What was your biggest obstacle to Catholicism?

Hello all,
This is addressed mainly to former Protestants who decided to become Catholic.

I am seriously considering Catholicism but still have a few stumbling blocks. I was just curious if they are common obstacles or unique ones.

When I converted to RC it was the Mary dogma that I never really got over.

I’m still dealing with issues a year after joining. But the biggest has been the Marian doctrines. Also the commandments being different in the catechism. The papacy is another. The biggest though, are the anti-Catholic teachings we learned in the Messianic movement. How Catholics are sun worshipers, that the Pope is anti-Christ, that the church is the whore of Babylon.
But 3 times we have asked the Lord for confirmation that we are where He wants us and 3 times He’s confirmed it. I just went today to reconciliation after being away from Mass for 3 months because of these hang-ups. And I love the moving of the Holy Spirit in reconciliation and the grace and mercy that’s shown.

Hi SalusaSecondus,
Thanks for weighing in. That’s probably my biggest obstacle, too, along with family opposition.

However, there is a lot to like in Catholicism, as well, like the ties to the disciples and early Church fathers, along with the hierarchical and logical structure, Reconciliation, the reverence and beauty of the Mass, the beautiful cathedrals, and so on.

I’m on board with most of it but in order for me to become Catholic, I’ll need to be able to believe it all. I’m not going to pretend to believe all of it just to join. That would not be genuine. I couldn’t do that.

celibate priests
questionable moral history (Ustaše and so on)
Separation of bread and wine
lack of wine in some communion services
Sex abuse scandals (cover up, abuse of children, etc)
Papal infallibility
Immaculate Conception
Statues in worship
lack divorce
“legalistic” framework
Stealing of eastern Christians to the submission of the Pope
Use of lay ministers in all aspects of Church life (communion, funerals, etc)
Lack of balance of power (no one to check the power of the Pope)
Original Sin
Too philosophical -Summum bonum
Cataphatic theology
etc, etc, etc,

Don’t make the same mistake I did. I joined up without everything falling into place. My spiritual advisor told me to practice the faith and those things would fall into place. And they never did. Ten years later my dying and moribund faith was becoming a source of pain in my life.

I didn’t really have an obstacle. Catholicism made the most sense to me. While Catholics may disagree or not adhere to all church teaching, there is actual church teaching not a “I think” or “The Lord told me this means such and such.” I’ve never been good at interpreting scripture and the church actually helps with this, instead of personal interpretations.
I wouldn’t say that Mary was an obstacle, just something that I am still getting used to (only been in the church 2 years)

I really have no clue why conversion was so easy for me. I see people on CAF who struggle with this and I try to have empathy, but I just don’t understand the struggle. :blush:


Truly almost all of them were issues. After I worked through them I then came to the family obstacles. That kept me from joining for a few years after I felt Catholicism was truly correct.

In the end though those years bore fruit and the whole family has been received as Catholic.

Hi Kendra,
Thanks for clarifying. I admire your zeal and enthusiasm. I have followed some of your posts on other topics and I respect you a lot, especially your ability to make a clear choice and stick with it and not look back. You sound a bit like a female Apostle Peter. :slight_smile:

Alcohol use by Catholics. It’s still a stumbling block for me.

All the other issues weren’t obstacles, as we felt that Catholicism and the Bible lined up perfectly. (We came from Evangelical Protestant churches.)

Hi bitznbitez,
Your situation sounds a bit like mine – you are just far ahead of me on the progression scale.

I have worked through many of my obstacles with Catholicism (but not all) and still have the family opposition to work through, especially from my spouse.

My sons (both in their 20’s) recognize and respect that I was born and raised in a more liturgical faith tradition (Presbyterian) and miss it, whereas my wife has many misconceptions of Catholicism that I am trying to lovingly and gently work out with her.

Hi Cat,
Yes, I realize that has been a big stumbling block for you. I’ve read a number of your posts on the subject and respect them.

Drunkenness is not a good witness for any faith, is it?

