Hello. I was brought up Protestant and broke from that in my teens/early 20’s to explore everything else (mainly paganism). I was attracted to the Roman Catholic Church because I still believed in Jesus Christ as the son of God, and I figured if I was going to be Christian I would go to the ‘start’. I studied and converted in 2005. I still love the RCC but do not like a lot of the politics. I especially don’t agree with the stance regarding homosexual relationships/marriage, the ordination of women, and sex/contraception. I believed in my heart that if I wanted to be a ~true~ Christian in the RCC I had to believe those things and tried very hard to convince and “pray” myself into it. It did not happen.
Because of this I have stopped attending Church the last several months. I have started looking into the Unitarian Universalist religion because I could still identify as a Catholic (which I do, and think I will continue to do so - but not as concretely as I had previously) while being a member. I have a family and want them to attend a ‘church’ growing up. It is important to me. I also don’t want them to ever feel like I did growing up (like questioning was wrong and if you don’t believe the problem must be with you). I want them to feel free to question things or even explore other areas of faith/lack of faith. I want that for myself as well.
I want to stand before God having done what I best could to truly follow and know Him with all my being.
Don’t leave the Catholic Church because of all the contentiousness and meanness you hear in the media from political Conservatives. Don’t give them that much power over you!
To whatever extent you consume news on TV and radio, reduce it by about 95%. You’ll immediately begin to feel better. You really don’t need to be filled up with all that national and international news every day. You’ll see.
Next, if you live a big or medium-sized city, you should be able to find a Catholic mass with a priest that is so liberal that he will virtually be the same as a Unitarian-Universalist minister. So go there. At least you’ll still be in the Catholic tradition. This will give you a rest, let you calm down, and feel better.
Don’t let controversial issues like gay marriage and homosexual sex shipwreck your Faith in God. Such issues are hard to figure out, but, in any case, are not the WHOLE of the Faith. Just live out your little life as the best you can. Above all, you know from the Scriptures and the Saints that “love thy neighbor as thyself” is the heart and core of the Faith and the True. Do that, and you shall be well. Don’t spend your life going from church to church, religion to religion, minister to minister, trying to find the “just right” view of things.
There is no way for our puny little minds to really understand or grasp it all, or to find a teaching that won’t bother us a little. Just love others, forgive others, accept love from others, seek forgiveness from others and accept it with gratitude.
Besides, the UU does not have any cool forums like this one! We’d hate to see you go!
I wish you all the best in your faith journey. However, you should be aware that although the Unitarian Universalist religion may allow you to identify as a Catholic as a member of their church, I think you can only be a nominal or lapsed Catholic (if you were baptized according to the trinitarian procedure) in the eyes of the Church. This is due to the Catholic dogma of the Trinity, which the Unitarians do not accept. That may be fine for you and your family, and is of course your decision.
UU congregations seem more like Ethical Societies than churches to me. I looked into them a while ago, in my New Agey searching phase. I would venture to say that the majority (at least that I saw) do not believe in an afterlife, or at least a personal one, and many do not believe in God. Although I was told there are Christians in UU groups I didn’t find any. Think about it, if you were Christian wouldn’t you just go to your own church?
I think the UU congregations of today offer the feeling of fellowship and goodwill that religious congregations offer, without the religious part. There are rites and rituals but they hold very little meaning. It’s sort of like humanistic Judaism.
I would say that if you’re looking for the religion that completely agrees with all of your own opinions, then you’re going to be looking a long, long time. The point of faith isn’t to make us feel like we’re in control or that everything we think or do is justified. The Christian religion involves self-reflection and a willingness to discuss your doubts rather than just throw up your hands and walk away. If you were to sit down with a religious Christian person you might be able to have some of their beliefs explained to you.
We don’t pray ourselves into belief, nor do we wake up one morning and realize that we suddenly believe something. Belief is not something that happens to us. Belief is an act of the will.
Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
We make a concious decision to believe, and we do so not because it makes sense, or because it is easy, but because God has revealed it to us, through his Holy Church. Like the man in Mark 9 who chooses to believe that Christ is the Messiah, we choose what we believe. To not believe what God has revealed to us is to ignore reality, and to ignore reality is insanity.
I’m sure the Unitarian churches accept all beliefs, but I was referring to the Catholic Church, which does not accept the Unitarian as Christian, let alone Catholic. If that is of concern to the OP, he should be aware of it.
Are you sure you want to do that. You will reject 2000 years of authentic Catholic tradtion and you will miss the Eucharist the body,blood soul and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
As for the issues you mentioned such as the ordanation of women,contraception,and homosexuality they are not polictial issues they are MORAL issues. Please I beg you to read these links and then pray to Our Lord Jesus Christ asking him to show you the truth.
Why Unitarian and not Episcopalian? Or, for that matter, other mainline denominations–but given the specific nature of your issues with Catholicism, Episcopalianism looks like a good “fit.”
I don’t, in principle, approve of going to churches based on “fit.” But we live in a fallen world and we are fallen creatures, and it seems to me that you’re ignoring a good bit of the religious spectrum between Catholicism and Unitarianism!
Whether in fact you can’t in good conscience become Catholic is not as clear as you seem to think it. I encourage you to find a good priest or other “real world” spiritual adviser to talk to.
There are plenty of Catholics who disagree with the official stance on the issues you have named. Of course, it’s harder for converts. I agree with the Catholic Church more than you do on these issues, and I also find it hard to convert (though not only for these reasons).
Also, I don’t think you have to “pray yourself” into accepting something you don’t accept, even by orthodox Catholic standards. You just have to accept the possibility that the Church knows more than you do and that you could be wrong.
Just a word of encouragement. I have come to the conclusion, over the years, that people should find a faith where they are most likely to meet God. In other words, attend where you are most comfortable, since (in my view) there is no one true faith. Most of us have a religious instinct. We have a natural desire to understand this vast and mysterious universe. Religion provides us with (at least) tentative answers to tough questions.
What is both positive and negative about Unitarianism as it's practiced today is that it permits a wide range of belief - all the way from liberal Christian to atheism. Originally, it was a form of free-thinking Protestantism that questioned the Trinity (hence the name) but esteemed Jesus. Read Channing, Theodore Parker and others. Emerson and many of the 19th century New England poets and writers were Unitarian. Even Harvard Divinity School came under heavy Unitarian influence. Nine of the original Puritan churches, including the Pilgrim church ant Plymouth and the First Church of Boston, became Unitarian, etc.
The negative is that Unitarianism sometimes can become a bit snooty. If you show evidence of too much Christianity you may feel out of place. There is an intense intellectualism that can be intolerant at times.
All in all, I am sympathetic to Unitarianism. It is a comfortable place for people who want a relgious faith and church community without feeling compelled to accept ancient creeds, etc. It also provides a common ground for mixed marriages - Catholic and Jewish, for example, or Christian and Hindu and others. As someone already has suggested, if you are into liturgy, you may find an Episcopal Church that fits your need. Despite its outer appearance, Episcopalianism somehow manages to embrace a huge diversity of beliefs. Episcopalians seem to find little problem with reciting creeds espousing theology that they reject.
Such mainline denominations as the Methodists, Presbyterians, UCC, etc., tend to have local parishes that are very broad when it comes to theology. They will have evangelical members worshiping next to Unitarianish members. They don't make theological uniformity a requirement. Christian love, they preach, clearly trumps creeds. Actually, that seems to be increasingly true of Catholicism as well. I saw a poll awhile back - in the ***US Catholic***, as I recall - which found that over 50% of Catholics reject transubstantiation, to many the cornerstone of the Catholic faith.
Good luck on finding a religious community where you feel God's presence and at home.
