My Catholic sisters


#1

My three sisters talk about God and Jesus all the time. They're all Catholics.

Sister A ) Married at city hall, her husband is an atheist, she goes to Church every week with her kids, always takes communion, and is pro choice.

Sister B) Was married in the Catholic Church, but got Divorced, no annulment, re-married in a protestant Church, goes to Church once a year, takes communion, husband got a vasectomy and I think she's pro-choice as well, but I'm not sure...just some comments she's made in the past leads me to believe that.

Sister C) Lives common law with her boyfriend and openly talks about her bi-curious sexuality. She's been divorced twice, but doesn't have any kids...she takes the pill. ( she's only 31), never goes to Church, but she says she prays on Sundays, is connected with her spirit and she says that's good enough.

She says that as a Catholic, she can follow her conscience and everything is Ok with God, even though she talks about being a Buddhist sometimes. She also said that if that wasn't true, God would let her know that it wasn't Ok, but that God understands her and accepts her. I hang out with her a lot and I've heard her say those same things to her non-Catholic friends.

I'm close to my sisters, should I ask my sisters why they're even bothering calling themselves and their families Catholic or should I just mind my own business and let them identify themselves as whatever they want?

Why would anyone want to call themselves Catholic if they don't follow the rules?


#2

A baptised person is always a Catholic, even if they fall away from the church. However, you would be absolutely right to point out their inconsistencies and faults; as they are leading others astray.

Remember James 5:20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

And cite it if they object.


#3

I feel you should call them out on it. It is there decision in the end however some people just need to be told they are wrong, plain and simple. If nobody ever approaches them how do they know? At least if you approach them, then you can honestly say that they have been advised and you can work from there based on their reaction.


#4

I agree that something should be said but.... it is a VERY delicate situation. By the sounds of it, there are 3 against one.

Personally, (and this is just me), I would say 'I totally respect everyone's right to their own opinion and mine is included in that. The Catholic religion means the world to me. Everyday, I pray to God to lead a more holier life. The Church teaches abortion is wrong and the only way to have a valid marriage is in a Catholic church. She also teaches there is only one true God and therefor buddist is wrong. If you choose to have different views, I will respect them but I will also have to ask we don't discuss views that are contrary to the Catholic religion because I really don't want to hear it'

And then if they quit talking about it, I would as well

CM


#5

Not a lot of advice, just wanted you to know I am in the same boat. The only “plus” for me is at least they dont claim to be Catholic. That is little consolation and for me provides me less opprotunity to talk to them about faith. At least they claim to be active Catholics and you can talk about religion, i would point out how you cant just believe some things and leave others out of your make believe faith. I still need to convince family members that once baptized Catholic Always Catholic and Always judged by that fact.

stay strong and live by example. i know i dont see a lot of joy in my siblings lives and hope someday they will realize that the Catholic faith is where you acieve true joy in our Lord through His church!


#6

It sounds to me like you want ot have a heart-to-heart with them. That can be iffy. Sometimes you can talk directly to people about stuff and not have an argument, and sometimes you’ll get drowned out by people who demand you bow down to their interpretation. My best advice is, before you do anything, talk to your priest. Get yourself a good spiritual advisor and you’ll be able to do better work that way.

If you do decide to have a heart-to-heart, remind them that 1) you love them, 2) you want to ensure that you’ll be with them in heaven, and 3) you want to talk to them because of your love for them.

You might want to avoid an open Q&A chat, because that could get ugly (been there, done that, have the T-shirt). If they’re the kind to honestly investigate things on their own, here’s an idea: get some good resources, like Catholic tracts or CDs with information on them, pamphlets, books, etc - my church has a rack of information CDs ranging on everything from a Mormon talking about why he joined the Catholic faith to why contraception is bad. Also, for yourself, have three things handy - a Catholic Bible, a Catechism of the Catholic Church, and some kind of Catholic tract with information on where to find answers if they ask you something that you don’t know.

