"It was good that he went to that other church"

This is a statement that repeatedly comes up after someone leaves the catholic community and joins a protestant community: “He has given up his drinking, believes and loves Jesus, and is a much better man that he was in his parish church. That church seems to have done a lot of good for him. So I think it was good that he went there. After all God is the God of all of us.”

I have an answer, but I would rather hear from all of you what you would say to this.

One of the problems answering this is brevity since the person who says such a thing first of all doesn’t want to hear anything that would not be in agreement. So their patience is short. And if the answer goes on and on or is too deep, their attention will be lost.

Or maybe you agree with them and it was best that they go to another church.

I think everyone can benefit by this for we all have heard it before, and maybe more than we care to admit. Or it could be that you yourself sometimes had doubts in this same direction.

So in charity to one another and in love for Christ, how would you kindly answer this person?

God is forever and ever, amen. Some of these churches may disband/close in the next twenty years. The Catholic church (that Jesus instituted) remains. So the trust should be rightfully placed in God and not what a certain well-meaning and helpful congregation of humans does. Those humans may change and/or move on. God will not.

I don’t know if that might be of help…

People are woefully un-catechized in the Sacraments.
That’s all I can figure. :shrug:

It’s a pity. He could have found all that and more in the true Church, if he had looked harder.

Initiate dialogue about which Church is the Church Christ founded.

There ya go.

I have a niece who was baptized Catholic, but that was it. As a teenager she got into a lot of trouble, used drugs, ran away, had children out of wedlock, an all too common story. Nothing anybody did could help this girl. Until……someone from a non-Catholic church found her on the streets, brought her to a shelter, told her about Jesus, and she accepted Him as her “personal savior”. That was about 20 years ago. She is married, has raised her boys, does not do drugs, drink, smoke, loves Jesus with all her heart, is a constant witness to his goodness and very active in her little church AND with people like she was.

The point is, no one from the Catholic Church was out there on the streets to help her and bring her to Christ. I’m not saying we don’t do this, just that nobody from the Catholic Church was there. Do I think she was better off going to that church? You bet I do. And I believe it was God who arranged this whole thing and saved her.

Now she is back in the family but has no desire to be Catholic. She never had any Catholic upbringing, because my brother didn’t take any of his kids to any church. All she knows, and can believe from her own personal experience and conversion is what she has been taught in the Protestant church, and she is not about to give that up. She does not dislike Catholics, she is very accepting of us and very loving, but she believes Jesus led her to that church and saved her and helped her to clean up her act. And it appears that that is exactly what happened.

Would I prefer she were Catholic? Yes. But that is not up to me, and I am certainly not going to tell God how to operate, and neither am I going to pass any sort of judgment about her. But I do think she was better off going to that church than dying on the streets. You bet I do.

CB Catholic #5
Would I prefer she were Catholic? Yes. But that is not up to me,

Yes, it is up to you as her aunt. How?

By, as the opportunity occurs, mentioning, among other things, that teaching of Christ through His Church, which shows Him ordaining the first priests and instituting the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, creating His Church with seven sacraments including Confession and Holy Communion, and the clear references in Sacred Scripture, which no one would have without the fact that His Church, with His authority declared which books, and no others, form the Sacred Scriptures and without which no one would even know what to believe.

Thus:
He established His Church and explicitly made four promises to Peter alone:
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church.” (Mt 16:18)
“The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”(Mt 16:18)
I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven.” ( Mt 16:19)
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) [Later, also to the Twelve].

Sole authority:
“Strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:32)
“Feed My sheep.”(Jn 21:17).

“And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.’ (Jn 21:25).

  1. Never did Jesus command any of His Apostles to write anything, but to go and teach under the Primacy of St Peter.
  2. It is only through His Church that we can have the Sacred Scriptures to mangle or to lead him to Christ’s Church.
  3. The result of private interpretation like his own has been many thousands of differing and confused “interpretations” among those outside of His Church.

