"Is this Catholic behavior?"


#1

Hello,

there is an internal battle going at “my family”.

My situation is following:
After my parents divorced,I lived with my mother abroad and my father decided to marry again with a pretty devout Catholic woman. They have two daughters, my stepsisters.

My problem is: For a long period of time of 20 years, the Catholic family of my fatherswife didnt want me to allow any contact with my stepsisters.They even never wanted to introduce us as sisters, as family. Apart from this, I have a good relationship with my stepmother, all the time I respected her new life with my father. But when I visited my father,always they took my stepsisters away from me. When they saw me accidentally, they told them, that I am an aunt or something like this. All this was very frustrating for me, but
I loved my father and didn´t want to make him any problems.
So I resignated and hoped, in the future, when they were adult, they will introduce me. But all the long time, it means a big pain for me and I suffer even today a lot. I guess, my father loved me ,too , but he was not strong enough to struggle against the family.As a little success for me, he told me, that I am right, I should be in contact with my stepsisters , it is natural. But the strange behavior of the rest of the family hurts me.

What should I do? Do any ethic or Christian rules give them
the right to treat me in this way, even if they pretend to be
good Catholics? I guess, this family is egoistic about their
interests, they will never care about my feelings or human
rights to see my sisters. They probably look at me as something strange, because they wished I would never exist.
I was always an obstacle for them.

I like to solve this problem in a constructive and peaceful way, I do not hate them,because I know, that this is an destructive force. But how can I do, when they ignore me at all? But they are Christans, ultra-devout Christians, how can they do so?

Thanks for any advices,

Apollonia


#2

This is a toughie, as it isn’t even decent human behavior:mad: ; at least, not here in the United States.

[size=4]No, this is not the norm of Catholic behavior. [/size]

Did you ever ask your stepmother why? How about your own mother?

You say they are stepsisters (children of your stepmother and her previous husband), not halfsisters (children of your father and your stepmother), but you are never introduced as your father’s child???

If they are your stepsisters, I can only imagine. Maybe they didn’t want them confused with the idea of your father having a first family and now this family. Maybe they really didn’t like the whole idea of your father marrying your stepmother. I take it you are good deal older than your sisters. In any event, here a good father would have told them to mind their own business.

If they are your halfsisters, then your “good relationship” with your stepmother is not all that good. Why did she go along with this? You are your father’s daughter, they are your father’s daughters. No difference.

Is there something about inheritance rights in your father’s country? Does this happen with other divorced families in your father’s country, where the children from the previous marriage must be disguised as another species of relative? Are they misguidedly protecting your stepmother’s reputation? Is it because your father received a Church decree of nullity from your mother, and your stepmother’s family INCORRECTLY assumes this made you “illegitmate” in the eyes of the Church? It is simply NOT TRUE. In any event, here a good father would have told them to mind their own business.

Whatever else these people do, you are not at fault for their bad behavior. :slight_smile: And as an eldest child myself, I will let you in on a little secret: You were there first, dear. There is nothing your stepmother’s family can ever do to change that.

If you are Catholic as well, you might want to ask your priest why this has happened. Maybe he has an insight to the culture.

If your sisters are legal adults, and you are a legal adult, there is no reason to keep up this pretense. You can’t go in “cowboy style” with this information, but should it come up, I see no reason why you couldn’t state it as simply as, “You know, I am your father’s daughter from a previous marriage.” If they are adults, I also don’t see why you can’t invite them out for coffee, or have other activities with them, when you are in their country. And it just may be that they know, after all, and all this pretense has been one big wasted effort.

If they are under the legal age, then I would suggest you honor your stepmother’s family’s wishes, but let your stepmother and father know this greatly upsets you, and it is NOT proper Catholic behavior to hide the eldest child of a father as some sort of ancillary (extra) relative. You will be in my prayers, and that is not something I do lightly.


#3

I have a six-year-old daughter from my ex- (civil marriage) wife. I am getting married in April, in the Church. My fiance has not even met my daughter (she lives with her mother on the other side of our continent and the situation has been somewhat difficult), but she understands my daughter is my daughter. She will always be my first child, and my affection and duties towards her are not diminished because of how she came to be, or because her mother was a bad catholic and her father was a worse pagan. She is our daughter, because the circumstances and choices of our lives do not determine her legitimacy. And when my fiance and I become married, she will be our daughter, because my wife will share in all that I am.

I hope your father and step-mother grow up. I’ll pray for them.


#4

what he said…you are in my prayers…please, when you are offering you suffering to Christ, would you remember my brother in your prayers? He is far from the Church and we would like him to come home…any woman who has been blessed with the type of suffering you describe must be very close to Our Lord. Please pray for us.


#5

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