Long post warning
I am almost frantic.
I was raised in an independent, fundamentalist religion and was taught many false things about Catholicism. The one blessing from this was that I was armed with the Word (well, all but 7 books) and I questioned these teachings as an adult.
I dated a Catholic, and in my understanding I really thought that he was doomed to hell for his beliefs. He attended church with my family and he was ‘saved’. We were married in a civil ceremony.
As we had children I questioned our beliefs even more - if we are wrong we are now taking young souls with us.
We church hopped for years before becoming Lutheran. I was baptized in the fundamentalist church at a young age (several times), confirmed Lutheran as an adult. Both our daughters were Baptized and Confirmed in the Lutheran Church. My husband attended but refused to be confirmed there as he was already confirmed in the Catholic Church. (probably the only right thing)
The more I read and learn, I am scared to death. I have been so very wrong.
We are in an invalid marriage (civil ceremony and both of us had been baptized).
I encouraged (along with my doctors) my hubby to have a vasectomy after a miscarriage and then our 2nd daughters birth 15 years ago where there were serious complications and we were told “if” I made it to term with another pregnancy I was risking my life.
Not only have I done wrong, I have encouraged my husband to commit mortal sins. The worst is he did it for me, to protect me and my health/life.
I am angry at myself, the church I grew up in (where my parents have us on the ‘backslidden’ list on their prayer list), even my husband a little for not telling me I was the one who was wrong (even though I probably wouldn’t have listened at the time, I was convinced that my faith was the ‘right one’).
It was a hard thing to realize that I was the one needing converting in the “unequally yoked” relationship. He is a good man, when I asked him about this he told me he knew God would bring me around, that I would find the faith in time, he was just waiting for me to see.
I am panic ridden and don’t know what to do now. We have just moved and have been going to mass at various local parishes.
Will a Priest throw me out on my ear if I go to him and spill all this in his lap? Should I go now or wait until we know which parish we will join? What will happen to my husband?
I am almost afraid to keep reading/learning as I will probably find even more things I have done wrong.
I know the easy thing to do would be to remain in the Lutheran Church, but I feel like I can’t now that I have learned what I have. I can’t in good conscience send my girls out into the world without helping them to reconcile to the Catholic Church.
God bless anyone who has the compassion to read this very long, neurotic post
Long post warning
nope, most likely welcome you with open arms, counsel you and your husband together and individually on correcting your marriage situation, which is relatively easy if neither of you was ever married before, invite you to join a group of other adults from different backgrounds who are like you on a journey to full communion with Holy Mother Church–and whom, by the way, along with all the rest of us in the pews including the priest, are sinners, just like you, just like the rest of humanity. The only difference is that we rely on the remedy Christ gave us for sin, the sacraments. Your husband will be assisted in his return to the faith, including sacramental confession, and your children will become Catholic when you do.
EDIT by th eway, please change the icon to thumbs up or smiley face. thanks
Don’t panic. You have found your way home and heaven is rejoicing. I would make an appointment with the priest ASAP and find out what steps to take to make this all right. It’s not as hopeless as you might think. Easier said than done, but try not to beat yourself up about past actions that you did not know were wrong at the time. Those will be taken care of as part of your process of entering the Church, when you make your first confession. The important thing is to move forward from now.
Being raised the way you were, how could you know? Thank God He gave you this insight now!! And priests have heard just about everything. As annie said, yours is probably easy to correct.
Come on over and see us this Sunday. On Monday, pick up the phone and make a call to whatever priest is nearby. If he’s taken Monday off after all the Easter work, call another and another.
Be at peace!
You can’t commit a sin if you don’t know something is a sin. There are no “accidental” sins. God holds us accountable for what we know. Your husband is accountable for what he knew/knows-- which may not have been a lot if he fell away so easily.
For your husband, a visit to Reconciliation is his first step. For both of you then a visit with the priest to talk about convalidating your marriage and your instruction to be received into full communion with the Church. It will all take time, so be patient.
No one is going to throw you out on your ear, no one is going to judge you as a bad person.
Yes be at peace! I read your post and must believe that this is the work of God. He wants you Home. Since He wants you to come Home, please trust in Him.
I keep you and your family in my prayer today.
Priests have pretty much heard everything under the sun, so don’t worry, finding a good priest who can give you advice would be a great idea. Trust me, it’s nothing to worry about. God bless you!
Be not afraid.
Trust in Him.
Be at Peace, do not be afraid.
We love confession and we love forgiveness in our Church. Trust me, no really TRUST ME: there are humans in our Church who have committed far graver sins than you. Or me for that matter. We are all equal before God, and we are all sinners. No priest will throw you out on your ear… he’ll welcome you with open arms and good counsel.
Oh and Welcome Home!
(Welcome to CAF too)
I second the idea of going to see your priest. Perhaps give him a call first - your discussion may take some time and it’s probably best to make a separate appointment rather than going to the scheduled times for confession.
Thank you all for your compassionate support & prayer.
How do I ‘pick’ a Priest? We have been here only a month There are 3 parishes with 5 congregations, one of which is military. We will probably go to the parish on post as they are more geared to the military lifestyle but we are attending at different ones each week right now. I am not even sure if the on post parish has its own RCIA or if I will need to go off post for that. Anyway we don’t really know the Priests here yet. I felt better with one of the on post Priests of the post we were at before we moved but he was deployed a month before we left there and I was waiting for my hubby to return from a deployment before I did anything. We (the girls and I) attended the Lutheran church on Saturdays and Mass on Sundays for about 5 months before hubby came back. Now only Mass.
In case anyone knows anyone like me-suggest Born Fundamentalist Born Again Catholic by David B Currie. It blew away the falsehoods I was taught as a child and backed it all up with the Bible that I was taught with and started me on this journey. And prompted me to purchase a Catholic study Bible and many other books.
Thank you again
This is the first marriage for both of us.
I really feel that God put us together but the wrong one of us converted!
Forgot to answer that one.
Be not afraid. I and my husband were both raised Catholic, left the Church and converted to Orthodoxy and this Lent, realized our error and have come back home. Our “new” priest has welcomed us with open arms, no judging.
It will be a journey, no doubt about that, but the Church is our Mother–she forgives and embraces us in welcome.
Pick the parish that makes you feel most at home and approach the priest there. Whatever makes you most comfortable. I went to a couple of local parishes before we approached the priest at our current church.
Like others have said, calm down and don’t worry so much. God’s mercy is endless, and the priest and church are there to help you. You will do fine. Congrats and welcome home. God bless.
AS others have said, be at peace. You didn’t know you were committing mortal sins. As you begin your way to the Holy Mother Church, rest assured we will be praying for you on your journey.
The best thing to do is to start right away. We put it off until our children were grown and that is the worst mistake we ever made. We should have started much sooner!
Now that we are HOME life is so much more joyful. Yes, we had to go through annulment proceedings and live as brother and sister for a while, but we are SO glad we persevered.
The Church is set up so that ANY problem can be corrected, including invalid marriages. And certainly your husband’s vasectomy can be forgiven in a single confession.