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How Does a Person Become a Catholic? [Ecumenical]
2HeartsNetwork.org ^ | 2001 | 2HeartsNetwork.org

Posted on 01/26/2009 5:35:29 PM PST by Salvation

How Does a Person Become a Catholic?

to Seek Ye First

There are several ways to become a Catholic. The Catholic Church warmly welcomes new members and tries to provide appropriate spiritual formation according to each person's needs. In general, though, people who are becoming Catholic fall into three categories: infants and young children; people who, whether baptized or unbaptized, have had little or no affiliation with or religious training int the Christian faith; and baptized people who have been active members in other Christian denominations.

Infants and Young Children

Children who are born or adopted into Catholic families usually are baptized as infants, a practice that began early in the Church's history. This makes sense because the children will be raised in a Christian environment, learning the ways of faith from their parents and other family members, and eventually receiving formal religious training through their parish school or religious education program. For the same reason, children whose parents enter the Catholic Church before the children have reached school age also are baptized.

People with Little or No Christian Background

Many adults who wish to join the Catholic Church have never been baptized. The Church offers unbaptized adults a process of formation in the Catholic Christian faith and way of life called "Christian initiation," or "Catechumenate." Christian initiation is a gradual process. It begins somewhat informally. After the interested person contacts the local Catholic Church, he or she may be invited to meet with other people who are exploring the possibility of becoming Catholic. These people have the opportunity to ask questions about the Church and to hear about the message of Jesus Christ and how it is lived out in the Catholic Church. A person may continue to participate in these sessions as long as he or she wishes. No commitments are made or expected during this time.

If the person decides to pursue the process of becoming Catholic, he or she enters the catechumenate; unbaptized persons in the catechumenate are called catechumens. The catechumenate provides a structure for the proclamation of the Gospel, catechesis (passing on of the teachings of the Church), public and private prayer, spiritual direction, the observance of the feasts, fasts, Sundays and seasons of the Church calendar, direct contact with members of the parish community, and participation in the work of the Church for justice and peace. During this time, each catechumen is paired with a sponsor who can serve as a spiritual companion and offer support and encouragement. The sponsor is already Catholic.

Through the various rites of the catechumenate, the Church marks a person's journey to full membership. These rites reflect his or her spiritual growth and the community's loving concern. The climax of the catechumenate process is the celebration of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and eucharist, usually at the Easter Vigil, followed by a period for reflection on the sacraments and for integration into the life and mission of the Church (a sketch of the periods and rites of Christian initiation can be found below). From the time an unbaptized person becomes a catechumen until that person celebrates the sacraments of initiation usually takes at least one year. This allows the catechumen to experience one full cycle of the Church's rhythm of feasts and seasons.

Baptized adults who have never been formed in the Christian life also participate in the catechumenate process. As they prepare for acceptance into the Catholic Church, they are known as candidates rather than catechumens. Even though the process is the same, the Catholic Church takes care to respect the fact that these people truly are baptized. Only when there is good reason to doubt that the person's baptixm took place or was celebrated validly--a rare occurrence--will such a person be baptized before entering the Catholic Church. Baptized persons are received into the Catholic Church when they are ready, by making a profession of faith, receiving the sacrament of confirmation and sharing in the eucharist.

Children who have reached school age, whether they are baptized or not, will participate in the catechumenate process adapted according to their age.

For clarification, a valid baptism means that a person has been either submerged in water or had water poured on his/her head, while the Christian pastor/preacher says: "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." All three persons in the Trinity must be invoked for the baptism to be recognized by the Catholic Church as a valid baptism. We believe that only a valid baptism performed in this way removes original sin.

Baptized People Who are Active Christians

People who have been active members of other Christian denominations seek membership in the Catholic Church for many reasons. Often, they are attracted by the Church's liturgies or by its stance on issues of justice and peace. Sometimes they are married or engaged to a Catholic. A person who has been an active Christian, who attempts to live in a way congruent with the teachings of Christ, who has actively participated in the worship and life of a Christian community and who prays does not need to undergo the full process of Christian initiation. Such a person does need an understanding of Catholic beliefs, the experience of participating in the Church's liturgical life over an appropriate period of time and an acquaintance with the Catholic community to be able to make a lasting commitment to the Catholic Church. Each person's situation should be evaluated and his or her needs met in an appropriate way. When the time is right, such a person may be received into the Catholic Church at any time of the year. This is accomplished by the person making a profession of faith and celebrating the sacraments of confirmation and eucharist, usually at a Sunday parish Mass. (Even if the person has been confirmed in another Christian denomination, the sacrament of confirmation is almost always celebrated).

