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The resolute Catholic and the athiest

(203 Posts)
Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 15:23:11

Myself and DP have come to a standstill. Very serious and talks of marriage and children are on the cards, fantastic we're both on the same page. But now the topic of religion has reared its head and we're butting heads.

I went to a CofE primary school, was christened, attended church etc but it was never really part of my home life and now mid 20s I'd say I'm an athiest, or at least agnostic. DP on the otherhand attended an all boys Catholic school, was baptised, completed holy communion and had to attend church until midteens. He's a Catholic, it makes no odds to me and I'm happy he has a faith I'm almost sad I don't but its not something I can believe in.

So now children are on the cards and he's adamant he wants them to be like him and be Catholic, including a baptism. This isn't something I'm at all comfortable with. I want my children to be presented with all the information and make a decision for themselves, not attend church into teen years and essentially become brainwashed. I'll never crap on his beliefs but I also won't teach them as fact. I've said I'd be happy enough with a christening but not under the umbrella of the Catholic Church. This feels like middleground, they're pretty much the same bar some subtle differences, one of which is that a christening is considered a naming ceremony but "In the sacrament of Baptism the baby's name is used and mentioned, however it is the rite of claiming the child for Christ and his Church that is celebrated.. requires nurturing through such things as worship, prayer, Bible study and other spiritual disciplines". It's all these restrictions, rules and guilt culture I can't get on board with.

I have no issue with religion or my children becoming Christians but I have issues with the Catholic Church, I have think they rate themselves superior, above the law, are an antidemocratic and authoritarian institution and you do not need to follow their additional rules to be a healthy happy Christian. I feel people will say its just a baptism it doesn't mean much but once a childs name is given to the church its entered into the "baptismal rolls" of your local Diocese. This name is PERMANENTLY in those records, and the Diocese uses those rolls to inflate their claims of catholics. You can only remove it by applying to the Vatican for 'defection', not excommunication, and this too was abolished in 2012.

There are so many issues within the Catholic Church that I don't want my child on a list that gives them lobbying power, bigger tax breaks and more governance.

I've tried to communicate this but we're not getting anywhere, he says he'd maybe one day be okay with a CofE christening whereas I would actively dislike a Catholic baptism so surely that's a fair middle ground? He says I'm hurting him with this and I don't know what to do but it's something I feel strongly about, as clearly he does too. I'm not completely in the know with this topic so any additional information regardless of who you agree with will be helpful.

Massive well done if you got to the end of that rambling mess, sorry everyone I'm just fretting. How would you handle it?

CharlyAngelic Tue 09-Apr-19 15:26:46

You clearly do have an issue.

CharlyAngelic Tue 09-Apr-19 15:28:26

It could be a deal breaker . You need to chat with your DP and be adamant that this is not want you want .

Ragwort Tue 09-Apr-19 15:29:56

No idea, amazed you have got so far in your relationship when you both have such different views. confused.

HarrysOwl Tue 09-Apr-19 15:30:00

I was hoping this would be about Fleabag.

Misses point and is no help at all

BertrandRussell Tue 09-Apr-19 15:31:47

Will he want them brought up as Catholics? What about school?

ElspethFlashman Tue 09-Apr-19 15:32:59

You say him being a Catholic makes you odds to you, but then in the next breath give his religion a right old savaging.

I'm a Catholic and wouldn't marry someone who was so contemptuous of something that's a fundamental part of me.

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Tue 09-Apr-19 15:33:50

I think a christening (but not Catholic) is fair, as is presenting to your children that mummy and daddy have different beliefs and they can choose for themselves when older. However, in practise this is very hard to navigate. Sometimes there are issues which makes couple incompatible in the long term and this is usually one of them.

DelphiniumBlue Tue 09-Apr-19 15:34:07

I'm not getting the impression that DP is a committed Catholic, your description of of him is of someone brought up Catholic, but nothing you say suggests that he is actively Catholic now. So why is he digging his heels in now? Is he coming under pressure from family?
If your position is that you won't have your children being initiated into the Catholic faith, that's fine, and it sounds as if you are being very clear about that. He will then need to decide if that's a deal breaker, or if your compromise of a more broadly Christian upbringing is acceptable.

Ferfeckssake Tue 09-Apr-19 15:34:46

As a practicing Catholic , I would have been uncomfortable with not baptizing my children.
However , you refer to him as DP , so not married and not in Catholic Church? Is he a regular Mass goer? Otherwise , his arguments for baptism are rather flawed.
You are not really supposed to just pick the Sacrament that appeals to you hmm
It is kind of an ALL IN kind of religion.
Does he intend to take DCs to Mass EVERY Sunday ?
I agree with all you are saying and your reasons for feeling so strongly IMO are absolutely valid.

badlydrawnperson Tue 09-Apr-19 15:35:14

In my experience a C of E Baptism would be at least as offensive in terms of proclaiming the kid belongs to and is the sole property of God and the Church.

As demonstrated by your DP, by getting them young and ramming home the brainwashing they perpetuate the whole thing.

DamnShesaSexyChick Tue 09-Apr-19 15:35:18

It's a bit spiteful to say they can be baptised CofE but not catholic, when you're not religious yourself, he's catholic and it means a lot to him.

twolittleboysonetiredmum Tue 09-Apr-19 15:36:48

I am currently doing the RCIA and plan on being confirmed soon (I was baptised as a baby). We’ve had many discussions on baptism and according to the deacon who runs the RCIA - any Christian baptism means ultimately the same thing. It can’t be erased from that person - be that a Church of England etc
So doesn’t help with your argument as such but if you’re so anti what your husband wants - a c of e baptism is no ‘better’ than a catholic one in that sense.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Tue 09-Apr-19 15:37:32

I feel people will say its just a baptism it doesn't mean much but once a childs name is given to the church its entered into the "baptismal rolls" of your local Diocese. This name is PERMANENTLY in those records, and the Diocese uses those rolls to inflate their claims of Catholics. You can only remove it by applying to the Vatican for 'defection'

I think you're over thinking. I've actually had to go and look up this 'baptismal rolls' malarkey - A Diocese would not share it's membership rolls with the Vatican (there's simply no reason to). although the Diocese does report aggregate membership statistics.

Perhaps a compromise - he can have the RC christening BUT there is no confirmation/baptism until they come of age and can choose for themselves.

You will find though, that your opinions will massively change when you come to deciding about schools and your local school just coincidentally happens to have the best results rather than the local sink estate comprehensive.

But in all honesty, the dismissive and derogatory way you talk about his belief system, which is an intrinsic part of him, I think he'd be better off with someone who respects him. That’s my take on it.

I come at this with a practicing catholic mother and a very much atheist father, who, frankly wasn't going to enforce his beliefs on her and make demands. If you don’t believe in something, then you don’t believe, this shouldn’t be troubling you. As it happens, my brother - christened RC, never confirmed is an atheist, whereas me brought up with no faith whatsoever reverted to RC, but still not baptised.