Don’t preach. Just tell them that you’d like to give them some resources to look up so they understand why, out of love, you want them to rejoin the Catholic faith.

If they ask questions, you have your stuff on hand. If not, then at least they know you came to this willing to discuss. Give them access to Catholic tracts and information.

Remember, outside the Church there is no salvation - meaning that to save them, you have to be the Church, because you’re their only way inside. Your biggest weapon against their hardness of heart is prayer. The more you pray, the more God will give them His graces, and the more graces they have, the better the chance that they’ll accept those graces and turn back to Him.

Above all, don’t get defensive. For example, if they want to argue pro-choice vs pro-life, don’t let that become the focus. Tell them that you disagree and you won’t be swayed, but you want them to understand why, and thus why you’re sharing this info.

A heart-to-heart might not be the best way to go, but I don’t know what your family situation with them is like. As I said, the best thing you can do is talk to your priest. You need good spiritual advice before you proceed to anything, and he’ll be able to sit and listen to you in greater detail. You might also want some Catholic counseling before you engage them, since there’s a chance this will be a heavy toll for you. Pray pray pray. That’s the single greatest weapon we have in the war against Satan: prayer.


#7

There’s something to be said for being grateful that they still consider themselves part of the church. When they talk about their faith, encourage them heartily in the things they’re doing that will bring them closer to God. It’s just fine to mention that talking about homosexuality or abortion makes you uncomfortable and share your position in a loving way, but I would avoid chastising your sisters, because I don’t think any hearts are going to be won that way.

It’s tempting to call each other on the things we’re doing wrong, but we should also remember that none of us is perfect and we should all be working together to get home.

Pax,
-MM-


#8

I'd say talk to them about it. Of course, I'd say talk to them seperately so as to avoid being "ganged up on".

I have a sister, baptised Catholic, but never been a fan of her faith, was "forced" by our parents to get confirmed, she engaged in pre-martial relations, did a lot of drugs, got pregnant, had the baby (she's pro-life, thank God), lived with her boyfriend (not the father) off and on for several years, taking the pill, and now is engaged to said boyfriend and trying to have a child with him - though so far no success. (I'm actually wondering if its the pill's effect and teh STD she caught off her boyfriend who cheated on her several years back). She's now investigating Buddhism.

She's very stubborn. And she's not a fan of God. She once left her fags outside, it rained and soaked them, she ran inside and yelled at my mum "You got your God to make it rain to wet my ciggies, didn't you?!""

So, the way I slip in questions and comments about the faith is passively agressively steer the conversation that way. If you just barge up to someone and say "So, you're pro-choice and Catholic, huh? that's a mortal sin, you know? you smelly pro-abort!" doesn't go down so well. You need to be discreet, start off slow, it might even take a series of conversations before the actual topics come up. For example say "You got any plans on Sunday?" She might say "not much, might go to mass". You could mention how much you enjoy it, or a great sermon you heard a few weeks back about such and such or how you read something in the church bulletin about a pro-life centre that needs voluteneers or something. Be creative, but be honest. Lying to get your point in won't help.

Because these women are your sisters, I think you're safer to have these conversations than with people who are just friends or accquaintences. Sure, they may get mad at you at first, might not talk to you for a while, but they're family, they'll get over it.

Of course, I don't particuarly view these conversations as trying to convert people or point out how perfect I am or some such arrogant pushy prideful "there are no planks in my eyes" sort of thing. Its a kind of way to build a relationship stronger, my sister knows when I make conversation about God and what not that I'm not forcing it on her, we're having a conversation, and that I'm just interested in what's going on in her life. its about building trust. What she has said to me in our "God" conversations has remained with me and no one else. She knows that she can have conversations with me over the big religion topics et al, she knows she can have conversations about other big things or little things.


#9

I would not try any evangelizing or preaching at all to family members unless and until you read Search and Rescue by Patrick Madrid. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can do more harm than good, and put you light years away from having any positive influence on your sisters.


#10

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