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Any other Roman Catholics attend church of england services. I think this is going to be long!

(56 Posts)
Morosky Sun 27-Sep-09 18:18:57

I have always been a Roman Catholic and it means an awful lot to me, but as with many Catholics it is a strained relationship.

I conider myself a feminist so have issues with a patriarchal church, I am also divorced and living with my new partner so have not been able to take communion for a long time. I teach RS and Philosophy and often feel myself thinking I don't agree with this when I am teaching about my faith.

But despite all of that I am a Catholic and have always been a very active one, if someone who wants change. But many of my views are liberal anglican views and I read a lot of the present archishop of canterbury's writings and agree with them.

I recently moved away and started attending a new catholic church and have never been happy there. There is not a local Catholic primary school and I miss that community.

We have moved again further out into the sticks and a ten minute drive from the local Catholic church. I have been invited to go the local C of E church, I popped in today and i felt so at home. I did not feel judged and loved the family atmosphere there. Where we live now is quite remote and we have no friends, by joining the local Cof E church we would be part of a community. So we decided today to start going to the local CofE services, but I feel as if a part of me has died, I cried on the way home. Dp is not religious particularly - but is a baptised Cof E so did not get why I was upset.

Dp is pleased about this development as we are hoping to get married and he would like a church wedding, I could not have that without a painful annulment in the Catholic church but could within the CofE.

I feel so guilty, you should not change your religion to make friends. But part of me says I have been unhappy in my faith for a long time and moving has just made me think about things rather than just doing as I have always done.

Finally dd should be making her first holy communion this year, if we stop going to the Catholic church she wont be able to do this. This is such an important day in a young girl's life, I feel as if I am depriving her and cutting her off from her heritage. So should I alternate between the 2 churches?

Oh and this really is finally, I come from a very strict Irish Catholic family and they will be very dissapointed. It will be a scandal, my grandfather would turn in his grave.

I was thinking of emailing the curate at the CofE church and asking for his advice, but dp says that is a little odd. Do you think it is.

Thanks

aig Sun 27-Sep-09 18:26:01

I don't think it would be odd - I think he would be delighted to talk to you. It is a good idea to send a brief email and ask for a time to meet and discuss the issues. Don't worry if you get emotional when you discuss it - it would be strange if you didn't.
I hope (and trust!) that you have found a church where you are comfortable and can grow in faith.

Morosky Sun 27-Sep-09 18:32:08

Thanks aig, do said it may come across as egotistical as in I am going to honour you with my presence. But that is not how I see it as all.

Would we need to get rebaptised?

TheFallenMadonna Sun 27-Sep-09 18:34:14

Me again. I'm not stalking you, honest. But we have interests in common...

I'm a Catholic, but have, as a liberal, struggled with it enormously. My whole personal experience of the church has been far more liberal and tolerant than the popular view of catholicism, and I love that. But there is of course all the other stuff...

I've started to attend an Anglican church recently. It fits me better in many, many ways. But I still feel Catholic, culturally if you like. I don't know if it will work for me long term.

I find it interesting that you don't take communion. Have you been told to stop, or is it your choice given your circumstances? I mean, I know it is the official postion, but there are plenty of divorced Catholics who take communion.

Disenchanted3 Sun 27-Sep-09 18:35:50

Wow, that must be hard. I'm going through something identical and for very similar reasons too (was raised Catholic also) I feel over whelmingly guilty.

If you feel better then its the better option for you, thats what I keep telling myself

Niecie Sun 27-Sep-09 18:44:24

No you wouldn't have to be rebaptised. You can only be baptised once in the C of E and they aren't bothered which denomination baptises you. It is the same God after all.

I would say that you aren't changing your religion - you are a Christian and will remain a Christian regardless of which church you go to, but I do understand that being a Catholic does entail slightly different things to belonging to many other Christian churchs.

If you feel you need to talk to the curate at your new church I am sure that they would be very happy to talk to you. Depends on the person of course - some are better at counselling people than others. But they should want to help you in your faith, even if that means that ultimately, you end up going back to a Catholic church. I don't think you are being egotistical at all - you simply need to understand how the change can affect you and whether it will make any real difference to you.

As for your DD being confirmed and taking communion, we do confirm children in the C of E (I would be going to confirmation service now if it weren't for the fact my DS isn't well). It wouldn't be the same service but it would have the same result - taking communion. What is important - the right of passage of taking first communion or what it represents afterwards? It can be either thing or both, I suppose.

Prinnie Sun 27-Sep-09 18:45:00

Hi Morosky, I found your post very interesting as it mirrors very much what has happened in our family. My mum was brought up a catholic, and then my dad converted and both me and my sister were catholic too - went to catholic school, mass twice a week etc.

