Leaving the Catholic Church

Hi everyone. Thank you for your time - I appreciate that you probably come across a lot of these. To give you all a bit of background about me I was brought up without Faith and only became Christian as an adult when I was in desperate need of God. I was received into the church over six years ago and since I have grown in Faith and was considering religious life. However, I am in my first relationship and as my partner is not Catholic and is a typical secular man I “gave in” to sexual temptation. I went to confession and the priest told me that my confession was effectively invalid and that I should abstain from communion until I have the strength to say no. He then went on to say that there would be no need to use contraception once we were married as it wouldn’t matter if we’d have children. I’ve always struggled with the Church rules on contraception within marriage - and every single Catholic woman I know does/has used contraception, but the majority just don’t confess it and carry on as normal. My conscience won’t let me do that. Which is why I feel perhaps as I am going to be excluded from communion and the sacraments for my childbearing years, perhaps I should leave the Church.

Since the incident, I’ve become very disillusioned with the Church and it’s brought up a lot of the issues that I’ve had with the Church that I’ve kept buried. To start with, I find it difficult thinking about how I want my children to be brought up and would rather they grew up with a love of God and worshipping Him - and I believe that does not have to be in the form of a (somewhat boring) Mass for a 10 year old child. I also have always had full respect for other Christians and see the Catholic Church as the closest to my beliefs and prefered way of practising the Faith, but then other denominations cater for other preferences and beliefs - but that we are all one Church. Also I’ve been thinking “what would Jesus think of the different churches?” and I think he would find the Catholic institution quite arrogant - the things Jesus criticises in the Jewish priests are present in the Catholic religious. I do not feel like I can talk things through with Catholic priests as many are more internally spiritual rather than excellent pastors, and as a young female it is difficult to discuss sexual sin with celibate men as I want to avoid causing them discomfort (I am the sort of person who would only discuss these sorts of things with women anyway for this reason)…
But on the other hand, I love the spirituality of the Church and devotion to Mary, and believe without the Catholic Church, Christianity would struggle and would become too people-pleasing rather than God-pleasing.

So, I am not sure what I am seeking from this forum as I have completely drifted from the Church over the last six months, but I guess this is a last resort and your honest thoughts and advice would be welcome. If not, please pray for God’s guidance in this decision, and be assured of my prayers for you all.

Thanks again and God bless.

Welcome! God called you here for a reason.

We are all victims of culture and society - a society which is rotten to the core. We have been immersed in sexuality, temporary relationships that we toss like a fast food wrapper.

if your partner is pressuring you, it is NOT the Church at fault. If neither of you can wait, or live without each other, then what is your future? Marriage? Without self-control, one or both of you “may” wander from your marriage.

What did we hear today at mass?

Commitment.

Sin is still sin even if another community teaches that it is not.

Your answer will be found before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Your desperation, your disillusionment is caused by straying from truth. We have ALL felt this, done this. God is calling you back - therefore, standing, sitting, kneeling in the presence of Christ during prayer will bring grace to a desperate heart.

Just be as patient with Him as He has been with you. And, when you are aware that He is there, you will be changed.

Not that easy you say? What in life, that is truly valuable, is easy to obtain? Now, increase that thought to eternal life. Is that not worth some sacrifice in this ephemeral, pilgrim existence?

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As someone who’s considering a jump the other direction, pray for discernment from the Holy Spirit and ask God to lead you where He wants you. I still struggle with a a lot of the doctrines of the church, but have softened on a lot of them. I also still like a lot of what my Lutheran Church does.

I’m not a patient person and want answers right now, but God operates out of our scope of time, and I know He’ll guide me where He wants me.

I find praying to take away the “peripherals” and asking to be guided to the truth is helpful. Take human emotion out of it.

I’ll pray for you.

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I know this probably sounds like a simplistic (or obvious) answer, but with all difficult matters in life, I believe in prayer.
I pray that you do not leave the Church.
Disillusionment with the Church and with other issues of conscience at times are things that most of us have had to contend with.
The Roman Catholic Church is the one true Church.
Stay the course. Pray. With your prayers and with our prayers for you, you will find the answers you are seeking.
I ask for my brothers and sisters on this CAF forum to pray for you. :pray::pray::pray:

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I’ll rememb you in my prayers at this difficult time of discernment :notebook::heart::pray:t2:

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Just to add: There are times in one’s life when Christ is the only man we need. This sounds very much like one of those times.

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Yes it is brutal to be a young Catholic woman. I understand your situation. Hopefully you
can find some guidance in this area.

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Believe in your conscience.

