When is one 'allowed' to call oneself a Catholic?

When I attended an AoG church a few years ago I asked them when I was able to call myself a Christian (for example when you are asked what religion you are on forms, etc). I was told that you can call yourself Christian as long as you BELIEVE, whether you’ve been baptised or not.
I’ve looked up online when you are able to call yourself Catholic and a lot of people have said that you must be baptised first…
Is this true, and is it really fair? Why is the intention not enough to enable someone to profess their faith, just because they have not reached baptism yet?
I have still not been baptised but am attending Mass and will be individually prepared by my priest (as there is no RCIA here). I would love to be able to tell people I am a Catholic but the general consensus (online at least) is that I’m not ‘allowed’ to do so.
Any thoughts on this please?

Here’s an analogy:
Someone might want to be an American, and they might move to the U.S., but they’re not a citizen until they prepare for citizenship and undergo the swearing-in ceremony.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: ‘Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word.’” (Section 1213)

All seven sacraments were instituted by Christ – in other words, God Himself set it up this way.

Why is the intention not enough to enable someone to profess their faith, just because they have not reached baptism yet?

Intension is a good start on your journey! You need to be prepared to be received into the Church. I hope you’ll contact your parish soon about RCIA.

Thankyou very much for your reply, I guess I need to read my CCC more - am working through it very slowly! :o
I guess I am just excited about my journey and want to shout it out :blush:
I am arranging a one-to-one meeting with the priest for this week, as there is no RCIA here he is going to prepare me individually…am very much looking forward to getting started.:slight_smile:
Thanks again for your answer:blessyou:

I called myself “becoming Catholic” prior to my conversion. On fill-in-the-blanks with space for only one word, I said Catholic. But then I’d already been baptized.

Baptism is what makes you a Christian, however in a way all Christians are Catholic, if they are indeed Christians. God only created One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. If someone is truly Christian then they are only non-Catholic out of ignorance or having been decieved.

For already baptised Christians who are seeking to come into full communion with the Catholic Church I think they could say they are Catholic as soon as they have a firm conviction and know they understand what being Catholic means, even if they are still in RCIA.

Also of relevance is: 1249 Catechumens "are already joined to the Church, they are already of the household of Christ, and are quite frequently already living a life of faith, hope, and charity."48 "With love and solicitude mother Church already embraces them as her own."49

(the CCC references Catechumens as preparing for Baptism, so this applies even to those not yet Baptised.)

Interesting. I would say that baptised non-Catholics are members of the more-inclusive Body of Christ rather than saying they are Catholics, but I see your point.

If you believe in the tenets of the Catholic Church, you may call yourself a “Catholic”.
I certainly called myself a Catholic before I was baptized. They would NOT baptize me when I first asked for it, because I was considered to be too young (I was 9 years of age), they felt there was too much of a chance that I might “fall away” from the faith (NOT A CHANCE FROM MY VIEWPOINT).

But, you are not officially a Catholic until you are either baptized into, or received into the Roman Catholic Church.

I would be saddened to think I was telling a ‘lie’ by saying I am Catholic, and lying being a sin…well that would be awful…
But I’m equally sad to think I’m not allowed to do so…but I guess it’s no great hardship to say the word ‘becoming’ on the front of it…if I must…
And as for forms well I might not be asked until I am ‘officially’ Catholic :slight_smile:

I’m sorry you find this difficult. It is not some formality that we are just getting done. Let me try and put it this way. I’m about to finish my PhD soon. I can’t call myself ‘doctor of x’ because I have not yet received the degree. I am sometimes tempted to do so because I am really close and some small formality is between me and the title. But that would be wrong. I have to wait a bit more and finish it properly. :wink:

I completely understand what you are saying…it’s just that it’s not as if I can ‘gain’ anything by it in a material or even practical sense…it would just make me ‘feel’ good :wink:
But patience is a virtue…:smiley:

I usually say, I’m in the process of converting to Catholicism.

I know how you feel. I feel more Catholic now than I feel Protestant, but my wake-up call is 3-4X at mass, when I am left in the pews during communion. :smiley:

At that point, I feel like an impostor. but that’s my own issue.

I remember this feeling. I felt like I didn’t belong there and that other people knew it. Towards the end of RCIA I was yearning to take communion, it was so difficult to wait!

I think that that day will be amazing for you, you’ll never forget it. :thumbsup:

You can call yourself Catholic after confirmation.

That’s an even worse prospect…I was under the impression from the CCC (after being pointed towards it be previous replies) that faith and Baptism makes you a Catholic…
And in fact:
1249 Catechumens “are already joined to the Church, they are already of the household of Christ, and are quite frequently already living a life of faith, hope, and charity.With love and solicitude mother Church already embraces them as her own.”

Seems like nobody can agree :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t think this is correct. Because what about children before they are confirmed? They are definitely Catholic.

And that should make candidates even more Catholic because we already have valid baptisms and are part of the body of Christ.

But I’m sure that is wishful thinking on my behalf!

I know this is the case for adults. As for children, that’s a whole other story.

Call yourself a Catholic! It’s the best thing EVER!

To give you a better answer, when I was in RCIA (I was baptized in another faith), we were called Catholics. To better identify myself I called myself a candidate, but we were Catholics.

I’m glad you’re coming Home! I was JUST confirmed two days ago and haven’t come down since I was annointed and rec’d Eucharist! It’s more amazing than I EVER imagined!!!

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