Not "Catholic" enough


#1

Another title for this post could've been "Anything but Catholic."

I'm of Mexican origin, so, as many Mexicans, I grew up Catholic... just by name, of course. My parents never discussed the Gospel with us, never taught us how to pray, etc. My extended family, except for my great-grandfather, was very, very unactive as well.

So, to make a long-story short, last year my wife and I were baptized into the Mormon church. We were attracted by the "family-oriented" stuff they present to you... Now, a year later, we want out of that church. Very different... We thought we were just changing churches, or place to worship, but now we see it is really a change of religion, to a very weird form of Christiany.

My wife wants to go back to the Catholic Church. And although I agree with most of the doctrines and believes of the church (except confession to a priest), I want to go to a non-denomational Christian church. Just go hear a sermon, sing some songs, learn how to follow Jesus Christ, read my Bible, and teach my children about God by lesson and by example.

I think I'm so "anti-Catholic Church" because of several reasons, but the main one is that most of the Catholics around me here in San Diego and in Mexico, are so far from God, so far from practicing what they preach. I just don't want my children growing up Catholics because to me Catholic means not going to church, not being active, not praying to God from the heart and not from memory, not doing the right thing most of the time.

Another major reason is that I was sexually molested by an uncle and then by an aunt when I was around seven years old (I can't remember my exact age). And with all the news you see on TV about this topic in the church, I don't know if unconsciously I'm blocking the church. (That is why I feel that I don't understand why I need to confess my sins to a priest, since priests are sinners, too.)

But mainly, I think the main reason I want to stay away from the church is the one stated first, Catholics not being very active, or at least the vast majority I know.

I've already tried to go back to the Catholic Church a few months ago, but it just didn't make sense to me. So I went back to the Mormon church, and it made even less sense!

I just want to take whatever I feel is true from all Christian denominations, and just be a mere Christian, without tags.

Do you have any advice? I don't want to divide my family. My wife has told me she won't go to a non-denominational church, because she feels the Catholic Church has all truths.

Thank you!
Pablo


#2

Hey brother.
Respect for you for just wanting to follow our Lord Jesus Christ from the heart and seeking a place where that intention is shared, both in heart and deed!:)

I don't think its a bad idea for you to go a bit to different churches. I have been blessed tremendously both in non-denominational, messianic and pentecostal churches, so you wont hear any bad about it from me. However, I do hope you will keep posting on CAF and even more, that you will get aquainted with some serious Catholics, and do study our faith, dear brother, because what matters in the end is to following the Truth (and not following teachings that just tickle your ears).

I grew up in the Lutheran Church, have spent extensive time in Pentecostal and Messianic congregations, but I am a convert to Catholicism and remain Catholic, because I believe the Lord took me here during my honest search.
I have Latin American friends who tell me about the Catholic Church in S-America becoming more and more charismatic, and Im happy to hear it. Indeed I think charismatic Catholic groups might be the place where you will find your self at home.

About confession. You read the Bible and its the highest authority for you, right? Well the Bible is clear that Jesus choose apostles to pass on the right teaching, and Jesus gave Peter the authority to bind and loose on earth, and the Bible says: "Confess your sins to one another". See its not about whether someone is sinless or not. Even if you read the New Testament you see a hierarchal church described therein and obedience and humility was necessary even back then... I find that Biblically and logically Catholicism makes most sense... But you have to find your own way.

Dont stop searching. Don't be discouraged. But know this, every church will dissapoint you in some way. The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a palace for saints. Not yet..
And if you are angry at the scandals (we are all saddened by it) know that the Catholic Church has the most consistent moral teaching on the dignity of marriage, sexuality and all these things.. incl. abortion. And I'm soooo relieved as a former Protestant to be in the Catholic Church where I can lean on these teachings, even if some members fail.. I would have no place in the church if there were only room for perfect people ;)

So look around in different Churches, take a little time to find the best Church fellowship for you and your family, read alot in the Bible, read the Catechism (its really good) and good Catholic books, and testimonies of many kinds..

Ps. I have met some wonderful priests from Mexico!


