Love her dearly, but will never understand her...fully

Can anyone explain my wife’s line of thinking on things? Because it boggles my mind from time to time. The issue: Whether our 8 year old should receive first communion. She feels he should and it is important to her. I know. That sounds like the wishes of any Catholic mother. I’m against it for a number of reasons Which I’ll now get into:

  1. My wife and I were married in a Lutheran Church. I refused to make any promise to never interfere with a Catholic and Catholic only religious upbringing and she was fine with that.

  2. She has never sought a convalidation in our 20 years of marriage, even though I’ve mentioned it a number of times and would be willing to investigate it.

  3. She routinely takes communion at both mass and at Lutheran services. She sees no problem with it in any way despite me pointing out Catholic rules on doing so.

  4. I’ve told her that if our son was to take first communion that I would still fully expect him to take first communion in the Lutheran Church, which in our area would happen in 5th grade. Darling wife is absolutely fine with this, again, despite me pointing out Catholic teachings on this issue,

  5. I’ve told her that there are certain aspects of Catholicism that I will not teach in our home, accept, or even tolerate: “One true church” and that “clergy of other churches are not valid” are the main ones. She is fine with that as she is against those ideas as well.

  6. When it comes to the Catholic Church she is on the other side of the fence on nearly every social issue

  7. When we’ve discussed these things in the past her answer is usually something like: “I live in the real world, and I do what I know is right and these things are between me and God, not between me and the church.”

So, I guess my question is this: If she’s not in communion with the Catholic Church and its rules; she knows I’m not in communion with the Catholic Church, and if she has no intention of teaching our son to be in communion with the Catholic Church, why is she wanting this? I don’t get it.

well… Has she given you any reasons why she says she wants him to do First Communion? Have you actually asked her outright to articulate why she wants him to receive?

She says very guarded things about it like: “I think it’s important.” “I think it will help him be closer to God.”

I also suspect that because was something of a social outcast as a kid that she’s afraid that him not having communion will make him stand out. She also, around her new friends (our son’s friends’ mothers) she does exactly hide the fact that I’m Lutheran, but she certainly doesn’t do anything to make it apparent.

This is really unfortunate because she is going to potentially lead her son into sin and into disrespecting the Catholic faith regarding the Eucharist the same way she is. It’s one thing for her to do this herself as an adult, but a very serious sin to do it to her child. You seem to have more respect for Catholicism than she does!

You have been married to this woman for twenty years. She is very confused and you don’t understand why. You seem to be asking people you don’t know and who never met her to read a few sentences describing the situation to explain your wife’s behavior for you.

She has disregarded the precepts of her religion, tries to mix various components of two seperate religions however the mood strikes her. Is there any wonder about why she is so confused. Straightening the mess out is another matter.

Maybe you can take her to a local priest, explain your marriage and tell him that your wife wants her children to receive Communion despite her odd religious practices and views. He will surely tell her that is not possible in the circumstances you describe and she will be disappointed, but accept the fact that she and her family are not Catholic or even close to being part of the Catholic faith.

I threw this out to see if anyone has dealt with something similar?

I’d say it’s more than two…She wavers on the “real presence” which both Catholics and Lutherans believe.

She’s committing very grave sins, the Catholic church is not some denomination where you can pick and choose what you believe within it. If this were years ago and the priest found out, she’d be excommunicated in short order.

This silly statement gave me a chuckle.

If that were the case, every cafeteria catholic(including priests and bishops) would have to be excommunicated. :rolleyes:

Lutheranteach, I have asked myself the very same questions regularly, when I am given students to teach in 2nd grade whose parents rarely (or never!) attend Mass, their children are ignorant about the basic prayers of the Catholic faith, & yet they insist that their children must receive First Holy Communion.

The only thing I can say is that the Catholic faith is very strong…& if your wife was brought up in the faith, received her sacraments, then it is really a part of who she is. Even if she doesn’t believe what the Church teaches, she still feels that she is part of the Church–which, in fact, she is. The Holy Spirit is pulling on her–He never leaves us alone.

Was your son baptized in the Lutheran church or the Catholic church? Just wondering. (Not that that would be an obstacle–the Catholic church would accept a Lutheran baptism). The problem I see is that raising a child in both churches could be a very confusing experience for him–& regardless of what your wife believes, he will be educated in the Catholic faith in CCD classes & will learn contradicting infomation from what he may learn in Lutheran Sunday school.

Excommunication is a possibility. No, seriously: if you recall from the Bible, when you have a problem with someone first you speak to them one-on-one, then you bring in other good people, then you call in the Church. If they still refuse to repent or be moved to change, they really ought to be excommunicated. Really, they are excommunicating themselves by denying themselves full communion with the Church as well as not accepting the Catholic teaching that has been revealed throughout the ages. It is truly a tragic happenstance. Just being mistaken in your beliefs is not enough to be excommunicated, but refusing to change is.

