Should I return?


#1

I left the church in 1976,after a priest told me that my wife lost salvation because she had a tubal ligation. We realized at the time that this action was not according to the teaching of the church, but after having 3 children my wife was advised to have this proceedure for medical reasons. We have been Anglo Catholic since, not Episcopal!, and we believe the Lord is calling us back to the Roman Church. Our question is whats the use, if we are shut out of Christ’s Kingdom. I would appreciate comments and sound advise. In Christ’s service. robertjohn10 :confused: :confused:


#2

Yes you should come back! Do you have access to another priest to talk to? If not, can you call the Catholic Answers’ Apologetics line and ask to speak to Father Serpa? They ask callers to call and speak to him all the time on CA Live.

I am not a Priest, but there is no singular action that I am aware of, any mortal sin, that cannot be repented and forgiven. Mortal sins that aren’t forgiven are because the person intends to continue to commit them. So even if it was a sin (which is between you and a priest), it could be forgiven! Jesus wants you back, definitely!

Like with a doctor, I pray you get a second opinion, and soon - Jesus and we all want you back!

God bless…


#3

[quote=robertjohn10]I left the church in 1976,after a priest told me that my wife lost salvation because she had a tubal ligation. We realized at the time that this action was not according to the teaching of the church, but after having 3 children my wife was advised to have this proceedure for medical reasons. We have been Anglo Catholic since, not Episcopal!, and we believe the Lord is calling us back to the Roman Church. Our question is whats the use, if we are shut out of Christ’s Kingdom. I would appreciate comments and sound advise. In Christ’s service. robertjohn10 :confused: :confused:
[/quote]

RobertJohn,

By all means come back. In fact, I think you should share this with the “Ask an Apologist” so they can tackle the issue you were originally told, if that is how you were told. Hopefully, you misunderstood the priest.

For example, it would be one thing if someone went to confession and confessed contraception who is sorry for this act, versus someone who confessed contraception who is not sorry for it. The context in which the priest responded, matters. If your wife’s case was a matter of disagreement over whether to be sorry for something that she felt was out of her control, this could be where the conflict is at. I’m not sure where the Church stands on certain medical conditions that would prompt this. Not knowing what “medical reasons” were involved its hard to say how the Church would look at it.

Also, keep in mind that there are mitigating circumstances for various things, but it is best to let an apologist explain what that might be.

If you submit this question to that forum, give them some context - was your wife told in a confessional, for example. If you can explain the medical reasons generically, then that may help, as well.

Many people have such procedures done because they don’t want any more children. We must be open to each life that God wants to give us. If one is practicing NFP and ends up with another child again, in spite of it, then it has simply been willed by God. Where the Church has a problem is when people make the choice to hinder God in this process.

Some will have procedures such as this or a vasectomy, with full intent of running to the confessional after the deed is done. It is an attempt to trick the Holy Spirit and for this reason is a sin against the Holy Spirit. It is called presumption. Even this is forgiveable, but it requires sacramental confession. In such a case, for absolution to be given, one must be sorry for having committed both sins - presumption and the procedure aimed at hindering God’s plan for a given couple.


#4

[quote=robertjohn10]I left the church in 1976,after a priest told me that my wife lost salvation because she had a tubal ligation. We realized at the time that this action was not according to the teaching of the church, but after having 3 children my wife was advised to have this proceedure for medical reasons. We have been Anglo Catholic since, not Episcopal!, and we believe the Lord is calling us back to the Roman Church. Our question is whats the use, if we are shut out of Christ’s Kingdom. I would appreciate comments and sound advise. In Christ’s service. robertjohn10 :confused: :confused:
[/quote]

I think you need to speak to someone who can address your issues with love and tolerance. A lot has happenned in the medical field since 1976. You may have been given some dicey medical advice, and you may have been given some rather harsh theological advice.

Let me put it like this, the Truth is the Truth…and there is no way it can be anything else. However, you can slam someone over the head with it or you can place it before them with the love and majesty that Jesus Christ wanted it placed before people - attraction, rather than promotion.

There is a thread in the Family Life section about a doctor who does incredible work in the field of women’s health. He is Catholic and the women who have gone to him for help with gyn problems speak of him with love and honor and respect. An issue that, back in 1976, may have seemed to have had only ONE answer may, today, have several. You may not have to make the kind of difficult, scary, personal decisions necessary to stay in communion with Rome that you had to make back in 1976…does that make sense?

