My friend appears to be losing his faith in the Church

Hello, I am a college student, and one of my friends went through RCIA and was confirmed this year. He grew up Catholic, but wasn’t really into it until he got into RCIA. And he REALLY got in to it. He’s one of the most religious persons I know, and was very Catholic.

Around the time he got confirmed though, he started hanging out with a Protestant group on campus (which I believe is non-denominational). I think it was because a lot of his best friends (i.e. ones that are in his major, which he is extremely busy with almost all of the time) are in this group, plus he’s extremely outgoing. I didn’t think much of it, as he was a strong Catholic and I knew he wouldn’t convert away from the church.

However, starting this school year, he wasn’t showing up to Mass on campus, and wasn’t hanging out with our Catholic group (we’re not affiliated with Newman) a whole lot. I figured it was because he was super busy with his major, and I didn’t think much of it. However, at the same time I knew he had been hanging out with that Protestant group a lot, and one night I saw on Facebook that he had posted about how much he loved this group’s bible study. Now that set off a red flag. I brought it up to a couple people in our Catholic group (including one of the student ministers), and they said I really should talk to him. So that following weekend I asked him why he wasn’t at mass. While he didn’t want to explain it at the time (it would have been a bad time anyway), he said he would eventually. But he did say the reason he’s not showing up to mass is because of this Protestant group. While I’m not sure if he’s left the Catholic Church completely, as of now, it sounds like he has.

I should note that he does seem like the kind of person who’d want to be “entertained” during a church service in that he’d want to “feel it” (one of his latest Facebook posts was “Had some of the best worship I’ve had in a while! Totally feeling in love with God right now!”). And since a Catholic service is pretty robotic compared to some Protestant services, I could see how he’d be more attracted to a “PRAISE THE LORD!” type service.

I also know pretty much all of his best friends now are in this Protestant group. He barely socializes with anyone in our Catholic group now (mostly because no one in our group is in his major, which as I’ve said he’s very busy with). He also has had at least 1 love interest in this Protestant group (even though he didn’t end up in a relationship with her). So it could be a social thing on why he’s hanging out with them now

Basically, when he finally tells me why he’s not going to mass anymore and is instead hanging with this Protestant group now, how should I approach his answer? How should I reply if he gives those two suspicions I mentioned (he wants to be “entertained” and/or it’s because all of his friends are in it)? Or, if he says something like “I had a vision of God, and He told me to leave the Catholic Church and join this Protestant group” (based on his tone and what he was hinting at when I talked to him, it sees like there’s a possibility it could be something like this).
I should note I don’t think it’s because he’s all of a sudden bitter towards the Catholic Church or anything like that (he did state he doesn’t think of the Catholic Church any different), so I don’t think it’s because he’s been turned into an anti-Catholic. I should also note that I’m almost certain it has nothing to do with the Catholic Church’s opposition to birth control, abortion, or gay marriage, as I know for certain he is very much so opposed to those things.

Dear the2112,

I think the first thing that you should do is pray for your friend.:slight_smile: Second, provide silence and listen to what he says. Third, give him something that would perhaps reintroduce him to the Church, like a link to a good Catholic website (just make sure that you observe good timing so that it would not appear that you’re trying to “reconvert” him) or if possible, have him talk to a Catholic priest. Then again, the decision always lie on him. No one should force the truth (that the Church holds) to him (or any other person). It is his decision to leave the Church or to stay.

Just remember that no matter what, you will always be friends. :wink:

I think we should pray for this person.
:signofcross::signofcross: :signofcross:

Our parish has added guitars, drums and music during the homily to make it more fun and pleasing.

It takes all sorts of people to make the world…

I would find that kind of thing very distracting. I like it when we sing hymns, but any kind of instruments just feel out of place during the holy mass.

At least he is still with God be thankful of that fact.