What keeps me Catholic is that I do not find the same truths professed outside of the Church as I do within. To leave the church would be to compromise on TRUTH. One can not be a “truth seeker” and yet so easily compromise on the truth that they will forsake it so casually or then unite and communion with people which profess other truths.
I’m not going to bash the UU church… but only because I don’t think that will help you. What I WILL say is that… your unity, sense of belonging, etc. would be a sham, IF the other members do not share all the same beliefs as you.
In fact, they don’t share all the same beliefs with each other. They may 'act fine and corgial" but they do not actually agree with each other. Otherwise they would have a single doctrine, something that they standby and defend.
I see that you ‘prayed alot’ but after that didn’t miraculously change your mind, you are concluding that you then have to leave the Catholic church.
However, you still want to be considered Catholic…but can not stand to be in it or around it. You’d rather seek the company of people with just about any other belief then to be around Catholics.
Is that right? – Does that sound logical?
I am an American, but I can not stand Americans… disagree with Obamcare, and dislike corrupt Politicians. Therefore I reside outside of the United States and will not step foot on its shores, except maybe to visit my parents at Christmas. But I would still like to consider myself American. I am now part of the Secular Socialist party in France, even though I don’t agree with all of their beliefs. At least they allow me to think whatever I want, as long as I don’t disrupt their meetings too much or express my American ideals too often.
But I am still an American!
– Other then emotionally… does that make much sense?
Is it TRULY better to be part of a group which professes different beliefs then you and ignore the differences and focus on the common stuff, then to merely do that in the Catholic church, where I HOPE you have at least MORE in common then you would at the UU church?
I don’t mean to offend or attack you… just trying to look at this from a more analytical standpoint.
You said you prayed alot… but maybe that’s not your thing, the way God speaks to you.
How much reading did you do on those topics?
Did you call Catholic Answers LIVE?
Did you post your questions/concerns on this forum?
Did you speak with other Catholics at your local parish? (do you have other Catholic friends?)
Are you only surrounding yourself with media and friends who espouse the opposite view and therefore aren’t really exposed to Catholic Apologetics?
I tried out a UU church for awhile. It was very supportive of gay rights and women’s rights, and was very focused on public service and charitable work.
At this particular church, lot of the people there were pagans and new-agers, some were Buddhists, some were Hindus, a few were athiests/agnostics, and some were liberal Christians. So, it was very inclusive, with one exception.
There was a very strong undercurrent of distain for evangelicals and pretty much anyone else believing in the literal resurrection of Jesus, the virgin birth, miracles, etc. I think this was a function of the particular group of attendees, not a general feature of the church. It occurred to me more than once that I couldn’t bring my parents (who are devout United Methodists) to the church without running the risk of someone saying something that would offend them. I don’t believe in any of those things myself, but I didn’t want to be associated with a place where people showed such disrespect towards these beliefs. So, I left.
Also, the service was more like a club meeting than anything resembling a worship service. While there were (sometimes) hymns, the ‘sermon’ was usually a talk given by someone from a local community organization or charity. Also, the service was very informal, and attendees would interrupt the service to give their comments, and sometimes the service just disintegrated into general discussion. I didn’t really like this format.
Anyway, this was my experience with UU. Your mileage my vary…
^ Amen to the above comment. I’m Catholic because I believe in the spiritual dogma, not because a bunch of sex obsessed weirdos wanna flaunt their self-righteous opinions in public and call it tradition. I liken them to perverts who get a thrill from flashing their junk in public.
“Hypocrites! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye!”
Keep in mind, you’ll find weirdo fundamentalists in any church. (See the above comment about evangelizers at the UU church) Please don’t let ANY of them keep you from Christ’s call!
I would sumbit that calling other Catholics “sex obsessed wierdos” and comaring them to sexual perverts is doing to them exactly what you accuse them of doing to you - judging, insulting and forcing their belief on you.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is peace and joy. There is no surer sign that we are on the correct path to God than the absence of anger. The ability to instantly pray for those who insult us and hate is us a sure sign that we are on the right track.