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struggle with Catholic faith

(102 Posts)
Judy54 Sun 10-Nov-19 17:26:28

I have struggled for sometime with the teachings of the Catholic Church and stopped going to Mass on a regular basis. Recently I went to a Church of England service where the welcome was very warm not something I have ever experienced in the Catholic Church. My dilemma is a feeling of guilt having been born and brought up as Catholic to now consider moving to the C of E, it does seem to offer me what I am looking for. Has anyone else experienced this and if so how did you reconcile yourself to it.

wildswan16 Sun 10-Nov-19 17:42:44

I don't have direct experience of your predicament, and am presuming that you were born into a Catholic church going family. So, in a way, this was never your choice - you just continued family tradition.

Now you are older you realise that maybe it isn't quite what you want or need. That seems perfectly reasonable to me and I think we all deserve to worship in whatever way feels most meaningful and helpful to us.

Our faith (if we have one) should enhance our lives and give us peace, support, and comfort. I do know a Church of Scotland minister who "converted" from RC, and he was a much respected leader of his congregation and helped many people through their doubts and uncertainties.

Luckygirl Sun 10-Nov-19 18:30:10

I suspect that the Catholic church is very good at breeding guilt. Rise above it and worship your god in your chosen way.

But above all else just be kind to people - nothing else really matters.

jura2 Sun 10-Nov-19 18:37:30

Judy, do what you feel is right and gives you solace and comfort. Amen.

Septimia Sun 10-Nov-19 18:38:24

My best friend's mum was brought up RC but changed to C of E when friend and I were children. Later in life she went to the local Methodist church because it was easier to get to.

We're all Christians so it doesn't really matter - it's just a case of finding a church that does things in a way that you feel happy with. No need to feel guilty, you're not giving up your faith, just expressing it differently.

mumofmadboys Sun 10-Nov-19 19:18:46

Your faith is primarily about your relationship with God. That is what is important. Whether that is best expressed through a Catholic or Cof E church or any other denomination is of secondary importance.

lemongrove Sun 10-Nov-19 19:52:00

Hi Judy I was brought up as a Catholic but moved over to the C of E in my early 20’s.I didn’t feel guilt about it, as it was my choice , whereas being a Catholic wasn’t.
Do whatever feels right for you.😀

M0nica Sun 10-Nov-19 20:22:08

I ama catholic. When we were house hunting we nearly bought a house right next to the village church (Cof E). I told DH that if we bought the house, I would probably go to the CofE church more often than the Catholic church because it was next door, while the catholic church was a three mile drive away.

We are all Christians and the antagonistic attitudes of mine, and probably your childhood are long forgotten. Go to the church you feel happiest and most comfortable in.

EllanVannin Sun 10-Nov-19 20:28:04

Dad used to take me to the Liverpool Synagogue and it used to frighten me to death. I obviously didn't appreciate the beauty of the place as a child, but it is lovely inside since visiting when I was older.

However, I attended the local congregational church whatever dad was hinting at.

grannyactivist Sun 10-Nov-19 21:46:15

Judy54 I have a very dear friend who shared your dilemma. She was very active in her local church until she started to really engage with her faith and that led to her to question many of the things she had been taught.

Eventually she left the Catholic church and joined another, non-denominational one. Ironically her catholic friends described her as having lost her faith, but the reality was that she had found a much deeper one. She retains a great love for her catholic roots.

You need to find a place where your faith will be fed - and if that is in a different denomination then so be it.

annep1 Sun 10-Nov-19 22:27:50

Luckygirl is right. Your church may have bred your guilt. All Christian churches worship the same God. I have tried most denominations in order to find somewhere I feel at home. I don't think God will mind where you worship. Go where you want to go.

notanan2 Sun 10-Nov-19 22:35:49

The COE was historically developed by catholics who were fed up with the hypocricy of the catholic hierarchy and wanted to bring the church back to basics so it isnt that unnatural for catholics who feel uncomfortable with things in the RC church to feel at home in COE.

notanan2 Sun 10-Nov-19 22:43:48

To me it makes perfect sense for a Catholic who hasnt lost faith in their god but has lost faith in the "management"/community to fibd what they are looking for in COE.

After all COE is just RC with the pomp and layers of middle management and frills peeled away.

Jangran99 Sun 10-Nov-19 22:48:17

Henry VIII was the first monarch to introduce a new state religion to the English. In 1532, he wanted to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon. When Pope Clement VII refused to consent to the divorce, Henry VIII decided to separate the entire country of England from the Roman Catholic Church.