I think many Catholics are becoming more aware of their faith, of Scripture, of the meaning of the Sacraments, and how valuable it all is.
I see more and more of us learning the importance of establishing a close, personal relationship with Christ, instead of just going through the motions.
In my mind, that’s all the other denominations really offer that intices people to go there.
They sense a certain freedom to be somewhat “informal” and more “one on one” with Jesus, but we have that, too. People just overlook it.

What a beautiful and heartwarming story that you shared with us! Thank you God, for Your eternal goodness to one of your children!

You assume quite a bit, don’t you? Like I’ve never talked to her about the CC. And that I have the power to make her become Catholic. I said, she does not want to become Catholic. Now I do not need to go around making excuses for either her or myself. I told the story. It is what it is. I would appreciate it if assumptions were not made, and I was not lectured.

I am sorry I was honest enough to get in this discussion and share a very personal family story, and my opinion on the matter. I am blessed to have such a lovely and humble and Christian niece–she is a joy in my life, and I will leave the matter in God’s hands, where it has been all along.

No, I wouldn’t say this. I do think it shows that there are shortcomings in making our Parishes attractive to every person.

I’ve seen many of the protestant churches as having a more strict social structure. This can be very good for a person just out of a bad situation. You tend to be one of the members and be a part of the social structure or your not. It seems much easier to just be a wall flower in most Catholic Parishes. People can come in just say, “hi”, shake people’s hands at the sign of peace and occasionally come back. The social accountability is almost exclusively from the family outside the parish.

I would never want the Catholic church to become that way, but I see how it would be attractive to someone with little family support. It’s easier to find some of the structure they may need in some of these protestant churches. I do think there is a need to have something between people that stand at the door and welcome people and RCIA to help people that need this type of social support. I guess we too often don’t have enough different kinds of social groups that people in and around our parishes can join and feel this sense of home within it. The Catholic church can have all the right doctrine, do all the right sacraments and the lay people still not evangelize the correct way; in loving gentleness, kindness, and respectfully.

I agree. Thank you for sharing. God bless her. And you, too.

Grasscutter,
what you mentioned is something to think about, but then if the church closed its doors, people move on to the one down the street on the next corner. I do think you said a magic word tho…“helpful”.

They may be looking for their God and finding him in helpful people, as Christ was helpful in curing all those who were brought to him.

But then there is a down side to this, and that is when the crowd sought out Christ because he fed them bread and fish, instead of looking for Jesus as their way in the bread from heaven.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

Pianistclare,
could well be in not understanding the sacraments or a lack of faith in the sacraments. If Jesus were standing before a person, who would refuse to believe him? But standing before us in the Eucharist, some turn away and say “indeed, this is a hard saying” and turn away.

TarkanAttila,
To show them which church is the right one would be an intellectual challange which they might not be up to or want. It may be that they need to be healed and they haven’t found it. But if they need healing in an intellectual way, then this could be a help to them.

CB Catholic,
I can see your point. If I may, here is a story we recently heard about.

The story was somewhat similar to the story you told. But then after some time, they didn’t continue in their new found way. This could happen to anyone protestant or catholic.

I do think the point you made was a good one, they were there when needed, and god bless them for it. They do deserve credit where credit is due. We were out gunned and out numbered.

However because she was helped by them, I do hope someday she will receive Jesus again not only as he Lord and Saviour, but as her friend in the Blessed Sacrament who wants her so badly.

Abu,
Some good points and thoughts…provided she is open to them. I have been watching Marcus Grodi on EWTN and it seems so many converts are saying that it has to be the right moment when they see holes in the teaching of their denomination. There are many who take it for granted that one church is really just about as good as another. And they will just overlook those teachings they don’t care for. Until they arrive at some point where the holes are too many in their own faith.

