Should I join the Church?


This may not be question for this forum, but…

I met my wife, who is a Catholic, and we were married in the Catholic Church. During our marriage classes, I promised to to raise our children in the Catholic Church, and that’s a promise I intend to keep.

I would like to be a participant in the spirtual lives of my children (the first of whom is due 4/22), and accordingly, I’m thinking of going through the process of joining the church. However, I do have some reservations with the church:

  1. I believe abortion is wrong, but I do not recognize that limiting access to abortion is the responsibilty of the state, but rather it should be prevented through education and assistance to those in need.

  2. I don’t share the same view on birth control and NFP as taught by the Catholic church.

  3. I don’t believe impotence is an impediment to marriage.

  4. I don’t believe masturbation to be a mortal sin.

And so on… however, I do believe in Jesus Christ as the Saviour and that Jesus is the one true path to salvation. And I do believe the Catholic church is more pure in intent than most other organizations.

So, would I be wasting my time (and the church’s) to join the church? I know that some 70% of the Catholic church believes birth control to be acceptable. Are they wasting their time as well? If I don’t buy the whole package, but am willing to keep my mouth shut should give it a go? i.e., not commit heresy?

I’m not sure where to turn, but I know my future doesn’t have me sitting in some giant Lutheran church with 60 foot flat panel televisions or receiving my spirituality from an evangelist with a Texas accent.

I’d love some advice.


Dear Perplexed,

I have to respond to your first reservation because it just jumps right out at me. Protecting the innocent is one of the duties of the state for which our country stands. This is why we have police and fire departments. Who of our population are more innocent than our children?

For those concerning marriage I suggest that you read, “Good News About Sex and Marriage” by Christopher West—available through and by phone: 888 291 8000.

As to your other difficulties, you really need to decide on what you want to do. Do you want to measure the only Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself—by your standards? Or do you want to measure yourself by His? It really boils down to this.

In Jn 6 when Jesus spoke of the necessity of eating His body and drinking His blood, many of His disciples turned away from Him. It didn’t make sense to them. Jews were not allowed to drink any kind of blood—let alone human blood. Those who remained did not understand Him any better than the others did. But they humbly submitted to Him because they loved Him. There is no other way to be His disciple. There is no other way to be a Catholic.

I will remember you during my daily hour before Him in the Blessed Sacrament.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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