BloodyDisgrace Tue 09-Apr-19 15:39:55

How would I handle it? I am really sorry not to be able to give a more helpful answer, but by never going out with a religious person in the first place. I'd have thought about it beforehand.
I second what CharlyAngelic said. I really feel for you and maybe you both will come round this one. If it's a deal breaker, hope you haven't been together for very long to make a break too painful.

I despise Catholic Church for what they did to women's and gay rights and glad the Abortion referendum in Ireland is showing that the sanity is on the increase and the CC power is waning.

Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 15:44:00

We've got this far because we're perfect for each other and to be honest the notion of not being with someone you love completely and want to spend the rest of your life with because you differ in a belief sounds ridiculous to me. I know we'll compromise between us because that's what couples do.

That's my other problem, no he doesn't go to mass every Sunday, and isn't a devout Catholic. He has issues with many parts of it and isn't as others have said "all in".

I can say on here exactly how I feel about the whole thing, that's the point, I'm not going to unload some of what I've written onto him because I won't crap on it, I'm allowed to have my own feelings it doesn't mean I have to shout them at him. This is what I'm asking, how do i communicate to get to a middle ground without saying the above.

I don't think it's spiteful, I'm not religious no but I'm more than happy for my children to be if they wish and if support them in it, bit because THEY want to, not because they're been brought up to believe they have to. My issue is with the Catholic Church specifically, I don't agree with their practices, what they spend tax payer money on (rehabituating offending paedophiles within the church because they're above the law the rest of society has to follow and be punished within, etc)

The thing is I believe what I believe, he does for him, we're together and have to work it out. What's the compromise

Jsmith99 Tue 09-Apr-19 15:46:23

I’m an ex-catholic, and I agree completely with your critique of the church. You could add institutional misogyny, homophobia and child abuse to that list, too.

Baptism isn’t the only issue you wil face. DP will presumably want the children educated at Catholic schools. You need to understand the reality of what this means. Religious indoctrination is absolutely relentless and it starts from the very beginning. At my school, almost the entirety of our 7-8 year old year was taken up with preparation for first confession and first communion. Then there’s confirmation at age 11/12. As teenagers, we were taught that ‘selfish sexual orgasm’ was a sin. I am not making this up...

You both have to accept that this could be a deal-breaker, and try to negotiate compromises that you can both live with and which protect your children from influences you may not be comfortable with.

Good luck to you both.

ShartGoblin Tue 09-Apr-19 15:49:05

Nobody is being unreasonable here, you just have very different opinions on something that's actually really important to you both. For me, this would be a dealbreaker, I have strong opinions on this (what those are isn't relevant) and I don't feel that I could get past it. I bear no ill will to either side of the argument and would happily be friends with someone that believed the opposite to me but I don't think it's possible to raise a child like this.

BertrandRussell Tue 09-Apr-19 15:52:05

Have you thought about schools?

positivepixie Tue 09-Apr-19 15:53:02

I'm in a very similar position but we have found a way to make things work, neither of us wanted it to be a deal breaker. DH is Catholic, went through the system including all boys Catholic High. I went through CofE school but don't believe and have similar distain for the Catholic Church as you.
DH is not a church go-er and is certainly not devout - he believes in freedom of choice and diversity. I agreed to get married in a Catholic Church (we found a very laid back priest who didn't make a big deal of it and didn't make me go to lessons) because it was important to his family heritage. We talked about schools and visited the local options with an open mind. We both agreed that the local catholic school offered the best for them but I said from day one that I would always talk to them about my (non) beliefs but support them in however far they wanted to take theirs. It works for us.

Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 15:55:35

We've discussed Catholic schools, he doesn't believe in a lot of the things they experienced. Indoctrination, there was no sex education, instead they were informed its a sin, birth control is a sin, and asked any boys who had condoms to give them over now. That's insane in my opinion. We're happy in sending any children we have to a good school that isn't religious, school is for learning a broad range of topics, not having one religion drilled into you. We agree on that

NabooThatsWho Tue 09-Apr-19 15:57:02

So he doesn’t even bother going to church? 🙄 He doesn’t like the Catholic Church that much then does he?

If you say to him you want to let the children decide when they are old enough, what is his response?

Ferfeckssake Tue 09-Apr-19 15:57:39

I'm the poster who said " all in ". His arguments for Baptism are seriously flawed if he does not intend to live by the tenets of the Church he wishes to make his DCs become a part of.
Why bother ? Especially against his partner's wishes ? Not really fair to make you go against your beliefs for his half hearted participation on the RC Church.

Jebuschristchocolatebar Tue 09-Apr-19 16:00:08

You don’t seem to want to compromise and neither does he. I have been in a similar situation, my dh wanted our kids christened and I didn’t but they have been and attend a catholic school. It was a deal breaker really in our marriage. He felt strongly enough to want it and although I despise the church, he doesn’t so that was more important in my view

Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 16:02:35

That's good to hear positivepixie. Breaking up over this seems silly to me, there's always compromise. And if we're not worth working this out as you have then I suppose it'd be for the best anyway as we're not as strong as I thought we were. For me a lot of this depends on where we are at the time, we're moving next year and the school will depend on what's even nearby. I'm from the middle of nowhere and all surrounding churches were CofE, Catholicism seems to be more prevalent in cities, at least where we are in the world so who even knows. It's just the no give I'm struggling with a bit

ElspethFlashman Tue 09-Apr-19 16:03:37

So you only deserve to have your kids baptised if you go to Mass every Sunday and never live with anyone outside marriage? Seriously?

CharlyAngelic Tue 09-Apr-19 16:05:47

The brainwashing works really well . There are a lot of ex or non -practicing RCs on this thread. They must have got dropped on the way to the machine.

Seriously , though , I think this could be a deal breaker for your relationship. At least you are not married yet .

mynameiscalypso Tue 09-Apr-19 16:06:00

As with others, my DH is Catholic (attends Mass most weeks, went to Catholic school etc). I'm an atheist. His religion is important to him and I knew and respected that from the beginning of our relationship although I obviously share a lot of the concerns others have posted here about the Catholic Church. I felt his desire to get married in the church trumped my not-really-giving-a-shit and feel the same about children being baptised and going to Catholic school (currently pregnant with DC1). In part this is because I can see the difference in my DH when he goes to Mass regularly and how good it is for his mental health.

scatterolight Tue 09-Apr-19 16:06:04

So OP it looks like you've already reached a compromise on schooling, general beliefs, and church attendance. The only issue is a baptism?

I truly think you're making a mountain out of a molehill here. Theoretically your child's soul is "claimed" for the Catholic Church. In practice, it has some water poured over its head. You don't even believe in these teachings so why are you so excised about the spiritual repercussions?