Amagran Sun 10-Nov-19 22:56:02

My DDiL is a Catholic and her faith is important to her, but not more important than her son's well-being. He is autistic and was not well supported by the Catholic school he first went to. She had no compunction about moving him to the CofE school where there was a more sympathetic attitude to special needs and where he was welcomed and where he and his younger brother are flourishing. She maintains her faith, but is happy for the boys to bridge both.

notanan2 Sun 10-Nov-19 23:00:50

Henry VIII didnt invent the movement. He supported it and adopted it because it suited him (divorcing Catherine) but the movement had been created by religious people who were disgusted by the RCs greed and "management" and corruption.

M0nica Mon 11-Nov-19 08:05:07

I am not sure whether it was catholic greed and corruption as much as the King's need for money and the monasteries, were major land owners and some were very wealthy. Apart from closing down the monasteries, selling off their land and and other posessions and making himself head fnthe church in England, the King made very little change to the actual practice of the church in tis country. The reformation of religious practice came in with the Edward IV and his regents and guardians.

As for corruption, I am not sure it was that bad, compared with the corruption that accompanied the dissolution of the monasteries. The nursery rhyme 'Little Jack Horner, sat in a corner,eating his Christmas pie' was based on the eponymous Commissioner, who was notorious for the extent that he plundered the monasteries and their land for his own gain. 'He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum' again and again and again. But generally the Commissioners sent out to close the monasteries did not go home empty handed

Newquay Mon 11-Nov-19 08:30:40

My experience is what Grannyactivist describes. Brought up RC and sincerely following that faith, when pregnant with DD2, a new local Anglican minister started a new work with young families. I felt anxious about “changing” my faith but I again, sincerely, changed to a new church-thought I had pregnancy induced religious mania-was advised “go where you are growing (spiritually)”. Many years later, that new church flourishes and I still have warm relations with my RC neighbours too. As Mumofmadboys says it’s your relationship with God that matters.

notanan2 Mon 11-Nov-19 08:33:17

The kings reasons for supporting and adopting the movement were selfish, sure. But those who developed and spread it in the first place were motivated by being religous but unhappy with the corruption and pomp of the RC church.

And the implimentation was also corrupt, yes

But the origional movement was about justified disatisfaction with the RC church, and long term I do think the COE has been overall true to that. It remains lower on frills and bureaucracy than the RC church in general to this day.

notanan2 Mon 11-Nov-19 08:34:22

And fewer scandals overall too.

annep1 Mon 11-Nov-19 08:36:19

One way to acquire wealth!

BradfordLass72 Mon 11-Nov-19 08:41:24

I was married to a Catholic and when he wanted to attend my Baptist church, his priest said, 'It's like climbing a mountain. Some start the climb from the northe, some the south, some climb from the east or west but in the end, we all get to the same summit, which is God.'

notanan2 Mon 11-Nov-19 08:45:14

In some areas all the christian churches join forces for various bits and pieces like charity outreach I dont think there is any rivalry although there can be some regional political issues

TerriBull Mon 11-Nov-19 09:36:00

Judy54 I think your post resonates with those of us brought up as catholics, a religion that was so hard wired into me I know I will never fully shake it off. As I get older I find myself being simultaneously angered by it and drawn back to it, I suppose because it's so intrisically tied up with my family and upbringing, not that I was happy with it at the time, but I do get the urge to revisit some of the rituals as I get older.

We have a town in mind that we may move to in the near future, we visit it often it's some 30 miles away from where we live now. There is a beautiful parish church (CofE) that is pretty central to the town, and because we found out one of the romantic poets of the early 19th century had been associated with that church we took the opportunity to look around it a while back. It was lovely inside and I said to my husband I'd definitely come here for carols for example, which wouldn't be a problem for him because he's not a catholic. We got talking to two ladies at the church who were regular members of the congregation, they told us quite a bit about the town and the history of the church, both very friendly and welcoming in a non evangelical way, it made me want to certainly drop in there from time to time if I were to become a resident of that town.

Although I haven't visited the catholic church in that area, I've been on their website, I was somewhat put off by their overt pro life campaigning, I think they were trying to arrange some sort of petition at the time which I found quite alarming. Whilst I appreciate that stance is part and parcel of their ethos, I certainly don't subscribe to their teachings on the matter, personal choices/dilemmas that concern the invididual are none of my business, I'd hate that to play a part in my becoming part of a congregation.

I think you should go with your gut feelings Judy54, although if you had a schooling anything like mine, the nuns at my convent explicity told us catholics, don't enter CofE churches, or any other Christian denomination for that matter, unless you have to for a wedding or the like. It's hard because that subliminal prejudice is planted there at such a young age.

kircubbin2000 Mon 11-Nov-19 09:46:17

I haven't joined a church here since I moved recently. Unfortunately the one that has all the good activities is a holy roller type evangelical one which I dont like. Have been to coffee group in Methodist church who are all very nice but mostly elderly with few activities. Will try again after Christmas .