However, as we lived in a small village me and my sister went to school 20 mins away, and the church was also 20 mins away. This meant our whole lives we were very detached from what was a very friendly village community - we had no local friends and didn't really join in with local events. This was always a difficulty for me and I felt very sad about it.

Then as the teenage years came along I also started to question aspects of the RC Church and it's teachings and also drifted away. I drifted away from any kind of religion for years until after university when I moved back home. It was around this time that I met my future DH and it got me thinking about what kind of wedding I might want. By this time I had no attachment to a RC church or the local Cof E church, my Mum was also in a similar situation and we decided to start going to the village church.

The welcome was so warm and friendly, and I felt really inspired by the messages that we continued to go and I got married there with a standard C of E wedding last June. My faith in God and Christianity has never been so strong, and I think I'm a much better Christian now than I would be if I'd contined with my R C faith.

I suppose my main message would be is that God is a loving father and I am sure he doesn't care about the demoninations we have, he just wants everyone to be the best they can be. Whatever you decide will be ok by him. On the first holy communion front, if your DD has been looking forward to it then she might be a bit disappointed, but she could always do it later when you are more sure about what you want for her - or you could leave the decision up to her when she's older.

HTH

Morosky Sun 27-Sep-09 18:46:04

Yes I was told to stop as I kept confessing the same thing. The priest then did a sermon on people who fall away from the rules of the church and should not be taking communion. I know it was not aimed just at me but it crushed me. If it were not for dd would not have gone again. I also felt it important that people like me who felt pushed out continued to go to church, have our voices heard.

I have always attended catholic churches heavily populated by Irish Catholics and we do tend to be the most jusgemental. When we moved the first time I went to a Catholic church here and it just felt cold and unfriendly. We have been a few times to the CofE chuch in the town and I felt that to be more welcoming if a but happy clappy. grin

I think I will always feel Catholic, it is part of my culture and family history of which I am proud.

I have taken communion once since being told not to and felt so guilty.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 27-Sep-09 18:50:16

See, it isn't the same thing really, because it isn't just a rite of passage. The Eucharist. Roman Catholics don't take communion in other Christian churches. The Eucharist one of the big things. And Morosky doesn't receive the sacrament of the Eucharist in her Catholic church.

Morosky Sun 27-Sep-09 18:50:54

I" suppose my main message would be is that God is a loving father and I am sure he doesn't care about the demoninations we have, he just wants everyone to be the best they can be. Whatever you decide will be ok by him."

That is exactly what I think.

Thanks I will be back later, I am a little upset so going to do some weeing, smile

daftpunk Sun 27-Sep-09 18:51:23

hi...smile

i'm catholic (Irish parents)....i know where you're coming from, i struggle with alot of things..esp; feminist issues..however, i could never leave, if i was you i would speak to your priest..tell him exactly how you feel...i'm sure he's heard it a million times before, he will help you.

you don't swap religions like you swap your car.....serious stuff...think about it.

Disenchanted3 Sun 27-Sep-09 18:53:59

I'm sure shes thought about it alot DP.

I've been thinking about this for a long time, since I was about 11 in fact!

Its only just now Im starting to seriously look into it.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 27-Sep-09 18:53:59

Oh x post. I never do the guilt thing. I took the Eucharist when I was living with DH before we got married. My mum takes it as a divorced woman who lives with a new partner. We are bad Catholics for sure, but with rather understanding priests perhaps.

daftpunk Sun 27-Sep-09 19:00:32

yes but Disenchanted3...she wants to email the CofE before talking through her concerns and feelings with her priest..?

Disenchanted3 Sun 27-Sep-09 19:04:17

But if she feels this is the way to go and her descision has been made then theres no need to. If she truely wants to move on nothing he can say can change her mind.

Am probably speaking for myself here! But I know I have no intention of contacting my priest.

Morosky Sun 27-Sep-09 19:34:00

Daftpunk I have discussed this with my priest, dp and I both have infact. When we were having problems last year we spent time talking to someone at church about our problems and the role of my faith in those problems. The line taken was you two are living in sin she needs to go back to her husband! I find the priest cold and impersonal so don't want to talk to him.

Please don't patronise me and tell me to think about it, I am a theology graduate and an RS teacher, I am always thinking thinking about and reflecting on my faith.

Morosky Sun 27-Sep-09 19:37:15

There is more to this that understanding priests, the church line is that I am in a perpetual state of sin. However much I want my mother church it does not want me unless I ask for an annullment. This will plunge my family back into unpleasant tit for tat, I will not do that for my daughter.

