She not sure she's Catholic anymore


My sister-in-law, a cradle Catholic with a completely parochial education has, in the past 2 years:

• Marched FOR abortion rights
•*Believes in and uses birth control
•*Supports stem cell research
•*Was married in a Lutheran Church with no Catholic clergy present and with no dispensation of place or form, by the way, the pastor who conducted the marriage was a former priest who became a Lutheran pastor and is married to a former nun
•*Has made no effort to have her marriage validated
• Routinely takes communion in the Lutheran church but also at the Catholic CHurch she attends when visiting our parents
•*Had her son baptized in a Lutheran Church

I left long ago to become Lutheran, and I feel closer to God than ever. She asks me from time to time what I think she should do. I tell her her path is her own and that I do not want to influence her decision and that she should get answers from those better qualified and follow her heart. While I would never tell her this, it seems to me if she fully plans to maintain her position on these issues the decision may have already been made:shrug:.


If she is also a feminist and homosexual activist, she’d make a great ELCA Lutheran.

Otherwise, the correct path would be for her to pray for the truth to be revealed to her, and follow the heart of Christ, not to follow her own heart based on the lies she’s living in. Why would you never tell her? Her eternal salvation is more important than how she might react to your concern. Besides, being concerned shows how much you love her.

By the way, as a former Lutheran, I hope you would reconsider the Catholic faith yourself. You say you “feel” closer to God. Feelings can be deceptive.


A person who is baptized in the Catholic Church is always a Catholic.

They might be a Catholic in mortal sin; a Catholic in an irregular marriage; a Catholic in a state of apostacy, schims, or heresy; or a Catholic who has formally or notoriously defected, but they are always a Catholic.

Your sister in law should refrain from receiving Communion in the Catholic Church as long as she is actively in schism and engaging in behaviors incompatible with the faith.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is always available to her, and she can return to the practice of the faith and seek to have her marriage convalidated by talking to her priest.


I did exactly what you suggested for myself…prayed for the truth to be revealed and follow my heart to Christ. When I did it took me to Lutheranism.:slight_smile: I wish I had done so 20 years earlier.


She must follow what works for her. Religion as an adult and what you follow is a matter of choice. One of our great freedoms here in the USA. Times change, tastes change, people change. I’m not a fan of the Lutheran religion, but know of some very good people who are of that faith, born into it and keep it and practice it to the fullest. We should have more like them in my experience. God fearing and very old fashioned, but I’m talking 60+ year old ones. Martin faced some tyrant Popes back in those days just as there were evil Kings. He had his reasons to break away if you read his story. Who knows as we were not there to side one way or the other back then.


I’m just curious, if you are set on Lutheranism, why are you on a Catholic discussion board?

I found too many contradictions in the Lutheran faith. The church we were in was very nice, and the congregation and pastor were firm in their faith. But I found that there was discussion about Luther than about Christ, and a lot of what Luther said was wrong. I realized that to be a “Lutheran” means to “follow Luther” and what I really wanted was to be a “Christian” and “follow Christ.” After investigating different protestant denominations and non-denominations, I realized that none of them can be right.

What, besides a warm fuzzy feeling, convinced you that the Lutheran faith is the best?


This is off topic and unfair to the OP. Let’s talk about that stuff later, and answer her questions first.

1Ike is correct, ma’am. Given my limited knowledge of the Catechism, once a Catholic, always a Catholic.

If she feels this strongly about what she is doing, tell her to formally defect. It’ll be on her conscience.

As to you being a Lutheran-God Bless You! You owe no explanation to anyone.

am10519-I’m sorry if I sounded harsh or anything. I just didn;t think it was fair to the op to talk about her conversion.


I would never say any denomination is “the best.” Perhaps “best for me” But I would never say “best.” We must have had equal but opposite reactions. I found the RCC to be full of contradictions; you found Lutheranism to be full of contradiction. I have also never found Lutheranism to be about Luther. In fact, I’ve never head the word Martin Luther used in my church other than catechism class and a history course taught now and then.


God never leads anyone out of the Catholic Church. As Scripture says, we are led away of our own desires.

Your SIL should find a priest, go to Confession and return to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I’m sure there is a Parish near you and you can do the same thing!


