Overview of what not to do?

Over the summer, I am going to go with many of my friends to their churches. The reason is that before I get confirmation, I want to be SURE that I want to be Catholic. Yes, I want to be Catholic, and I love the Catholic faith. However, I don’t want to be one who get confirmed, then turns away later. Also, we talk so much about Christian unity, but without seeing a different faith through the eyes of someone who practices that, how are we suppose to find common ground?

I know that if a Protestant Church offers “communion” (not real) I am suppose to pass on it. However, recently someone told me that Orthodox communion was ok to receive. I do not think this is true either, however, can someone please correct me if I am wrong?

Also, if they do altar call, I am to simply remain seated correct?

I will go to my Catholic Church before or after the Protestant service, so I will fulfill my Sunday Obligation.

Thanks for any help/

I am really going to try to not sound harsh, so please forgive me if I do…

I have such a problem with the whole premise of your idea of both Confirmation and Christian Unity. Confirmation is not, as most people think, a confirmation of us to be Catholic. Instead, it is Confirmation of grace from God to complete our initiation into the Church. It isn’t us signing on to be lifelong Catholics, but it is the fullness of sanctifying grace that helps us to be Catholic. It might sound like I am splitting hairs, but I’m really not. The sacraments are God’s gift to us, not the other way around.

Also, Christian Unity is great. I am all for unity. I am all for people who protest against the Church to change their minds and come back home. I do not feel the need to go out and become a drug addict just so I can feel what they are going through. I think it is very irresponsible to potentially confuse the one, true Faith with those who aren’t getting it quite right.

I hope that your forays into these other religions works out for you. Perhaps you do need to see what goes on at other churches for some reason. My advise is to just observe and not overly participate in the service. Good luck.

I know that during confirmation we receive God’s grace. However, it is also the last sacrament of** initiation**, therefore, it is also where we make OUR personal decision to the Catholic. Baptism, and the Eucharist many people receive because they do not know any other view. However, by the time you can get confirmed (in my diocese its at 16), you have experienced other views and so Confirmation should be your final agreement.

I want to be able to make the best choice. As I have said before, I love the Catholic faith, and I love going to mass. However, if I don’t at least attempt to see the way others believe, then it would be like voting for a Republican, if all I had ever know was what Republicans teach.

In your description I am not going to become a “drug addict”. More like a Police officer. I will observe what they do, and make notes on it. I also have no intention of actively participating in the service. That is why I made this topic. I have no problem with singing song that we sing at Mass. However, I want to make sure that I don’t overstep my bounds (ie receiving their fake version of the Eucharist). I am there simply to observe and report.

You are right, I do have a reason for going to these Churches. All of my friends, with the exception of maybe 10 or 11 at youth group, are non Catholics. (I live in the Bible Belt by the way). The rest of my friends are from different denominations. I want to see what they teach. Not to convert, but to at least see where we agree on some things. It will make talking about religion so much easier in the future if we can all see that we have some similarities.

If you are preparing for Confirmation your time will be much better spent getting stronger in the knowledge and practice of your Catholic faith. You may share with other Christians when you are confirmed in the Holy Spirit with his gifts of strength and fortitude to defend your faith. You will not learn any more by attending one service at a non-Catholic Church than you will by attending Mass one time in yours. The fact that you even have to ask if you may receive communion in a non-Catholic church, where Christ is not really and truly present as he is in the Catholic sacrament of Eucharist, shows you do not know nearly enough about your own faith. No of course you may not receive communion, nor answer an “altar call” which would be a declaration of acceptance of all they are preaching. An Orthodox priest will not allow you to receive because you are not Orthodox, so don’t attempt it.

thank goodness, and God bless you, for understanding you may not miss Mass to do this. Your task before confirmation is to become open to the work of the Holy Spirit, which you do by continuing to seek the whole truth about the Faith, which you do in the one Church founded by Jesus Christ, not in being confused by the conflicting claims of numerous denominations who have rejected part of that truth.

You and other posters reveal a major misunderstanding of the nature of the Sacrament of Confirmation, which sadly you may have received from your catechists and sponsors. It does not mean you “confirm” your parents’ choice to baptize you Catholic, after weighing all the alternatives. It means the bishop confirms your baptism, anoints you with the Holy Spirit who comes upon you in power, as Christ promised and strengthens you by his seven fold gifts to remain strong and grow in knowledge and wisdom.

To reject Confirmation at the time the bishop calls you is to reject your baptism, to reject the faith your parents handed on to you, for no good reason other than curiosity about the beliefs of others who are not fully in union with Christ and His Church. It is not a matter of wait and see until I am ready, it is a matter of I know best when I am ready, I am smarter than the Church, and I can decide for myself what is Truth. It is placing your own intellectual gifts above the supernatural gift of knowledge given by the Holy Spirit in Confirmation.

Use this time instead of filling your mind and heart with confusing and conflicting messages in prayer, immersion on Holy Scripture, and frequent recourse to Mass and the sacraments, growth in knowledge of the faith, and service to the Church and God’s poor. That is openness to the Spirit. You are working on your inner disposition, which should be one of humility and docility before Him.

You cannot offer to others what you do not possess yourself. Until you are firm in your knowledge and fervent in your practice of the Catholic Faith, you are not in a position to share your faith much less debate with others, especially youth of your acquaintance who are fervent and knowledgeable about their own beliefs. Finish your Confirmation preparation which the parish and diocese offer as a gift to you and come forward when your Bishop calls you and receive the Holy Spirit and be strengthened and nourished by his anointing. Then will be enough time to explore what unites all Christians.