Oldburkes,
But why are Catholics overlooking this “one to one” relationship? I agree. But is it the “one to one” or rather the freedom fundmentalists feel in this. They don’t have strict moral codes but rather what fits in their own idea of what is bad or good. This certainly is a liberating factor in their relationship. Catholics on the other hand, know almost exactly what is acceptable and what is not and exam their conscience.

It may be easy to be close if one is only bound by the way they may interpret right or wrong for themselves and not have the measuring rule of a church for behaviour.

So our catholics have emmersed in study and knowledge of God’s will, maybe to the detriment of this personal relationship.

Thanks to all for your responses.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

CB Catholic #9
You assume quite a bit, don’t you? Like I’ve never talked to her about the CC. And that I have the power to make her become Catholic.

As you had not stated that you have “talked to her about the” Catholic Church, why should that be a problem of “assumption” for you? Who suggested that anyone has the “power to make her become Catholic”?

And why shouldn’t the offering of the great virtue and value of the truths of Christ’s own Church, as appropriate, be considered O.K.?

Evangelisation and re-evangelization is the theme for Catholics as St John Paul II has stressed, among other popes.

I’ve watched my entire family, mother, brother and sisters all leave Catholicism for Evangelicalism back in the 70’s. At first I did have the attitude you posted in the title. In the meantime I have tried to make inroads, when time and opportunity seemed right. But it was fruitless. Now I have grown up nephews and nieces who were never baptized, and are having children of their own, which aren’t baptized, and I see the REAL evil that this begets. :eek:

I know my patron, John Henry Newman had no luck with his family either, so I have to realize that some things are out of our hands. :shrug:

When I hear that someone has left, I always ask them "How were you able to give up the Eucharist?’ This always causes them to think, no matter how poorly they were trained.

You are so right. It is sad. I have two nephews who left in high school years ago and never returned.

I have said little things to them to sort of plant ideas, hoping.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

This might help with some who had fond memories.

I asked a person who had been EMHC, and he wasn’t sure what he thought about it at the time.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

  1. There is but one and only one “church”. That is the one, holy Catholic and apostolic church. Our Lord Jesus instituted one church, not many.

  2. Not to be mean or “unecumenical”, but these othet “churches” are better called ecclesial communities

  3. Extra ecclesia nulla salus. (There is no salvation outside of the church).
    Although these statements have fallen out of fashion this one is still true.
    Many apologists today will stear clear or twist themseves in knots tring to deny thid ex cathedra teaching.

You should chase down the person that left and pull them back up!
You will recieve graces since their own soul is in danger without the sacrements.
As one who also has struggled with substance abuse, I’d likely be dead without the church

I’m even chanting regularly in the men’s schola.
The mass, particularly in my personal experience, the TLM (after the standard 5 weeks in a row to appriciate it fully) literally saved my life@

I have hear this, but somehow it is never a person that I could verify had such problems before their conversion to Protestantism. This leaves me doubting the verity of the statements.

I have an uncle who is something like this. When he got divorced, he started drinking heavily, and that continued into his second marriage. One of his friends from work invited he and his new wife to a bible study and they were all in ever since. He was baptized Catholic and went to Catholic school for a time before my grandparents moved to a different state. I feel like you do, I’d much rather he go to a Christian church I don’t completely agree with than he not go at all. And although you didn’t say it, I know you cherish the fact that your neice enjoys the love of God, no matter how it comes to her. I know I feel that way about my uncle, and I appreciate the good talks he and I can have about living life for and in the Lord.

Don’t apologize for loving your neice enough to let her be an adult and make her own choices. I’d be willing to bet if every time you saw her, all you did was beat her over the head with Catholicsm, you’d probably see less and less of her. I think sometimes we get a little over zealous with our faith, especially because we believe it to be Absolute Truth, that we lose sight of how God can reach others, even if it’s not within the Catholic Church. I don’t believe St. Peter is checking people’s Catholic ID when they get to the Gates.

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