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futuresister

Separation from my church

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futuresister

I am 17 and a soon-to-be Catholic convert. My parents are Anglican and they are forcing me to go to their church. I had a conversation with my mother last night and she said I will never be able to separate from the people at my church, and if I do, then I am being ungrateful and unkind. She wants me to have a relationship with the people there and the pastor, she also wants me to be really involved with the church. I really do not want to have a relationship with the people there, however, I know I need to be charitable towards them and I have no problem doing so. My parents know that I want to be Catholic but don’t care whether or not I want to be involved. They want me to give money to their church or other things I am uncomfortable with. If I involve myself, I feel like I am living a lie. Should I still stay involved, or what should I tell my parents?

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BarbaraTherese
20 hours ago, futuresister said:

If I involve myself, I feel like I am living a lie. Should I still stay involved, or what should I tell my parents?

On a discussion forum, you probably will get a variety of opinions.  What you need to do, and my opinion, is talk with a priest about your situation and follow his advice.

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Lilllabettt
54 minutes ago, BarbaraTherese said:

On a discussion forum, you probably will get a variety of opinions.  What you need to do, and my opinion, is talk with a priest about your situation and follow his advice.

Why? I think what you advise is good for people that suffer from scrupulosity. Otherwise,  no. God won't smile on his creatures who farmed out their divinely endowed power of moral reasoning to the clerical class. I personally have heard all manner of utter nonsense emit from the lips of the ordained. They really don't have a monopoly or even a majority on ethics. And yet the advice to "talk to your priest" persists. Why?

OP you can tell your parents that all you ask is that they show your religion the same charity, tolerance and respect that you show theirs. If respect means attending a church, having a relationship with the clergy, donating money and so on, then that's what it must be, and you should all do the decent thing and show that respect. So you can expect mother dear to be at a Mass next Sunday morning, with a nice fat check for the collection plate and an invitation to dinner for Fr., so he can start building a relationship with the family. 

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Peace
On 11/5/2019 at 6:45 PM, futuresister said:

I am 17 and a soon-to-be Catholic convert. My parents are Anglican and they are forcing me to go to their church. I had a conversation with my mother last night and she said I will never be able to separate from the people at my church, and if I do, then I am being ungrateful and unkind. She wants me to have a relationship with the people there and the pastor, she also wants me to be really involved with the church. I really do not want to have a relationship with the people there, however, I know I need to be charitable towards them and I have no problem doing so. My parents know that I want to be Catholic but don’t care whether or not I want to be involved. They want me to give money to their church or other things I am uncomfortable with. If I involve myself, I feel like I am living a lie. Should I still stay involved, or what should I tell my parents?

Just don't attend any gay weddings and you should be OK.

If you are living at home I think going to your parent's church as an act of obedience to your parents might be a good thing in and of itself. You could not participate in communion there since the Catholic Church forbids it.

You will hear different opinions but I personally think that it can be legit to attend church services at a non-Catholic church to some extent for the purposes of maintaining family harmony. I think the issue is whether your participation there would be a detriment to your own faith.

I converted as an adult so I did not really have the same issues as you but at least for me, I didn't just cut off all "Protestant" ties the moment I converted. Definitely for me when I first converted most of my friends and stuff remained Protestant for a while since that was the world I was living in. And over time my friends and other associations have become increasingly more Catholic. I think it is a gradual thing. And plus, it's not like Protestants are our enemies. they are our brothers and sisters in Christ and there are many good things in them.

What in particular is your internal conflict about participating to some extent?

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tinytherese
On 11/7/2019 at 9:22 PM, Peace said:

Just don't attend any gay weddings and you should be OK.

If you are living at home I think going to your parent's church as an act of obedience to your parents might be a good thing in and of itself. You could not participate in communion there since the Catholic Church forbids it.

You will hear different opinions but I personally think that it can be legit to attend church services at a non-Catholic church to some extent for the purposes of maintaining family harmony. I think the issue is whether your participation there would be a detriment to your own faith.

I converted as an adult so I did not really have the same issues as you but at least for me, I didn't just cut off all "Protestant" ties the moment I converted. Definitely for me when I first converted most of my friends and stuff remained Protestant for a while since that was the world I was living in. And over time my friends and other associations have become increasingly more Catholic. I think it is a gradual thing. And plus, it's not like Protestants are our enemies. they are our brothers and sisters in Christ and there are many good things in them.

What in particular is your internal conflict about participating to some extent?

Compromising your beliefs and values for "family harmony" isn't healthy. Where would it end? What if my parents threw a fit because I'll be using natural family planning instead of contracepting? Should I go on the pill just to pacify them? What other decisions should they make for me? Her parents are controlling, guilt-tripping her, and forcing her to stay Anglican. You can't be Anglican and Catholic at the same time. 

Edited by tinytherese

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tinytherese
On 11/5/2019 at 5:45 PM, futuresister said:

I am 17 and a soon-to-be Catholic convert. My parents are Anglican and they are forcing me to go to their church. I had a conversation with my mother last night and she said I will never be able to separate from the people at my church, and if I do, then I am being ungrateful and unkind. She wants me to have a relationship with the people there and the pastor, she also wants me to be really involved with the church. I really do not want to have a relationship with the people there, however, I know I need to be charitable towards them and I have no problem doing so. My parents know that I want to be Catholic but don’t care whether or not I want to be involved. They want me to give money to their church or other things I am uncomfortable with. If I involve myself, I feel like I am living a lie. Should I still stay involved, or what should I tell my parents?

I suggest contacting whoever runs RCIA at a local Catholic parish for ideas on what to do or ask them to talk to your parents. There's also the option of reaching out to the diocese you live in and asking for help from the office of Catechetical Services or Adolescent Faith Formation. If worst comes to worst, once you're 18 you'll legally be an adult and be able to attend whatever church you want. If you need help getting to church, you can ask for rides from someone at the parish. 

Above all else pray and I'll do that for your situation too.

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KnightofChrist

Parents cannot forbid you from obeying God. This is one case their authority does not extend. The Catholic Church is the One True Church, of Jesus Christ. Only she offers God true worship in the Mass. Only in she can we be saved by Our Blessed Lord. You must honor them of course but they cannot justify force you to attend services outside the Church. 

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Peace
5 hours ago, tinytherese said:

Compromising your beliefs and values for "family harmony" isn't healthy. Where would it end? What if my parents threw a fit because I'll be using natural family planning instead of contracepting? Should I go on the pill just to pacify them? What other decisions should they make for me? Her parents are controlling, guilt-tripping her, and forcing her to stay Anglican. You can't be Anglican and Catholic at the same time. 

I didn't read the OP as being forced to remain Anglican. I read it more as her parents still wanting her to participate in the parish community at some level.

I did not state anything about compromising one's beliefs. If you read the post of mine that you objected to you will notice that I wrote that she could not take communion at the Anglican Church. That is because to do so is to violate our faith. And I wrote that her participation cannot be such that it would be a detriment to her faith. Thus, using artificial contraceptive means, which the Church forbids, would also not be appropriate.

I think that it is fairly well established that the Church allows Catholics to participate in church services at non-Catholic churches to some extent to maintain family harmony. Doing so need not necessarily compromise one's faith.

For example, a Catholic can get a dispensation from getting married in a Catholic Church for that purpose:

https://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2007/08/23/can-a-catholic-ever-get-married-in-a-non-catholic-churc/

Edited by Peace

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Peace
On 11/6/2019 at 4:33 PM, Lilllabettt said:

Why? I think what you advise is good for people that suffer from scrupulosity. Otherwise,  no. God won't smile on his creatures who farmed out their divinely endowed power of moral reasoning to the clerical class. I personally have heard all manner of utter nonsense emit from the lips of the ordained. They really don't have a monopoly or even a majority on ethics. And yet the advice to "talk to your priest" persists. Why?

Well I think that priests have teaching authority by way of their holy orders, when it comes to matters of faith and morals. Do you view priests as only administering the sacraments but not having any teaching or advising role?

It sounds a bit Protestant, and I don't mean that in the good way.

Sure. Priests do not always get things right, and we all know there are some bad ones - but they are still one of the primary places that a Catholic should go for advice with respect to matters of the faith. On average they have much more training and know much more than you, me, and other random people in the web (as knowledgeable and wise as I may be).

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BarbaraTherese
2 hours ago, Peace said:

Well I think that priests have teaching authority by way of their holy orders, when it comes to matters of faith and morals. Do you view priests as only administering the sacraments but not having any teaching or advising role?

:like2:

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KnightofChrist
5 hours ago, Peace said:

I didn't read the OP as being forced to remain Anglican. I read it more as her parents still wanting her to participate in the parish community at some level.

I did not state anything about compromising one's beliefs. If you read the post of mine that you objected to you will notice that I wrote that she could not take communion at the Anglican Church. That is because to do so is to violate our faith. And I wrote that her participation cannot be such that it would be a detriment to her faith. Thus, using artificial contraceptive means, which the Church forbids, would also not be appropriate.

I think that it is fairly well established that the Church allows Catholics to participate in church services at non-Catholic churches to some extent to maintain family harmony. Doing so need not necessarily compromise one's faith.

For example, a Catholic can get a dispensation from getting married in a Catholic Church for that purpose:

https://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2007/08/23/can-a-catholic-ever-get-married-in-a-non-catholic-churc/

"they are forcing me to go to their church. I had a conversation with my mother last night and she said I will never be able to separate from the people at my church, and if I do, then I am being ungrateful and unkind. She wants me to have a relationship with the people there and the pastor, she also wants me to be really involved with the church."

Clearly she feels forced to remain Anglican. If she cannot separate herself from Anglicans and their pastor and is asked to be 'really involved' with the Anglican church, that is being forced to remain Anglican.

Her soul is vastly more important than family unity. She would compromise her Faith should she continue to unite herself to forms of worship outside the Church. She cannot serve two masters, either she will learn to love the Anglican church and come to hate the Catholic Church or she will hate the Anglican church and love the Catholic Church.

 

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Peace
4 hours ago, KnightofChrist said:

Clearly she feels forced to remain Anglican. If she cannot separate herself from Anglicans and their pastor and is asked to be 'really involved' with the Anglican church, that is being forced to remain Anglican.

You really like to jump to conclusions and use words like "clearly" don't you? I find it rather endearing to be honest.

I did not draw the same conclusions as you but I did ask her a question to further clarify the situation. I am content to wait for her response on the matter.

Quote

Her soul is vastly more important than family unity.

I don't think so my friend. An eternity in hell pales in comparison to a little parental strife. Did you not know that?

Quote

She would compromise her Faith should she continue to unite herself to forms of worship outside the Church.

Maybe. Maybe not. If she feels that any level of participation at the Anglican church would hinder her faith then she should not have any participation there. But it is not the case that any amount of participation at non-Catholic churches must necessarily hinder one's faith. It depends on her particular circumstance and level of faith.

Quote

She cannot serve two masters, either she will learn to love the Anglican church and come to hate the Catholic Church or she will hate the Anglican church and love the Catholic Church.

Is the Catholic Church your master now? I am surprised to hear that considering how much you rail against Her leadership.

Regardless, God is our Master. We serve God through the Catholic Church. And yes, it is also possible for a Catholic to serve God through participation at a non-Catholic church.

Edited by Peace

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tinytherese
On 11/10/2019 at 9:25 AM, Peace said:

I don't think so my friend. An eternity in hell pales in comparison to a little parental strife. Did you not know that?

Our time on earth is extremely short in comparison to the afterlife, so hell would be worse.

Maybe. Maybe not. If she feels that any level of participation at the Anglican church would hinder her faith then she should not have any participation there. But it is not the case that any amount of participation at non-Catholic churches must necessarily hinder one's faith. It depends on her particular circumstance and level of faith.

At what point did it sound as if her parents supported her decision to be Catholic? How is telling her that if she's no longer an Anglican that she's "being ungrateful and unkind"? Do they permit her to go to mass? As a Catholic your Sunday obligation isn't filled by attending a Protestant service.

Is the Catholic Church your master now? I am surprised to hear that considering how much you rail against Her leadership.

You can believe in and follow the teachings of the Catholic Church without being happy with the particular leadership decisions of certain individuals make in the Church. What he's saying is that you can't be Anglican and Catholic at the same time. 

Regardless, God is our Master. We serve God through the Catholic Church. And yes, it is also possible for a Catholic to serve God through participation at a non-Catholic church.

Doing something like having a Protestant wedding ceremony with permission from the bishop is different from attending Protestant services for the rest of your life. The first is a one time event and the other is a lifetime one. 

 

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Peace
6 hours ago, tinytherese said:

Our time on earth is extremely short in comparison to the afterlife, so hell would be worse.

I wasn't actually being serious when I wrote that . . . that is just my particular way of responding to @KnightofChrist.

Yeah, an eternity in hell would be just a tad bit worse than not getting along with your parents. Just a tad though.

6 hours ago, tinytherese said:

At what point did it sound as if her parents supported her decision to be Catholic? How is telling her that if she's no longer an Anglican that she's "being ungrateful and unkind"? Do they permit her to go to mass? As a Catholic your Sunday obligation isn't filled by attending a Protestant service.

I didn't read the post as her parents suggesting that if she is no longer Anglican she is being ungrateful and unkind. I dunno if they are prohibiting her from going to Mass but maybe that is something she can clarify in a subsequent post.

6 hours ago, tinytherese said:

You can believe in and follow the teachings of the Catholic Church without being happy with the particular leadership decisions of certain individuals make in the Church. What he's saying is that you can't be Anglican and Catholic at the same time. 

Well if that is all he meant I have no objection to that. But I think he meant more than that. At least to me, he seemed to suggest that mere participation a non-Catholic Christian church will eventually lead to hating the Catholic Church, or vice-versa. I do not think this is true. We are not talking about two faiths that are fundamentally opposed to each other here. Catholic Christians and non-Catholic Christians are both members of the body of Christ, although the latter less perfectly.

6 hours ago, tinytherese said:

Doing something like having a Protestant wedding ceremony with permission from the bishop is different from attending Protestant services for the rest of your life. The first is a one time event and the other is a lifetime one. 

Sure those situations are different but I do not think the Church would absolutely forbid a lifetime of attending Protestant churches. If so why would She allow for mixed marriages? If a Catholic and a Baptist get married and the Catholic guy and his wife go to Mass at 7am, what would be wrong with him going to the baptist Church with his wife at 9am? Is it not a good thing that they should worship together and respect each other's faith journey, for the sake of harmony? I don't think that the two must be placed in absolute opposition to one another, such that participation in one is a detriment to the other. In fact, I  think the opposite could be true in many cases.

But that is just my two cents.

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