#3

It is sad that all the Catholics you were exposed to in your life so far did not take the Church seriously.
That isn't the Church's fault.....parents need to be informed about the faith and then pass it on to their children.

I am blessed to be around people who take their faith seriously and desire to follow Jesus more closely each day. They take it seriously to forgive others, and to keep learning about the faith and prayer.

Thankfully, the sex scandal is being handled as well as possible. Please remember that there are many saints that come from the Catholic Church, as well as sinners. The Church has gone through many terrible times over hundreds of years, and the Lord assures us that "....the gates of hell will not prevail against it."

The Sacraments were instituted by Christ, and we have His promise that they will be efficient for us.

If sadly, a priest in serious sin says Mass, that Mass is still valid! Jesus will not let us down, even if some of his priests do.

The truth is still the truth even if people treat it casually or with disdain.

I hope that you sincerely seek to learn more about the faith to have your concerns addressed.


#4

You remind me of my father and sister. My mother was a convert and very active, loved the faith, very devout woman and did a lot at our local parish. When she passed away, my father and sister got angry at the Church and my father never went back, therefore, I had no catechesis after age 10 (when my mother died). Don't blame the whole Catholic Church for the sinners in it!!

It took me over 20 years to come back to the Church I was baptized into, but I am HOME for good now. During that time I searched and searched for something permanent to believe in. When I came HOME to the Catholic Church I found where I belonged. You see, if you were baptized as a Catholic, then you ARE a Catholic and I am convinced nothing will ever satisfy you but the truth and the Holy Eucharist.

I hope you do some reading - you can read some books by Scott Hahn and other people who have converted or reverted to understand the Church and why we believe as we do.


#5

I would recommend shopping around for a Catholic church/priest that can relate to you and provide guidance and support. For me, I didn't really actively practice Catholicism until my 30's, and now 10 years later I think I am beginning to "get it".

Another recommendation:

There is a Benedictine Monastery near San Diego:

I recommend a retreat there for a weekend if you are able. Book some time with some of the monks and just talk about things. I guarantee they will not try to strongarm you back to the church, but joyfully and lovingly show you the meaningfulness of Catholicism.

princeofpeaceabbey.blogspot.com/2000/01/guests-retreats-facilities-760-967-4200.html


#6

[quote="pabloSD, post:1, topic:244488"]
Another title for this post could've been "Anything but Catholic."

I'm of Mexican origin, so, as many Mexicans, I grew up Catholic... just by name, of course. My parents never discussed the Gospel with us, never taught us how to pray, etc. My extended family, except for my great-grandfather, was very, very unactive as well.

So, to make a long-story short, last year my wife and I were baptized into the Mormon church. We were attracted by the "family-oriented" stuff they present to you... Now, a year later, we want out of that church. Very different... We thought we were just changing churches, or place to worship, but now we see it is really a change of religion, to a very weird form of Christiany.

My wife wants to go back to the Catholic Church. And although I agree with most of the doctrines and believes of the church (except confession to a priest), I want to go to a non-denomational Christian church. Just go hear a sermon, sing some songs, learn how to follow Jesus Christ, read my Bible, and teach my children about God by lesson and by example.

I think I'm so "anti-Catholic Church" because of several reasons, but the main one is that most of the Catholics around me here in San Diego and in Mexico, are so far from God, so far from practicing what they preach. I just don't want my children growing up Catholics because to me Catholic means not going to church, not being active, not praying to God from the heart and not from memory, not doing the right thing most of the time.

Another major reason is that I was sexually molested by an uncle and then by an aunt when I was around seven years old (I can't remember my exact age). And with all the news you see on TV about this topic in the church, I don't know if unconsciously I'm blocking the church. (That is why I feel that I don't understand why I need to confess my sins to a priest, since priests are sinners, too.)

But mainly, I think the main reason I want to stay away from the church is the one stated first, Catholics not being very active, or at least the vast majority I know.

I've already tried to go back to the Catholic Church a few months ago, but it just didn't make sense to me. So I went back to the Mormon church, and it made even less sense!