Do some research, ask some more questions…if you are being called home now there is a reason…Jesus wants you back…come home.


#5

[quote=robertjohn10]I left the church in 1976,after a priest told me that my wife lost salvation because she had a tubal ligation. We realized at the time that this action was not according to the teaching of the church, but after having 3 children my wife was advised to have this proceedure for medical reasons. We have been Anglo Catholic since, not Episcopal!, and we believe the Lord is calling us back to the Roman Church. Our question is whats the use, if we are shut out of Christ’s Kingdom. I would appreciate comments and sound advise. In Christ’s service. robertjohn10 :confused: :confused:
[/quote]

Yes!! Come home to Rome! :slight_smile: Speak to your priest, I’m sure he’ll put your mind at rest!

:blessyou:


#6

I just found this on searching. Maybe you can relate to it and maybe not. But, at least its a response from a Catholic Apologist in a similar situation:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=49859&highlight=tubal+ligation


#7

Yes, welcome back and by all means come back. You may attend Mass, of course, but in order for you and your family members to to receive the Eucharist you have to go to confession. Just ask to do a general confession and let it all come out. I am sure the priest will be understanding and helpful. It might be best to schedule your confession times instead of doing it before or after Mass or whenever your local parish(s) have confession on a first come first confessed basis because 30 years worth of confessing might take a bit of time. :wink:


#8

Dear Dianne
It is said that the Lord moves in mysterious ways, and I guess no one will ever understand His ways truly, but through Him you have helped me beyond what one can expect from a brother or sister in Christ. Your responce was truly Christ inspired **God Bless. ** robertjohn10.


#9

RobertJohn, I hand it to you for leaving the Church rather than just blowing off the counsel of your Priest and pretending your decision didn’t affect your position. I wish a lot more Catholics had that integrity.

Look: you have had time to review & repent of the errors of your past. Things have changed in your life. If you had to face the same decision today, knowing what you now know, I’ll bet you would have explored other options before having a tubal ligation. That was then: you made a bad mistake. That’s what penitence and confession are for. Maybe your experience, coupled with giving yourself a good education on NFP and other aspects of marital sexuality, will turn you and your wife into a paradigm couple for helping others to avoid your error.

God, love ya! C’mon back home. Who but the Holy Spirit could be prompting this beautiful desire in your heart.


#10

Our question is whats the use, if we are shut out of Christ’s Kingdom. I would appreciate comments and sound advise.

By all means return! First, find a local Catholic parish. If you don’t know any you can look at the following website:
masstimes.org/dotNet/

Look for a good orthodox priest (try looking for an older or younger one) and make an appointment. Discuss with him your situation. Afterwards he should walk each of you individually through a general confession. A general confession is one in which you confess all unconfessed mortal sins (that you can remember) by kind and (approximate) number since your last confession. Once you have made a general confession and receive absolution ALL YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN! Stay in a state of santcifying grace (don’t commit any mortal sins) and start attending Mass on Sunday’s and Holy Days of Obligation. Make sure to receive Holy Communion as long as you are in a state of sanctifying grace (don’t have any mortal sins on your soul).

Now, considering it’s been about 30 years since your last confession you are going to forget things. Don’t worry about this. As long as you don’t deliberatley withold any mortal sins and confess all the mortal sins by kind and (approximate) number that you remember your absolution will be valid. If an unconfessed mortal sins pops into your mind after confession simply bring it up at the next confession. However, you are still in a state of sanctifying grace. In other words, once you make a worthy confession all sins are forgiven and the only thing that will cause you to lose your state of sanctifying grace is committing a mortal sin. Remembering a mortal sin that you forgot to confess does not plunge you back into a state of mortal sin. So if you have made a worthy confession, received absolution, haven’t sinned gravely since your last confession and an unconfessed mortal sin pops into your mind when you are in line for Holy Communion, do not omit Holy Communion. That sin is forgiven and you are still in a state of sanctifying grace. Just bring it up at your next confession.

