My friend left the Church, I'm so sad

Hey guys,

So I have a guy friend of about 5 years. We were all in a group of Catholics across my state. I never attended church with him, but I felt as though we had a special bond due to our shared faith. He has decided to leave the Catholic Church because of what the Pope said about capitalism (this group also happens to be Republican, so capitalism is important to us and we don’t see it as the evil that the Pope does). Needless to say, I was shocked by his decision to leave the Church. Watching him talk about it on Facebook actually hurt me. I expressed my distress to him, and he disregarded it, just as I expected him to.

Anyway, I am pretty much devastated. My other Catholic friends said that I am overreacting and that he has free will and will find his way back. I don’t know why I am taking this so hard, and when he said he wanted to switch to Baptist, I was shocked. It’s just so different than the teachings we grew up with! He might as well just switch to those churches with the rah-rah music, but I digress. I simply can’t support him in this endeavor, and I feel like such a horrible friend. I don’t know what to do besides continuing to feel bad.

Please help.

I’m as politically conservative as they come, but your friend is making a ridiculous decision. I’d rather be in the right Church than in the right political party any day and for all eternity.

This is what he said:

"If the “real deal” is papal infallibility and a know-nothing moron of a pope preaching theft, death, and violence, then I don’t want the real deal.

The Catholic Church needs to get it together. Either you walk in the path of Christ and eschew theft, death, and violence, or you rabidly support it like “Pope” Francis."

Basically, the horrors that socialism and communism put people through makes him discredit anything that the pope stands for based off his comment about capitalism being a sin.

I am distressed.

This is what I would consider a, “render unto caesar” moment.

Your friend, is correct about Socialism - it have proven to be the most brutal and murderous form of government in the modern world, with millions dead by either gun or starvation.

But your friend is wrong in making the leap that Pope Francis wants us to be a part of Socialism enforced by the barrel of a gun or prison bars. The Pope is calling us to be generous with our neighbor as a response to God’s Grace.

As a freedom loving conservative, I do find the seemingly leftward leanings of the USCCB distressing now and then until I really dive into them - there’s some good stuff that freedom-loving people should learn. For example - the USCCB is heavy into Subsidiarity in order to combat the dehumanizing federalization of social services for example.

The USCCB doesn’t get a pass from me in all things - they would need to better support the rights of the individual for example.

Thank you all!

Honestly i dont think the Pope’s stand on capitalism is what made your friend leave the Church. He was surely already thinking about leaving the Church and just used the Pope as an excuse. If not, how could he have already made the choice to join the Baptists so quick if he wasn,t already thinking about it? Just think about it.:popcorn:

I wouldn’t believe for a second that your friend is leaving purely for that reason. There has to be more to it than that.

Anyway, upon further review of what the pope said, and what he has publicly said in the past. I think he is trying to articulate a more moderate stance. He doesn’t want people to put all of their stock in either government programs OR a free market. Neither will fix the world on their own.

Are you sure it was just over the Pope’s comment about capitalism? Him becoming Baptist might also hint at other theological disagreements with the Church. After all, going from Catholic to Baptist is a quite a theological leap!

It’s okay to be sad though over him leaving the faith. We should pray for his return

I know your friend is wrong but to bring in ‘papal infallibility’ into his preaching … :ouch:

It is not the Catholic Church that he rejected but the Pope’s preaching. :ouch:

Hopefully he will com to see that he made politics his god, rather than God Himself.

Happens a lot for those with strong conservative loyalty

I, also, wonder as some before me have suggested, if there isn’t more to this situation than a single issue. We certainly live in a world which seems to be churning and churning and churning. Devote too much attention to all this can not only become a significant distraction to daily living, it can cause one to lose perspective. It is, also, possible that a person might reach out for definite answers when there seems to be none forthcoming. If you will, a yearning for a solid foundation.

As for the Holy Father, I’m wondering “out loud”. Is he calling for a more “human face” in the practice of capitalism? You CAF friends correct me if I’m wrong. My understanding is that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the extremely poor is wider than it has ever been. Moreover, though there are more who have joined the ranks of the wealthy, many more have joined the poor. Meanwhile, the middle-classes are experiencing more and more financial demands as previous trades, occupations, and professions are disappearing from the employment landscape.
In light of this, is the Holy Father asking for the practitioners of capitalism to do some “soul-searching”? Or, is he actually calling for it to be replaced by socialism or communism, or some form thereof?

Sometimes in life, I have learned, the greatest sin I commit, and therefore the one for which I am in the greatest need of forgiveness and reconciliation, is the one whereby I condemn others for not living up to what I think they ought to be. The Lord bless you and your friend.

Francis isnt the only pope to evaluate capitalism under moral scrutiny.

Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum discusses unrestricted capitalism
John Paul II

As well as those with strong progressive loyalty.


But most progressives tend not to be religious in the first place. At least by my observations, so they tend to reject the Commandments anyway.

Religious conservative tend to embrace God much more.

Perhaps your observation are different from mine, however. :slight_smile:

Moral scrutiny. I like that term and think it is excellent. Whatever system under which we live our morals are to be guided by the One who says be in the world, but not of it. Could this be the Holy Father’s intent?


In matters of faith and morals, it IS the role of the Church, and Popes, Bishops, to provide scrutiny, insight, guidance.

Pope Francis is doing exactly what he should be doing. And that makes many uncomfortable.

That is very sad. Choosing politics over God, how distressing.

  1. Pope Francis did NOT condemn all capitalism. He condemned “Trickle down economics” which even George HW Bush originally called “Voodoo Economics.”

  2. Your friend has made a false idol out of the Republican party and needs to repent.

Indeed. As if to accent this, this thread "Morality and economics, Pope Francis, and Rush Limbaug" has been posted. There’s a link to an edited article by Fr. John Trigilio.

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