You literally left me speechless with this. Something that is very hard to do! :slight_smile: I think being compared to Saint Peter is probably the nicest thing someone has ever said to me. You will now be in my heart for always. :heart:

I truly hope that you will search and pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you and if you need to talk things out, I’m here and will help the best I can!

I voted “no obstacles”, but I should clarify. I was not replacing the teachings of one faith with the teachings of the Catholic Church. I came into the church after a lifetime of rabid atheism. So I wasn’t replacing a faith tradition, simply learning one. I can tell you why I started with Catholicism, though. After being touched by the Holy Spirit, it seemed a logical start. If I were going to be a Protestant, I wanted to know what I was protesting. I completed RCIA, and found nothing to protest.

Some of the choices in the poll, were the basis of my interest in the Catholic Church. As an example, I quickly developed a connection to the lives of the early saints. Coming from an atheist background, I found their faith to be inspiring. I couldn’t explain their faith, coupled with their utter humanity, in any other way then to attribute it to the truth as they came to know it. The saints helped me find Jesus. I feel bonded to them because of it.

Mary is another example for me. I came to understand her as I attended Mass while going through RCIA. I had been attending long enough at one point to get “my usual seat.” From my vantage point, there is a stained glass window depicting Mary at the foot of Christ crucified. Before, Mass starts, the sun shines brightly through Mary. But as the sun rises during the Mass, the light no longer shines brightly through Mary. The rays shine brightest and most intensely through Christ. That image during Mass was like an answered prayer to me. It was the moment of clarity when I came to understand the role of Our Holy Mother.

I am very fortunate to have a family that understands and supported my conversion, even though I am the only member of my family that is Catholic. Even if they weren’t supportive, I’d still be Catholic, I believe. Some things are too big to be constrained by worldly concerns-that is my sincere belief.

Best wishes on your journey and exploration. I certainly understand the difficulties that lie ahead, despite how different our own journeys have been. I deeply respect your sincerity in exploring your thoughts and emotions as thoroughly as you do. May God Bless.

So, just curious; with all the above stated, what actually made you decide to convert, Czarlazar?

My obstacle was I had never truly learned facts about the Catholic religion. Mainly the fact that the Holy Catholic Church cane be traced back to Simon Peter as the first Pope. Not a random guy who disliked the Catholic religion and decided to start his own.

Sounds like you benefited from a good RCIA program at your parish, Took2Long. I thank God every time someone comes to Christ, especially after having been an atheist. Yours sounds like quite a journey indeed.

I imagine it is quite a blessing to have family that understands and is supportive. That is half the battle right there. May the Lord continue to bless your life and spiritual walk. Thanks for sharing.

Hence the reason for RCIA. You hear many complain about having to go through the ‘process’ but that is why the Church requires one to go through it. When we Catholics say Amen to the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior we are saying yes to the Church as Christ established it and to all that it teaches. Some may not understand but still give assent to the Church.

There have been cases where some converts have ‘read’ themselves into the Church, meaning that they overcame these self imposed obstacles without going through RCIA but that is rare.

For those who find Jesus’ teachings about His mother and her relation to His Church an obstacle I would recommend a book by Tim Staples called Behold Your Mother.

I can’t speak from my own experience since I’m a cradle Catholic, but I think the topics I hear about most from people in RCIA would include Mary, papal authority, and maybe Church authority in general. (In other words, “How dare they think they can tell me _____?” with the blank being filled by: I have to go to Mass every week, I shouldn’t use birth control, abortion is wrong, I can’t remarry after a divorce, my/my spouse’s previous marriage must be found null before the Church will recognize our current marriage, gay marriage is wrong, and perhaps a few others.)

Do protestants think we get drunk at Mass because we use wine?! :eek:

Q: What was your biggest obstacle to Catholicism?
A: Just a little ignorance on my part, and that was ironed out well before first communion.

For the record, though I can go months without an adult beverage, I reserve the right to have a few glasses of wine after an awful day or in case of a wonderful celebration!:smiley: Like someone getting married or the Superbowl.]

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