Please forgive me if this is in the wrong section.
I’ve done a lot of research within the past few years, and I’m firmly convinced of the Catholic Church’s legitimacy as the Church Christ founded, infallibly guided by the Holy Spirit. But ever since finding this out, I’ve been bemoaning my broken relationship with our Creator, fearing for my soul. I can’t go to Confession as a protestant and so I’m living in a state of mortal sin. While I know that Confession is the way sins are forgiven under normal circumstances, and that forgiveness is possible for those outside of the Catholic Church, the Catechism doesn’t explain how non-Catholics might recieve this forgiveness, and I know that such forgiveness is abnormal. This ambiguity makes begging God for forgiveness seem to me a hopeless endeavor, even though I try. I would love to convert now, but I’m a Sophmore in high school, and I don’t know if I should try without my parents permission. Should I do it discreetly, or should I ask my parents for their permission and accept their answer so as to honor my father and mother? This has been a very discouraging experience. I want to become as close to God as humanly possible.
All the best on your journey. I will pray for you.
I’d tell them about becoming catholic, but they can’t force you to not be, as the 1st amendment protects you. Ask to talk with a local catholic priest and you can respond with their answer
You can PM message me or others if you wish. I reverted to Catholicism going into 9th grade high school. It was very cool I remember, to find out that Catholicism wasn’t some boring thing, but was rooted in truth, and was founded by Truth.
I would suggest contacting a priest at a local Catholic parish and asking his advice about how to proceed based on your particular situation. He has likely dealt with similar issues before.
Meanwhile, trust in God to either provide you with the grace to make it through until you are able to make your first Confession, or to grant you mercy, knowing you would go to Confession if you were able.
The maxim of the law applies: impossibilia nemo tenetur. You can’t be obliged to do what is impossible
Although the sacraments are ordinary means, God didn’t bind Himself to act only through them. Rather than think of it as “abnormal,” think of it as extraordinary. Even today, there are priests labouring far from another priest and rarely can confess. You would make an act of perfect contrition…which is not as hard as the name implies. Perfect contrition is contrition more because God is offended than because of the loss of heaven O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend You, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life
Perfect contrition is in the will. Our fear is not terror; it is motivation to not lose Someone we love. The equation’s other side is: He loves you and does not want you to be lost. If you’re intent on being faithful to Him, He cannot be overcome by intervening circumstances that would cause Him to have to reject you…so trust in Him and ask Him to help you find and traverse the road that will bring you closest to Him. He already knows where it is and that you desire to find it
Sincere prayer is never a hopeless endeavour. God assuredly hears your prayers just as He knows your desire to see your situation resolved
As a priest, when it came to un-emancipated minors wishing to enter the Church, I always verified that the parents were in accord, or at least accepting. If they were not, I would encourage the young person to wait until they were an adult
That said, one doesn’t present oneself and “convert” on spot. For the Church, it’s a process. It takes months of preparation
As a sophomore in high school, I presume you are in the environs of 16 years old – ? You obviously know your parents and no one responding to this thread would. If you have reason to think that the manifestation of your desire to study Catholicism will cause a breakdown in your relationship, since you live with them and are under them, I would discourage you from doing that. On the other hand, the approach I always took as a parish priest was that you were learning about Catholicism. The decision to become Catholic was one for the future, when one had understanding and had reflected on it. That was often better received by parents and, with time, they became more accepting, especially if there was a sense that this was going to happen eventually anyway…and the child was cautious in how they interacted with the parents as a result of their new found faith
Have you thought of broaching the subject with your parents, not as a fait accompli but as something you want to explore? In Europe, you would be old enough to attend RCIA so I assume you would be in North America, too. Or, at least if your parents would not object to your attending Mass, you could do so for a year and then begin RCIA next year. In the interim, you would meet people who would make this journey less discouraging. They would walk the journey with you. You don’t have to be Catholic to be involved with a number of groups and activities at a parish
It’s important to remember, too, that there are many things you can be doing to grow in your knowledge of Catholicism as of the present moment. Unlike when I was your age, you have Catholic patrimony available at your fingertips, thanks to the Internet; freely available and easily accessible
Finally, as a priest I often had occasion to interact with young people exiting high school/going into university who were exploring faith in their lives. I trust my American confreres have the same experience. Why don’t you reach out to your nearest Catholic Church and ask to visit with the priest about your situation and your interest in being Catholic? He is best placed to advise you with concrete proposals that he can suggest for you, wherever it is that you live and whatever your circumstances are at home and with your parents
I suggest you speak to a priest about becoming Catholic… To answer your question about forgiveness, Confession is the ordinary way but there is also the grace of perfect contrition. This remits mortal sin even before Confession… Its the grace to be sorry for having hurt God simply out of love for Him, not fear of hell. I think it could help to pray for this grace. Ask Our Lady to intercede for you. Even though this grace is not necessary for Confession, it is still a great disposition to have. But it can also take away sins before the Sacrament - though we still need to confess to any mortal sins to a priest before Communion, to be sure.
Don’t get discouraged, but keep praying, learning about the Church, and trust God to bring you there and help you with everything He is leading you to Himself, not abandoning you. God bless you
Of course, in Catholicism there is the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the forgiveness of sin. You have to be a Catholic in order to receive this Sacrament from a priest who acts in the person of Christ.
However, a non-Catholic when he is baptized into Catholicism will have all his/her sins being wiped away into a clean slate as if he/she has never sinned. Only sins that are being committed after that need to be confessed to be forgiven.
As for converting, if you are a minor, you have to have your parents permission but if you are a consenting adult, you do not have to but it is good to have their agreement for the sake of honor (yes) and good relationship.
However, in matter pertaining to faith and salvation, each person is accountable to oneself as nobody, not even our parents, can do that on our behalf.
Firstly, you do not have a broken relationship with God he loves you immensely!!! In regards to your sin as you are not Catholic yet what will suffice right now is saying the Act of Contrition with the intent not to sin again (we all will don’t feel bad if you have to keep saying it, it’s the act of repentance that matters and the firm purpose of amendment to not sin again)
And about conversion now, it really depends on your age about your parents decision and as well what country you are in because in my country the age of 16 is where you can consider your own choices without the permission of your parents however most countries must be 18 to make their own choices without permission. If you have a positive relationship with your parents go ahead and discuss it with them if it is more complicated go and arrange to meet with a priest to talk it over.
Don’t feel nervous or anxious about this - it is only the beginning of your journey and you will learn and grow so much. When I had my first Holy Communion I was waiting so long for it (I also converted young because of some issues with travel etc. I was confirmed age 17 but was waiting since around 12 years old) If you have to wait it will be worth it in the end and keep trying keep persevering!!!