Awesome! Truly, we are members of the Church because of Christ, not because of other Catholics or Christians…
I stopped going to church because I felt/feel that many Catholics are judgmental hypocrites
That might be a good reason not to associate with them in certain contexts… but to stop going to church because of people? That’s like stopping eating because you find grocery store employees offensive! Doesn’t quite make sense… :shrug: (Yet, I do get what you’re saying – I made the same move away from the regular practice of my faith in my 20s…)
while the Church is decked in opulence in concurrence with so much suffering, poverty and starvation in this world.
So… you’ve given up your citizenship in the U.S., too, then, since there’s a whole boatload of opulence here, in spite of suffering, poverty, and starvation?
My wife is atheist. We have no children yet. She would be willing to convert but without her truly believing, I must ask, what is the point?
Right: a ‘fake’ conversion doesn’t do anyone any good. However, is it reasonable to re-state what she’s willing to do, in a different way? Are you saying that she’s willing to go along with your practice of the faith, for your sake or the sake of future children, although she’s not anticipating being converted? That’s a good thing… and a good start!
Honestly, my wife is more important to me than the church stating that my marriage isn’t valid in the eyes of God.
Of course, your marriage could be valid… you know that, right? You could get a Church wedding, which would be valid, or you could possibly get what’s known as a ‘radical sanation’, which would also mean that your marriage would be considered valid ‘in the eyes of the Church’.
We plan to raise our children Catholic but according to church teachings, if and when we have children, they would technically be born of fornicators and will be subject to eternal damnation. How could I possibly explain this to them?
That would be a tough one, wouldn’t it? On one hand, you value certain teachings of the Church; and on the other, you seem to have decided to disregard certain teachings of the Church. To “raise children Catholic”, one would expect that this would include regular attendance at Mass; are you willing to re-embrace your faith by attending Sunday Mass? If not, then it would seem that you’re trying to have it both ways – you want what you perceive to be good in the Church, but without any kind of commitment that would demonstrate to your children that you, too, believe in the things that they’re being taught. The problem, it seems, is the danger of a certain hypocrisy.
Would it be possible for me to rejoin the church, after professing my sins? What would the church advise regarding my marriage and possible children?
Yes; but, the Church would also ask that you regularize your marital situation. That might mean a convalidation of your marriage (presuming that there aren’t any impediments in your wife’s and your backgrounds (previous marriages, etc)) or a radical sanation. You could easily make an appointment with the pastor of a local parish and start this discussion with him…!
How would it eve be possible to instill the foundations of Catholicism into my children?
By living those ideals yourself! Sure, you’ll have to explain why Mommy doesn’t believe what Daddy believes, but that discussion will come around anyway, once they’re old enough to see the differences in what you two believe. (And, to tell the truth, once they’re old enough, and if they’re perceptive enough, you’ll still get the question, “Wait, Dad – you say that you’re Catholic, but you don’t go to church or anything. What’s up with that? Do you really believe what you say you believe?”, whether or not you put them in a Catholic environment for Catholic formation!)
So… you teach your children a faith tradition in the same way that you teach them anything: you put them into good, solid environments in which they’ll learn the values you wish to instill in them; and you, yourself, actually put into action those values which they are being taught, so that they see them in real-life application; and, in your active witness to the ideals they’re learning, you make the statement that there’s value and meaning for them in their personal application of the things that they’re being taught!