Winning back fallen away Catholics


Has anybody else noticed that fallen away Catholics seem to be the most vehement and hateful toward the Church? I believe they never really knew or understood Church teaching to begin with, or had a very morbid/scewed understanding. How do we even start a dialogue with them?


free pizza helps :pizza:


The Catholic Church is not Planet Fitness. What’s next, bagel Tuesday?


if bagels were offered at tuesday’s daily mass i think it would bump up the attendance!


I think it’s a bit of a disservice to make a blanket statement about those who have left the church, calling them unknowledgeable about it. I know there are some who left the church without understanding while there have also been those who left while being quite knowledgeable about it.

One piece of wisdom I can offer, and it’s something that applies not only to religion but numerous other topics: Two people can be provided with the same information and come to differing conclusions.


Perhaps. It’s generally true in my experience though.


I think a lot of it is because their life situations change and they can’t “fit” that into what the Catholic Church teaches so they leave because they can’t or don’t want to change their life situations.


If your profile is correct that you’ve been on CAF for six years, then I would say you have experienced many people who are both knowledgeable of Catholicism and have left it.


Not calling them vehement and hateful?


I’m talking about my classroom experience and experience with people I know. Many young people reject the faith based on media propaganda and half truths or flat out lies. The church has a lot of work to do to catechise and inform parents who seek to have their children baptised and in providing ongoing formation.


I agree with that to an extent. I have two older brothers, one is an atheist (so he says) and that reasoning actually works in his case, But the other one is a "good protestant ". Meaning, he and walks the talk. However if you bring up the church or anything in it, he zones out, or gets up and leaves.


Maybe but not starting with the assumption that they’re ignorant. Just because someone didn’t agree with it doesn’t meant they have a morbid or screwed understanding.


I would agree that there is a drop off in catechesis, so in a classroom setting there are people who are not as knowledgeable about the faith as they should be. Some of those people do leave, but it does swing both ways in that there are some who catechized, remain as practicing Catholics, but hold the same gaps in understanding.


Towards the church, the words I use fit perfectly. I didn’t say they treat me this way, but if the church comes up, I can’t think of nicer words to use that don’t downplay their disdain.


Start a dialogue, they have all fallen away for many different reasons. I met a lady who had converted to Orthodoxy because she identified Catholicism with her abusive father. No one in the church helped her mother or siblings even though they knew about the abuse. Another lady left the church when she was told she was excommunicated because her parents forced her to have an abortion. That was back when you had to petition the pope for absolution. I know of a victim of child abuse at the hands of clergy. Even though his case went to trial and the abuser went to prison, the victims, including himself were treated very badly by those in the church. He left for a very long time.

It’s hard to go back when those in the church make it hard for you to return.


I guess it would be different according to their particular needs. There are many aspects of the faith. Probably too much to know in a lifetime.


Step 1: Don’t say any of the things you said in your OP…



Wow, I suppose I could have worded it differently… :zipper_mouth_face:


Just a bit better would have helped, but that’s okay; you now have a starting point.


I agree with mrsdizzyd about not saying those things (hateful, ignorant, etc) to ex-Catholics. But, that said, I have observed the very same thing about ex-Catholics. The level of vitriol and ignorance does seem to be above average. That’s been my constant observation.

I don’t think it’s possible to win them back. Now the Catholics that fell away due to boredom or apathy, that’s do-able. You have to set a good example and slowly work the topic of Church into the conversation. Sometimes they come back.

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