Reconciliation: Matthew 5:21-26


#1

*You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. *
([RIGHT][/RIGHT]Matthew 5:21-26 ESV)

I have recently begun RCIA and went to my first mass today. It was a good experience. I was filled with the peace of God in an extraordinary way. My question regards relations with my previous church. I don't know if I have left the church in good standing or not. Part of me says that I should return and make sure that everything is squared away before moving on. What would this process look like? How would I know that I was fully reconciled to my brother (the church leadership) before moving on to offer my gift at the altar (entrance into the Catholic Church)?


#2

I guess something I should add is that, before I distanced myself from the church, I said something to the pastor which was interpreted as an insult or an accusation. I don't think I entirely meant it as such, but I can see why he viewed it that way. As a consequence of this, I was asked to step down from a ministry leadership role that I had, and to simply come to worship (rather than participate in leading the church). I was also encouraged to pursue some counseling (including resuming sessions with my psychiatrist). Once this was done, it was suggested that I would be able to resume my former role in the chruch...or perhaps take up another one. So, what I am asking is: is it wrong for me to leave the church without going through this process? What should I do to ensure that reconciliation has occurred?


#3

Always be polite and professional and take the high road. Don't burn bridges. I have left a Catholic church over a disagreement and joined another Catholic church. When the Priest moved on I went back to the original Catholic church.

So being polite and cordial allows healing.


#4

Was interpreted. But was it your intention to insult him? And if it was an accusation, was it a fair accusation? Were you telling the truth?

Remember that in joining the Catholic Church you are not "leaving the church", you are simply walking away from a community not in full communion with the Church and walking into a community in full communion with the Church.

Perhaps it is your brother who wronged you and should seek to be reconciled with you.

However, if the Spirit tells you that you need to apologize to that person, then simply do so. Be strong in your decisions, however, like one who has left a house built on sand and walked into one built on the rock. Make it clear that you are only there to apologize for whatever wrong you perceive you did, not to seek readmission in that community or anything similar.

To be more certain, however, you may ask for the counsel of a priest at your new Parrish. While you may not receive Confession just yet, you can already benefit of spiritual direction.


#5

[quote="dsully, post:2, topic:300275"]
I guess something I should add is that, before I distanced myself from the church, I said something to the pastor which was interpreted as an insult or an accusation. I don't think I entirely meant it as such, but I can see why he viewed it that way. As a consequence of this, I was asked to step down from a ministry leadership role that I had, and to simply come to worship (rather than participate in leading the church). I was also encouraged to pursue some counseling (including resuming sessions with my psychiatrist). Once this was done, it was suggested that I would be able to resume my former role in the chruch...or perhaps take up another one. So, what I am asking is: is it wrong for me to leave the church without going through this process? What should I do to ensure that reconciliation has occurred?

[/quote]

Make an appointment with that pastor, sit down and explain the additional context of what you said and how you REALLY meant it to be interpreted and tell him you're very contrite for any wrong he may have felt at your hands, and then ask for his forgiveness.

I can't say, because I converted to Catholicism from non-religious at a very young age, but if I were a protestant coming to the Catholic church from a GOOD protestant church, I'd probably offer a nice parting donation to the church and offer to pray for them in their ministry (after all, if they were part of the spiritual path that lead you to catholicism, they must be doing SOMETHING right!)


#6

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