This is totally out of line, and grossly inappropriate. She came in asking about her sister, not her own Lutheran journey.

kage_ar-what are you trying to do? The SIL will probably not be doing any of those things. It is on the SIL’s conscience…and right now she needs prayer, like we all do.
And telling the OP that she should also go to a priest and go to confession-yeah, that’ll work. Instead of a polite and mannerly discussion, caustically telling her what to do. Does that win alot of converts? We-All Christians, are under orders to pray for those who we might disagree with. Not order them around. Remember that Pope Benedict was one time asked how many ways to God their were. His answer? “As many as their are people.” Your really out of line on this one.


Please, post a link to an official source with that quote by the Holy Father. I would like to read it in context.


You got it. “Salt of the Earth” Christianity and the Catholic Church at the End of the New Millienum. An Interview with Peter Seewald

Transalated by Adrian Walker. Ignatious Press. San Fransicso 1997 All Rights Reserved
"At one point, I asked him how many ways to Go there where. I really didn’t know what he would answer. He could have said ‘only one’ or ‘several’. The Cardinal. didn’t take long to answer. As many, he said, as there are people" (Seewald 8)

There. No link. In a book that I read. Titled above. Go out and read it. A Fantastic read.


I shall read the book, it does seem the Holy Father was taken out of context, he has never advocated the idea that people are led out of the Faith by God, or any other form of indifferentism.


Go for it. Highly reccomended. It’s a very interesting book. All the author does is ask questions, and Cardinal Ratzinger answers them. Shockingly, the interviewer also left the church, and Cardinal Ratzinger did not say to him what you said to the OP.

I am not trying to sound rude, and I apologize if this does. However, I did find your post saying that she needed to, “Get to confession” uncalled for.


I would, but like another man many years ago I’ve taken the position that:

“…unless I am convinced by Scripture and by plain reason and not by Popes and councils who have so often contradicted themselves, my conscience is captive to the word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. I cannot and I will not recant. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.”


Sometimes, Kage_ar, the Catholic church HURTS people, and they must leave, at least for awhile, for their own sanity, health, and well being. Don’t know if this is the OP’s or her SILs case, but it is true for my DH, and by extension, me and my kids.

Telling people they must return, go to confession, or else be damned is counterproductive. The fact is you DON’T KNOW what may have caused someone to leave the Catholic church. Some priests, while still being priests of God, are not very nice people and can make poor choices which negatively affect others. Sometimes religous leaders at parishes can cause a lot of hurt and damage. To stay in that situation would be hurtful and damaging. Life and faith is a journey. Be kind. Not judgmental. Religous leaders, priests, and educators are human. They make mistakes, and some of those mistakes can cause a lot of damage.

Our own priest has caused a lot of hurt in our family recently. We cannot bring ourselves to attend mass at that parish any longer, because when he is celebrating mass, being “holy”, all we can see is how he HURT our family by his actions. He is NOT bringing us closer to God - quite the contrary - he drove us farther away. So DH is considering Greek Orthodox, and the rest of us are exploring neighboring parishes.


When you switched/converted to a Lutheran, did you go to ELCA or LCMS? I am wondering because I grew up in the ALCA when it became ELCA and just recently left the LCMS. From my own experience both sides of the Lutheran church are very similar to the RCC at least in liturgical form. However, politically they are very different from each other. I also found that LCMS, at least the particular church we were in, is very anti-Catholic.
Out of curiosity, in your conversion process did find yourself becoming anti-Catholic? Or, is it more of a difference in opinion of faith? Since I went the opposite direction you did, I found it to be more of a difference. I no longer agree with all of the Lutheran church, but I don’t believe (at least I hope) I will never become anti-Lutheran.


ELCA…mostly for the reason that it is less closed off from other faiths. I’ve never felt myself become anti-Catholic. I have felt myself at times become angry with the Catholic Church and downright furious over certain events and people within the Catholic Church but never anti-Catholic.


I would have to agree. People can be very annoying at times, but better not to hold it against the church. My mother and sister still go to ab ELCA church in NY. It’s funny because their services are more liturgical than a couple of recent Masses that I’ve gone to. Lutheranteach, God bless you on the rest your journey.


The Church does not hurt people, people may have their feelings hurt by individuals who are Catholic or be offended by doctrines - heck, people walked away from Jesus because what He taught was too hard.

The Church is Christ’s Church, she is perfect - she contains some imperfect people, yep.

Guess it is just because I am a convert, I had to risk family and friends to come into full communion, and I will defend Her to my last breath.

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