It is hard becaue you want him to be Roman Catholic and at the moment he shows signs that he isn’t. The best thing you can do to show you are friends is appreciate that he still has God at the centre of his life. To you it matters which church, but in reality life is different.

If you want to keep him as a friend accept his faith as he has accepted your faith. He is still a Christian. Though you may find it easier if he gone Muslim or something perhaps Don’t forget the important facts.

I am not for one minute decrying the Roman Catholic Church but I do have a problem in how some Catholics and probably an Anglican trait too if being out in the open seem to think that their friends going Prostestant eg, Non Denominational etc is something bad. They seem to forget that God is still the centre here. They are not going atheist. God still has meaning and how we worship God is individual preference. Just putting guitar music into a Mass isn’t going to help someone relax if the style of service isn’t helping them. There is more than just style of service ie, all the rules around being a Catholic will be hard for some, more than hard I mean. I am not meaning anything but can’t we just be thankful that the friend is still attending a service regular even if its not to our own taste per se.

I am not for one minute knocking the purpose of this board because I know the thing that would like everyone to be Roman Catholic but that isn’t going to happen if we are going to be true in our belief of God. Your friend could continue worshipping God at the church on campus with you but if he isn’t very happy, would you be comfortable about how unhappy he is feeling about various things and just kind of paying lip service to the Catholic Church becasue Roman Catholics want everyone to be Roman Catholic?

I think you would want your friend to be happy in his worship of God and like I say at least he is still with God and in time may well ‘come home’ but for now walk with him in your respective ways of worshipping God for shock horror, its not something you wanna hear, but there is nothing wrong in non denominational worship. It not my cup of tea either before you add anything but that dont make it wrong. Learn from him and that may help you to enrich your faith and why you do things the Roman Catholic Way. You will grow with your faith if you embrace his faith and learn what it means for him as to what what you do means to you. Use what he does to fulfill the meanings of the Roman Catholic Church.

LOL! One small step for the New Evangelization. :smiley:

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Protestant services don’t hold a candle to the Catholic Mass (NOT “service”). We don’t need all the "PRAISE JESUS! HALLELUIAH!’ and animated “praise and worship”. During the Mass time stops and we are back on Calvary. Jesus’ sacrifice is re-presented in an unbloodied sacrifice, and he is made present on the Altar.

We don’t go to Mass for the homilies, the music, to socialize, etc etc. We go because of the Most Holy Sacrifice on the altar.

Do you have a traditional Latin Mass you could take your friend to? Sometimes a good ol’ traditional High Mass with all the smells and bells can help those who may not fully understand the importance of Mass to grasp a better understanding and get a better hook on being Catholic.

You could also have a Mass offered for him and invite him to do really Catholic things like go to Adoration, benediction, confession, daily Mass, etc.

Umm, his friend IS Catholic. Jesus only founded ONE church. That church is the Roman Catholic Church. Invincible ignorance is one thing; it’s a whole different thing to be Catholic and then start engaging in protestantism. We know what Jesus said about those who are lukewarm, or who do not have their wedding garment when it’s time for the wedding banquet. Protestant churches broke away from the Catholic Church. It’s illogical to infer that it’s okay to be whatever religion you want to be. Further, any religion that acknowledges every other religion as equal to itself is one which cannot survive, for it admits its own failure as that religion which is true. It matters which church because Jesus gave us the Church. He gave us one holy and apostolic church. To deny this is essentially calling Jesus a liar. Surely you don’t want to call Jesus a liar, do you?

If you want to keep him as a friend accept his faith as he has accepted your faith. He is still a Christian. Though you may find it easier if he gone Muslim or something perhaps Don’t forget the important facts.

His friend is a fully initiated Catholic. He is, and always will be, a Catholic. Thus, he will be bound by the requirements and laws of the Church. It is necessary for his friend’s salvation that he reject ALL other religions and fully accept and embrace the Catholic Church, and maintain being in the state of grace.