Another extremely serious problem: your wife may mistakenly not even believe in the one true God. If she denies His church, she is denying His loving teaching. Additionally, it is possible to pray seemingly fervently to God, but in actuality be praying to an idol that one has constructed in one’s mind. This sort of praying serves to remove oneself from communication and understanding with others by this talk of “between me and God” when its actually God and the Catholic Church, and me (of course) as part of the Catholic Church; note that the Our Father uses the word “us” and “our” not “me” and “my.” Plus, consider how many hundreds of times community is emphasized in the many letters in the Bible (“letters” as in mail :slight_smile: ). I am afraid that that sort of thinking is verging on the severe spiritual sin of Pride in many ways. The bottom line is that to love God, you must love His Church, His holy bride, totally. Understand that doctrine is true and not to be selfishly denied.

Your wife’s behavior is truly concerning. She may have many, many years of fear built up to so strongly not want to discuss her beliefs because she feels you might not agree, or she possibly knows that they are contradictory and she is afraid of being an outcast, like you mentioned. Talk to her, don’t analyze her. Get a third party if necessary. Females sometimes really, really need to talk things through, even though she may not realize it. Its not some sort of weakness, its just how God made them (actually, I-a male teenager-like to talk things through, too, which is apparent by how long this post is getting. :slight_smile: Honest communication is quite wonderful overall, especially in healing). Remember that God has a plan, so you need not worry about the outcome. As long as you are kind and honest and serve God faithfully and such, his plan will come to fruition in you. I hope everything turns out for the best.

hate to say it but you are analyzing the situation correctly. In fact if you came to me with this scenario I would be obliged to remind your wife that unless she can assure the child will be educated in the faith throughout the school years, brought to Mass, and assisted in living the Catholic faith at home, she cannot at this time receive baptism, communion or confirmation in the Catholic Church, and we would delay=nevery deny-her reception of sacraments.

You leave out the key aspect however: is the child baptized Catholic. If so, she cannot receive sacraments in any other denomination either unless she formally defects. If so, furthermore, your wife as the Catholic parent made a solemn promise at that time to raise her in the faith, upon which she is reneging, so she better prepare her defense statement to God. It is in fact a mortal sin that may even merit an automatic excommunication for a parent to remover her minor, baptized child from the Catholic Church. I doubt very much your wife knows or understands the seriousness of her choices, but you apparently are much more realistic.

If you were to enroll this child in sacramental classes and have her celebrate first communion in the Catholic Church, you are committing her to all the Church holds, teaches and practices, and no our wife should not do it if she does not intend to follow through. The confusion these children face, and I see them every day, is very sad.


I commend your sensitivity in wanting to convalidate your marriage in the Catholic Church for the sake of your wife, but, apparently, she was not interested.

It is obvious that she has a lot of problems with the Catholic Church, but for some reason is now wanting your son to receive his First Communion there. If she insists on that, it would be good if both of you spoke with a priest and she was forthcoming with her doubts and reservations. Under the circumstances the priest may not even consider it wise to do so, since it appears that in no way will your son be instructed in what the Church teaches and why.

I don’t know your wife. So I’m only speculating.

It seems she wants your son to receive FHC in the Catholic Church for the same reason Mexicans who do not otherwise step foot in a Church want a Quincenera, people who are raised Catholic and no longer practice hang rosary beads on their rearview mirror, Jews who are culturally Jewish but religiously atheist give their kid a bar/bat mitzvah, etc.

FHC (and Confirmation) are seen by some as something that you “get” and have a party and celebrate as a rite of passage-- a cultural phenomenon.

Of course, they are not a rite of passage or a cultural initiation, but people who have this attitude “give me FHC or give me death” are usually wanting it for this reason. It’s the nostalgia of their “special day” when they were children, the party, the cultural bonding as a Catholic, that “shared memory” or “shared experience.”

Since you’ve posted on your son’s FHC topic many times, you know that he would have to be received into the Catholic Church in order receive FHC and Confirmation. And, you know that this would mean being Catholic exclusively, not the mix of Catholic and Lutheran you propose. .

Our young man was baptized in the Lutheran Church. We were also married in a Lutheran Church so no promise was made to a Priest, etc. As for the seriousness of it all, I seem to be the only one willing to say anything. Our son’s DRE and local priest seem to be in a don’t ask, don’t tell mode which leaves me even more perplexed. Am I the only one who sees an issue here? Apparently I am.

I know it, but I can’t seem to get anyone of authority to say it to my wife and spell it out. The DRE always gives me these very nice obtuse answers that are no kind of answer at all and I always wish she were more forthcoming.

i have a rosary hanging on my rear view mirror because it gives me strength and reminders. i love my new faith since im a new convert to the catholic faith. i am filled with gladness and want to show and shout to the world that i am a proud catholic. i love touching the rosary while i drive. it gives me a sense of calmness that i need.

I’m with you. Sounds like she does not comprehend the commitment of a sacrament.

Pray that she will come to know Jesus.

You’ve talked to the DRE. Have you talked with the Catholic priest (I mean here, the pastor)? What if you printout your own posts from this thread, present it to him and say something like “here’s the situation, what now?”

Since your son was baptized in the Lutheran church, I don’t see how he could receive First Holy Communion in the Catholic church.

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