Just married a Catholic


#1

Hi Everyone,

My husband and I were married in April of this year. I am a non-denominational Christian and he is a Catholic. We are both devout Christians and consider ourselves to be conservative and Biblically minded.

We don’t seem to disagree a lot when talking about spiritual matters. I study apologetics and so I am diving into christian philosophy and theology daily. There are some issues that we bounce ideas off each other with (the infallibility of the papacy, Mary’s place in Catholic theology, etc.) But it is more like a team effort at truth seeking than a debate.

I have a lot of close friends that are protestants or non-denominational christians. I consider some of them my spiritual mentors. When finding out my husband (who I dated for 7 years before marriage) is catholic, I receive a lot of flack. These friends ask if this comes in between us and act as if him and I must be vehemently opposed theologically. Some are concerned that I must be misguided as a non-catholic christian to be with a catholic. I truly don’t think this is a warranted response.

I would like to open this topic by asking what everyone’s thoughts are about this. I have follow up questions because I am trying to understand Catholicism as much as I can. We attend a catholic church and I get a lot of spiritual nourishment out of it. I feel really misunderstood by my protestant friends as of now.


#2

To most of your post, my only comment is, I am happy you are so open to exploring the Catholic faith. As to being misunderstood by protestants, that is not too surprising. Most protestants have little understanding of what the Church actually teaches. And they have lots of misconceptions. I don’t think there is much you can do about this.

God bless your new family!!!


#3

I think it’s wonderful that you and your husband are studying and seeking Truth together. It sounds like you are truly blessed in your marriage.

I’d just ignore what your “friends” say…it’s doubtful they’ve studied the Church or attended Mass like you have so they are probably very misinformed about the Catholic Church.

Most Protestants, especially non-denominationals, are very ignorant about Church teachings and beliefs.

Keep searching for the Truth and see where it leads you. I did, and it led me to cross the Tiber.

You are being fed at Mass, so don’t let the nay-sayers dissuade you.

God bless you!


#4

I’d suggest you get a copy of the Common Ground DVD and study guide.

Watch it yourself, then, do a group with your friends (It has aired on CBN as well as EWTN):

http://ninevehscrossing.com/CommonGround/CGOrder.php


#5

Since my friends are typically informed Christians it does make me wonder if i’m the one that’s confused about the Catholic Church. I want to explore answers to what the Church teaches. While I have met some priests that i really disagree with, it has been my experience that the more conservative (theologically, not necessarily politically) a catholic is the more i see no glaring contradiction with what i believe as a non-denominational christian. I have also learned a heck of a lot from the Catholic church. I had never heard of NFP in my protestant circles and was considering birth control before our wedding. However, in marriage prep, I learned about NFP and I just felt like the Holy Spirit was telling me that this is the right way. I am so shocked that any Christian would accept Birth Control or even barrier methods or withdrawl at this point. My protestant christian friends either think this is unnecessary, not gonna work, or think im being swayed by the Church. This is only one example of the divide that has been opening between myself and the protestant circles I used to be so comfortable in.

I am not quite a Catholic and not quite a protestant at this point. Just a Christian trying to seek the truth on these matters. Since I grew up protestant but always had a deep respect for Catholicism (my grandmother is Catholic) I thought id check here for answers. I still have many questions. The gift shop at our church is ordering my a catechism.


#6

Read Scot Hahn’s book Rome, Sweet Home. You will see how a Protestant learned about the Church.


#7

Along with Scott Hahn’s book, which I highly recommend, I’d also recommend:

  • Patrick Madrid’s Surprised by Truth trilogy
  • Thomas Howard’s Evangelical is Not Enough and Lead, Kindly Light. (I love On Being Catholic, too.)
  • Stephen K. Ray’s Crossing the Tiber
  • EWTN, especially “The Journey Home” show with Marcus Grodi
  • Also, the Relevant Radio app is great

#8

Congratulations and PLEASE do keep these lines of religious conversation open with him. Together y’all can tackle anything but satan just loves to break up good holy marriages. Maybe one day you’ll join him as a Catholic in the Church.


#9

God bless you @jberens and your husband .

You are suffering because the Body of Christ is broken through divisions and disunity . You are living out in your marriage the pain of disunity .

Jesus prayed that we would all be one , but Christians of all shades have messed things up .

I am glad the Catechism is on its way to you . I’m sure it will help .


#10

Congratulations on your marriage. I’m glad you and your husband are able to harmonize your religious seeking.

I’m a little confused as to why this is just now coming up with your friends and mentors, given that you dated this man for 7 years and are now married to him. I would have expected them to say something to you while you were dating or while you were engaged. It seems a bit late, and the boat has sailed.