Morosky Sun 27-Sep-09 19:43:13

I do not mean this in a rude way as well daftpunk but some of your views on homosexuality and other issues mean that you may feel more at home than me with some Catholic doctrine. You do sound like many of my Irish relatives, who I love dearly but disagree with.

The fact that you say I am swapping my religion is revealing. My aunt married an anglican and we were instructed by my grandfather never to speak to her again as she had left her Catholic faith. As a child I grew up being indoctrinated that there was one true church and that the protestant faith was wrong. I just don't see it that way, I see is as a different expression of the same faith. Having said that I would only be at home in an Anglican high church.

Morosky Sun 27-Sep-09 19:49:21

Sorry am rambling as things come to mind, I dont't really want to convert, as I said before I see myself as a Catholic and will do until I die - I think. ( I am aware that I am contradicting myself) But I want to worship with people who think like me, not feel as if the priest is tutting at me for being a scarlet woman. At the moment this is about me being a Catholic but going to a CofE service. I am not allowed to take communion anyway and whenever I go to confession it is a nightmare as the priest tells me that I am clearly not repentant as I am confessing the same thing every month. So I have stopped going to that as well now!

Maybe the thing to do is go to a Catholic service one week and a Cof E next week. But that is a bit cowardly.

Morosky Sun 27-Sep-09 19:53:21

I do think this has been brewing for a good 20 years., at University I tried to join the Catholic Union and felt out of place so joined an ecumenical group.

The priest to whom I have been closest was an Anglican convert.

I wonder if part of my strong catholicism was a way of rebelling against my mother who for years has mocked my faith. Infact the one person I am dreading telling is her, because she will see this as a personal victory.

daftpunk Sun 27-Sep-09 20:03:59

very sorry Morosky...really didn't mean to sound patronising...

if this has been on your mind for 20 years you clearly have thought alot about it...smile

i hope it all works out for you...

TheFallenMadonna Sun 27-Sep-09 20:10:37

Gosh - the priest I have felt least in tune with with respect to both the place of women in the church and social justice was an Anglican convert. Especially the place of women in the church...

If you consider yourself to be a Catholic, do you consider yourself to be in a permanent state of sin? Because that is the crux of the matter really I think. My church, as in my local community of faith, welcomed me despite my lack of repentence over sex outside of marriage. I was not repentent, and would not confess it as a sin.

You say you have been unhappy in your faith for a long time, but yesterday you spoke of how important you had thought it for your DD to explore that faith through her education.

It isn't cowardly to attend both I don't think. Nor would it be wrong to approach the Anglican priest and talk to him about things. I think there's lots to talk about anyway. God knows I talk about this stuff enough. Without resolution...

Morosky Sun 27-Sep-09 20:11:48

No I am sorry, it is all a bit raw and I am being a narky cow. smile

I just feel like noone understands, I have tried talking to dp and he doesnt get it. I cant really talk to anyone else either.

Prinnie Sun 27-Sep-09 20:18:57

Morosky, what I forgot to say in my post, was that my Mother has also now swapped from RC to C of E worship, and although she felt uneasy about it for a while, she now couldn't be happier, and has been welcomed very comprehensively.

Neither of us have converted, and I don't think I ever will either, but I just see myself as a Christian more than anything else now anyway.

I was really shock at some of the things your priest has told you. It's that kind of thing that really disengages people and led to me turning my back altogether, which is a shame because there are some wonderful things about the Catholic church.

Morosky Sun 27-Sep-09 20:23:41

Yes I do feel that I am in a permanent state of sin, dp thinks that my faith plays a huge role in my depression. I do feel like a huge failure in life and it often comes back to this. So then the problem remains will I still feel that way if I attend a C of E church.

I need to think about whether I think I am in the wrong because I truely believe that or because it has been drummed into me.

My faith is hugely important to me, I had hoped that by perhaps being within a highly educated Catholic community, it may be different.

I am unhappy withing my church on ethical issues, but I am very conservative on many other issues. I believe in the virgin birth, we don't use contraception ( but don't like my church denying contraception to others), I am anti abortion ( but don't want my church making it illegal) and I believe in transubstantiation. ( Hope that is spelt right!grin. I am very proud of my heritage and loved that feeling special that you get from being a Catholic. I find a Catholic service intensely moving and spiritual and do not get that in an Anglican service. But I also spend much of the servoce dreading the part when everyone goes up for communion, knowing that I am not permitted.

DD is also proud of being a Catholic, sbe was a little upset when she found out she was not going to a Catholic school. But she does not enjoy church in our local cathlic church, however she is looking forward to going to the anglican church.

I did want my daughter to go to a Catholic school,but that is just not going to happen here. So in order to be part of a relgious community we can go to the local catholic church where we are ignored and I am rejected or to the anglican church where we have been welcomed.

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