Your DH is clearly prepared to give a lot of ground when it comes to religious instruction and "indoctrination". He's prepared to raise his children without instilling in them some of the more repressive ideas of the Church. However it's clear that to him the baptism has important symbolic meaning, and he want his children to be part of the chain of baptism that he belongs to.

Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 16:06:54

Of course I'll compromise, I don't want them signed over AT ALL, the fact I've said I'll be happy enough with a christening is already putting myself in the middle and I need him to be happy too. Just not Catholic. I embrace aspects of his religion in our home and within his family that I make no comment on and actively happily partake to please them, I don't want to disrespect their faith. But this is a bit much and about my own children

NabooThatsWho Tue 09-Apr-19 16:07:32

What is the point in baptising them in a church if you never attend?

BertrandRussell Tue 09-Apr-19 16:08:32

So are you saying you would be happy for your child to go to a catholic school? Because I reckon you’ll need to be.

mynameiscalypso Tue 09-Apr-19 16:09:56

Also - I don't know what your thoughts are on marriage (as in church va otherwise) but I'm pretty sure that I had to agree that I'd bring up any children as Catholic before the bishop would allow the marriage to go ahead.

Poppyputthekettleon Tue 09-Apr-19 16:10:40

I'm not a catholic but I have dated those of other religions where it is a big part of their upbringing and cultural and I'm afraid I don't think it is going to work out. I have a friend who is a non practicing jew but he says he wants to marry a Jewish girl because of the traditions and cultures, it is not just about belief. Also keep in mind that in some case religion becomes stronger for people as they get older. You are very much opposed to his religion by the sound of it and his religion no matter how lapse he is seems to be a big part of his identity.

AverageMan Tue 09-Apr-19 16:11:48

YABU. You say you are an atheist, so it's a bit rich to try and compromise with CofE. It's a completely different religion!

I would have them baptised into their father's faith, and when they're older they can decide if they want to keep the faith or not. Be a bit unfortunate if they missed out on a good school because of it.

Poppyputthekettleon Tue 09-Apr-19 16:12:01

Also it's my understanding that Catholics don't recognize baptism that isn't done in a catholic church

Ferfeckssake Tue 09-Apr-19 16:12:33

ElspethFlashman It is not a question of "deserve" . Baptism is for joining the Church. No other reason. If you don't agree with or intend to participate in it, why would you want to baptize your DCs.??

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Tue 09-Apr-19 16:14:44

I can't personally understand why somebody for whom their faith is a very important part of their own identity would want to be married to somebody who doesn't share their faith - friends, yes, but not your life partner. It can't be very satisfying for either person, surely?

A man I know has stated that he will under no circumstances agree to the use of contraception, because of his strong Catholic beliefs (they have a rather large family and other people have asked this of them both - not me!). However, his wife is not a Catholic and they had some of their children before they were married - the first of them whilst she was still (ostensibly) in a relationship with another man, who wasn't aware of the OM.

It's entirely up to individuals to choose which faith they want to adhere to - or none, of course - and none of my business; and if they independently choose a particular principle to live by that also happens to be shared by one or more faiths, I get that, but I'll never understand people who are so devout in some central teachings of their faith, BECAUSE they are of that faith, and yet so dismissive of other arguably even more unequivocal teachings.

thecatsthecats Tue 09-Apr-19 16:17:31

It is not a question of "deserve" . Baptism is for joining the Church. No other reason. If you don't agree with or intend to participate in it, why would you want to baptize your DCs.??

Exactly. My sister just had my nephew christened. Both her AND her husband are atheists, and she's a teacher who is anti-faith schools!!!

They have no intention of introducing their son to the faith, or adhering to its tenets... so why?

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Tue 09-Apr-19 16:17:46

Also it's my understanding that Catholics don't recognize baptism that isn't done in a catholic church

This is my understanding too. Happy to be corrected, but I think the official line is that CofE, Baptists, Methodists etc are 'separated brethren' - i.e. sympathetic but not considered 'true' believers.

Puddlet Tue 09-Apr-19 16:20:38

This book might help. It could open up discussion if nothing else

Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 16:21:23

I think the main problem I have with baptism is that my child will forever be 'a catholic' whether he want's to be or not. I know in reality its just a splash of water and a lot of talking but I just don't support the Catholic Church and he will forever be a tally in their numbers which are used for the things I mentioned before. I don't know why I feel so strongly but it feels as though I'm going against my own beliefs, and I'll hate when his family and him discuss them being Catholics. If they're given all the information and choose to be then I'll be more than supportive and I'll be as I am with DP. But a baby can't decide that.

To other PPs I would be happy to wait and then baptise/christen when said child decided. But he's set on when they're an infant, I'm not sure on his reasoning but I know he has some to do with protecting the baby from evil, given its innocence. Sorry I'm not sure

Puddlet Tue 09-Apr-19 16:21:47

NabooThatsWho Tue 09-Apr-19 16:22:34

I would have them baptised into their father's faith, and when they're older they can decide if they want to keep the faith or not.

Yes, quick! Indoctrinate them while they are young! That’s the best time. Doesn’t work so well once they can think for themselves.

missyB1 Tue 09-Apr-19 16:23:07

Op your “compromise” is a nonsense. A Christian baptism is a Christian baptism. You are atheist so quibbling about the exact church for the baptism seems rather silly!

As for the corruption/ paedophile arguments. Are you saying nothing like that can happen in the CofE church? I’m sure it could and does so why would it be ok to have your child baptised there?

This is not worth causing a big issue over.

Ferfeckssake Tue 09-Apr-19 16:24:13

And in my parish , people wanting their child baptised are asked to attend Baptismal courses . It is an opportunity to be reminded of the WHY of Baptism . If you are doing it for the wrong reasons - dare I start a bun fight by mentioning Nice Day Out and Good Schools ??- it may encourage a more honest conversation with DP as to his decision .

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Tue 09-Apr-19 16:24:18

My sister just had my nephew christened. Both her AND her husband are atheists, and she's a teacher who is anti-faith schools!!!

They have no intention of introducing their son to the faith, or adhering to its tenets... so why?

Really baffles me too. If a baby-naming ceremony is ostensibly the equivalent of a christening but without the religious aspects, why on earth would they choose the latter? It would be like an avowed vegetarian making a show of ordering the nut roast instead of the carvery that the rest of the group are having - but then asking them to chuck on a couple of pork sausages as a side order!

They don't sound like particularly devout atheists to me!

Helplessfeeling Tue 09-Apr-19 16:24:27

My DH is athiest, I am RC. I wasn't exactly practising when we met, but once I had DC baptised I started attending Mass every week, I still go now and the children are older. It deepened my own faith to have my DC baptised. Maybe your DH will experience similar..

My DH knew my faith was important to me and he knew I would not have felt happy if my children were not also RC. He had the same reservations as you about the Catholic church, but put them to one side out of respect for me and my faith. I love and respect him for doing that.
Things have worked out for us, the kids have been to Catholic schools which gave them a better education than the non faith schools in our area offered. My eldest DC was confirmed but my youngest is undecided- which is fine by me, they can decide for themselves.
Catholic schools, and in fact the Catholic church, will be very different places to what they were when your DH was growing up. They don't take away condoms! Also, a Christian baptism in a church that neither of you is committed to (Cof E) is not a compromise!

LillithsFamiliar Tue 09-Apr-19 16:25:21

Is he much, much older than you? Because I don't know any Catholic school that doesn't provide sex education or classes on different religions so can only imagine his schooling must pre-date the 1990s.

We have the same religious difference in our marriage except I'm Catholic. DH is atheist. Our DC are baptised, attend Catholic school and made their Communion, etc.They also know people have different beliefs and that DH is an atheist. Our immediate family and friends follow a number of different faiths eg Jewish, Buddhist, etc.

It hasn't been a difficult balancing act for us at all but my DH does not share your staunch dislike of the Catholic Church. I'm not sure how we could have balanced it if he did. His view was he liked the moral framework it provided and how it impacted the values my family had. He also had the view that my faith was important to me and impacted my life but his atheist didn't play a major role in his life.

I wonder if it would benefit you both to see a counsellor? If you love and respect each other there should be a middle ground but I think you both need to be honest about how you feel about this. Otherwise it's an issue that will rear its head time and time again in your relationship.

Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 16:26:53

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll from what I've looked into it would be recognised. But that last bit in itself in inherintly wrong to me, they're not true believers, says who, the Catholic Church superior again. Even though they follow the same god, principles and book. They're all Christians under different umbrellas, but the Catholic Church is a corrupt institution, I'm not saying there aren't bad bits for all of them but I'm just not happy about it

Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 16:27:27

I'll look into the book, thankyou!

Puddlet Tue 09-Apr-19 16:29:31

Sorry about the enormous links. Baptism is often as much about the parents wanting Gods blessing for the child as about the intention to bring the child up in the faith.

My husband is RC and I'm c of e. It hasn't been easy but has proved possible to negotiate our way through. Two of the kids are at a catholic primary which is a very caring and lovely place. I wouldn't personally have taught my daughter the rosary but I can see that she benefits from prayer at school. It's a calming activity in a stressful world. There are benefits to having a faith background. I wouldn't personally worry too much about indoctrination. After all huge numbers of kids go to church schools but very few practice as adults.

Itwouldtakemuchmorethanthis Tue 09-Apr-19 16:30:02

You’re basically asking him to stop being a catholic to marry you. Catholic’s must bring up their children as catholics and if they want to get married must do it in a Catholic Church and non-catholic spouses must agree to the children being raised catholic to marry in a Catholic Church.
Your stance means he cannot be married in his church and if the children aren’t raised Catholic I’m not sure how he would be able to call himself catholicconfused

He doesn’t have to attend mass every Sunday or on holidays of obligation but to procreate outside of marriage and raise his children outside the church is a huge deal.

I’m a lapsing Catholic with a non-Christian husband and I honestly think I’d have been broken if he hadn’t wanted the sacrament of marriage with me. I don’t think it can work and a definitely don’t think you should just pick another Christian religion and pretend to want to be part of their churchshock

AverageMan Tue 09-Apr-19 16:31:53

It's not you being baptised though. You can still hold those anti-Catholic beliefs. It's important to pass on our faith and values to our children.

Chamomileteaplease Tue 09-Apr-19 16:33:56

So he's ok about schools.

Is it just the Baptism he is concerned about? Considering what you just wrote about what he said about his school, how can he be pushing this?

Do you know his reasons? Is it family, nostalgia, true belief???

LillithsFamiliar Tue 09-Apr-19 16:34:00

The more you post, the more obvious it becomes that the issue isn't with you being an atheist, it's that you're staunchly anti-Catholic. I don't think you can bridge that gap.

Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 16:36:55

I think it is a compromise, they're christened into Christianity, whether or not you'd be happy with 'Christian' as opposed to 'Catholic' depends on how strongly you feel about it. But I don't think he does feel as strongly as some of you do. If he was devout, mass every Sunday, this is his life then I'd be more willing. But not as it stands.

He's 26 and definitely did experience school as he says, he's embarrassed on their behalf he would never tell me that otherwise.

I don't want a big ol debate I just want us to settle and crack on with no one feeling like they've been ignored, that's what I was asking. But he's not as serious as some PPs, neither side is wrong so please don't shit on either side, everyone is entitled to an opinion

Crikey I didn't anticipate how strongly people would feel and voice it

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Tue 09-Apr-19 16:36:59

I know in reality its just a splash of water and a lot of talking

it is to you, but not to them. They will, as you realise, see your agreement to the ceremony as your endorsement of the fact that, although you personally aren't, your child(ren) are being brought up as Catholics with your blessing. It will also, in their eyes, give them the moral high ground and prevent you from later refusing any routine Catholic-based life choices for your child, such as schools ("Well, you were happy to have her/him christened, so I don't see why you've suddenly changed your tune - you're just being difficult for the sake of it.")

I'm afraid I can't see a way around this other than amicably deciding to go your separate ways. It's a bit like when one of a couple is determined that they want a baby but the other is equally adamant that they don't. Either one of them has to give way and quite probably be very resentful for the rest of their life or, otherwise, accept that they aren't compatible on a crucial issue and split, allowing each partner to find somebody else who does want the same as them.

Jebuschristchocolatebar Tue 09-Apr-19 16:37:19

Just to clarify, Catholics do not accept other baptisms or christenings. If you are baptized into another church then you would have to get re done to join the Catholic Church.

CharlyAngelic Tue 09-Apr-19 16:39:35

You feel very strongly @Loulouzz

missyB1 Tue 09-Apr-19 16:39:56

I agree with the pps that have pointed out it’s your lack of respect for his beliefs that’s causing a problem here. It’s not about how the children will be brought up, it’s your anti catholic stance. You need to admit this to yourself and then decide how far you are prepared to push it.

CharlyAngelic Tue 09-Apr-19 16:40:46

Your way or the highway.

theotherblonde Tue 09-Apr-19 16:40:58

Hi @Loulouzz

I do not normally comment on threads but I felt the need to contribute to this one briefly.

On one hand I can see that your relationship clearly means a lot to you and your partner for you to discuss having a future together that includes children. On the other hand, you and your DP do seem a bit like chalk and cheese. I say this because, you are so against everything that the Catholic Church teaches and your DP (whether he is a regular attender or not) obviously thinks the opposite or he would not be wanting his child baptised there.

I have a number of points I want to contribute which I hope will help you and your DP.

1. Baptism from other churches is recognised within the Catholic Church as long as it was from a church that believes in the trinity (father, son and Holy Spirit). I say this as I am prove myself. I was baptised as a baby in a non-catholic church and then last year changed to catholic did my first confession, holy communion and I am about to do my confirmation later this year. My priest said as I was previously baptised I did not have to do this again and it is actually frowned upon to do a second baptism.