I just want to take whatever I feel is true from all Christian denominations, and just be a mere Christian, without tags.

Do you have any advice? I don't want to divide my family. My wife has told me she won't go to a non-denominational church, because she feels the Catholic Church has all truths.

Thank you!
Pablo

[/quote]

She's right. :D

And it looks to me like you are even seeing this for yourself.

People will fail. They will disappoint. They're only human. In every church there are sinners and potential saints. But in only one Church is He really and truly present.

Don't you want to partake of the True Body and Blood again?

Oh, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation isn't all that scary. The priest will understand that you've been away and will help you find your way back in.


#7

Do a little research on what Catholic Charities and other Catholic institutions are doing, and you'll realize that there are plenty of us who are active. We have some brothers and sisters who are currently in hatch-match-dispatch mode, but not all of us.

As for the abuse, you can also do research and find that offenses reported against priests in ministry within the last ten years are clearly lower than the general population and even among clergy of other denominations. Celibacy does not cause pedophilia. Rather, some people with that temptation hoped to avoid it by going into a role that is 180 degrees against it, while others seek positions of trust precisely because a position of trust can offer a good cover from which to seek victims "under the radar." It isn't about the Catholic Church, then, but of what people didn't know about preventing abuse.

You'll find that there are fewer organizations doing more to prevent the sexual abuse of children than the Church is doing now. Since you are baptised, you are Catholic. I really encourage you to find your geographical parish and learn the information being taught to prevent abuse. If your diocese is like ours (some have been quicker to make these changes than others), you will be very pleased about the rules that are in place now.

As a married woman, I think I'd ask you to try to inquire into what the Church really is, instead of what you imagine it to be, for the sake of your marriage. If you still have your reservations after you learn all of the facts, fair enough. What is not fair is to judge the whole Church based on a rash judgement made before you took the trouble to learn what the real story was. Will you find some spiritual sloth still present? I can't imagine that you won't. You'll find spiritual robustness, too, though. I believe you will be joyfully surprised at what you find is there for you and your wife.

As for confession, you might try just talking to a priest some time. I think you'll change your mind on that one, too. Most people who go back to confession can't bear to give it up.


#8

You're very fortunate to live in San Diego, with so many choices. :)

I used to live in the DFW area, and I probably had five or six different churches that I liked to go to depending on what I needed at the time. One was convenient for daily Mass, but the priests there weren't so great for Confession. Another one had a priest who always had a great homily. A third one's demographic was such that it was very cool to see so many actively Catholic young Hispanic families--- and the priest was a married Episcopalian convert, which led to an interesting perspective, and I also loved how frequently they made use of incense in the Mass. There was also a Tridentine Mass offered by the FSSP, so if I was in the mood for Gregorian chant, a more scholarly homily than usual, and the beauty of the traditional liturgy, I was able to take part.

Not all priests are the same; they have strengths and weaknesses like everyone else. And not all congregations are the same; they also have strengths and weaknesses. Have an adventure trying out different parishes in your city, and see what clicks with you and your wife.


#9

[quote="pabloSD, post:1, topic:244488"]
I think I'm so "anti-Catholic Church" because of several reasons, but the main one is that most of the Catholics around me here in San Diego and in Mexico, are so far from God, so far from practicing what they preach. I

[/quote]

so what it comes down to, is you stopped practicing your own faith because of other people, you joined the Mormons because of other people, you don't think much of all the billion Catholics in the world of of the Church herself, because of some people you know who don't, at least in outward appearances, seem very devout, knowledgeable or reverent. Do you even know all the Catholics in San Diego, let alone Mexico? Do you even know all the members of your own parish? has you attention been so captured by the poor examples set by some Catholics that you cannot even see 2000 years of Christian witness and those willing to both live and die for Christ?

Forget looking for a religion that simply replaces one set of human models for others. Look for Christ. Go back to the last place you knew Him, which is the Church of your baptism. Look for him where he lives, in the Eucharist in every Catholic Mass in every Catholic church around the world. Look for him were he speaks, in the Gospels, and through the Church in action and in praise.