I am not for one minute decrying the Roman Catholic Church but I do have a problem in how some Catholics and probably an Anglican trait too if being out in the open seem to think that their friends going Prostestant eg, Non Denominational etc is something bad.

It IS BAD for a Catholic to seek out other religions. Jesus even said it is bad. There only is one true religion, which was founded by Jesus, which his friend has already accepted. This isn’t a matter of, “Oh well, just be happy he’s still Christian”. Hog wash! When you reject the faith, you reject Jesus and what he commanded us to do. Catholics who care about this, care because they care about the salvation of the other person.

They seem to forget that God is still the centre here. They are not going atheist. God still has meaning and how we worship God is individual preference. Just putting guitar music into a Mass isn’t going to help someone relax if the style of service isn’t helping them. There is more than just style of service

Mass is the Most Holy Sacrifice. We don’t go for the music, or for how it makes us feel, etc. Without the Most Holy Sacrifice the rest means nothing and is pointless. Every day during Mass Jesus i made truly present on the Altar in churches across the world. No other religion can compare to that.

I am not for one minute knocking the purpose of this board because I know the thing that would like everyone to be Roman Catholic but that isn’t going to happen if we are going to be true in our belief of God. Your friend could continue worshipping God at the church on campus with you but if he isn’t very happy, would you be comfortable about how unhappy he is feeling about various things and just kind of paying lip service to the Catholic Church becasue Roman Catholics want everyone to be Roman Catholic?

This person doesn’t want his friend to wind up in Hell for rejecting the one true faith which he already accepted. His friend is a Catholic, thus bound by Canon law. It is not permissible for Catholics to attend protestant worship services except on rare occasions like weddings, funerals, etc, and he MUST attend Mass on Sunday unless impeded by a serious reason. As a Catholic, if I said that it was okay for my Catholic friend to do whatever religious practices he felt like because it doesn’t matter what religion he is, and died unrepentant, I’d feel pretty uncomfortable in Hell. Not everything in life is meant to comfort and pamper us like spoiled little children.

:clapping:

Well we have both contemporary and traditional mass.

Contemporary is with guitars, drums and background music for homily.

Your friend’s faith issues have what do to with Catholic traditions and customs?

:rotfl:

You are joking…right?
Please tell me you’re joking…

Unfortunately, this has been a problem since the very beginning.

[BIBLEDRB]Matt 13:20-21[/BIBLEDRB]

I have no sage advice to offer by way of solution. Perhaps a Catholic Bible Study is needed?

See post #11.

Ugh.

I’m sorry :frowning:

What your friend is experiencing I have seen many times over my life and I am pretty sure I will again. For me my faith formation and commitment to it went through many phases. I am a cradle Catholic but I have also dabbled for a period of my life in Protestant services. In the end I returned to where I belonged and I hope your friend will also. If you have a chance make sure you let him know that you are firm in your faith and hope he will return, make sure you always leave that door open with a warm welcome on the inside.

I don’t think it’s a joke. I know at my home parish the deacon likes to bring out his big guitar amp and 12-string acoustic electric guitar and lead us in a sing-a-long song that he either wrote himself or is a popular contemporary song that he re-wrote in order to…I’m not really sure. He’s got albums on iTunes, and someone recorded one of these “homilies” (it didn’t sound like a homily) from a different parish he was at and posted it on YouTube. I usually cringe and cry during these moments when I have to go there.

Art imitates life. Or would it be more a case of Truth is stranger than fiction?
Link

The type of music being used at Mass is not a doctrine, nor is it essential to salvation. You may not prefer it, but by no means is it something that makes one a heretic or send people to Hell.

The deacon Deo Gratias42 is referring to is no different than extreme traditionalists who takes things too far. One man playing a guitar and giving bad homilies does not automatically mean that 100% of guitar playing is terrible.

The issue the OP’s friend has is the externals. I’m not sold on transferring his reliance on one set of externals to another. Perhaps instead, he needs to look at the interior.

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