Parent Involvement limits?

I’ve recently converted to Catholicism after being atheist for a lot of my life. My parents are Prebysterian and they’ve never been a part of my religious life, for various reasons.

I do my best to adhere to the Commandment “Honor thy father and thy mother”, but does that extend to telling them I’m going to become Catholic, and possibly involving them in the process? I dont think I’d want them at my baptism or to go to church with them.

My priest says I should forgive them and by doing so, I should allow them back into my religious life. I have forgiven them, but I feel like I should be able to control their access to my religious life, and set limits with them so I can be comfortable in this new faith. Any thoughts?

You keep the boundaries that allow you to practice your new faith in confidence and ease. There is no reason that you cannot set and keep boundaries with your parents. Just as you would not discuss your married sex life with your parents, you have no obligation to discuss your faith with them. And if you think they will disrespect you, that is all the more reason to stay circumspect with them.


What do they need forgiveness for? Why do you feel that you do not want them in your life? My best advice is do what your pastor has suggested…and pray for them and for yourself and your new faith.

From experience I know that people don’t set such boundaries without good reason. So if you think that they will be disrespectful or in any way damaging to your faith life then you are not obliged to involve them, or even invite them to your baptism. Pray and put this relationship into God’s hands. He can deal with people and do things we can’t.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit