Why are Ex-Catholics so angry about their CC and Catholic Converts are not?


This has been bugging me for sometime now. Why is that Ex-Catholics have a complete anger towards the Catholic Church, while Catholic Converts from Evangelical Churches embrace their former faith and are thankful for those Churches they use to attend?

I know this has been discuss but I find this anger towards the Catholic Church very uncharitable.


Some people leave one faith community for another as a step in spiritual growth; the new has more to offer. Others do it out of dislike for their former community.

I try to stress to our RCIA classes that they are searching for truth. If that search leads them to believe that the Catholic Church offers more truth than their former community then they should convert. However, they should be building on the faith that their former community gave them. There was much good in that community which they should retain and treasure.

However if one leaves a community out of anger and dislike, one must downgrade it in conversation to justify that decision. The change cannot be right unless the former community is wrong. And they are probably haunted by that faint suspicion that they, not the community, were wrong.


I am sure some Catholics left the Church for other reasons, but every one I ever knew left the Church because they wanted to continue in doing something the Church is very forthright in saying they shouldn’t do; almost always remarriage after divorce, at least by my observation. Lots of Evangelicals embrace the Catholic Church for the exact opposite reason; because it is definite about many things, whereas Evangelical beliefs and mores are a bit vague. Opting out of unclarity for clarity does not make one resentful. Opting out of clarity for unclarity is quite likely to do so.


Guilt, they feel a need to justify it so they then search and what they find is anti-catholicism to justify their leaving Catholicism.

It is the easiest thing to leave Catholicism, you just leave. But then you have to make it meaningful in a way.
There are plenty of crummy Catholics who push others away and give them reason to complain. So it not always is the person leaving who searches for a reason to complain but they leave with a ready made reason. Some Catholics are crummy Catholics.

God Bless


When I broke my ties with the Church there was so much anger and frustration…

I was in inner turmoil with regards to my sexuality and the Church’s positions had left me feeling guilty and sinful, unclean in the eyes of God. As I came to accept myself as gay, the Church became a target of my anger because I felt it had betrayed me. Instead of feeling support I felt that I was being overlooked and swept aside for the sake of preserving what I simply feel is an outdated and harmful gender theology. I didn’t seem to matter, my well being didn’t seem to matter, despite what I knew I needed, and that was acceptance, the Church would only let me feel clean and holy if I willingly submitted myself to misery and brokeness.

There was a very real rage and anger for a long time.

The other day I finally went to Mass for the first time in a while. Because of a particularly brilliant and wonderful Professor I have who happens to be incredibly devout, I have been able to re-align myself to a more neuteral position and see the Catholic Church with a more welcoming and warm vision. Though I will always disagree with many things, I no longer have the anger I once did.


The answers given in the other posts are good and as one might say 'Spot on!" Especially like the one about wanting to persue a coarse of action in opposition to church teaching; not just divorce and remarriage but birth control and abortion.

Also, many priests and religious leave because of the discipline of celebacy. Many leave the church because they are called to be good stewards and support the church with Time Talent and Treasure but feel the church with ‘all its wealth’ should not ask for money…

I think [IMHO] that the loss of the Eucharist leaves them hungry, tired malnoursihed [and therefore - ill] and in pain. Not realizing what they have left, they strike out at the “hand that would feed them”


This is what I’m trying to figure out. I end up conversing with Catholics who are upset, enraged and/or dissillusioned…and they end up looking for something else. Its unfortunate and I’m curious as to what it is that people are up against.

From an outside point of view, and from what I hear, I’m getting a few ideas as to what it is all about.

One idea I have is that these people are raised inside of the church’s teaching so they accept them without question. Nothing wrong with that unless they find out that there are other ways to worship, and that other people seem to be doing fine. For good or bad, there are non-catholics who do not live according to the ‘rules’ and are happy and living good lives.

Another idea is that a person’s core character is not in alignment with the teachings of the church. This is what I hear most and though I don’t know what all the teachings are, it sounds like its usually around sexual orientation, birth control and the church being the only true path. I think that these people aren’t all gay, for example, in order for them to have an issue with the church’s stand on homosexuality. Their friend may be gay, or their child may be gay.

I think both these situations cause people to question their religion, which apparently seems to be another bad idea according to the church - so now people are upset and not allowed to look outside of that which has upset them.

This is all just lame theory as I’m really new to all this. I’ve only been here for a few months so feel free to tear it to shreds. :wink: It certainly fits with who I end up talking to. They just can’t go back they say, which is sad because they obviously want to. :frowning: So they keep talking about the church because they are actually still ‘in’ it. If they didn’t care about it, then they wouldn’t talk about it. Unfortunately the ‘talk’ sounds a lot like ranting. That’s why I send them back to their church - because its actually what they want.


1. Ex-members of groups know the horrible facts about the groups, because they know them from the inside - those joining the groups know them only from the outside, so they are not yet disillusioned by experiencing the difference between the group’s lovely propaganda, and the uncomfortable realities of life in it.

This can happen with any society, religious or secular - and the more committed the person joining, the greater the depth of disappointment, and the greater the bitterness. Hatred for the CC by ex-Catholics would not be possible, if they had not loved it very much first - hatred is merely love from a unfamiliar POV. If it had meant nothing to them, they would not react to it so strongly.

Many attitudes to the CC are not exclusively religious at all - they are, in kind, attitudes which people show to any group about which they have an opinion. Plenty of what is called “anti-Catholicism” is simply fear of the unfamiliar - specifically, of Catholicism as unfamiliar. Many Catholics find Protestantism find equally alien - so they react in the very same way. It doesn’t follow that religious reasons are anything more than the coating for the attitude; they may be (depending on the individual) a rationalisation for the attitude, or they may not.

What I notice at times is a contempt for Protestantism on the part of ex-Protestant converts to Catholicism - which supports the hypothesis that the attitudes are based on psychology & sociology, more than on religion. If psychology & sociology play a large part in conversion, it should in principle be possible to satisfy the needs met by a joining a religion in some other way than the religion meets them. Which may be why there are plenty of people who get on perfectly well without religion - their psychology does not need those satisfactions in a religious guise. If religious life (not in the technical ecclesiastical sense, BTW) is reducible at times to psychology & sociology, this seems to be what one might expect. Which seems to make religion into a sort of placebo.


Yes but the OP was specifically wondering why Ex-Caths seem more anti Catholic than Ex-Protestants are anti Protestant.

I dunno. I put on my rosy-tint specs every now and then and remenisce but I still fully realize that I really get a lot more out of Catholicism than I ever got in my Baptist church.



Why are Ex-Catholics so angry about their CC and Catholic Converts are not?
This has been bugging me for sometime now. Why is that Ex-Catholics have a complete anger towards the Catholic Church,

That one has often puzzled me. I do not have the answer but in my experience of working with ‘ex’ Catholics through the Corrections Service, all of the ex Catholics that I have encounted have a really bad attitude.

Two even burnt down the old Catholic School while another ripped out all of the copper to sell for scrap.


I think the question is excellent, and in many years experience with RCIA I still don’t have an answer, except to note that Catholics who go away, often in anger, and return do so with a real firm, lively fervent faith. Most often there is a backstory, usually about a personal or family injury or insult, real or imagined, from a priest, nun or someone representing the Church. the common thread seems to be injustice that was arbitrary or capricious.

However, while most converts have if not fond and least neutral feelings about their former denominations, there are many stories, very emotional and pain-filled, about injustices and offenses there as well. I have not had many JWs and Mormons, but they stand out because without exception they express some real anger and hurt at their former co-religionists.


Part of the difference may be the context in which you meet these groups? Is part of it their reaction to you as a Catholic? That the ex-Catholics feel a need to justify the break to you in terms that they think you will understand since you are Catholic?

Have you seen the ex-Evangelicals in interaction with others who are still members of their former churches? Is their attitude different?

I don’t think the phenomenon is limited to ex-Catholics. On these boards, I see anger and contempt by converts to Catholicism from Neopagan religions. I see a lot of contempt expressed toward Protestantism by those who say they used to be Protestant.