Pray, pray, pray. And know you’ll be getting a lot of prayers from people here, even though most will never post on this thread.

But with regard to raising children in the future – the mass is at the center of the Catholic faith, for sure. For children, however, we can teach them the beauty of the faith through observance of the Catholic calendar in our homes. We have feast days and solemnities and Saints all over the place. We can have family celebrations with fun times and treats, and then observe more solemn times (Advent and Lent) with our eyes on the hope that comes with the season that follows (Christmas and Easter, respectively).

It’s just me and my son, but we’ve always had a good time observing the seasons and feast days. In other words, the Catholic faith is not just observed for one hour a week at mass, but everyday throughout the year. Those observances make the one hour a week more bearable and understandable to young children.

I’ll pray for your current situation that the Holy Spirit will guide you. :pray:

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I feel for you & I understand. I honestly can’t say if I could live a chaste life as a single person & know I should not receive communion. My conversion came much later, I was already married & snipped so contraception wasn’t an issue either.

I truly believe our Lord makes Himself present to us in the form of bread & wine on the altar. I truly believe the Holy Spirit is talking to you right now.

Pray. Pray in the sanctuary with the blessed Eucharist. & everything you’ve said here, be as honest & open with your confessor.

Forget about what you think he will think. Forget about what you think his qualifications are/are not. Forget what you think he will say.

Know that God doesn’t make mistakes. You are where you are for a reason. Your confessor is where he is for a reason. Be open, be honest & give true consideration to what he says.

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I’m a woman if that helps.

To discuss sexual stuff with priests and them being uncomfortable … Hopefully they knew what kinda thing they were getting into when they were becoming priests … I mean hearing teen boys and girls… Men and Attractive women confessing to masturbation for example.

It’s kinda like a doctor shouldn’t be suprised with seeing blood if he signed up for the job of being a surgeon.

Now regarding the Catholic Church and her teachings.

If you ordered steak and lobster at a restaurant and I as a waitress instead gave you a thin burger and cold fries instead… How would you feel?

Would you be upset for one reason being that it was not what you ordered?

When Jesus said something like “unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you.” Was he intendint on being literal or symbolic in John 6?

How did the early church/Christians interpret?
Look it up and see. Does the early Church look Catholic to you?

Judaism was still the true religion when God’s people in the Old Testament were sinning against him, so please don’t leave the church because of people.

Kinda like don’t leave apostle Matthew because of Judas.

If you have a problem with the Church and ehat she teaches on contraception… Why not study what she teaches on human sexuality and read and study humanae vitae.

What started scott Hahn and his conversion to Catholicism might of been because of the issue of contraception.

Also do you know about NFP?

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Not knowing what was said between you and the priest it’s hard to comment, but it sounds like maybe you are continuing to have sex with him instead of a firm amendment of purpose to stop having sexual relations?

I would encourage you to stop having sex and then return to confession.

It’s not a rule. It’s God law, a sin against the sixth commandment.

And, now you know a Catholic woman who never used contraception— me. I encourage you to look at natural family planning (NFP) to space children.

Is that because of your totally secular boyfriend? Perhaps returning to the Church and putting distance between you and the boyfriend might be better than the other way around, as it is now.

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Monstrance energy. Drink in the living water of Christ.

Just do it!

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Why leave the boat and flounder in the stormy sea?

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The many thousands of Protestant churches exist because every time someone doesn’t like something, they go off and form another church. Do you want a church that bends to the desire of the congregation? Or do you want a church founded by Christ that has followed His teachings for two thousand years? Remember, this life as we know it is temporary. It’s eternity we are striving to be with God, not a few decades.
Think about what is truly important.
God Bless

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Every single person I know has sinned. I do not take that as permission to sin. “Everyone else does it” is about as far from virtue as one can go.

Shall we list the things that the average 10 year old finds boring?

Math, eating dinner at the table with family, flossing, bathing, chores, homework, going to the pediatrician, dentist, we could go on and on.

Let your kids see your relationship with God, introduce them to the real and living Jesus, encourage them to do good works, take them with you to build a house for Habitat or to give Thanksgiving baskets to the less fortunate.

Satan loves to convince us that our sins are especially dirty and nasty and shameful, that priests will look down on us or be uncomfortable. This is actually a form of spiritual pride.

Remember your priest has been not only trained for years and years, he has heard thousands of confessions. Every time he sits there in the confessional, he hears about sexual sins. They are common and not at all shock-worthy.

Jesus calls you by your name, not by your sins.

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The One who founded the Catholic Church said…I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Sounds pretty arrogant. Truth has always been accused of arrogance.

Do you have difficulty talking with Jesus?

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