Don’t worry too much about the number thing. Think of it as going to a doctor. Having monthly migraines for the past year is different than having weekley migraines. If you know the exact number of migraines that you had over the period then great. If not, an approximate number will suffice. In confession if you don’t know an exact number than give an approximate number (for example 120 times) or the frequency (for example around twice a week for about five years). Also, any mitigating circumstances that make the sin worse should be confessed. For example, stealing $20 from a homeless man is different than stealing $20 from Bill Gates.

A good priest should walk you through all of this but the above should give you an idea somewhat of what to expect. Don’t get too nervous about it though; you should feel a great weight lifted off your shoulders once it is over.

As for the specific question about whether tubal ligation can be forgiven the answer is yes. As long as one is sorry for the sin and has a firm purpose of amendment the sin can be forgiven. Now, if a woman had a tubal ligation knowing it was wrong but figured she would do it anyway since she could just confess it and have it forgiven this would be the sin of presumption. If she walked into confession with this attitude the confession would not be valid since she wasn’t sorry for getting the tubal ligation. However, if she gets the tubal ligation with the above attitude but afterward was sorry she got it and sorry for the sin of presumption both of those sins can be forgiven. A firm purpose of amendment is also something you need for a valid confession. For example, a person can’t confess having an affair with the intent the keep having the affair and have their confesion be valid. However, that person can say to himself “I’m sorry for having the affair, I don’t think I’m strong enough to stop but I’m going to try to stop having it” and have the confession be valid.

Don’t let some bad advice from a priest 30 years ago keep you from the Church. I recommend the Catechism of the Catholic Church if you would like to learn more about what the Church truly teaches:
scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc.htm

Also, EWTN is a good site/channel:
ewtn.com/

If you have any questions please feel free to post them.

May God bless you.


#11

You have come to the right place with your question and I see you have gotten some wonderful loving advice. Let me just add that I, too, have recently returned home after being away from the church after being married out of the church. I was gone longer than you and there was always this nagging in my heart telling me to go back. I have and I have not felt such peace in many, many years. Going to mass the receiving the Holy Eucharist almost brings me to tears every time I go and I thank God daily for his forgiving people such as me.

Come back. I am sure you will feel the same way. God bless you both.


#12

[quote=robertjohn10]Dear Dianne
It is said that the Lord moves in mysterious ways, and I guess no one will ever understand His ways truly, but through Him you have helped me beyond what one can expect from a brother or sister in Christ. Your responce was truly Christ inspired **God Bless. **robertjohn10.
[/quote]

naprotechnology.com/womenhealed.html

This is the link I was searching for - the doctor helps women with GYN problems.

And come home, We miss you.


#13

Hello RobertJohn:

I to was in the position that you and your wife find yourselves. I was told that if I attempted to have another child, the child may live, but in all likely hood I would die. Therefore it was deemed medically necessary. However, I believed it was a mortal sin. After 17 years without confession, I summoned the courage and had general confession, yes make an appointment, mine took awhile. The specific answer with regard to medically necessary tubuligation was that it was not a mortal sin. Do look into it.

As for being shut out of Christ’s kingdom you will be accepted back. I struggle daily because of childhood problems and I am unable to attend church because of the stress it induces, but my priest has whole heartitly told me I am in no was shape or form in jepordy of being shut out of Christ’s kindgom. Talk with a good priest, come back, I left for 9 years and have left again, I am just realizing that Priests are just people and they make mistakes, sometimes it really hurts when they do. Don’t let what one said keep you from what you feel. It is advent come and make a new beginning.

scared


#14

[quote=robertjohn10]I left the church in 1976,after a priest told me that my wife lost salvation because she had a tubal ligation. We realized at the time that this action was not according to the teaching of the church, but after having 3 children my wife was advised to have this proceedure for medical reasons. We have been Anglo Catholic since, not Episcopal!, and we believe the Lord is calling us back to the Roman Church. Our question is whats the use, if we are shut out of Christ’s Kingdom. I would appreciate comments and sound advise. In Christ’s service. robertjohn10 :confused: :confused:
[/quote]

I have my doubts that a tubal ligation for medical reasons would qualifiy as a mortal sin and make you lose your salvation. However, even if that were true, as Catholics, we do not believe “once saved always saved” nor do we believe “once lost always lost.” Go to Confession and be reconciled to God and His Church and put this behind you. This side of the grave there is no sin so great that it can’t be forgiven, if repented of.


#15

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