What to do about Catholic friend who opposes Church teaching?

It took me a while to find a Catholic to build a friendship with and early last year I did, we both met at the church we attend and we got a long really well and even had shared interests. However I recently discovered that they not only disagree with church teachings on contraception, pre marital relations etc but engages in these behaviors, I had no idea of this as I always saw him receive Holy Communion.

I feel somewhat disappointed and unsure of what to do now, I don’t really want to confront my friend as I may come across as uptight, old fashioned or interfering.

I feel pretty silly also for getting disappointed that my friendship didn’t live up to expectations. I am very unsure about what to do.

The only perfect people who ever walked the earth are in heaven now.

We won’t find perfection in our friends, and they will not find perfection in us. That is why we have friends, to encourage each other. This does not mean you turn every conversation into a debate on the morals of contraception or you berate your friend for receiving communion, it means that you maybe invite him to a local men’s conference or to make a retreat weekend with you.

You suggest “I watched this video last night and it was great!” and show him something you saw on Formed.org or here on Catholic Answers from their live podcasts.


Thanks or the reply. :slight_smile: I just can’t help feel slightly disappointed in my new friendship.

I feel like these things would be deal breakers in a dating relationship, if one were looking for a potential spouse who believes in and follows Catholic teaching. I find them less important in a friendship. As long as you’re strong enough in your own resolve to follow what the Church says, and are strong enough not to be influenced by your friends or succumb to peer pressure…I’d say it’s fine to be friends with this person. You may even be a good example to him, who influences him to turn away from sinful ways.

On the other hand, if you think that you are not strong enough not to succumb to peer pressure and that continuing this friendship will cause you to be influenced to fall into his sinful behavior, then maybe find another friend who shares your values.

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It’s understandable. You thought you were building a friendship with another Catholic man. To be honest, I would feel the same.

I guess you could try to set an example for this person and remain friendly with them.


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Whether subconscious or not, we all have personal “dealbreakers” when it comes to friendships and relationships. They may even be different, depending on the type of relationship. So, for example, the dealbreakers I have for my relationship with my mom may be very different than those I have for my best friend. This makes sense, because relationships aren’t all the same.

To avoid dissapointment in the future, I would suggest you get a good handle on what your dealbreakers are. You may find that some of them aren’t really reasonable and maybe you will want to make a choice to evaluate and decide which ones to keep and which ones to set aside.

Then, once you know what your dealbreakers are, you can set out to determine (early on) if a relationship is feasible, or what level of relationship is feasible. Personally, I would find it awkward to ask someone if they use birth control or have a sex life, early on in a relationship. But those things don’t matter to me, so they aren’t on my list of dealbreakers.

Dealbreakers are serious. I would encourage you to evaluate what yours are, and why. Then remember that nobody is perfect. Your actions, or inactions, may be on someone else’s dealbreaker list. It seems a shame to have too many dealbreakers, in my opinion, because it can be a way of shutting out the world without even realizing what one is doing.

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There are people out there that you will disagree with, that’s just part of life. I wouldn’t break off contact with someone over this kind of conflict.

I have Catholic friends who have left the church and are now agnostic. I love them and I try to see the good in them. I don’t lecture them but I live my faith out in full view and hope they notice. I have invited them to attend Mass with me and they always refuse. I’m not shy about my beliefs yet I don’t force them on anyone. St Francis had it right when he said preach the gospel by your actions ( and sometimes use words). God is using you to take the opportunity to set a good example whenever possible in a subtle but solid way. And pray for your friend. I go to adoration every week and I pray for many including my former Catholic friends. Hopefully you will make some faith filled Catholic friends too since that is important. Look for social opportunities in your church and archdiocese.

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