2. In a practical terms, your child would be baptised as a baby and then first confession and first holy communion would not occur until the child is like 5/6 years old or older I think. So realistically you and your DP has time to discuss and decide upon those next steps. If your DP had began attending mass weekly by this point and had showed significant improvements in his faith then maybe but at the same time you can just see what your children want at that time. I remember my priest telling me recently that all the children from a local catholic primary school took part in the preparations for the first holy communion as its part of the school teachings but that some parents refused their children to take part even though the children themselves were very motivated. You could wait and see how things are then.

3. I would highly encourage you to attend mass with your DP to see for yourself what catholic church is like and for you to talk to the priests about your views. Most priests are lovely and are happy to hear your concerns.

Overall, the purpose of all of this is to develop a relationship with God and to give your life to christ. I really do not see the need to go into all of that as I am sure your aware since your partner is catholic. I do think that your comments about the church are very mean and disrespectful to your partners religion. I do not view the Catholic Church as brainwashing and I say this as someone who went to another non-catholic church and found it very much like that.

In my own case I came to the Catholic Church after I had already been a christian for around 4 years. However, I grew up in a very anti-catholic childhood home and I had a similar attitude as yourself (not as extreme) towards the Catholic Church. It was not until I experiences it for myself that I came to realise its where I need to be.

However, thats my OWN JOURNEY and its not for me to tell you what to believe or what to think and that your believes are wrong because they are just as valid as mines. I just think you and your DP need to seriously sit down and discuss this much more before you start baby dancing! I do think attending mass will help you decide whether a catholic upbringing for your future children is something you can handle or not.

flummoxedlummox Tue 09-Apr-19 16:41:12

I was brought up in a staunchly catholic household, christened, communion, confirmation. I've been happily atheist since my mid-teens, and I couldn't give a monkeys that I was christened etc and I certainly don't think badly of my late parents.

I suspect any potential future children would feel likewise.

Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 16:43:00

AverageMan that is exactly the whole point. It's not about me, and it's not about him. It's about what our kids want and only they know that when they're of an age they can understand. What you're saying is my views are wrong but I can have them, DPs views are right and should be passed on, ie bring them up in that faith

Its all these rules and guilt culture. I suppose I am anticatholic. But a Catholic is a Christian aren't they? So why can't they be Christian (if they choose) without being a Catholic? It's Catholics saying that's wrong and they're not true believers but you all believe in the same god

ElspethFlashman Tue 09-Apr-19 16:43:28

I really don't think this is gonna work.

I'm a Catholic married to an atheist and for sure he despises the crimes of the Church but he is not as extreme in his views as you. Frankly if he was, our relationship wouldn't have survived as I needed to a) get married in a Church and b) baptise future kids. However I agreed that they go to a non denominational school.

I don't expect my kids to grow up with any interest, really. But at least they will have some education in it and will have gone to Mass and funerals and will be able to judge it from the inside as opposed to the outside. And they can stay in or never darken its doors again as they wish.

But if I really thought he was literally gritting his teeth and rolling his eyes whenever my Dad said grace before meals whenever we visited them, I'd have been seriously pissed off and rethinking the whole thing. I never expected DH to join in, but I certainly expected him to behave with the same manners as if he were visiting a Muslim or Jewish family.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Tue 09-Apr-19 16:43:46

The more you post, the more obvious it becomes that the issue isn't with you being an atheist, it's that you're staunchly anti-Catholic. I don't think you can bridge that gap.

But isn't that pretty much the same insofar as if you're a XXXX, then you're staunchly anti any incompatible faith or belief FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN?

I know it's not really the same thing, but I enjoy eating meat and have no issue at all with others who choose not to; however, I would be staunchly anti anybody trying to pressure ME OR MY CHILD into giving up meat (obviously, if my DC should independently choose it for himself at any point, that's fine with me).

I agree with you that the gap doesn't sound bridgeable, though.

araiwa Tue 09-Apr-19 16:44:53

No such thing as a catholic child

Only a child with catholic parent(s)

Id be telling him that he is to do nothing about getting his kids in to his religion in any way until they are old enough to choose themselves.

53rdWay Tue 09-Apr-19 16:45:13

Just to clarify, Catholics do not accept other baptisms or christenings. If you are baptized into another church then you would have to get re done to join the Catholic Church.

This isn’t true. Baptisms from other mainstream Christian denominations are generally accepted as valid. If you were baptised LDS or similar that might not be, but Church of England baptism would count as a baptism and wouldn’t be repeated.

Also you don’t have to raise children Catholic if you’re Catholic - Church teaching is that you should raise them Catholic if possible, but that you shouldn’t jeopardise a marriage for it. (They would generally expect him to get married before having children though.)

Purpleartichoke Tue 09-Apr-19 16:50:14

If you are going to allow your children to be brought up in a religion, I don’t think there is any valid argument for choosing one over the other. So I think you should decide if you are ok with your kids being raised at least quasi-catholic. If you are not, then you need to leave this relationship.

I would not have children with someone who wanted to teach our children to believe in anything but rigorous skepticism and the search for facts. That is my personal belief and it’s a deal breaker for me.

If it isn’t a deal breaker for you, then you should realize that every religion has its problems both in messages about morality, treatment of women, and institutional corruption.

MumUnderTheMoon Tue 09-Apr-19 16:50:38

I wouldn't choose to have a child with someone who differs from me so fundamentally. I think it would be beyond silly to christen your kids into your church when you don't even believe in god to appease your partner who doesn't even share that faith. This isn't a "middle ground" issue. Either don't have kids with him, don't christen any kids you have or allow them to be baptised into their fathers faith but explain to them at home that religion isn't a fact.

stillworkingitout Tue 09-Apr-19 16:52:35

Lapsed cradle catholic here. From a long line of catholics. I toyed with the idea of baptism for my children, but my DH was really against it. For me, actually, it was the prospect of opening options for schooling that was attractive to me. We have a good catchment primary, but some of my friends in the same city don’t and the catholic primary here is very very good. As it happens, our catchment primary is quite a full on CofE school so we have the same conversations with our kids anyway.

I haven’t been to mass in years, and am happily atheist/agnostic. We come from completely different cultural and religious backgrounds but we muddle along. I don’t regret not baptising them, but if i were married to anyone else I expect they would have been done. We didn’t circumcise either though, which I suppose was his compromise to me - he didn’t even ask, and defended the choice to his parents.

Elloduckie Tue 09-Apr-19 16:53:40

I'm Catholic fiancé is pentecostal, we are getting married in Catholic Church. I made it clear from the beginning this was something I was not willing to budge on. Kids will be raised Catholic, take it or leave it, this was something I was not prepared to comprise on too. Basically I gave him my red lines.

What are your partners red lines and what are yours and find comprimise on there.

To be fair Catholic schooling these days is not like before, Catholic schools now have to allow people from other religions so there are opt out options for you as a parent giving you some control if you put children in that kind of environment. But when the time comes it may actually be that the Catholic school is not the best option for your child too, it may not fit and the child themselves may not want to partake in the teachings and activities. That's if you raise your child in a way that they think for themselves and challenge things.

Having said that CofE and Catholicism are not THAT different from each other, same faith different denominations so I do think you will be able to reach a comprimise due to the love you have for each other.

Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 16:54:00

theotherblonde Thankyou that's a great response and was really helpful to read and I've taken it all on board. Regarding the lack of respect, I do have strong views on what I've talked about yes definitely. But I 100 percent support my DP to follow his heart and what I feel deep down, including what I've written, I would never push onto him or bark at him about it. I've encouraged him to go to mass because it does relax him and he feels better in himself, I can't stress enough that I fully support and respect his opinions for himself, but this includes me. My views are a mixup of environment and experience, as are everyone's, they just happen to be different.

If they wanted to enter the Catholic Church they could so of their own accord at a later date following a christening, I'll take them myself if that's what they'd like.

I'm finding this really difficult, and yes we need to understand each other and work it out without either of us feeling like the other forced it. DP has mentioned going and speaking to a priest, I've agreed to attend Mass so I'll go and see for myself and take it from there.

If our children were to be baptised into the church would they even consider it, considering my views? If I commit to some of the things mentioned, I'd just be lying

Happyspud Tue 09-Apr-19 16:55:12

We are the same as you OP. I’m probably more staunchly athiest than you though.

Our kids are all baptised (catholic) and go to catholic school. It’s a great school so I’m happy enough with that. Baptism is fine with me too because it doesn’t mean anything to me so I’ve no need to go against it whereas it meant something for my DH so I let him have that one. For me it was nice to bring the family together and celebrate the babies. I may be athiest but was raised very very seriously church of Ireland so all these ceremonies are normal for me. Even if I don’t believe in God in the slightest, I do believe in the values ‘the church’ teach and the community that it brings together so I love a good service to meditate followed by coffee and free traybakes! It’s great to meet the neighbours I’d otherwise never come across.

Where we differ is the level of ‘truth’ placed on God/Jesus etc but our kids are little and I can see that the framework of ‘God’ helps give the kids context for the teaching of important values. And just like Santa, I can play along with some fairy story that is a positive experience for the kids. We have agreed that they are told ‘some people believe xyz’ and that they learn about all religions, as well as atheism, as they ask questions.

I strongly criticise the Catholic Church on an organisational level and my kids will be involved in those debates when old enough. But on a local level the local church community offers lots of positive things. Faith or no faith. And my serious lack of faith is of no business or consequence to anyone else.

ColdFrame Tue 09-Apr-19 16:56:53

the fact I've said I'll be happy enough with a christening is already putting myself in the middle

You seem to have some weird idea that the C of E is some kind of middle ground between 'atheist' and 'Catholic', which you appear of think of as some kind of Christianity Plus -- it isn't, you know.

And given that your DP appears to have survived his Catholic childhood sacraments and education with enough independent will to live and have sex with you outside of marriage and using some form of contraception, and is not a mass-goer, I really don't see why you think your children would be permanently brainwashed by baptism.

I'm culturally and ethnically Catholic, and grew up in a very devout household, but am not a believer, and I would see my education as considerably less witless than the kind of Biblical literalist evangelical nonsense that my unfortunate seven year old gets from the vicar on his visits to the village school.

araiwa Tue 09-Apr-19 16:57:21

Its a good idea to go to mass.

Its the biggest cure to religion together with reading whatever book they have

campion Tue 09-Apr-19 16:58:14

AverageMan it's a different denomination,not religion. They're not that far apart!

OP it's not a deal breaker for your relationship. He feels strongly about a baptism but says he might be OK with CofE so there's signs of compromise there. As he's not currently practising I guess his everyday catholicism isn't that important.
A baptism is cultural as much as religious for many people and I guess that's what's really at the bottom of this. Becoming part of the tribe. If you don't want your child to be part of the Catholic tribe,for reasons stated, then you are entitled to your view. But don't let it become a deal breaker. Religion can cause so many problems.

CurlyhairedAssassin Tue 09-Apr-19 16:58:26

Let’s face it, most of us don’t choose to be of a certain religion, our parents do it for us, and carry it on down the family due to tradition. It’s the way religions manage to survive. Many are brought up in a certain religion and then come to the conclusion that it’s mostly a load of bollocks when they start having independent thoughts and live independently of their parents. That was certainly the case for DH and one of his brothers. The ones that DON’T do this are the ones to pass it on to the next generation. Like Father Christmas. grin

Re catholic schools. You may be surprised to learn that many kids at Catholic secondary schools not only don’t believe in the Catholic Church but they don’t believe in any god at all. They’ve just had the path drawn out for them as a baby and that’s why they’ve ended up there. It’s a total nonsense.

Jebuschristchocolatebar Tue 09-Apr-19 16:59:07

Will he want to get married in a Catholic ceremony?

Xenia Tue 09-Apr-19 16:59:40

It doesn't really work like that. C of E is not a compromise particularly asy ou were brought up C of E. I suppose one child catholic and one C of E might be a compromise. Why not as it is so important to your husband just go along with what he wants?

Helplessfeeling Tue 09-Apr-19 16:59:49

And given that your DP appears to have survived his Catholic childhood sacraments and education with enough independent will to live and have sex with you outside of marriage and using some form of contraception, and is not a mass-goer, I really don't see why you think your children would be permanently brainwashed by baptism.

This^^ . Presumably your DP is a decent bloke, despite coming from the Catholic background that you despise.

leckford Tue 09-Apr-19 16:59:58

If you are not happy about this church now it is doubtful you ever will be. Also there are still massive child abuse issues that this insitution still won't address. Would you want your children exposed to these people?

LillithsFamiliar Tue 09-Apr-19 17:00:06

You remind me of a bf I had when I was younger. He was lovely, kind, etc. However, when our relationship started to become serious, it became obvious he was very anti-Catholic. His mum even took me aside to apologise and explain it didn't come from his family.
In the end, we realised our relationship couldn't go any further. We were both sad but adult enough to realise we couldn't bridge the gap. imo it's time for you to make that same decision.

bellinisurge Tue 09-Apr-19 17:00:41

Catholic mum, non Christian Dad. Brought up Catholic.
You should both get over yourselves. I find it hard to believe this hasn't come up in conversation between you before.
My dd went to a Catholic primary because I couldn't get her into the non Catholic one. Normal ordinary working class area that happens to have lots of Irish, Italian and Polish people in it. My dd goes to a non- Catholic secondary because I preferred a non- Catholic education for her.
Any children you have will not become mindless drones if they go to catholic school. They will have as much or as little of it as you and their father can be bothered with.

speakout Tue 09-Apr-19 17:04:36

You have my sympathies.

But I wouldn't have made it to second date with a christian I'm afraid.

Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 17:07:33

It has come up and he'd said yeah probs be fine blah blah CofE as long as they're Christian. So I thought fair enough we'll christen when the time comes, pick the best school in the area etc. But now this has come up it's a different viewpoint. Hence the reason I asked in the first place!

He's never insisted on a Catholic wedding it was just said we'd have a priest. And from the get go I said I'd love an outdoor wedding and nothing was said so I've always thought that's all fine no issues from him

zinrepus Tue 09-Apr-19 17:09:46

Lots of Catholic talk, but I figure some context may help with my perspective. I grew up in a Catholic house in a highly academic, liberal, hippie Catholic community. I never dated a guy in my history because I knew before we started dating that he wanted to marry a Jewish girl and I would never convert to anything that didn't fit me better than Catholicism.

Of my 4 siblings, only 1 practices currently. The rest of us haven't found churches that give us what we need. The Catholic church is an institution, but individual communities vary wildly. Our community growing up was welcoming of gay people (had to be, we were based outside of San Francisco) and would have women give the homilies with some regularity. This wasn't normal for a Catholic church and many of us have struggled to find an equivalent later in life.

My Catholic elementary school taught about sperms and eggs as sex ed (my older sister talks about having to look up where they ever came into contact). My Catholic high school answered any question people had about sex (we heard about oral, anal, gay, straight, bi, three ways, you name it!). It really depends on where you are and what the community is.

One issue with the argument of "I want my kids to make decisions for themselves" is that by not modeling any religious behaviors, the default becomes no religion. I have heard of very few parents who "let their kids decide" who actively take their children to temples or mosques or churches or synogogues to make informed choices. They just let them learn about it in their RE classes and call it a day.

If he wants the kids to be baptised Catholic and raised with religion in their life, it may be that, despite not practicing, your DP may find some elements of the religion comforting as an adult. If he wants his kids to be brought up religious, having them brought up in a different community than the one he knows may be uncomfortable.

Conversion is a tricky conversation. I had a mate who would regularly tell me I should convert to Judaism because I was "halfway there." But I knew Judaism lacked what I wanted out of a religious experience, so Catholic remained my default. I'm now snooping around some other sects, but again, only because they align more closely to my personal beliefs.

Perhaps bring him to some C of E services and see how he gets on? He may realise they're not so different after all.

theotherblonde Tue 09-Apr-19 17:12:27


Your welcome and I did not mean any offence by my comments but I just feel sad to hear someone say the word "brainwashing" in relation to the Catholic Church where my own experiences has been so loving. For example, nothing is every forced upon me unlike the last church (non-catholic) where it was a very horrible environment.

As for whether the church will baptise your child, I need to be honest and say I do not know the answer to that question. I think it depends on the priest for a start and I think the main thing comes down to this "Will you raise your child to believe in God and to life a christ like life?" Thats what it comes down to in a nut sell really.

To put it this way for me. In church last Sunday a priest from America was visiting and preaches about sin. His comical take on this bible passage had everyone in hysterics as he talked about how these men wanted to stone Mary Magdalene to death according to the law of mosses as she was a prostitute. Jesus said to them "He who is without sin can throw the first stone" or something like that after he was writing something in the ground.

All the men paused and thought to themselves am I without sin? I think I am but Jesus clearly thinks I am not without sin so have I sinned? Eventually all the men left as they realised they had sinned themselves. Then Jesus said to her something like, you are been forgiven go away and sin no more. The priest was trying to get the point across that sin gets in the way of a relationship with Christ. The Catholic Church wants to foster that relationship and this is why sins are sins because they get in the way of that loving relationship. But the priest also said that we cannot judge those that sin but instead look at the person behind the sin and ask yourself why did they get into this situation? Surely no one is born in life thinking they want to be a prostitute?

I may have described that story wrong but the point is (from my perspective) that the Catholic Church simply wants to worship Jesus and encourage others to as well in order to achieve internal life.

Taking kids aside for a moment, I think it would serve you well to ask yourself why do not believe in God? What do you believe in? What experiences have you had which made you come to this decision or these believes?

You know I never believed or did not believe growing up. I was baptised as a baby and then my parents started working Sundays and never took us to church. It was not until 2013 when a friend asked me to go to church and at a very low point in my life I thought "oh why not will harm will it do?" I did not start to believe in God until I was in church and until I started hearing the pastor preach. Even then I thought everyone in this mega-style church was a bit crazy. I enjoyed the dancing and the music but I did not believe so to speak. It was through may experiences and many things which happened to me which slowly brought me closer to God. My journey to the Catholic Church is a whole other story.

So I cannot judge you for your believes but I will say this. Regardless of what you believe I will pray for you and your relationship. My own marriage is so strong because we are accountable to our faith and we believe that God is at the centre of our marriage supporting us.

From another perspective, I could not marry someone who does not believe in God as its just the same as your situation but from the other way around I think. I could not handle a compromise or a middle-ground, I would be very clear and I think thats why I love my husband so much more because we are on the same page about everything. I think you deserve that in a partner and you deserve to be with someone who thinks the same as you and will know how and why you feel a certain way.

I do really hope your relationship can weather this storm. When talking to a priest be open about your views but say it in a a tactful way so you do not upset anyone.

Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 17:13:17

All this talk of not bridging the gap, give up now etc. What a ridiculous notion. I acknowledge the people saying this feel strongly one way or the other, but to give up the person you love most, who loves you back, your plans are aligned, views in almost everything bar this are aligned and no one makes you happier, because you're incapable of compromise one way or the other is insane. If push really really came to shove, like shite would I be a martyr and lose my absolute love for the sake a baptism and a religion I don't even believe in. But it would grate on me for a long time and go against what I do believe in, to pacify him. I don't think I would be resentful, but you don't know until you're experiencing it

FreezerBird Tue 09-Apr-19 17:19:23

OP, can you expand a bit more on what you see as the distinction between baptism and christening?

It sounds as though you see christening as a sort of baptism-lite, but it's just another name for baptism in the c of e. The same promises are made, and the child is baptised into the Anglican church, just as in a Catholic baptism they're baptised into the Catholic church. And each church does recognise the baptism of the other. There's no such thing as a 'christening' as a separate thing.

Some c of e churches do a dedication or naming ceremony I think - is that what you're thinking of?

CurlyhairedAssassin Tue 09-Apr-19 17:20:11

I think that many people feel the need to belong to a tribe, as others have said, and like the regular routine of going to church as well as the social aspect of it.

