Little bit of a rant here guys sorry.
I just got back from my weekend Catholic marriage retreat that my fiance and I had to go through before we got married and to put it mildly, I was very disappointed.
First, the main reason we went there (other than we had to) was because we wanted to get some tips and pointers on raising our future children Catholic and how to do it so they don’t get turned away from it later as an adult… Wow what a disappointment. The problem was that everyone leading the sessions (not lying) were of a Lutheran/Catholic mixed marriage (they called themselves inter-faith marriages) so what my Catholic fiance and I learned about was how to raise our children ‘Catherans’ (the term my fiance and I gave to a Catholic/Lutheran person). We were told that the Church doesn’t say that children have to be a certain faith and that it is better for children to experience a variety of religions early on so they can make the choice on what they are comfortable with when they are ready. We even had one sponsor couple encourage us (both of us are Catholics) to try other Churches (not just Catholic and Lutheran churches but evangelical churches, Mormon ect.) to see what we liked and where our family might be comfortable.
The first thing they said was that this weekend was not about expressing or teaching the Catholic faith, nor was it to get people to convert to the Catholic faith. The Father even stated that if you are Lutheran, the goal is to make you a stronger Lutheran.
One sponsoring couple said that the Lutheran church split in the 1620’s :rolleyes: and that we had nothing to do with it so there was no reason to hold it against each other. He continued saying that it doesn’t matter where you decide to go on Sunday to pray to God. Finally he even said that Catholics are not united and there are just as many differences between a potential Catholic marriage than a Catholic/Lutheran marriage.
The one bright spot was the video that they played on natural family planning, which they then ruined by sending us back to our discussion groups. There at the discussion groups a couple asked what the Church’s stand on vasectomies was. The sponsoring couple shook their head but then went on to say that they did it anyways. They were done with having children so they didn’t see a reason not to get one.
Maybe I am being to judgmental. I am a new Catholic so I don’t know everything and maybe I was the one who was wrong. I put in their suggestion box maybe they should have inter-faith couples go with inter-faith sponsors and Catholic couples with Catholic sponsors so then people interested in raising their kids Catholic don’t have to sit for 12 hours and listen on how to raise their kids Lutheran and respect their Lutheran partner.
I am contemplating writing a letter to the Bishop, but first am I the one who is wrong? Should a Catholic marriage retreat be about the Catholic faith and raising our kids Catholic or about being politically correct and respecting other faiths?
So I know someone is going to ask what we did to help. We tried to speak up when we could but when all the leaders are inter-faith marriages it was hard. We filled out or evaluations of the weekend and gave our suggestions. And now finally I am thinking about writing a letter to the Bishop (only if I wasn’t the one who was in the wrong, which I may very well be).
My rant is now over.