You will not find him as long as you go looking in all the wrong places. To see him in other people, look for two kinds of human beings: the saints, and the poor. Find somebody to serve. If you cannot yet love Him in the Catholics you know, learn to love him in the poor and he will guide you the rest of the way.


#10

But mainly, I think the main reason I want to stay away from the church is the one stated first, Catholics not being very active, or at least the vast majority I know.

I've already tried to go back to the Catholic Church a few months ago, but it just didn't make sense to me. So I went back to the Mormon church, and it made even less sense!

I just want to take whatever I feel is true from all Christian denominations, and just be a mere Christian, without tags.

Do you have any advice? I don't want to divide my family. My wife has told me she won't go to a non-denominational church, because she feels the Catholic Church has all truths.

Thank you!
Pablo

Hello sir,
Let me explain a few things to you if I may: Non denominational is really a Baptist based church . Baptist church was founded in around 1611 . Baptist will claim that their actual foundation is based from John the Baptist. But in Scripture John himself said " He must increase I must decrease " It was never intended to have a 500 million member + following . Our foundation is from the Bible itself . Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16 "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church , and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it ,,I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven " He also repeated this last part of the quote to the other Apostles as well .Out of all of the Christian churches we are the only one with Apostolic succession . Meaning we have an unbroken line from the time of Jesus until now of Church leadership . There has been a line of popes since Peter . Some may tell you that it was never meant for Peter to have successors . They seem to forget the election in Acts of the Apostles. They held an election for the successor of Judas . If they held one for him Peter most certainly was meant for successors to be the leader of Christs church on earth . Now, I noticed you dislike confessions to a Priest . Well in John chapter 20:21-23 after the Apostles received the holy spirit , Christ gave them the authority to forgive sins " .. The sins you forgive are forgiven ..." The Apostles are the first Bishops . In the Epistles of Paul we see instructions to clergy such as deacons , Priests(presbytors) ,and Bishops on how to conduct themselves. The Catholic church lines up directly with scripture .You also spoke about being active . There are plenty of opportunities to get active . We have the Knights of Columbus and the Ancient Order of Hibernians . We have plenty of charity and ministry Two great Catholic male organizations . There are plenty of activities you can get involved in . And Catholic churches also have bible study . You mentioned interest in reading your bible . Good , why not start right and get the right interpretations . In the late 300s the Catholic church made it possible to read the bible fully to its entirety . Without the Catholic bible we would not have King James bible . You are missing 7 books that are very important to Christian teaching .I have a blog on some very important Catholic subjects . The 7 books is one of them . defendingthefaith-frankie.blogspot.com(- may be a / ) . You mentioned molestation . I am sorry that that happened in your life but you must understand that it is a very small problem in the church as it is a very small problem in all Christian churches. Finally, I notice you are an active Mormon? Mit Romney is a Mormon and that is the direct reason why he was not and may not be elected as Pres . Reason being because the Mormon religion is far off Christianity . Each faithful mormon man believes he will be a god on his own planet . They believe that Jesus and Satan are Bothers living on a planet. They believe that Jesus and Satan had a battle and Satan lost making his people the black people . They would not even let black men be priests in the mormon church until the 1970s .Just little factoids for you. Please reconsider coming back to the church you can get so much out of it .
God Bless , Frankie


#11

Brother, get to a charismatic group and ask them to pray for your belief. Your problem will be solved only by receiving "Holy Spirit". Holy Spirit can be received only when you prayed to Jesus Christ in** faith** and through the** intercession** of people who already received the holy spirit.Please read bible, then you will know the importance of catholic church......


#12

[quote="pabloSD, post:1, topic:244488"]
My wife wants to go back to the Catholic Church. And although I agree with most of the doctrines and believes of the church (except confession to a priest),

[/quote]

Actually Confession to a Priest is very Biblical, you might want to look at these Bible verses (John 20:21-23, Leviticus 5:4-6, Leviticus 19:21-22, James 5:15-16, 2 Corinthians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 5:18, Matthew 3:6, Acts 19:18, 1 John 1:9-10)

[quote="pabloSD, post:1, topic:244488"]
so far from practicing what they preach. I just don't want my children growing up Catholics because to me Catholic means not going to church, not being active, not praying to God from the heart and not from memory, not doing the right thing most of the time.