In any event, I also have to say that I don’t think it’s any of their business who you married. If they were your family, such as mom, dad, or sibling, I could perhaps understand a bit as families often do have some concern about who a person dates or marries, but again I would have expected them to express it sometime during the past 7 years when you were dating this man, growing closer to him, and getting engaged to him.

Friends, on the other hand - particularly friends who apparently weren’t close enough to you to have any idea that you were dating a Catholic for 7 years - really aren’t involved in this equation. If I were you, I would limit my friendships to those who did not express problems or concern with my husband’s religion. I myself am Catholic and was married to a nominal Presbyterian who did not want to convert, and I guarantee you that any friend of mine who got all bothered that I was married to a Presbyterian would not have been my friend for very long. Fortunately, we did not meet any people who had a problem with that. Most of the people we met outside our immediate family didn’t know and didn’t care.

If you decide to still talk to these people and they keep on minding your business, you need to politely but firmly tell them to butt out and if they keep bringing it up you’ll have to cut ties with them.

Good luck and God bless.


#11

There’s already good advice upthread, jut wanted to say I’m :pray:t2::pray:t2::pray:t2: For you, your hubby and your friends on this spiritual journey!
:slightly_smiling_face:


#12

I don’t think these kinds of people really are friends if they would make such rude and unfounded statements and generally be less than supportive of you and your marriage.

Mixed marriages can indeed be difficult, but the time to air those concerns among friends has passed by, a full 7 years ago. After vows have been spoken, it is the time to be supportive of our friends and their marriages.

These people are not the kind of friends to worry yourself over. Fair weather friends at best. We often drift away from people we were close with when we were younger, or single. We gain new friends along the way. Sometimes this is difficult. But necessary as we grow and change.


#13

I’m 51 years old, I’ve done a TON of apologetics and worked with more fundamentalist/non-denom and baptist folks in pro life ministry.

It’s not you.

Frankly a lot of my non-denom friends make me want to bang my head against the wall. Some of the stuff they post of Facebook is so offensive. I rarely reply or comment, FB is NOT the medium for that in most cases but once in a while they will post a real doozy and I just have to respond. Frankly, sometimes it’s like talking to a brick wall. I really love a lot of my non-denom friends, but I find that many of them have a superficial knowledge of scripture. A lot of proof texting. Not interested in Church fathers or history. Unable to see the bigger context.

Sometimes it goes like this:

Baptism is just symbolic
Me: Baptism washes away original sin and gives us grace, baptism is necessary for salvation
That’s just a bunch of made up stuff
Me: Let’s look at 1 Peter 3:21 and John 3
Catholics think they’re saved by works
Me: Um, we weren’t finished talking about Baptism

Me: hello are you there?
Catholics pray to statues
Me: Can we go back to Baptism we weren’t finished
I have to go

(Somewhat tongue in cheek, but honestly i’ve had a lot of those sorts of conversations)


#14

The book The Bible and Birth Control by Charles Provan (a Protestant) can help you there. It’s a great book.


#15

@jberens

Welcome,

Here is a wonderful resource, Institute of Catholic Culture. It is free to register and there is over 800 hours of free archived programing on theology, Scripture, Liturgy, history and more. There is also free live webinars.

ZP


#16

Sounds more like someone who is only interested in bashing the Church rather than genuinely interested in learning.


#17

Unfortunately it’s most of the non-denoms I’ve debated over the years online and in person, both friends and strangers. I have a few people who I talk to who are genuinely curious, the rest have made up their minds and if it doesn’t fit their narrative, it is to be discarded.


#18

I love everything about this! May God bless you and your marriage. :heart:


#19

Unfortunately, the more you know, the more you distance yourself from people who don’t know and it becomes more difficult to find satisfying friendships.

When you’re with your Protestant friends, it’s probably best not to talk about religion, politics or anything that might upset the apple cart. Stick to topics like what you’re doing or the house you’re interested in looking at. The more you tell them, the more they can use that information against you. It’s best to just ask them questions about their lives. That’ll keep the conversation going for hours.


#20

The conversations I have with my friends are usually respectful but sometimes I can see there is discomfort or they will say things about the church that I know isn’t true. I actually believe that it is always OK to talk politics and religion among mixed company AS LONG AS both parties are willing to talk and be respectful. That’s the only way we can have true friendships. This is also a great way to evangelize. People are surprisingly open to talk about these matters. I am mostly saying I am surprised at such a deep divide between denominations. I’ve made people who actually believed that Catholics are non Christian. Talking with non Christians can help evangelize and talking to Christians of different stripes can help us become more unified as the body of Christ


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.