In the interest of clarity and conciseness, I’ll give some background and then present my question.
Me: 48 years old, very orthodox, traditional, Anglican (Episcopalian), in the process of converting to the Roman Catholic church. As I read the Fathers, studied the scriptures, read and reread the catechism, and browsed web resources like catholic.com, I realized that the truth lived in the Catholic church, and I made plans to “swim the Tiber”.
With the help of one of our parish priests, I have submitted the paperwork for an annulment of a previous marriage. (My wife is a cradle Catholic and we were married in a civil service.)
The parish I attend: Large (6,000+ families and five packed masses on Sunday), active, liberal, very “modern” in liturgy. Tonight I attended my third session of RCIA.
The dilemma: The primary reason I left the Anglican church was because of its drift to the left; its falling away from the historic, Christian doctrines. I find myself facing many of the exact, same issues in my current, Catholic parish and particularly in the RCIA program.
Examples: The RCIA leader told us tonight that, “the Pope consults with cardinals before making a decision on faith and doctrine. That’s what makes him infallible.” He also explained that the “lectern is where the priest, or whoever is giving the homily, stands.”
Since he has been teaching the class for more than a decade, I suspect the pastor is aware of these sort of statements.
Lastly, and this is subjective I suppose, I miss the reverence and majesty of the high church, Anglican mass. Here, we have no altar rail, communion is received in the hand, standing, and the general tone of the service is conversational and casual, for lack of a better term.
Why don’t I just leave? My wife and I have started to settle in and meet people and it is only about 10 minutes from our home. Plus, I’m not sure how easy that would be, since the annulment paperwork is turned in through this church.
That is a lot of run up to a simple, two questions. Is this a normal experience for a Catholic parish in the US? What should I do; grin and bear it or try to look elsewhere for a different and hopefully, more traditional setting?