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.