Response to first Paragraph:
You obviously do not live where I live. Christian teaching is an everyday thing, people discuss it day in and day out. I’ve been debating and talking with people about my faith since I was 8. It’s that common. Its how I learn about my faith. By hearing what other Churches say about the Catholic faith, it makes me look into Catholic teaching to understand why the Church teaches as it does. I would go as far as to say that was it not for these debates, I would have either lost my faith because I was coddled into my faith, or just simply not cared (as some of my Catholic friends). This is how I view life, coddling is not the best idea. If you want to know your faith better, and to defend it you must LEARN. How am I ever going to LEARN if I am told everything like I was 6? Protestants will not care if you are Confirmed or not. I cannot just say " I’m not confirmed, don’t ask me." No, they expect an answer, the best way to do this is to have one waiting for them.

Response to 1st paragraph part 2.
You also said that because I asked a question for someone to confirm, you say I should not go to these services to learn. So, using your logic, if someone disagrees with the Catholic Church on immigration, they should not attend Mass, or get confirmed. I knew that I was not to receive their “communion”, the whole point of this topic was to gloss over things that I had missed, so I know to avoid them. The things I posted were what I already knew.

Response to paragraph 2:
I have already said that I will fulfill my Sunday obligation. I do not intend to fall away because of this. However, read response 1. By doing this, I will be conflicted for answers hopefully. This will challenge me to learn about my faith. Its reverse psycology.

Response to paragraph 3:

This line confuses me. Confirm means to give approval. Why would one wait till you are 16, call the Sacrament Confirmation if it did not matter whether the recipient agreed or not. We talk so often about how women are not given enough information before seeking an abortion, but now you say that we shouldn’t get information from another source? One that will allow oneself to better understand his faith? What hypocrite.

Confirmation does give you the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I have already said this. However, it does not give you INSTANT knowledge of everything your friends are going to ask. You must study those, a lot of the questions my friends have debated me on I already have. The only way you can be ready is to already know the questions, and find answers ahead of time. As I stated previously, this is how I learn, by debating. Believe it or not, I will grow in faith from this. Not destroy my faith.

Response to paragraph 4
Number 1, my parents are supportive of this. They know the way I learn. I myself have taught them things such as the best verses to give a Protestant who does not believe in the Eucharist (1 Cor 2:14, John 6:53-58, 66-67, and 1 Corinthians 11:27. Which by the way I learned about AFTER going to a Baptist Church and being challenged on it.
Where did you get the idea I would deny Confirmation? As I have stated previously, this is the most effective way I can grow in my faith. Reading a book is all fine and good, but if I want to understand where the other religions are coming from, and be ready with a response, a book is not going to give me the exact answer I need. (except maybe line of “Prove It!” books).

Response to paragraph 5:
I will fill my mind with Church teachings. After I learn what I should fill my head about, so as to better refute Protestants.

I am not there to teach them. I am there to learn about what I should learn about to defend my faith. In kind of the way a spy works (horrible analogy, but it gets the point across). For the record, I am fervent in my faith. I’ve taught apologetics at my youth group on numerous occasions. I will receive confirmation. I want to, and can hardly wait to. However, I don’t think that just because I am not confirmed, I shouldn’t be allowed to do this.

Like I said, this is how I learn. I don’t believe teaching or coddling is good unless you can live it, and explain it. By getting questions about my faith that I do not understand, I can learn more about my faith by searching for answers. Based on puzzleannie’s logic, I guess a non confirmed Catholic shouldn’t go to youtube either. There are plenty of things there questioning the Catholic faith. Or even the whole entire internet for that matter. I would rather have my faith forged by fire, than change the way I learn and be supported by a crutch via coddling me to learn only the very basics of my faith. :highprayer:

Sometimes I go to a protestant church for their bible study. It helps me develop humility because they make comments about Catholics being stupid and not loving God as much as them. Once you get used to people calling you names it doesn’t really bother you anymore. Other than that, they seem to like Jesus a lot and be friendly people, but after a year and half I have only a vague idea of what they believe.

Here is what I read about receiving Orthodox Communion:

In 1975, Pope Paul VI said that he would permit Catholics to receive Communion in Orthodox Churches (check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 838) and in the 1983 Code of Canon Law it states that when we are in places or situations where finding a Catholic Church is difficult we may receive from Churches like the Russian Orthodox (it can be found in Canon 844, paragraph 2).

Yes, you should remain seated for altar calls .

Thank you for responding, even though it looks like it is ok, I will probably pass, considering that I would go to Catholic Mass before or after.

I agree that altar calls look okay, I just try to avoid doing things that might send the wrong signal to my protestant brethren. I don’t want to inadvertently make them think I want to join their church. Or get up and start participating in something when I don’t know what they are going to try to lead me to say or do. Plus I don’t really get caught up in the emotional appeal of Protestant worship services.

Orthodox communion seems technically okay, but I would probably think about it more before participating, if I am ever in that situation. I know some Orthodox Churches would ask that I abstain, and I would respect that.

If you attend any Protestant services, do so just as an objective observer. Do not participate in their communion, altar calls, potlucks, fellowship, Bible studies, etc… Be respectful and polite, but you are Catholic and are just there as a visitor, under no circumstances miss Mass!!

Redratfish, I would advise strongly not to do this. It will end up confusing you more and more. IF you are invited by a friend, that is one thing but if you are going to see what others do, etc that is another. I grew up in a baptist home and I know what they do to get people to “come forward.” There are some things that we agree on with other protestants but there is a bunch more that we don’t agree on. Since you are about to receive confirmation, I think this is a good time to learn more about our beautiful faith. You are still new to all of this.

Its good to strive for Christian Unity. We all want it just like Our Lord prayed for but I would learn about them by talking to other Christians or read up on what they believe. Some of the books and pamphlets that Catholic answers has is good or some stuff from EWTN.

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