized.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.