What is the First Step?

Anyone who is thinking about becoming a Catholic Christian or who would like more information can contact the nearest Catholic parish. Meeting with the pastor or another member of the parish's pastoral staff ordinarily is the first step in the journey toward becoming a Catholic.

To find a Catholic parish near you, check the phone book, ask a friend who is Catholic, or if you live in a small rural town that has no Catholic parish, you can check out Masstimes.org for information about the closest parish to your home town.

Christian Initiation Synopsis:

Period of Inquiry: This is a time of introduction to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a time of reflection on one's own life in light of the values of the reign of God. It is an unstructured time of no fixed duration for questions and an opportunity for the beginnings of Christian faith to form.

Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens: In this liturgical rite, those who wish to become catechumens publicly express their desire to follow the way of Jesus. The Church accepts their intention and welcomes them into the household of faith as catechumens.

Period of the Catechumenate: Along with the whole community, catechumens celebrate the liturgy of the Word at Mass each Sunday. After the homily, the catechumens and their catechists (teachers) continue to study and ponder the Scriptures and the teachings of the Church. During this time, catechumens receive anointings, participate in prayers of exorcism and blessing, and take part in the mission of the Church to the world. Through prayer, learning and coming to know other Catholic Christians, catechumens discover the love and power of God in their lives and in the Church.

Election or Enrollment of Names: At this liturgical rite, usually celebrated on the First Sunday of Lent in the cathedral of the diocese, the bishop formally acknowledges the readiness of the catechumens and calls them to the sacraments of initiation. The catechumens respond by expressing their desire for these sacraments. From this time, until they are baptized, they are called the elect.

Period of Purification and Enlightenment: This time of intense preparation for initiation usually coincides with Lent. During this period, the elect and the parish community together focus on conversion, scrutinize their lives in light of the Gospel and celebrate the presentations of the Creed and Lord's Prayer.

Sacraments of Initiation: The elect become full members of the Body of Christ, the Church, through the celebration of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and eucharist, usually at the Easter Vigil. From this time until the end of the period of mystagogy, they are known as neophytes, which means "new sprouts."

Period of Mystagogy: During the 50 day season of Easter, neophytes ponder the experience and meaning of the sacraments and participate with the faithful in the eucharistic life of the Church and its mission for justice and peace. Formation and teaching continue for one year to help the neophytes become incorporated into the full life of the Catholic Christian community.



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; conversion; rcia
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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Webmaster's Note: My son-in-law joined the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil of 2001, and I was his sponsor/godmother. He was unbaptized, but raised in a fundamentalist Christian Church, which his family did not attend regularly. I attended the RCIA classes with him, because I was curious about the process of becoming Catholic myself. I was baptized into the Catholic Church when I was 5 days old, and had no experience with this. My husband is a convert from the Methodist Church, and he attended instruction before I met him.

I have several suggestions for people who want to be Catholic, or who are interested in exactly what we believe. My personal experience ( I live in the "Bible belt") with Christians of other denominations is that they are told by the other "authorities" in their Churches what we believe, rather than asking a practicing Catholic directly. It's my opinion that if you want to know about any subject, you go to a person who actually knows the facts. For example, don't ask your attorney a medical question. See what I mean?

If at all possible, find a Catholic to talk to who actually practices his/her faith. Please don't be put off or discouraged if you ask a question about "why?" and the Catholic doesn't have a ready answer for you. Many of us know the "rules" but aren't always taught all the "why's" of our faith. Most of us aren't forced in religion classes to memorize different Bible quotations so they can be quoted back later. Hopefully, your Catholic friend you speak to can direct you to some source for your answer or go find out for you.

Go straight to a Catholic Church and talk to the priests or deacons there. Phone the parish office to make an appointment first if possible. The number of priests are declining, and they usually have pretty tight schedules with handling parish and diocesan matters.

Purchase books on Catholicism that are actually printed by Catholic publishers. Catholic publishing companies rarely print a book that goes against Catholic teaching, if it is EVER done! Some examples of these publishers are: Liguori, Ave Maria Press, Ignatius, Tan, etc. The books I suggest on my Apologetics and Dogma webpages are safe resources to get the real facts on the Catholic Church and its teachings. Use the same discretion when surfing the internet for "facts" about the faith. For those of you who do not know what "apologetics" is, it is the Biblical defense of the Catholic faith and has nothing to do with any "apology."

One other important note: You can take instruction in the Catholic faith and choose not to become a Catholic. Many people who are marrying a Catholic want to know what their future spouse believes. Some join the Church, others do not. When I was going through the process with my son-in-law, there were a couple of people going through the instruction classes for the 2nd or 3rd time. Until you actually receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and eucharist (Holy Communion) at the Easter Vigil, you are not yet a Catholic. You can still choose not to join up to that point. And if you want more instruction before you actually make your decision, come back for the next round of classes! We won't throw you out, or tell you that you missed your chance.... All are welcome.

If you have been divorced and remarried, you will have special issues to address before becoming Catholic. Talk to your priest about this. Don't let the fact that you've been married and divorced before this marriage keep you away from the faith. This also applies if you have married a divorced person, but you have only had the one marriage. Please make sure your priest knows your special circumstances.


1 posted on 01/26/2009 5:35:29 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...
RCIA Ping!

How Does a Person Become a Catholic? [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: The RCIA Inquiry Stage In the Catholic Church [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: A Strong Start in the Faith: The Catholic RCIA Stages [Ecumenical]
Lutheran Wife has questions before joining Catholic Church
Belleville Bishop Braxton in Brouhaha with his priests (title mine)

A Ramble through My "New Catholic" Wish List {RCIA referenced]
Help with RCIA (Vanity)
Catholic Liturgy - Funeral Masses for a Suicide And More on Confession for RCIA Candidates
Confession for RCIA Candidates And More on the Prayer of the Faithful
RCIA and Holy Saturday

2 posted on 01/26/2009 5:38:45 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Guidelines for Ecumenical Threads
3 posted on 01/26/2009 5:39:53 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
How Does a Person Become a Catholic?

Why the answer to that is simple. If one truly follows where the Holy Spirit leads them, they will find themselves in the Catholic Church.

4 posted on 01/26/2009 5:40:56 PM PST by big'ol_freeper (You tell me that you've got everything you want, And your bird can sing, But you don't get me)
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To: big'ol_freeper

HA HA!


5 posted on 01/26/2009 5:45:28 PM PST by genetic homophobe ("I readily concede I chucked aside my free-market principles..." defend that)
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To: Salvation

I would imagine things would be easier for members of the Orthodox communities.


6 posted on 01/26/2009 5:50:46 PM PST by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (All of this has happened before and it will happen again!)
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To: big'ol_freeper

Do all us catholics a favor first though. REALLY learn the faith. Pick a sponsor who practices their faith and TALK to them about it. We don’t need anymore “catholics for choice” catholics who think there should be women priests, freedom from celibacy for priests, birth control or abortion. Oh yeah, and if you voted for O, make sure you go to CONFESSION first, cause you just help set the pro life movement back-A LOT.

We, the faithful,are not interested in changing our beliefs to suit your needs. I,for one, am sick and tired of “reaching across the aisle” in my church. I adhere to the teachings of the church to remain catholic. I invite all those who don’t agree or want to change them to find a more suitable denomination, you already are NOT a catholic.

After you learn what we believe, and you agree with what that is, WELCOME!!


7 posted on 01/26/2009 5:51:05 PM PST by wombtotomb (since its "above his paygrade", why can't we err on the side of caution about when life begins?)
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To: big'ol_freeper; genetic homophobe; Lucius Cornelius Sulla; wombtotomb

** It’s my opinion that if you want to know about any subject, you go to a person who actually knows the facts. For example, don’t ask your attorney a medical question. See what I mean?

If at all possible, find a Catholic to talk to who actually practices his/her faith.**

Very wise words from this author. Might be good advice for all here on FR! LOL!


8 posted on 01/26/2009 5:55:24 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: big'ol_freeper
“Why the answer to that is simple. If one truly follows where the Holy Spirit leads them, they will find themselves in the Catholic Church.”

If one truly follows where the Holy Spirit leads them they will find themselves saved and if they happen to be Catholic then they are a saved Catholic same goes for Baptist, Lutheran etc....The Holy Spirit will guide to where they need to be...

