I'm not looking for a fight here, or a mean-spirited debate. I'm just between a rock and a hard place and really struggling.
To make a long story short, my husband and I are life-long Catholics, were married in The Church and have three baptized kids. We are both 30. We send our oldest to a Catholic school. We attend Mass regularly.
Lately, though, my husband and I have had a lot of trouble with a few doctrines of The Church, and the truth is that neither of us can honestly say we believe everything The Church teaches. We've prayed, spoken with our deacon, and spent a lot of time in conversation about our differences with The Church. It has been very hard for us, since we don't know anything but being Catholic.
At this point, we need to make a decision - do we respectfully leave The Church because we cannot, in good conscience, abide by a couple of guidelines - or do we stay and know that we are "sinning" in the eyes of The Church? I don't feel comfortable calling myself a Catholic if I am not on board with the way The Church asks us to live, and on the other hand, it would break my heart to leave. The Church is not only our religion - it's a huge part of our family culture and our social life.
What do you think we should do? I can't imagine joining another faith, but it does seem like some of the more conservative Protestant denominations are more in-line with what we truly, in our hearts, believe is right. I would desperately miss The Mass and the tradition of our faith, as well as the devotion to Our Lady. But also, we do NOT want to be hypocrites. Our hearts are heavy.
Thanks for your time,