Hi all! Thank you Catholic Answers for this forum.
I’m asking for prayers for my husband and for help to answer this very intelligent and well-read man regarding our Catholic Faith.
He was born and raised Catholic, left Christianity all together as a teenager and young adult, has come back (praise God!), but now worships in a Methodist congregation. Until he met me, he had ill feelings toward the Catholic faith. By the grace of God, I somehow changed his view on many issues such as the Eucharist and the Mass. Yet, he still has not returned home!
He has said that if someone were to put a gun to his head and ask him to name a denomination that he belongs to he’d say he is Catholic. However, he also said that he’s not ready to leave the Methodist church yet. Here are some of his concerns (quoting him):
“Papal infallibility is man made.” He bases this on Galatians 2:11-14 where Paul rebukes St. Peter. I tried to explain that Paul wasn’t telling Peter that Peter’s teaching was wrong, but that his behavior was wrong. My husband is convinced that it was Peter’s teaching that Paul is rebuking, therefore Peter was in error, therefore Peter was not infallible. Anyone out there has an answer?
“Priestly celibacy is false.” I tried to explain that this is a church discipline, not a doctrine or dogma. He can’t see himself coming back until this practice changes. He believes that a priest cannot council him as a husband and father when that priest has not experienced the same.
“Confession does not have to be to a priest.” He says that the Bible reads to confess our sins one to another – it doesn’t say that it has to be a priest. I’m not sure how to clear this issue up for him.
“The belief in purgatory, perpetual virginity, and the Assumption of Mary, are not mandatory for salvation.” Obviously, it’s hard to answer one question with so many different concepts. (Aye…aye…aye!!!)
“The Catholic Church should disavow itself trillions of dollars of wealth for the reparation for slavery of blacks and the Jewish holocaust?” What is he talking about?!!! He also says that Catholic leaders continued to promote segregation during the integration period. I’ve never heard of any of this, so I don’t know how to answer him.
He also said that the modern sex scandal is due to a “system that teaches them [priests] that they are superior because their leader is infallible.”
I need some concrete answers for this guy. I can’t simply hand him some tracts and essays, because he won’t read them. Any advise/direction would be greatly appreciated.