I see a lot of converts out of Christianity, both Catholic and Protestant, as well as Judaism, in the context of the Neopagan community and in the Unitarian Universalist Church and I see anger in all the groups, as well as acceptance that there was something of value to be found in their former religions, it depends on the person. In my experience, a lot depends on why the person left the faith, whether they have found something else that they find a better fit or if they still feel betrayed and abandoned, and how long it has been since they left.

If they left in anger or disillusionment, it’s not surprising they may still have a lot of that until they have processed the anger and actually made a break with that group. As long as a person is tied up in hating or anger against a former group, they are still tied to that group emotionally. This can interfere with finding their way forward, just as staying angry at a former girlfriend or boyfriend interferes with establishing a productive relationship with someone new.

Part of it may also be the nature of the faith that the person left. The Protestant is coming out of a culture in which it is not uncommon or really odd to change from one denomination to another and changing to Catholicism may be seen as a more permanent extension of that. The Catholic is definitely not coming from such a culture.


I think this is the reason right here.

Most ex-Catholics do not know the “official” teachings of the Catholic Church. They believe that we worship Mary and other such lies. But they did think that up until then, Catholics were Christians. But one cannot be a Christian and worship Mary, so they are angry because they think the church lied to them.

JW’s and Mormons who leave, are angry because of similar reasons. What they understand the JW and mormon to teach is incompatible with Christianity and they are angry at being lied to.

Whereas, Evangelical KNOW that what they left is true, just incomplete. They can be sad, but rarely are angry because they were not “lied” to. Evangelicals are still Christians even when one understands the fullness of truth as found in the Catholic church.

But usually ex-Catholics, ex-mormons and ex_JW’s no longer believe that any of those religions are Christian at they were lied to on the most basic point.


Have you read Scott Hahn? I find him pretty disparaging. Not necessarily angry, but basically accuses Evangelicals of being bigots. I find him fairly uncharitable.

My church is basically 90% ex-Catholic (I live in Spain). I cannot think of one who is angry. Many feel sad for RCs that they do not enjoy what we enjoy. But angry, no.

I admit that I feel at times somewhat angry with the RC church, but I also feel angry about my own church sometimes. Righteous anger is not so bad…


I’ve read Scott Hahn and I don’t see this at all. Can you give some examples?



Can you give us any examples of Scott Hahn being disparaging, uncharitable or calling evangelicals bigots?


In all of these posts I think Gottle of Geer’s post comes closest to the mark. I think what is sensed as anger often stems from a deep dissappointment.

Really, the Roman Catholic church sets itself up for this because it’s strongest argument is: “trust me” or “trust my authority”. So when some Roman Catholics become convinced otherwise (for whatever reason) it seems like a betrayal of trust, and that hurts.

I am not saying all of the reasons people find to leave the church are correct, some may be completely misguided and better catechesis or better examples may have made a difference.

If the church makes claims it cannot really back up and people figure that out, those who believed on simple trust may be very dissappointed and bitter. It’s like being let down by a parent.




We are all humble servants of God. Our Lord Jesus being the most humble servant of all and setting the example for us to follow.

The closer we get to God the more humble we become. The further we get from God well you know the answer.

I hope this helps.




Do not feel too sad for us…you have a very serious problem in Spain…enjoy as long as you can :frowning: .

No country in the world is more determined to disappear. The country’s fertility rate of 1.12 live births per female is the lowest in the world. As recently as 1975, at the death of strongman Francisco Franco, the fertility rate stood at 3 births per female in 1976. By 2050 Spain will have lost a quarter of its population**.** Germany and Italy, whose fertility rates fell earlier than Spain’s, will lose a third, according to economist Anthony Scholefield.

Half a millennium after the Reconquista, when Spanish Catholicism expelled the country’s Muslims, Spain has no choice **but to ask the Muslims to return and take possession of its land by stages. **

**:wink: truth is…**Muslims will not be converting to Christainity. Especially not to evangelicalism.
Did you ever read or hear about those bad old Catholic Crusades and the **reason why **they took place :slight_smile: ? Or why the Catholic Church has always rejected the birth control pill or abortion? Soon it may be very clear to us all.


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