[/quote]

That's not true for all of us. Me and a lot of my friends are devout Catholics, and plus if no Catholics were close to God, then sites like this wouldn't exist, heck, clergy, theologians, and apologists wouldn't exist. There's a lot of people I see every sunday when I go to Church.

[quote="pabloSD, post:1, topic:244488"]
And with all the news you see on TV about this topic in the church, I don't know if unconsciously I'm blocking the church.

[/quote]

Well, there's a lot of Churches such as Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists and even Non-Denominationals who have a history of pastors molesting children (reformation.com) In fact, in the Jehovah's Witness religion, if your child gets raped by someone in the congregation, you can't report it unless there's a second witness.

[quote="pabloSD, post:1, topic:244488"]
I just want to take whatever I feel is true from all Christian denominations, and just be a mere Christian, without tags.

[/quote]

Well, tags or not, there can be only one truth, and that is one Church, united by one doctrine. There are thousands of Protestants denomations but only one Catholic Church (since 33 A.D.) And plus isn't Non-Denomational Christianity a denomination in itself? ;)


#13

[quote="puzzleannie, post:9, topic:244488"]
so what it comes down to, is you stopped practicing your own faith because of other people, you joined the Mormons because of other people, you don't think much of all the billion Catholics in the world of of the Church herself, because of some people you know who don't, at least in outward appearances, seem very devout, knowledgeable or reverent. Do you even know all the Catholics in San Diego, let alone Mexico? Do you even know all the members of your own parish? has you attention been so captured by the poor examples set by some Catholics that you cannot even see 2000 years of Christian witness and those willing to both live and die for Christ?

Forget looking for a religion that simply replaces one set of human models for others. Look for Christ. Go back to the last place you knew Him, which is the Church of your baptism. Look for him where he lives, in the Eucharist in every Catholic Mass in every Catholic church around the world. Look for him were he speaks, in the Gospels, and through the Church in action and in praise.

You will not find him as long as you go looking in all the wrong places. To see him in other people, look for two kinds of human beings: the saints, and the poor. Find somebody to serve. If you cannot yet love Him in the Catholics you know, learn to love him in the poor and he will guide you the rest of the way.

[/quote]

:clapping::clapping::clapping::yup: I think this should be stickied! Wonderful post. I hope the OP reads it and takes it to heart.


#14

[quote="pabloSD, post:1, topic:244488"]
Another title for this post could've been "Anything but Catholic."

I'm of Mexican origin, so, as many Mexicans, I grew up Catholic... just by name, of course. My parents never discussed the Gospel with us, never taught us how to pray, etc. My extended family, except for my great-grandfather, was very, very unactive as well.

So, to make a long-story short, last year my wife and I were baptized into the Mormon church. We were attracted by the "family-oriented" stuff they present to you... Now, a year later, we want out of that church. Very different... We thought we were just changing churches, or place to worship, but now we see it is really a change of religion, to a very weird form of Christiany.

My wife wants to go back to the Catholic Church. And although I agree with most of the doctrines and believes of the church (except confession to a priest), I want to go to a non-denomational Christian church. Just go hear a sermon, sing some songs, learn how to follow Jesus Christ, read my Bible, and teach my children about God by lesson and by example.

I think I'm so "anti-Catholic Church" because of several reasons, but the main one is that most of the Catholics around me here in San Diego and in Mexico, are so far from God, so far from practicing what they preach. I just don't want my children growing up Catholics because to me Catholic means not going to church, not being active, not praying to God from the heart and not from memory, not doing the right thing most of the time.

Another major reason is that I was sexually molested by an uncle and then by an aunt when I was around seven years old (I can't remember my exact age). And with all the news you see on TV about this topic in the church, I don't know if unconsciously I'm blocking the church. (That is why I feel that I don't understand why I need to confess my sins to a priest, since priests are sinners, too.)