Personally I think deep down a lot of modern church goers must inwardly raise an eyebrow at all the chanting that goes on in church (always sounds very cult like to me) but as well as the positives mentioned above they like the reflections by the priest/vicar. Just a reminder on how to be a decent member of society or lessons we can learn from some situations. The songs are quite nice too. All of these things make attendance at church much more bearable during the period of preparing to have a much wider choice of schools than non church goers.. wink

But the actual religion part. The fire and brimstone. The chanting. There are MANY MANY people today that just can’t be doing with that and think it doesn’t have any place in modern society. It doesn’t keep people in line anymore because I don’t know any sane adult that really believes that they will end up in the fiery depths of hell if they step out of line. Unfortunately it’s this aspect that puts a lot of people off religion of any kind and sounds like what puts you off, OP.

I am an atheist but have to attend mass sometimes. I just ignore all the daft religious stuff. I sit out the communion (and laugh at the people going up who look all serious and devout when I know they have a horrible nasty streak to their character but hey ho). I enjoy the music and the sitting quietly and sometimes something is said by the priest which makes me think.

A Catholic SCHOOL is a whole other kettle of fish. They will learn very little about other religions. Most of it will be about pure Catholicism and reflecting on life from a Catholic’s point of view.

You might be happy with the “nice, sociable” aspect of your child attending a Catholic Church but you may well start to resent hearing your child spouting stuff as if it is fact once they are being properly indoctrinated educated in the Catholic faith.

speakout Tue 09-Apr-19 17:20:15

One issue with the argument of "I want my kids to make decisions for themselves" is that by not modeling any religious behaviors, the default becomes no religion

And is that a problem?

It's the way all children are born.

MsRinky Tue 09-Apr-19 17:25:27

Oh, tricky. I am an atheist, but my Catholic upbringing is definitely a part of my cultural identity. My Dad is Irish, my Mum converted from CofE to marry him - they were both very young at the time. Both my brother and I went to Catholic primary schools, but not secondary. I refused to get confirmed and don't think I've set foot in a church other than for weddings/funerals/christenings since. My parents drifted away from the church, and now consider themselves agnostic as best, although my Mum is very involved with her village (non-catholic) church on a community and social level and is described by the vicar as the most Christian non-Christian he has ever met. My brother on the other hand is deeply committed and would have joined the prisethood if they'd have had him, but he's also a raging plastic paddy, whilst I'm thankful for my post-Brexit EU passport alright, but in no way think of myself as actually Irish.

I do love a good church though, especially in Italy, although it makes me cry when you see all the jewellery donated by the poor to the church just so they can display it to inspire piety in others instead of doing Jesus stuff like, you know, feeding the poor. So I loathe the Catholic culture in many ways, but also feel my exposure and knowledge of it has enriched my life?

Anyway, enough about me. I think you need to get to the bottom of how much your partner is culturally catholic as opposed to religiously catholic, as that will make a big difference.

Jebuschristchocolatebar Tue 09-Apr-19 17:26:06

I would be worried one of you will resent the other depending on any decision made. There isn’t a massive compromise here, it’s quite black and white. As I already said I got married in a church including doing the pre marriage course required. My kids are catholic and go to school. I give less than zero shits about it all but I am respectful of his beliefs and those of his family. My kids know I don’t believe and we talk about different beliefs all the time. I wouldn’t recommend getting married and thinking this will resolve itself over time. Best talk about it now heather than find yourself in serious shit in a few years time when kids come along.

Loulouzz Tue 09-Apr-19 17:27:28

Thankyou everyone who left helpful comments I've read every one.

theotherblonde I understand completely, I think there are bad and good churches, Catholic or not, you're right. But children are indoctrinated into religion, you are a product of your environment. Another PP said about letting them decide means leaving them to it. No not for us, I know DP would teach them about religion, take them to mass etc and that's okay, what I'm opposed to is having them attend church every Sunday and complete holy communion because they were pushed to and they believe as a result of being brought up in the midst of it, becuase children are inclined to believe what we tell them.

I don't particularly have any beliefs, I don't find comfort in thinking there's a heaven I may go to, or that my family will. I just believe we're here now, we have short lives, then it ends and we go back into the ground we came from. And so the cycle of life continues. Everyone should be treated with respect and you should do what you feel is right and proper not what's laid out by whoever you follow.

I'll see the priest then take it from there. I can't lie but no don't worry I won't be preaching what I've written here wink I think this has all poured out of me, some from a place of frustration, becuase I always say the 'right' and courteous thing about it in support but this struck a nerve

LillithsFamiliar Tue 09-Apr-19 17:29:05

There's a disconnect between what you think of the church and what you think of your DP. You're making lots of sweeping statements about a church that your DP grew up in and your statements reflect negatively on him. It sounds as though you're not realising that.

Nobody is asking you to be a martyr. But you somehow think having a baptism in a completely different religion is a compromise. Your knowledge of the church and its history is fairly scant (on what you've posted here) and you sound very resentful even at the thought of being involved with the catholic church. This 'conflict' isn't going to go away.
Relationships are difficult enough without one party feeling there's something that's going to grate on them for a long time. I do think you would benefit from speaking to someone about this in RL and with your DP. No-one on MN can come up with a 'compromise' that will suit your DP. Myself and three of my siblings are all married to non-Catholics. We've all had to navigate it in a way that worked for our personalities and relationships.

ColdFrame Tue 09-Apr-19 17:29:08

I think you're right not to regard it as some kind of deal-breaker, Loulouzz -- it sounds to me (an atheist cradle Catholic married (civilly) to another, with a child we haven't baptised) as if your DP is interested in baptising his child as a form of cultural marker, rather than as any form of declaration of commitment to starting to practice his faith again.

Virtually anything further he wants to do beyond baptism will require work from him -- if he wants to get married in a Catholic church, you will both have to do a pre-marriage course, if he wants your children to go to Catholic schools, he is very likely to have to attend Mass regularly with them for years beforehand, if the school is oversubscribed. If the children don't go to Catholic schools but he wants them to make their First Communion and Confirmation anyway, he will have to take them to special preparation lessons run by a local Catholic church, and commit to church attendance.

If he's not shown any interest in religion since his teens, he's unlikely to be bothered with any of this, so I don't think you need to think of a Catholic baptism as any kind of slippery slope.

Knitclubchatter Tue 09-Apr-19 17:30:21

I call myself Catholic long family history of Catholicism and oddly enough my catholic education and experience was very modern and progressive. Bible “stories”, “parables”, not facts. Sex Ed, and evolution, Big Bang theory etc.
I always wonder where theses back woods staunch parishes are.

serenawren Tue 09-Apr-19 17:31:54

I married a catholic and I would say I am also agnostic. It was made very clear to me from the beginning that any children we have together, DH would want baptised.

It wouldn't have been what I would do, but I have faith in my child to make decisions for himself when he is older about his ideas on religion. I will be honest with my son about what I think and my DH will be too and will make it clear that everyone has different ideas about religion and we're all free to make our own choices on this.

In reality, although my DS is only 2, it has made very little difference in our lives. If anything, I get a morning to myself which I really enjoy!

Like you, i feel my DH and I are perfect for each other and I wasn't going to let this be the reason we didn't progress with our relationship.

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