9 posted on 01/26/2009 5:57:54 PM PST by Kimmers (Working hard so Obamas friends don't have to)
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To: Salvation

that is why I put my 2 cents in. I practice, and that is the BEST advice I could give. I see my church constantly watering itself down.

I am happy to see some more backbone in recent days due to Obama getting in, however, Obama would not have garnered 50percent of the Catholic vote if they had backbone before it.......


10 posted on 01/26/2009 5:58:29 PM PST by wombtotomb (since its "above his paygrade", why can't we err on the side of caution about when life begins?)
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To: Salvation
How Does a Person Become a Catholic?

Isn't there a prerequisite of first being a Lutheran for at least 2 years?

11 posted on 01/26/2009 5:59:32 PM PST by Bronzewound
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To: Kimmers

I guess I should break out into a rendition of Kumbaya.


12 posted on 01/26/2009 6:01:31 PM PST by big'ol_freeper (You tell me that you've got everything you want, And your bird can sing, But you don't get me)
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To: Salvation
Do you want to be a Catholic? Or are you really trying to be a Christian, and just think the Catholics have it right more often than others?

I would point this out to any prospective member - you will be 10 times more serious a Catholic than those you will be sitting in the pews with every Mass.... can you handle that or will you be lonely?

In my experience, even when dealing with people who attended Catholic schools with nuns teaching from first grade to high school, they know little about the Bible and cannot defend their faith intellectually.

13 posted on 01/26/2009 6:04:08 PM PST by ikka (Brother, you asked for it!)
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To: Bronzewound
Isn't there a prerequisite of first being a Lutheran for at least 2 years?

Gosh, I thought the prerequisite was being a life long Lutheran. Does that mean I stuck around while the ELCA imploded for nothing before I crossed the Tiber?

14 posted on 01/26/2009 6:11:02 PM PST by sockmonkey
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To: ikka

**Do you want to be a Catholic? Or are you really trying to be a Christian,**

You are repeating one of the biggest falacies that Protestants use. They say that Catholics aren’t Christians. Well, we are.

It really does not matter if I feel lonely or not, because I know I have the Lord, Jesus Christ on my side.


15 posted on 01/26/2009 6:15:11 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: ikka
In my experience, even when dealing with people who attended Catholic schools with nuns teaching from first grade to high school, they know little about the Bible and cannot defend their faith intellectually.

That's too bad, but salvation is not based on one's knowledge of Bible trivia, and "salvation by grace" is not the same thing as "salvation by apologetics".

Both the Bible studies and discussions, and the hard-core apologetics, are out there. You have to expend a little effort to get them, but they aren't hidden and aren't hard to find.

16 posted on 01/26/2009 6:18:47 PM PST by Campion
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To: Salvation
Hey, I'm a Christian, and as such, I wanted to join the church of St. Peter “The Rock that I shall build my church upon”.

Alas. I was told that if I wanted to, I needed to have my first marriage and my wife's first marriage annulled.

Sorry, but both ladies would not agree, no way, no how.

Okay, I understand the sanctity of marriage arguement, but I came in unbaptised, unchurched, etc...

We both had children from our previous marriages, so we didn't want that to be “annulled”.

I was told that it would be okay, that they would not be considered “bastards” but it was a hard sell to talk them into annullments of our collective first marriages, as any Mother would understand. At the end of the day, I had to say “No, Thank You” to the Catholic Church.

So, I guess we both lived in sin and had to rectify that, but it is a bit complicated, no?

Now I am quite content in my non-denominational church that accepts the fact the I came in with sin, but accepts that we all sin.

Sorry, but I do think that we get there when we get there. We can't always turn back the hands of time.

While I will completely understand the Catholic Church's stance on the 7 sacraments, I also realize that we all reach out for the light whenever and wherever we may be.

Not being a “Christian” before, why would I be held to a “Catholic” standard before my arrival to the faith?

17 posted on 01/26/2009 6:27:30 PM PST by GrouchoTex (...and ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free....)
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To: wombtotomb; Salvation
The local Catholic bookstore is a friendly place to browse for books and info. I recently bought a St. Jude medal and booklet for two Catholic friends who were going thru "a lost cause".
18 posted on 01/26/2009 6:28:40 PM PST by Ciexyz (Downloaded Ann Coulter's "Guilty" to my Amazon Kindle for $9.99 - 67% discount.No sales tax.)
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To: Ciexyz

We don’t have one locally. Most of what I get is from Barnes and Noble or Borders.