But mainly, I think the main reason I want to stay away from the church is the one stated first, Catholics not being very active, or at least the vast majority I know.

I've already tried to go back to the Catholic Church a few months ago, but it just didn't make sense to me. So I went back to the Mormon church, and it made even less sense!

I just want to take whatever I feel is true from all Christian denominations, and just be a mere Christian, without tags.

Do you have any advice? I don't want to divide my family. My wife has told me she won't go to a non-denominational church, because she feels the Catholic Church has all truths.

Thank you!
Pablo

[/quote]

I live in San Diego County and would like to invite you to attend my church, Our Mother of Confidence in University City. We have sermons (excellent!) sing songs, learn how to follow Jesus, have Bible studies, ect...... Your wife is correct, the Catholic Church has all truths, why settle for anything less?


#15

Look for Christ. Go back to the last place you knew Him, which is the Church of your baptism. Look for him where he lives, in the Eucharist in every Catholic Mass in every Catholic church around the world. Look for him were he speaks, in the Gospels, and through the Church in action and in praise.

You will not find him as long as you go looking in all the wrong places. To see him in other people, look for two kinds of human beings: the saints, and the poor. Find somebody to serve. If you cannot yet love Him in the Catholics you know, learn to love him in the poor and he will guide you the rest of the way.

every word true.


#16

I was born and raised Catholic and deep down I have known I am in my "home" and where I belong. But many of my friends growing up drifted away to try out different faiths as well and I just never understood why. I've never wanted to be anything other than Catholic. My faith has always been unconditional and trusting, but I fear I am in the minority with my feelings.

But with that said, I have begun to realize how much I went through the motions without knowing why. It wasn't until I went through the First Communion classes for parents that I really listened and realized how much more I want to know and learn. My antenna suddenly went up and I knew that I could no longer do nothing and be content. Since then, I have been on a slow journey of educating myself and really growing in my faith. I also put my children in Catholic school and now feel much more welcome to express my faith and I feel I am in the right environment to show my feelings towards my church.

I realize I have been called by God to go down this path. He is leading me slowly and I am happily following along and growing each and every day :)

I think you are being called as well. You must know that, you are searching and trying to find a place for you, and you know deep down that God is pulling you to the place that you belong. It won't happen overnight. It is a slow journey, but a very very satisfying one and you will find yourself wanting to know more and more. All of a sudden finding time to pray is easier than you ever thought and you become overwhelmed with all of the people and issues you begin to pray for!

Finding the right church where you walk in and you just know its where you belong might take time, but trust me, you will find it! If your wife has settled on Catholicism, and you sound like you are really leaning that way as well, why not ask your wife to make a list of all of the Catholic churches in the vicinity you are willing to travel to, and every week go to a new one?? There are some churches in my life where I have walked in and I was overwhelmed with the intensity of my feelings and I wanted to stay there. You may find that place for you!

Also, maybe your wife is being called just as strongly as you are, but she is following quicker and you can just slowly follow her until you decide for yourself :)


#17

Just wanted to say that i am also of mexican decent and inherited my catholic faith. which i consider a blessing. i am familiar with your thinking. there are many "Cafeteria Catholics" in my family. who take a little of this not that... I am sadden when family members leave our faith with out truly discovering what they are leaving. i have a few points for you. 1) do not place your faith in people. We will let you down. 2) I heard a theologian say, there is a new trend of atheist. who think God "thinks like they do". they jump from church to church finding a reason why to leave once again. 3) surround yourself with people who truly live their faith. 4) invest in knowledge. you can't go wrong with any cd or book by Ph.D Scott Hahn. He found the Catholic church trying to prove it wrong. 5) EWTN has a great program called, The Journey Home. If you could find the episode where Marcus Grodi speaks on the 10 verses in the Bible that changed his life. This is a process don't expect to make up your mind over night. Best of luck, pray that God lead you to the one true church he Founded.


#18

Thank you, all, for your advice, your prayers, and your meaningful thoughts!
You have helped soooo much!
Pablo


#19

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