When someone converts for the wrong reasons


I have an acquaintance who was raised without religion. Her husband is a strong cultural Catholic and really believes that the Catholic Church is the One True Church but doesn’t necessarily practice his faith devoutly (doesn’t go to Mass every week etc) but insists his wife be Catholic. I also know his first wife who converted under the same pressure and then later left the Church. He had his first marriage annulled and married his second wife and insisted she convert. She flat out told me that she didn’t care one bit about any religion and that when she went through RCIA every week they’d ask her if she was getting out of it what she needed and she would reply, “I’m only here because I’m getting married” so at least she was honest.

I’m not posting this to judge her because maybe she will grow into the faith but should the Church really allow conversions just because someone is marrying a Catholic and does her husband have some sort of accountablitity for encouraging this? I’m not trying to get anyone in trouble, it just seems off.


No, its a shame that someone should be forced to convert to any religion. “***Seek the Lord, and He shall be found…***.”, not “***be dragged to the Lord, and follow our rules.***…”.

With that being said, your friend can end up (with a little help from her friend, maybe?) growing in her faith and spreading God’s Word, even helping her husband grow into his Faith.

Who knows?



This is a particular problem with the Vietnamese community here. We are doing our best to discourage it.

In Tolkien’s biography it is stated that he insisted his wife become Catholic before their marriage. The author note that this may well be the reason she never became fully committed to the Faith. It would have been much better if her conversion had been allowed to proceed at her pace.

We try to make clear at the beginning and throughout the RCIA process that the only reason to become Catholic is because you believe that it is the source of truth. I insist that each participant have two private meetings with a priest or deacon [one before the Rite of Acceptance and one during Len] to discuss why they want to become Catholic… This gives them a chance to explore any pressures or misconceptions.

We had one case some years back where the engagement broke up in mid-year, but the woman went ahead with becoming Catholic. She felt that she had gotten something good from the whole experience.

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