19 posted on 01/26/2009 6:30:24 PM PST by wombtotomb (since its "above his paygrade", why can't we err on the side of caution about when life begins?)
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To: big'ol_freeper

LOL


20 posted on 01/26/2009 6:31:01 PM PST by Kimmers (Working hard so Obamas friends don't have to)
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To: GrouchoTex

If neither you nor your wives were baptised, then none of your weddings were sacramental requiring annulment.

If, on the other hand, the marriages or the wives were Christian, then the Catholic Church requires that you treat the marriage with the respect that the Church teaches Christian marriage is due, even if you did not do so previously.


21 posted on 01/26/2009 6:46:43 PM PST by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
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To: GrouchoTex
Here's a way to look at it which I think is correct, but I could be way wrong.

As to your last sentence, what if the Catholics just said, "No marriage undertaken before Baptism is a real marriage." In such a case your entry would automatically annul any prior marriages. Would that be better?

It's not just "the sanctity of marriage," it's what marriage IS. It is impossible (in our view) to have been truly married to someone still alive AND to be subsequently truly married to someone else (who is alive also.) One wife at a time, one husband at a time, AND he is your husband or she is your wife until death do you part. That is part of the esse of matrimony.

So we COULD say, well, those marriages you had when you were unbaptized weren't really marriages and aren't really binding. But it sounds like you (or the women involved) want to say that those marriages were real marriages and now these are two.

For us, that does not compute.

22 posted on 01/26/2009 6:48:37 PM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Salvation

You didn’t really pay attention to what I wrote. I explicitly said (if you read the entire phrase) that Catholics are Christians.


23 posted on 01/26/2009 7:03:11 PM PST by ikka (Brother, you asked for it!)
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To: Bronzewound
Isn't there a prerequisite of first being a Lutheran for at least 2 years?

I did the speeded-up version of that. I only got as far as calling the Lutherans to find out when their services were. Then I read Surprised By Truth, and the rest is history.

24 posted on 01/26/2009 7:05:23 PM PST by Elvina (BHO is double plus ungood.)
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To: Campion
"Bible trivia" ?

What about "thy Word I have hid in my heart, so that I may not sin against thee" (NASB: "Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.")?

I am talking about someone who reads the DaVinci Code and then says "well, it could be true that Jesus ran away with Magdalen instead of dying on the cross..." and does not understand why that would incontrovertibly mean a rejection of Catholic belief.

Yes, this actually happened, and yes, the woman in question went to Catholic school and even a college run by and taught by nuns.

Maybe it is an outlier, and surely just an anecdote, but my original point stands: "If you are going to be a serious Catholic (taking canon law, etc. seriously), expect to be lonely".

25 posted on 01/26/2009 7:10:05 PM PST by ikka (Brother, you asked for it!)
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To: Mad Dawg

“As to your last sentence, what if the Catholics just said, “No marriage undertaken before Baptism is a real marriage.” In such a case your entry would automatically annul any prior marriages. Would that be better?”

Well, yes, quite frankly, yes. It would make more sense.

Think about it.

I do understand what you are saying, but I am now at the risk of saying that my first marriage didn’t exist and my current wife’s first marriage didn’t exist, either. Children came from these unions, so therefore, do they now not exist?

That is the major issue.

Of course they exist, but if the marriages they came from, are not valid, after being annulled, where does that leave them?

On more thing to ponder........

I could walk into the Catholic Church, being a thief (or worse) and not have to contact the people I have stolen from (or worse) in the past and still be accepted as is.

Yet, if I come into the Catholic Church as a divorced and remarried man, I need to contact the previous spouse and ask them if they would agree to admit that it never really happened?

huh?

Sorry, I will not now or ever become Catholic.

I tried, it didn’t make sense.

There are other issues but this one just didn’t compute (as you say).


26 posted on 01/26/2009 7:13:11 PM PST by GrouchoTex (...and ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free....)
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To: GrouchoTex; Mad Dawg
Lawdy, I don't know why I'm getting into this again...

Alas. I was told that if I wanted to, I needed to have my first marriage and my wife's first marriage annulled.

Sorry, but both ladies would not agree, no way, no how.

Okay, I understand the sanctity of marriage arguement, but I came in unbaptised, unchurched, etc...

We both had children from our previous marriages, so we didn't want that to be “annulled”.

I was told that it would be okay, that they would not be considered “bastards” but it was a hard sell to talk them into annullments of our collective first marriages, as any Mother would understand. At the end of the day, I had to say “No, Thank You” to the Catholic Church.

So, I guess we both lived in sin and had to rectify that, but it is a bit complicated, no?

Now I am quite content in my non-denominational church that accepts the fact the I came in with sin, but accepts that we all sin.

Sorry, but I do think that we get there when we get there. We can't always turn back the hands of time.

While I will completely understand the Catholic Church's stance on the 7 sacraments, I also realize that we all reach out for the light whenever and wherever we may be.

Not being a “Christian” before, why would I be held to a “Catholic” standard before my arrival to the faith?

First, if both you and your former spouse were unbaptized at the beginning of the marriage, you were not married. If one of you were baptized during the marriage, then that one is bound by scripture, not the unbaptized one (for example, if your former spouse was baptized and you were not, she would not be at liberty to leave you, but you wouldn't be bound in any way...as you could not sacramentally be married in the first place. If you were baptized and she wasn't, then she could leave you but you couldn't leave her).

Man, all of those Catholic rules sure are tough to deal with.

'Cept one thing, those Catholic rules were written by a fella named Paul (formerly Saul), this guy from Turkey. You may have heard of him before.

1Cr 7:10 To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband

1Cr 7:11 (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband)--and that the husband should not divorce his wife.

1Cr 7:12 To the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.

1Cr 7:13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.

1Cr 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy.

1Cr 7:15 But if the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace.

So if you're at a good, Bible-believing non-denominational church and they accept you, guess what? Either your church compromises on the Scriptures or, in the final analysis, you would have not had an issue in the Catholic Church either.

"But why don't they let the past be the past...can't do anything about it now, can I?"

They actually do it out of concern for your soul, not out of a bunch of bureaucracy (and this is something that is not often explained at all or explained well).

If you are a baptized Christian and in a second marriage, you are an adulterer. That's not my judgment on you, either (I don't care one way or the other), that's Scripture's judgment on you. Whether your current church teaches that or not, it is what it is.

If you are received into the Church, you will presumably want to receive the Body and Blood of Christ in communion. If you do so, while in a state of mortal sin (which, per scripture, you are), you have just received the Body and Blood sacrilegiously. That is not good for the state of one's soul, to put it mildly (In fact, St. Paul says Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord (1 Cor 11:27))

So you go to confession. But you leave that one out. Well, if you don't ask for forgiveness, God isn't going to grant forgiveness, and, in fact, you're really no better than Adam and Eve hiding from the Lord after they ate the fruit, are you?

Of course, you could live as brother and sister with your current wife, but how many people actually would do that? (If you did have a previous, valid marriage and then both you and your wife promised to do so [live as brother and sister], I bet that would be accepted, btw).

But the problem is that if you are received into the Church with a more-or-less permanent state of mortal sin on your soul already, you are assured of a life of either not being in full communion with the Church or living a lie, which eventually leads to having a reprobate heart (and you can do your own word search on reprobate if you want to see where that leads you).

So them wanting to help you clear up the marriage issue and even not allowing you to be received into the Church is, in fact, a grace -- even though I know it really doesn't feel like it when you're on the receiving end.

Bottom line: it's not a "Catholic" standard so much as a standard established by #1, Christ, and #2, St. Paul, which is validated in the Scriptures (as well as in the teachings of the Church).

27 posted on 01/26/2009 7:18:32 PM PST by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: markomalley
(1)Yes, I have heard of Paul (formerly Saul)

(2) If I go to Christ and ask for forgiveness for being an adulterer, as a Christian, is there any other governing body that can say I can not be a member of their organization?

Well, frankly, yes.

The Catholic Church demands that I go to the diocese and pay for the privilege of doing so, twice, I my case.

Sorry, I think that if someone on this Earth can determine my worthiness,as to whether I am truly a sincere christian or not, them they themselves are not worthy of my time and trouble.

Again, think about it.

Don't take it so hard, I blew off the Baptist,too (but for a different reason).

I ask Christ only.

I answer to Christ only.

28 posted on 01/26/2009 7:35:33 PM PST by GrouchoTex (...and ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free....)
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To: GrouchoTex

“them they themselves”

Sounds a bit redneck...

Guess I should of just said “ All y’all”


29 posted on 01/26/2009 7:38:21 PM PST by GrouchoTex (...and ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free....)
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To: GrouchoTex
Don't take it so hard

Like I said, I don't actually care so much. I just wanted you to understand that what happened to you was done out of concern for your soul, not out of concern for bureaucratic nuance...and also to assure you that the standards aren't something made up in a dark room in a former graveyard in Italy, but, rather a few hundred miles east of that point.

Since I've done that, my job is done.

30 posted on 01/26/2009 7:43:03 PM PST by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: Philo-Junius

I do apreciate your kind rendering of the Church’s beleifs. It seems that I have stirred up a bit of controversy here.

I admit that I have swung back in kind but I do not what you to take it personally.

Agreed, we are Christian.

Agreed, that I want to repent (daily) and live better (daily) as all Christians do.

Thank you for your thoughtful response.


31 posted on 01/26/2009 7:45:22 PM PST by GrouchoTex (...and ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free....)
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To: markomalley

Few hundred miles east... Well said.

Thanks

We are all reading out of the same book, we’re just a few words off here and there.

A lot more that we agree about than disagree about.


32 posted on 01/26/2009 7:51:59 PM PST by GrouchoTex (...and ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free....)
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To: Salvation

Having been a lifelong Episcopalian and a senior warden in Tennessee, I left the church over 6 years ago, when it left me.
Now living in the Philippines, I will obviously attend the Catholic church.
I do not, however, see a reason to actually become a Catholic.
If someone gives me a reason, I would consider it.


33 posted on 01/26/2009 7:54:17 PM PST by AlexW (Now in the Philippines . Happy not to be back in the USA for now.)
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To: Salvation
How to become a Catholic
34 posted on 01/26/2009 7:54:59 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: GrouchoTex

Non-sacramental doesn’t mean no relationship existed, just not the one the Church defines as marriage.

We have to agree on basic terms in order to be able to converse.

There’s a reason Church documents are written in Latin.


35 posted on 01/26/2009 7:55:41 PM PST by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
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To: Philo-Junius

Converted from Aramiac and Hebrew (wink)


36 posted on 01/26/2009 8:06:16 PM PST by GrouchoTex (...and ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free....)
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To: AlexW

You need to formally convert if you wish to receive the Holy Communion or other sacraments if the Catholic Church.

You are, like everyone, welcome to visit Mass and pray, but you cannot receive Communion.


37 posted on 01/26/2009 8:06:20 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

sacraments if -> sacraments of


38 posted on 01/26/2009 8:07:12 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: GrouchoTex

And that’s a big reason why they made St. Jerome a saint.


39 posted on 01/26/2009 8:10:44 PM PST by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
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To: Salvation

As a failed Catholic, divorced, and married to a divorced Protestant, I am removed from participating in the Eucharist. Though I cannot participate in Communion, I am thankful to be in His presence. Knowing I am not worthy, I thank and praise the Lord for His Grace and Mercy, which are sufficient for me. He did not come to call the rightous, but sinners, like me.


40 posted on 01/26/2009 8:15:48 PM PST by Ag88 (Fast is fine, but accuracy is final. - Wyatt Earp)
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To: Ag88
Though I cannot participate in Communion, I am thankful to be in His presence.

You are a rare specimen: a mature adult.

41 posted on 01/26/2009 8:31:05 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (They moved my pie.)
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To: GrouchoTex

There are so many details with an annulment.

Did either of the wives really want to be married?

Did the really want to have children?

If your answer to either of those questions is “NO”, then you have a very simple “lack of form” annulment.

Then it gets more complicated from there.

Did you have church weddings or were you married by a Justice of the Peace or a mayor, etc. Those civil marriages are not recognized by the church and are also easy annulments.

Like I said, there are so many ins and outs on this subject. If you still desire to be a Catholic I suggest you find a Catholic priest who is knowledgeable in this area; he will help you walk through the process.


42 posted on 01/26/2009 8:39:51 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: GrouchoTex; markomalley
The Catholic Church demands that I go to the diocese and pay for the privilege of doing so, twice, I my case.

Yeah, in many dioceses you have to pay for the considerable time and work that go into an annulment. I don't like it, but I think it's not fair to characterize it as paying for the annulment. You want something that's involved, SOMEBODY's paying for the people doing the work.

