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If I become Catholic does my child also become a catholic?

(19 Posts)
tacal Sat 08-Dec-12 10:25:31

I am currently attending RCIA sessions. If I decide to become Catholic does that mean DS will have to be raised as a Catholic? At the moment I have been attending mass without him. He is four. I have to decide if he should attend Catholic School next year or the non denominational school. He can get a place at the Catholic school if we want one. Has anyone converted to being a Catholic? If so, did your children convert too? I feel a bit confused about his. Because I am not sure about this maybe it means I am not ready to convert. Would love to hear peoples thought on this. Thank you

ClareMarriott Sat 08-Dec-12 22:13:51


The simplest thing to do is to make an appointment with your local parish priest and discuss all the concerns you have about you and your son becoming catholics. Is your DH catholic?

seeker Sat 08-Dec-12 22:16:20

Why are you converting?

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 09-Dec-12 08:22:09

No , you don't have to bring him up as Catholic. Your son would become Catholic if he wanted to be baptised into the church and later on make the sacrament of communion etc.
One of DD's friends mams converted and neither child wanted to. One goes to RC school, the other doesn't.

xkcdfangirl Sun 09-Dec-12 08:47:05

Your son won't be a catholic unless he is baptised as one. I think it is possibly true that your uncertainty about this means you may not be ready to convert yet - if you actually believe in the teachings of the catholic church it would surely not be a source of uncertainty to you whether a child should be taught this way of faith.

tacal Sun 09-Dec-12 22:50:18

Thank you to you all for your replies it has helped me a lot. I have been thinking about the reasons I am so worried about DS being a Catholic and realized it is because my family will be really angry about it.

I dont have a DH, it is just me and DS. But I do have family members who do not approve of me having anything to do with the Catholic church. I think this is what is at the back of my mind when I think about DS attending Catholic School and Mass. He has hardly any family as it is I dont want it to affect his relationship with them.

I have been so much happier since I have been going to mass and attending RCIA. I feel like this is the right church for me. I feel at home when I go there. Very different to how I felt in my last church. In an ideal world I would love to bring DS up as a Catholic.

I will try taking DS to mass and see how he gets on. I dont think it would feel right for us to be different religions.

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 10-Dec-12 07:43:23

Hope everything works out. What do your family think of you attending ?

blondecat Mon 10-Dec-12 07:51:14

Welcome to the church!grin

It depends
Has he been baptized / christened? If so he won't need to be baptized again to be RC. Though if you wanted you could have him received into the Church along with you. Ask the priest

If he had never been christened in any church he would need to be baptized to be a Catholic.

That's the formalities. In the end it's up to you how you raise him. Do you bring him to mass? What school you send him to - that part is not compulsory btw but the schools tend to be good.

tacal Mon 10-Dec-12 08:08:45

Thank you Kendodd. My family do not like me attending but are starting to accept it. I dont think they know I am thinking of converting. That will be difficult for them to accept.

Thanks blondecat, DS has been baptised in a different church. I have not taken him to mass yet. He starts school next year. We are going to visit the local Catholic school tomorrow. I will then make my decision as to what school he goes to. I didn't know I could have DS received into the Church with me. That is something I will think about. I will chat to the priest about it when I feel ready. Thanks again.

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 10-Dec-12 08:35:26

Ah, I see where you are and I understand completely. It is very tricky for you to say the least. Would be the equivalent of DH going to a Presbyterian church I'm guessing ?

tacal Mon 10-Dec-12 18:45:22

yes, it is tricky. I will just have to do what feels right for me and DS. But also try not to upset my family too much.

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 10-Dec-12 22:16:42

Good luck ! You know where we are.

worldgonecrazy Wed 12-Dec-12 10:33:34

Catholocism is an initiatory religion so you can't just become a Catholic by calling yourself one.

The rites of initiation into the church are Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation. Until all those three things have happened you're not a full Catholic. So the technical answer is that children can't be Catholic as they have not made their Confirmation. However, you, as a parent, can raise them in the Catholic faith, in the hopes that they will become full Catholics when they are old enough to make the decision.

sieglinde Wed 12-Dec-12 10:46:37

Hi, tacal. My dh converted to RC about 27 years ago; his family were horrified at first - they are Baptists - but have come to accept it calmly over time.

Contra worldgonecrazy, technically she is right, but in practice baptism is enough for a child to call himself RC. My dd was baptised at 2, which is nice because she remembers it. Naturally, anyone can renounce it, so I wouldn't listen to anyone fussing you about giving your dc a choice - he will have a choice later! (as with eating one's greens..)

mariammama Sun 23-Dec-12 10:49:54

Could you have a chat with the minister who baptised your ds? IMO, clergy of all denominations are delighted (and sadly, often surprised) when a dc they christened is taken to church regularly, taught to pray, read bible stories etc. Equally, an adult who is thinking deeply about their faith and trying follow their understanding of God's will for them come what may, is what they're generally aiming at grin. Catholic schools might have 'too many spiritual frills', but few pastors want a dc to have an entirely secular humanist education.

From a 'decisions' point of view, there's no rush. Christian baptisms which follow certain patterns are valid sacramentally, the fussiness about it being RC version mainly applies when the Catholic schools are over-subscribed wink. The next two would be First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, which by popular custom are delayed till the 'age of reason' (7+ usually), and preceded by a preparation programme. The child must usually understand and consent, parents wanting a big party for dc before they're 'ready' is frowned upon.

mariammama Sun 23-Dec-12 10:52:05

Valid baptism

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Mon 24-Dec-12 07:29:44

Ok, however you want to look at it. Catholicism is simply a faith/belief. Your child will not be Catholic unless he chooses to believe in that particular religion. How you choose to raise him, of course, is entirely up to you. But I personally wouldn't put any churches between my son and his family. We don't need any more religious upsets.

tacal Sat 12-Jan-13 18:45:00

thank you so much for your replies worldgonecrazy, sieglinde, mariammama and pedropony. I have not been here for a while so was surprised to see them. Sieglinde, it is good to hear that your husbands family have come to accept him converting. My family seem to be more accepting now. I am registering DS at a Catholic School on Monday and my family seem to be ok with this. Mariammama, I have spoken to the minister who baptised us, she gave me some information about other Protestant churches I might like to take ds to and which might suit me better than her church. But I know I am happy at the RC church I currently attend. My RCIA classes are progressing and everything seems to be falling into place and as you all say ds will be able to make up his own mind when the time comes. Thank you for your advice.

Housemum Sun 27-Jan-13 21:49:23

Good luck hope all goes well. I converted a couple of years ago, take the younger DDs to Mass every week and they considered themselves as Catholic, although technically the youngest isn't (baptised C of E) though the 9yo is as she made her FHC last year.

If you are concerned from a school point of view as to whether a child is Catholic, it depends on their admissions policy. I think the RC school in our town goes on baptised children and regular attenders at X church (form to be signed off by prest), but each school has its own rules. (My kids go to the local C of E school as it is walking distance, would have preferred the RC school would be impossible to get them there and to work in the mornings)

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