(2) If I go to Christ and ask for forgiveness for being an adulterer, ...

But, strictly speaking, you are saying that you are not going to stop committing the sin. It's hard to reconcile that with your saying it's a sin.

Yeah, we all know when we go to confession, that we're probably going to do whatever we confessed again, and distressingly soon too.

But here's a case where you have a choice. It's not like swearing or eating too much. You have to do the work and pay the expense to get an annulment. YEAH, that's a burden, but you can do it, and compared to quitting smoking or something, it's not so very hard.

But if you don't mean to do it, then your act of contrition in confession is patently insincere. And that's not good for you.

And as to your earlier question, for quite some time now the Church has left questions of the legitimacy of offspring to the state. In the state's eyes you and your current wife were married before. The children are "legitimate". There's no problem.

But in the Church's eyes, either you were not married before or you are not married now.

This is all pretty straightforward. The basis for it is biblical. Either there was fornication before or there is adultery now. So that's the problem.

This isn't personal. It's just an effort to explain what's going on.

43 posted on 01/26/2009 8:42:30 PM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: AlexW

That reason has to come from your heart. I would suggest your read some stories about converts. You might identify with one and the “reason” would virtually jump off the page at you.


44 posted on 01/26/2009 8:45:24 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: GrouchoTex
Yeah, for GrouchoTex I think "All y'all" is right.

For some Yankees I would recommend Them'uns.

Sounds a bit redneck...

You say that like it's a bad thing ....

There you go agin, lyin' through yer tooth.

;-)

45 posted on 01/26/2009 8:46:58 PM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Ag88

No Catholic fails because of divorce. Maybe mistakes were made, but that doesn’t mean your faith has failed.

Sit down with a priest and talk to see if you can start back on the journey toward receiving the Eucharist. You might be surprised.


46 posted on 01/26/2009 8:47:39 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Mad Dawg
Your explanation is one that I do not disagree with entirely , however. all the people being involved (exe’s & children who are now grown) did have compelling arguments.

From what my local parish has told me, in the eyes of the church, I am not married now.

And again, I do not disagree with the Catholic Church or the positions they hold, but their positions I can not abide by or that I find too restrictive, Granted, it is a state by state position, but isn't that in and of itself a contradiction? I mean, it's right or wrong, right? So I am left with a choice.

Many may not agree with my choice, but I will leave it to God to decide. So, if the Catholic Church considers me to be an adulterer because I have divorced and remarried, so be it,I'll let God decide that. After all, Maryland may but Pennsylvania may not? Again, God knows me better than all and I'll let him decide before any one human or board of them (with or without fees) does. So be it (Amen)

47 posted on 01/26/2009 9:06:38 PM PST by GrouchoTex (...and ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free....)
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To: Mad Dawg

When I was a musician, I used to play in a bar where we used to say:

” The patrons had tatoos and were missing their front teeth, and that was just the women”

To which, I would reply, “Someday I’m gonna marry that girl!”


48 posted on 01/26/2009 9:10:12 PM PST by GrouchoTex (...and ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free....)
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To: Salvation; GrouchoTex
Did either of the wives really want to be married?

Well the Ol' Mizris says she really wanted to right up until she was. But by then it was too late.

49 posted on 01/27/2009 4:11:58 AM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: GrouchoTex
Granted, it is a state by state position, but isn't that in and of itself a contradiction? I mean, it's right or wrong, right? So I am left with a choice.

Serious, Wha'? here. State by state or diocese by diocese? It sounds like you almost fell into the teeth of the Catholic machine. Others are tired of my saying it, but the old line is, "I don't believe in organized religion; I'm a Catholic."

Many may not agree with my choice, but I will leave it to God to decide.

Always a good idea. Well, FWIW, my advice is keep nagging Him about it.

before any one human or board of them (with or without fees)

And that would be one of the things to nag him about. "We have this treasure in earthen vessels," which is to say, the Church thinks of itself (rightly IMHO) as having apostolic authority and the gifts necessary to exercise that authority. ON the other hand, few humans are so very human as a bunch of ecclesiastical bureaucrats. It is as true in the Church as in the world that 100 IQ is average.

It is always appropriate to nag God. Remember the widow.

50 posted on 01/27/2009 4:23:53 AM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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